Booting multiple Ubuntu’s

#1
How do I get two versions of the Ubuntu that both use GRUB-2 to work with Easy BCD boot loader?

From a prior post I read I gather that Easy BCD can’t boot two Linux distributions that use GRUB-2. I was wondering however if I could load onto my hard drive one Ubuntu and then a second thereby creating a BRUB-2 boot menu with the option to boot both Ubuntu’s. Then I thought I would be able to boot from the GRUB-2 menu into Windows 7 and add a single entry for Ubuntu. This should chain load the Easy BCD boot loader to the Ubuntu GRUB-2 boot loader.
:ldown:
I just tried to set up and now I can’t get into either Ubuntu’s. Am I missing something? There must be a way to get Easy BCD to pick up the more complex GRUB-2 menu with the option to boot into more than one Ubuntu OS.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Hi PoC,

When you install first one Ubuntu then the next, your GRUB2 menu for the first Ubuntu should contain entries for *both* Ubuntu's.

Then in EasyBCD you can add a GRUB2 entry that will load the first Ubuntu's menu, from where you can select either Ubuntu 1 or Ubuntu 2 to load into.
 
#3
“When you install first one Ubuntu then the next, your GRUB2 menu for the first Ubuntu should contain entries for *both* Ubuntu's.”

No. I installed the first Ubuntu and then the second Ubuntu. When I boot up I get the GRUB-2 boot menu options which contain entries for both of the Ubuntu OS installations and Windows 7. Then when I boot into Windows 7 from the GRUB-2 boot loader which I have just described I perform a add OS entry for Ubuntu.

Then when I reboot of course I still have the GRUB-2 boot loader. When I boot into the Windows 7 option and select the Ubuntu boot option which is now coming from the Easy BCD boot loader, I get the original GRUB-2 boot options which only allow me to boot into the original Ubuntu. So in other words when in Easy BCD I add the option to boot into the Ubuntu OS I’m just getting the GRUB-2 good options associated with the first Ubuntu install.

That Ubuntu’s is in question are 10.04 and 10.10. I also tried reversing the order of the two Ubuntu’s with the same result.

I’m thinking that if I copy the files from /etc/grub.d/ in the second Ubuntu to the first Ubuntu and run “sudo update-grub” from terminal mode, then the boot settings from the second Ubuntu should be copied over to the first Ubuntu where Easy BCD can pick it up? Unfortunately I think about have to learn how to login as root to do the paste of the files which I haven’t learned how to do yet.

Any thoughts on how to get Easy BCD to pick up the boot options for both Ubuntu’s?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
If you want one menu to control all three boots, just stick with grub. No need for EasyBCD.
If you want EasyBCD controlling the boot, it will be a two stage boot. The choice between the two Ubuntus will take place when you chain to grub. You'll need to "reinstall Vista/7 bootloader" so that the MBR finds bootmgr, then a single Linux entry in the BCD will take you to the grub menu where you choose between them.
That's what CG meant when he said

“When you install first one Ubuntu then the next, your GRUB2 menu for the first Ubuntu should contain entries for *both* Ubuntu's.”

and despite your "No", you confirmed it was so by

"When I boot up I get the GRUB-2 boot menu options which contain entries for both of the Ubuntu OS installations and Windows 7"

At present you cannot have multiple Linux entries in the BCD.
CG is working on a design which will make the process easier.
XP used to be the same but he wrote EasyLDR to enable a one-stage Windows boot, and hopefully in the future Linux will get similar treatment.

For the moment Grub is your only way of booting them all from one menu.
 
#5
Terry60,

Thanks for replying. I don’t think I’m explaining myself correctly. I understand that I’m going to need both boot menus. Right now the GRUB-2 the menu comes up first. It has in it listings for both Ubuntu’s and Windows 7. When I select the Windows 7 option I then get the Easy BCD boot loader screen. From within the Easy BCD boot loader screen there is the option for Ubuntu that I made in Easy BCD after I installed both of the two Ubuntu OS’s. However, when I click on the boot Ubuntu option from the Easy BCD loader I get a different version of the GRUB-2 loader screen. That version of GRUB-2 is only picking up the option to boot into the first Ubuntu.

If I "reinstall Vista/7 bootloader" then the Easy the BCD boot loader screen will come up first. When I select the Ubuntu boot option I will get the GRUB-2 boot loader that contains only the option to boot into the first Ubuntu.

The question is how can I get the one Ubuntu entry in the Easy BCD boot loader to display the option to boot into either of the Ubuntu OS’s.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
That's odd because the GRUB2 menu that's loaded by EasyBCD should contain *two* entries, one for each Ubuntu (and possibly another entry for Windows, too).
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
OK, got you.
I haven't booted multiple Linuxes so I'm not familiar with how the installer handles the situation with regard to placement of grub during the later installs. I know exactly how MS does it for XP and Vista/7 in either order but that's no help.
Check for boot/grub/grub.cfg on all of your Linux partitions, since your description implies that more than one exists. (you can download and run freeware "ext2explore" on Windows to look in your linux partitions).
Then modify the Neogrub entry in the NST folder (from the Linux BCD entry) to alter the path to the other grub.cfg.
Alternatively, if your Linux installs are on different HDDs, swap the cables so that EasyBCD auto-detects the other copy first.

Addendum:

Afterthought.
Did you delete and re-add the BCD Linux grub2 entry after the second install, to give EasyBCD auto-configure a chance to find the latest install ?
 
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#8
Okay I got it working. I’ll post all the exact details a little later.

The grub.cfg file was then the “boot/grub” folder.

“Then modify the Neogrub entry in the NST folder (from the Linux BCD entry) to alter the path to the other grub.cfg.”

I couldn’t see any way to point to the file from within Easy BCD. What I did was copy the file from the second Ubuntu to the first Ubuntu. Then I booted back into Windows 7 and started Easy BCD. Then when I made the entry for Ubuntu it picked up the correct GRUB-2 good options.

My partition setup is on one hard drive.

“Did you delete and re-add the BCD Linux grub2 entry after the second install, to give EasyBCD auto-configure a chance to find the latest install ?”

Yes I tried that and it didn’t work. Also try changing the order of the install of the two Ubuntu’s from installing it in the first partition for Ubuntu one and the second partition for Ubuntu two to installing the second one first and then the first. No joy.

Thanks for the help. I love a happy ending.
 
#9
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