I dunno if this is possible, but is there a way to have 2 root folders, based upon a single line in the config.txt? What I am saying, is could I boot a different OS, from a different folder, such as /rasbian/ vs /risc/, all of which would depend on a single line in a universal config.txt?

If so, what changes would I need to make?

  • Yes it is POSSIBLE, provided both OS can share a common boot sector, which probably rules out RISC. – Milliways Apr 17 '18 at 12:03

You can't have two root folders, no. However what you can do is have separate partitions instead of separate folders. You will also need to start a different kernel as well.

To boot to another distro on another partition, edit /boot/cmdline.txt to point to the other partition and then edit /boot/config.txt to use the different kernel and then reboot. What I don't know is whether that is sufficient for RISC OS. You'll just have to try it and see.

  • If you could explain the difference between a folder and a partition, that would be nice. – FreezePhoenix Apr 17 '18 at 12:18
  • "You will also need to start a different kernel as well." -> No, you could use the same kernel, presuming you install the corresponding modules in both filesystems. This would save you having to edit two files (you just need to swap or modify cmdline.txt). – goldilocks Apr 17 '18 at 13:35
  • 1
    "the difference between a folder and a partition" -> "Folder" is really a term from the windows world. You will not see it used in linux documentation; the corresponding term is directory. A partition is a section of a block device that (to be useful) is formatted to contain a filesystem: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_system So if you had asked, "Can I have two root filesystem partitions?" the answer would be yes, although only one of them could serve as a root fs at a time. – goldilocks Apr 17 '18 at 13:39
  • You could use the same kernel but if you updated it in one installation it would break the other. Also for RISC OS you definitely would need a different kernel. – John Hawthorne Apr 17 '18 at 13:42
  • Point -- although it would not be that difficult to keep them in sync. More WRT directories/partitions: On GNU/Linux systems mounted partitions are accessed via directory nodes, such that there is really only one overall hierarchy; i.e., you do not have A:\ , B:\ , C:\ oriented paths. For example, on Raspbian the first partition is mounted on the /boot directory. – goldilocks Apr 17 '18 at 13:45

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