V.  Example installations

V.2  Single hard disk, Solaris, Linux, Windows NT


There is only one hard disk drive on the system, IDE or SCSI. Three operating systems are installed: Solaris, Linux and Windows NT. We use FAT volume on the extended partition enables communication between the three operating systems. The default boot manager is Solaris one.


The hard disk will be partitioned as follows (proportions are meaningless):

  1. Primary - NTFS
Windows NT
  2. Primary - Linux ext2fs
  3. Primary - Solaris UFS
  4. Extended
  4.1. FAT-32
  4.2. Linux swap
  4.3. Linux ext2fs
  4.4. NTFS
  4.5. NTFS


  1. Connect hardware and configure BIOS (see IV.1 for details).
  2. Install Windows NT. Create one primary partition at the beginning of the hard disk and format it with NTFS (see notes on Planning partitions).
  3. Install Linux. Remember that Linux needs a swap file system, which must be placed in a logical volume as we need one more primary partition for Solaris while there are only four partitions per a hard disk allowed. There is yet another advantage in putting Linux swap into extended partition. Since Solaris and Linux swap partitions share the same 0x82 ID, we avoid problems as Solaris will not look into the extended partition.

    With Linux fdisk create one primary partition of type ext2fs - 0x83 for at least / and /boot file systems, one primary partition for future Solaris installation - temporarily it may be FAT-32, and an extended partition. The first logical volume on the extended partition should be FAT-16 or FAT-32 to make it accessible by Solaris. After FAT volume create one logical volume for swap of type 0x82 and as many logical volumes of type ext2fs - 0x83 for other file systems, as you need. For desktop Linux you will probably put /, /boot, /var, /tmp and /usr file systems into the fdisk primary partition, swap and /home file systems into separate logical volumes. Before, read notes on the size and placement of Linux primary partition, and [Koehntopp], [Veselosky] for organizing Linux file systems.

    Install Lilo into /dev/sda2 - Linux primary partition. At this point, Linux partition is marked active and no other system can be booted.

  4. To avoid problems with Solaris disk geometry, use Ranish PM to change temporary FAT-32 primary partition to Solaris partition, i.e. type 0x82. You can also use your favorite disk editor to accomplish that task.
  5. Install Solaris. The installer should detect created Solaris partition and do not create useless x86 Boot partition. Solaris partition becomes the active one. Solaris boot manager becomes the default. It lets you boot Solaris, Linux and NT.
  6. Create FAT-16 volume on the extended partition e.g. with Linux fdisk or Ranish PM.
  7. Under Linux, create /share directory, and add the following line to /etc/fstab file:
    /dev/sda5	/share	vfat	user,rw,exec	0	0

    This will make FAT-16 partition automatically mounted at the boot time.

  8. Use NT Disk Administrator to create separate NTFS logical volumes for applications and user data. You may assign drive letters so that D: and E: will be NTFS volumes, and FAT-16 volume F: or e.g. S: (share).
  9. Under Solaris, create /share directory, and add the following line to /etc/vfstab file under Solaris:
    /dev/dsk/c0t0d0p4:c	-	/share	pcfs	-	yes	-

    FAT-16 partition will be mounted automatically at the boot time (see notes on mounting FAT partitions).

LILO as the default boot manager

  1. Boot Linux.
  2. Edit /etc/lilo.conf as in the example:
  3. Run as root /sbin/lilo to apply changes (see notes on LILO configuration).