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I am setting up a server with multiple operating systems for the automatic testruns of my company's product. I'd like to be able to control with a script which OS boots up after a restart, so I could say for example "after the windows run, boot into linux".

I thought of using the windows bootloader for all OSes, because it should be easy to just change the default entry in C:\boot.ini to whichever system I want to boot.

Is this a feasible way of doing this? Are there better options?

We already discussed virtualization, and it's not really an option.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would create a FAT16 /boot partition in Linux, and just use GRUB, it is more flexible and supports a lot more operating systems.

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And, as Chris S says, VMs may be a better choice. – Prof. Moriarty Apr 15 '10 at 17:55
Sounds good, but how do I change the default OS from windows? Do I just have to change '/boot/grub/default'? – mooware Apr 15 '10 at 18:23
You would just change the x in the line 'default x' in D:\grub\grub.conf to point to whatever entry you need. You would have /boot as D: in Windows. – Prof. Moriarty Apr 15 '10 at 19:27

In Vista/2008/7 there is no boot.ini; it's a Boot Configuration Database (BCD), and I don't think there are any linux tools for it yet (not sure).

I might be a whole lot easier to setup virtual machines to do the testing in parallel.

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I already suggested virtualization like Xen, but these are mainly performance tests, so parallel runs are out of the question, and most of us are also opposed to running performance tests on virtual machines. – mooware Apr 15 '10 at 18:18
bootcfg is the command you are looking for on the Windows side. – sinping Apr 15 '10 at 20:11
bcdedit is the program for editing the BCD, but that's not going to help Linux or any other OS. I'm thinking Moriarty is right on this one. – Chris S Apr 16 '10 at 22:16

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