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I'm planning to have an Ubuntu 11.4 / OpenSUSE 11.4 or maybe an Ubuntu 11.4 / Fedora 15 beta dual boot (or the three of them).

Will they dual boot just after installation? or I have to install them in a certain order or do some special configuration?

(Right now I'm using Ubuntu 10.10)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Be careful with OpenSUSE - they still use GRUB as their bootloader, while Ubuntu uses GRUB2. (As of 11.4 there is an option to go with GRUB2 however.) If you're using Ubuntu as your primary OS and replace GRUB2 with GRUB during an OpenSUSE install, it might cause problems. (At the very least, some of the command line structure is different, so it might make it hard to follow a how-to, for example.)

I haven't done an install with 11.4 but I do have 11.3 installed on a second hard drive. If they haven't made major changes, one of the options when installing OpenSUSE is to install no bootloader at all. After the install you need to run sudo update-grub from Ubuntu to add OpenSUSE to the bootloader. (This was the option I went with, since I wanted to keep Ubuntu's bootloader.) The only downside to doing it this way is that whenever OpenSUSE updates their kernel, you have to update the grub manually (from within Ubuntu - at least that's the easiest way IMO).

I think Fedora 15 uses GRUB2 as well; if you install Fedora second you'll get a Fedora theme for the bootloader but there's otherwise no difference.

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so basically I have two choices: to select GRUB2 while I'm inside openSUSE 11.4's installation CD or to not to install bootloader at all? – janoChen Apr 29 '11 at 5:15
Probably - I'm not really sure how to install GRUB2 in openSUSE. You could install GRUB, and it'll detect Ubuntu and let you boot it, but then maybe you'd have to use openSUSE to manage the grub. I'd suggest asking on the openSUSE forums about using GRUB2 in a dual-boot setup, unless you want to do what I did and stick with Ubuntu's bootloader. – Sean Fitzpatrick Apr 30 '11 at 20:56
@janoChen, do it this way - openSUSE GRUB2, Fedora, then Ubuntu. With openSUSE using GRUB2 there won't be a need to update manually. And installing Ubuntu last will just land you with the no background GRUB menu of Ubuntu. – Oxwivi May 28 '11 at 8:28
I can confirm Fedora 15 uses Grub Legacy, not Grub 2. And it doesnt detect Ubuntu. So maybe installing Ubuntu last is the best choice. The wallpaper can be configured in Ubuntu's Grub 2. Its tricky, but not too hard – MestreLion Jun 19 '11 at 1:40

Fedora15 comes with Legacy Grub by default. Not, Grub2. I'm stuck in a similar problem.

The problem is solved now. TO answer your question directly. Install Ubuntu last. It will handle all the grub file editing and the lot automatically.

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+1 for being the only answer that correctly states that Fedora 15 does NOT install with grub2. While grub 2 is avaliable to download after install, it is not the default. I just installed Fedora 15 here... grub (GNU GRUB 0.97-71.fc15) – MestreLion Jun 19 '11 at 1:34

Nope, the order won't matter. They all use GRUB as the default bootloader, so there is nothing to be written over like when dealing with Windows.

You can choose which one you want to boot up automatically in (or whether you want GRUB to wait and make you choose every startup) by configuring GRUB after the installations.

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False. Ubuntu uses Grub 2, while Fedora for sure (and perhaps openSuse) uses Grub Legacy. And it does not detect Ubuntu installation by default – MestreLion Jun 19 '11 at 1:37
I actually recently learned this myself when installing Fedora 15. Forgot to update the answer. – zookalicious Jun 28 '11 at 20:33

One thing i'm sure... if you install openSUSE after install Ubuntu, you will miss the boot because of the Grub bootloader in opensuse don't work with Grub2 from Ubuntu, as it was mentioned upper by Fitzpatrick. I recommend you to install fedora instead of opensuse, and you will haven't any throuble with the Grub2 bootloader in your two SO (or 3 SO if you have Guindous running too). I did it, jejeje. Best regards.

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Fedora 15 also uses Grub Legacy – MestreLion Jun 19 '11 at 1:37

The order of installation needs to be Fedora then Ubuntu.

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