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Fedora Multiboot Guide

Booting Fedora and other operating systems.

Fedora Documentation Project

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The Fedora Multiboot Guide explains using Fedora to enable booting of one or more additional operating systems. The Guide covers the basic principles of GRUB, Fedora's bootloader, and demonstrates configuration of GRUB on both BIOS and UEFI systems.
1. Introduction
2. Bootloader Basics
3. Is your system UEFI or BIOS?
4. Making Room for Fedora
4.1. Using the Fedora Installer to resize partitions
4.2. Resizing an NTFS filesystem the command line
5. The GRUB Bootloader
5.1. GRUB Basics
5.2. Changing GRUB entries at boot
5.3. Reinstalling GRUB
5.4. Configuring the GRUB Bootloader
6. Multiboot on BIOS Systems
6.1. BIOS Basics
7. Multiboot on UEFI Systems
7.1. UEFI Basics
7.2. Booting with Windows
7.3. Booting on Apple systems
8. Boot Options
A. Revision History

1. Introduction

Fedora 21 can be used as the only operating system on your computer, or you can dual boot Fedora with another operating system. Fedora can enable selection of other options at boot, often with little to no user configuration. Systems that can boot more than two operating systems are referred to as multiboot systems.
Installing Fedora on a system where another operating system is installed requires unallocated drive space. Section 4, “Making Room for Fedora” explains options for creating this free space.
When your system starts, it first performs self tests, then loads a bootloader, GRUB. GRUB provides a menu so you can select the Fedora kernel or other operating system you would like to boot, and GRUBs configuration file stores options and settings required for initial booting of the selected operating system. Read Section 5, “The GRUB Bootloader” for more information on GRUB.
Changing Fedora's boot options can be helpful, especially when troubleshooting. Section 5.4, “Configuring the GRUB Bootloader” explains how to change these options once or permanently.
The system's firmware allows basic configuration, performs initial startup, initializes hardware, and brings up the bootloader. Until recently, this firmware was referred to as the BIOS, or Basic Input Output System, which is described in Section 2, “Bootloader Basics”. Newer systems, such as those sold with Windows 8, use a newer type called UEFI or Universal Extensible Firmware Interface, which is described in Section 2, “Bootloader Basics”
In most cases, the Fedora installer will recognize other operating systems on your computer and create boot menu entries for them. If an operating system such as Windows is installed after Fedora, GRUB may be overwritten and require reinstallation. Some circumstances, such as missing menu entries, require refreshing of the menu entries. These tasks are explained in Section 6, “Multiboot on BIOS Systems” or Section 7, “Multiboot on UEFI Systems”
The Guide also covers concerns regarding booting of specific operating systems. For information regarding booting of Fedora with Windows 8, refer to Section 7.2, “Booting with Windows”. To learn about using Fedora on Apple hardware, read Section 7.3, “Booting on Apple systems”

Using Root Safely

Many of the procedures in this guide involve editing of files or execution of commands that can only be performed as root. The root account should be used with educated caution and only when required. Your system can break or fail to boot if the account is misused.
If your normal user account is configured as an administrator, you can use sudo to enter your user password and execute privileged commands:
      [fedorauser@localhost ~]$ sudo <command>
      [sudo] password for fedorauser:
You can also open a root shell using the root password su. The hyphen ( - ) in the example is important because it ensures that you will work in a root environment, and not act on normal user files with root privileges.
        [fedorauser@localhost ~]$ su -
	[root@localhost ~]#
The root prompt is always a hash ( # ) and a normal user prompt is always a dollar sign ( $ ). Example commands in this guide will include one of these prompts to show the privileges required for the action.
To keep your system healthy and safe, do not execute user applications as root or log into a desktop environment as root.