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Recipe 12.19. Multibooting Windows and Linux with LILO

12.19.1 Problem

You want to dual-boot Linux and Windows, or multiboot several versions of each.

12.19.2 Solution

The easy way is to first install all versions of Windows that you want to run on the system. Always install them in order, starting with the oldest. Save the fourth primary partition for Linux.

You may install only one of Windows 95/98/ME, because they do not support multibooting. Windows NT/2000/XP all support multibooting and will create entries for each installed Windows in the Windows bootloader.

Install Linux last. Make the fourth primary partition into an extended partition, then create a logical partition for Linux. During the Linux installation, install LILO to the MBR, and LILO will automatically create an entry for Windows. Here is an example of what lilo.conf will look like:

# Stable 2.4 kernel






# Windows

other = /dev/hda1

  label = "Windowses"

  table = /dev/hda

There is only one entry for Windows, because LILO only needs to point to the Windows boot menu.

12.19.3 Discussion

When you have more than one Windows installed, the Windows bootloader will always stay with the first one. So if Windows 95 is installed on /dev/hda1, and Windows 2000 is installed on /dev/hda2, LILO still needs to point to /dev/hda1.

12.19.4 See Also

  • lilo(8), lilo.conf(5)

  • /usr/doc/lilo, or /usr/share/doc/lilo

  • Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 217210: "How to Multiple Boot Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, and MS-DOS"

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