Week 32 Lesson Plan Addendum

Linux (cont)

Dual Booting

It is possible and desirable in some circumstances to have access to each OS at will. In order to accomplish this task, dual booting must be used to create access to both boot loaders for choosing. You literally could have many hundreds of OS’s on one computer but why would one want that many. But it may be desirable to have various different types of Linux for comparison purposes.

A boot loader program is required to dual boot. A boot loader program (after setup) presents a graphical interface for the user to choose which system to boot. There is a timer set to 30 seconds that will load the default program should the user not choose. A boot loader is simply a program residing in the master boot record that contains a menu and a few lines of code that tell the computer how to boot into the various OS’s. It is possible to have different OS’s on different drives as well as on a single drive.

Windows uses the boot loader called NTLDR. It was written to provide a choice for loading different Windows OS’s and thus does not detect any other OS like Linux. It is possible to manually modify the boot.ini file (located in the root directory) to force the NTLDR to recognize another OS. The boot.ini file contains the following code:

[boot loader]



[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

Linux uses either LILO or GRUB as its boot loader program. The LILO program stands for Linux Loader and is a generic program and is out of date but still very much used. The newest loader GRUB (GRand Unified Bootloader) is a boot loader from the GNU project and can handle any operating system. This is the most common boot loader used in Linux.

Installing boot loaders

Follow the following steps to dual boot

Have Windows installed first.

Defragment an older drive

Run chkdsk for fixing errors (chkdsk /F)

Partition the drive (you may use Partition Magic, GParted, or any third party)

Create an ext3 type partition(used by Linux) and another partition for swap file usage of at least 1G)

Install Linux onto the new partition

Install the boot loader when asked by the installer program

Ensure you install the boot loader to the MBR of master disk

There are many variations of this procedure so you actually are going to have to play with and modify the procedure as things progress in your situation. You will have the satisfaction of completing the task without help. LOL

See the handle attached to this supplement for detailed instructions. Also see the Linux guide available for more information.

Dual Homing

Dual homing refers to the addition of a second NIC card in a computer and connecting to a separate network.

The installation is relatively straight forward and uncomplicated. You install the second NIC, install its drivers if required, set up a new internet LAN connection in my network places, give the new NIC card the appropriate address, subnet mask, and router (gateway) and you are there.

Network setup

Network setup follows the same general rules as Windows. You need to assign an IP address, Net mask, and router address to a NIC card. Various types of Linux programs will have this information located at different places so I won’t include them all here. Leave it to say that somewhere in the settings area or menu, there will be a pointer to the configuration menu for networking.

There are situations in Linux where you have to activate the eth0 interface before setting the network parameters. This also is intuitive following some menu choices so I wont go into detail here as well.