I.  Introduction

I.1  Preface

Growing popularity of Unix operating systems, including free Solaris and Linux, on desktop market and relatively low prices of large IDE hard disk drives raised the problem of having multiple operating systems on a single x86 machine. There are many reasons for installing alternative operating system along with Solaris: need of support for specific hardware, testing portability of the developed software, entertainment, kids etc.

On summer '99, approximately once a week one newbie question related to multi-booting Solaris x86 was asked on Solaris On Intel mailing list. Most people wanted to setup Solaris and Windows NT on their machines. I had a chance to went through this a couple of times, learned a lot about dual-booting, so I was doing my best answering questions and trying to help. That way I shared my experience with others. There were FAQs devoted to Solaris x86, but information on dual-booting was incomplete and sometimes misleading. At that moment, I was visiting Shinshu University in Nagano, Japan, hardly working on Jordan's curve theorem formalization using Mizar proof-checker. I needed some off-time and thought that writing a guide is a good idea. That was the beginning.

Now, this is the second approach to write a "perfect multi-booting guide". Thanks to feedback from users around the world, many corrections have been made. Numerous inquires indicated problems that should be covered by the document.

Hope this guide really helps.


Many thanks are due to the staff of Kiso Laboratory in the Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan for their support during preparation of this documentation.

The author is greatly indebted to Bruce Riddle for initiative and encouragement.

The author would like to express his gratitude for all who contributed to this documentation. Thanks go to (in alphabetical order):

Special acknowledgments for authors referenced in this document for making their documentation freely available on the Internet. Special thanks also go to all whose inquires and feedback indicated issues worth explanation, confirmed or forced review of presented solutions.


All suggestions, comments and corrections are very welcomed. If you find misspelled word, unclear phrase, broken link or your experiences related to the topics of the document are different please let me know. Please also do not hesitate to ask for help in case of problems. Just mail to mariusz@solaris-x86.org.