dual boot; Linux, FreeBSD

Jerry McAllister jerrymc at clunix.cl.msu.edu
Sat Jun 10 17:20:15 UTC 2006

> Hello;
> If I want to set up a dual boot of either Linux or FreeBSD, what is the 
> best way to go about it?
> Use Lilo, grub, or does FreeBSD have a boot loader that it likes better 
> and Linux won't object to?

Mabye you are using the term 'boot loader' for what I am used to seeing
called the 'MBR'.   The boot loader I am familiar comes later in the
process and is unique to each OS.

All of those you name will work as an MBR.
I just stick with the FreeBSD MBR but I don't have any need for fancy
features or display formatting that the others give you.
The FreeBSD MBR should be able to start any of them.  FreeBSD can be
started from any of those MBRs.   It is more an aesthetic thing.  Advocates
of each tend to get rabidly partisan.  But, the really meaningful differences
are small.

Past the MBR stage, use the boot sector and boot loader stuff that comes
with the OS you put on each bootable slice.

One thing you need to do is put the MBR on each disk if you are putting
each OS on a separate disk.   The Bios will start the first one and
the MBR should then give you a choice of any bootable slices on the first
drive and also the choice of going to the second drive MBR.  If you
then chose the second MBR, that one will give you the choice of all
the bootable slices on that drive.   Probably you will make only one
bootable slice on each drive, but could make up to 4.

Someone else will have to respond to the X questions.
Usually it is best to put separate questions in separate posts.  It makes
responding easier.


> i'm planning on using Debian on a separate bootable hard drive. I have 
> to get more info on what
> version of Debian I will use. FreeBSD is version 6.0 release. It works 
> great, has little quirks here
> and there but are negligible, Xwindow screen saver daemon won't run, 
> but that's ok because
> mostly I shut the monitor off when not using the system. Gnome throws 
> up a dialog every
> time it starts stating that a panel is already running. Once it kept 
> presenting the same dialog
> several times before it was satisfied that I got the message. Monitor 
> works great without any
> intervention from me. I sure is nice to have a computer system that 
> just runs and runs and
> I don't have to do finger nail biting trying to stay ahead of crashes.
> Thanks in advance:
> JK
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