[CentOS] Grub configuration from within Windows

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Wed Apr 22 23:23:21 UTC 2009

Marko Vojinovic wrote:
> My friend uses a typical dual-boot setup (Windows XP and Centos 5.3).
> The machine is online 24/7 and he often uses it from a remote location
> (Linux via ssh -X, Windows via rdesktop).
> The problem is that he wants to be able to remotely configure which of
> these two OSes is to be the default on next reboot, so he can switch
> from one OS to the other and back remotely. If Linux is up, he just
> needs to reconfigure grub.conf, but if Windows is up (and default) he
> has no way of accessing grub.conf.
> Now, he has several partitions on the drive, some ntfs, some vfat and
> some ext3. Is there a clean way of putting grub.conf on a vfat
> partition? Is there a way for Windows to have rw access to ext3
> filesystem (namely, /)? Is there some other way of handling this
> without physical access to the machine while it boots?
> I have suggested virtualization of Windows, so he could run them both
> concurrently without pain, but for certain (computational performance)
> reasons that is not a good option for him --- he wants hard reboots
> between OSes.

You don't really have to choose VMs or dual-boot - you can run a 
bootable partition under VMware, and perhaps virtualbox and others.  It 
is somewhat more convenient to make the windows install the host, 
though, because otherwise it wants to be re-licensed every time you 
switch and it sees different hardware.  I suppose you could fire up the 
centos VM under windows to edit the grub.conf file, then shut it down 
and reboot the physical machine.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

More information about the CentOS mailing list