I look back at the last couple of days and my assisted build of a triple boot laptop and ask what have I learnt? These entries have been about successfully putting the three operating systems onto my Dell C400. I knew that a problem existed with the cheap video subsystem implementation and I’ve only succeeded because I have pre-beta code for Solaris 10. (This will be made available sometime soon). It’s possible to learn about Solaris on the C400 and installing a triple boot. The key lessons (for me) have been.

The installers do not behave well together, so the installation process is sensitive to the order you choose to install them in. I suggest Windows, then Solaris, then Linux. This is for two reasons,

  • Linux and Solaris use the same partition label for Linux Swap and Solaris, and it would seem that the Solaris installer is the more badly behaved, so running it before Linux is on the system is a good thing.
  • By installing Linux last, you end up with grub as the boot manager, this is good because its pretty, configurable and powerful. It also recognises the three partitions and sets up its menu to work.

This would not have been possible without a low level disk manager that allowed me to create and shrink the basic partitions. I used Partition Magic.  I used this to shrink my initial windows partition. See below.

Triple Boot


I also used it to create a partition for the Linux build at the end of the disk. See 3 above. This had the effect of reserving the partition from the Solaris install. (See 4 above). I then installed Red Hat into the space I had reserved. I used Red Hat’s disk druid to remove the partition and it installed into ‘unassigned space’.


Originally posted on my sun/oracle blog, republished here in Feb 2016. The old blog doesn’t have the picture.

Laptop Diaries VIII
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