Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (770 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Installing multiple operating systems on same HDD
On 2012/08/11 23:41 (GMT+1000) Basil Chupin composed:

I don't want to use VirtualBox or VMWare. I have a 1TB HDD which is
crammed full of empty and unused space. I want to put this space to some
use by playing around with more than one systems and distros.

I have created (for now) following partitions on this HDD (sda):

sda2 Extended partition
sda6 swap
sda7 (For oS 12.1)
sda8 (For os 12.1 - just for the heck of it)

Not an ideal multiboot arrangement if you plan on having more Linux installations. You don't want new installations stomping on existing installations' bootability by overwriting a pre-existing Grub. And, you don't want the inevitable reinstallation of Windows to stomp out all else's bootability, even if it takes an experienced user only a minute or two at most to fix it afterward.

The most reliable way to set up multiboot is to create a smallish primary to be the real or master boot partition. Windows won't mess with it, yet it works with generic Windows-compatible MBR code. Once Grub is installed to it, it doesn't get mounted to /boot, and only you touch it, which means it can't get mangled unless you mangle it yourself. All Windows will do is move the boot flag to its own partition, which you move back after the Windows reinstall is complete. Or you can even keep Windows as the primary bootloader by creating an entry for NTLDR to use to chainload to your primary Grub. explains. is a single HD layout designed for 4 distros plus both Windows and DOS and a huge partition for A/V files. is a single HD layout designed for Windows and Dos and 9 Linux distros on a much smaller HD. is a single HD layout designed for Windows and Dos and 19 Linux distros on a much smaller HD, with freespace remaining to add several more.
"The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant
words are persuasive." Proverbs 16:21 (New Living Translation)

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409 ** a11y rocks!

Felix Miata ***
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