Is this too difficult for users to do? Haven't gotten any feedback yet. Perhaps no one has the expertise to configure such a setup.
Any suggestions which boards would be the best?
I would be careful about putting other operating systems on the a7v. Some Linuxes (i.e. Slackware) don't support the ata100 Promise controller. Suse does though.
Nevertheless, putting Linux on the newer boards may be problematic, because the vendors typically don't write drivers for Linux - the Linux community usually does.
Unless you wish to have some all singing and all dancing server, use an older board. Linux runs great on a 486.
Nevertheless, I personally haven't had any serious hardware detection problems with Suse, Red Crap, Caldera or Corel - but get the latest version.
Guess no one has installed OpenBSD on any platform.
I'll try using the newer boards. No one really has given me the experience they may have had when they installed these os's so i'll try it myself.
I'll be running a system that has a PII-866 with about a GIG of Ram and 3 Ultra160 18G hard drives.
Well, it seems no one has come up with a suggestion. So I'll post my 2 cents worth on what I've found out so far in my research and thought that I might share it with you all.
OK, here are some brief tips/thoughts re: installing these OSs on x86.
Caveat: Reason why I am doing this by installing all three on one machine is to play with them. If not, I would probably consider VMware? Other than some problems with installing OBSD 2.8, VMware handles almost any x86 OS with no trouble. I would get the added benefit of being able to run them concurrently in separate windows. Anyway, here we go:
- partition management will be interesting. All of the boot partitions for each OS will have to lie under the 1024 cylinder boundary. Explaing this is beyond the scope of this posting, so be warned, and do some reading. I believe that this issue is on the verge of going away for Linux, and don't know where it stands for the others. The real issue, actually pertains to the boot loaders. So, if I were to buy something like System Commander or find a free bootloader other than lilo, I may not have to deal with this issue. Bottom line is that for right now, if I want to be sure, follow the under 1024 cylinder rule and it won't be an issue.
- Depending on kernel versions and options that were compiled in, I should be able to:
1. access the Solx86 and OBSD ffs partitions from linux.
2. access the linux ext2 partition from OBSD
3. wish I could from Solx86 (although the LTOOLS might help here; don't know)
If access to a common /home (or equiv) volume is something that interests you, you might want to look into setting up another box which can then export that /home volume via NFS. You should be aware that there are security risks associated with NFS, more so if you don't know what you're doing. I strongly suggest that you read up on NFS and related security topics before you do this in production. If you're just playing around like me and don't care, then have at it.
- I think Solaris x86 will be my biggest limiting factor re: hardware compatibility, so I'll base my hardware choices on whatever version's hardware compatibility list that I will be installing.
- OBSD seems to handle PCMCIA/CardBus much better than Linux. Solaris x86 will frustrate you, but you can make it work. PCMCIA NIC compatibility is almost nonexistent; I think 3com 10Mb cards are the only thing that worked from what I've heard so far.
- As far as the order of which OS to install, I would probably do Solx86, then OBSD, and finally, Linux. I'll also have to remember not to let the partitioning software eat the whole disk during each version's install routine.
- If the linux installer doesn't offer add the other boot entries to lilo.conf (it should handle it OK under RedHat; don't know about other distros), I'll have to do it manually from linux. Once I have Linux installed, I'll need to run fdisk to check out the device names of your boot partitions for the other OSs. Then I can add boot entries for them.
- With that many OSs on one machine, I think I might turn off Plug and Play. Then again, if Solx86 supports it, then leave it on. Bottom line is that I need to configure for the minimum standard that is supported by all of the OSs.
Hope this helps....
Chapter 12 of the book Practical Unix by Steve Moritsugu
describes in great detail how to install Sun Solaris 7 or
SCO UnixWare on a home windows PC. The former is a free
dl, the latter is the price of media.