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Re: Best way to boot between debian and suse?

On Tue, May 16, 2006 at 12:25:54PM -0400, dfp10@logical.net wrote:
> Could you advise me on the best setup for me to switch between SuSE
> and Debian?

It is difficult to generalise without more idea of your priorities.

> I have two 80gb hard drives and a CDROM r/w and a DVD r/w drive.
> Is it best to put both systems on different partitions of the same
> hard drive or one on each drive?

Dedicating an drive to each OS is possible, but rather wasteful.
For example there is no reason to have two different swap partitions
or /tmp partitions. And you probably don't want two different diverging
/home partitions.

The only reason I can think of for dedicating a drive per OS would
be if you wanted to know that you could still boot a fully functioning
system if either drive failed completely.

Otherwise, distributing partitions across the two drives will often
produce a performance improvement. For example, putting your OS partitions
on the first drive, and main user partitions on the second. The idea is to
try to arrange for both disks to be active at the same time.

Something else I sometimes do when I have more than one hard disk is
to mirror the system partitions (which are usually smaller than the
user partitions), and use cron to synchronize them every night.
That way if a HDD crashes I can still boot any of my OSs, and only
need to restore the user filesystem (which is much easier with a
running OS) to be fully up and running again.

> Should the drives be primary and secondary or both primary?
> Also, what  are the best placements for the CDROM and DVD drives?

I'm much more experienced with SCSI than IDE, but I assume from
your reference to primary/secondary that you are using the latter.

I know that at one time it was recomended practice to keep CD/DVD
drives on a separate bus to the hard drives because the slower
performance of the former could slow down the latter. I don't
know if this is still the case. With any luck someone more
expert in IDE hardware will elaborate further.

> Is it best to have a DOS partition on one or other of the hard drives?

Can't see any possible reason to do this if you are only running SuSE
and Debian.

Digby R. S. Tarvin                                          digbyt(at)digbyt.com

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