Getting Started With OpenSolaris
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Partitioning a Multiboot System

The OpenSolaris installer uses the open source GRUB bootloader, which supports installing multiple operating systems on one drive. Prior to installing, you need to create a partition for installing the OpenSolaris software. After partitioning and installing the operating systems, one of the operating systems can be deployed by choosing between the different operating systems at boot time.

How to Partition a System

  1. Back up your system!

    Backing up your system is strongly recommended before repartitioning your hard drive. See the Backing Up the Disk Media Content demo. The G4U open source tool was designed to back up x86 based operating systems. This demo provides sample step-by-step instructions for using the G4U open source tool to back up a system that has Windows XP installed on it.

  2. Create a partition on your hard drive for installing the OpenSolaris operating system.

    If you are installing OpenSolaris on a system that will have more than one operating system, use the fdisk command or a third-party partitioning tool to create a new partition or to make adjustments to preexisting partitions. Choose one of the following options:

    • Use the fdisk command to create or modify a Solaris fdisk partition.

      For instructions, see x86: How to Create a Solaris fdisk Partition. See, also, the fdisk(1M) man page.

    • Use commercial products or open-source tools to partition your hard drive.

      GParted is an open-source tool for disk partitioning. The ISO image for the GParted tool can be downloaded from the GParted web site. Use this download to burn a CD that includes the GParted tool.

      See the dual-boot partitioning video. This video provides sample step-by-step instructions that explain how to shrink a Windows XP system in order to make room for a Linux swap partition.

      Linux-swap is the same partition ID that Solaris uses. During the installation, in the disk partitioning step, you can change this Linux-swap partition to a Solaris partition.

  3. Use the installer to install the OpenSolaris operating system to the Solaris fdisk partition as described in the next section.
See Also

The demos that are referenced in this section show you how to partition a system that has Windows XP installed on it. See Backing Up the Disk Media Content and dual-boot partitioning.

Additional sample instructions are posted in the OpenSolaris community for the following dual-boot procedures:

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