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Re: dual boot PCs



> >How do you switch the active partitions?  Do you use FDISK?  What I meant by
> >Windows95 not "dual booting" is that it isn't built in to the operating
> >system like it is in Windows 2000.  You have to manually go out and switch
> 
> Linux (at least Debian linux, which I run) comes with the "cfdisk"
> disk partition manager. It is a *vast* improvement over MS FDISK.
> 
> Others have already commented on LILO, which I also find works very
> well, and on the fact that Linux can mount Microsoft FAT16 and FAT32
> file systems just fine. It can also mount NTFS, though currently only
> in read-only mode.  I don't know of any Microsoft OS that can read
> native Linux file systems, though.

I dual-boot a laptop and one of my desktop machines between Windoze and
FreeBSD (http://www.freebsd.org/) all the time using the boot manager
available with FreeBSD.  (Unlike LILO on Linux, the FreeBSD bootloader
understands the format of the file system, and loads the kernel and
other loadable modules by name.)  It's pretty flexible, even allowing
you to boot off another disk.  Further, if you have anything like a 
recent BIOS, you can boot off a partition above 540MB (or whatever
the magic number is).  You can also configure the boot manager to
remember what you last selected, and have that be the default active
partition the next time you reboot (perhaps unattended).

While Windoze doesn't grok the BSD file system format, I can mount
the Windows FAT partitions from FreeBSD.  And I believe support for
NTFS file systems was just added to FreeBSD, but I haven't had a 
chance to try that.

The FreeBSD installer also has a friendly fdisk-like tool to
allocate a single "fdisk partition" for FreeBSD; FreeBSD will
then build it's own partitions inside that for root, swap, etc.

I'd say that the dual-boot thing really isn't much of an issue.  There
are lots of alternatives available, and even the free ones work pretty
well.  That said, I'm a real fan of Partition Magic for resizing
existing FAT file systems to make room for FreeBSD :-)

louie
wa3ymh

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