Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (770 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Installing multiple operating systems on same HDD
On 12/08/12 16:53, Felix Miata wrote:
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.

Many thanks for this, Felix. I like it. The first option will do me quite nicely as I cannot see myself installing more than 2 copies of openSUSE and then 2 other distros just to keep in touch with other attempts at getting Linux to the world :-) . What I want to set up then is this on one HDD:


openSUSE 12.2

openSUSE 12.1 (which will be replaced by 12.3 when it is starts to take shape)



But I am trying to come to grips with what is shown in the first URL you provided.

I think it is pretty clear to me that sdc7 to and including sdc10 contain the 4 Linux distros, and sdc16 contains the A/V files. I am also assuming that sdc11, 12 and 13 are partitions for the Windows installation.

I am also assuming that sdc2 is the active partition for Windows where the NTLDR will go, and that sdc3 is the common /boot partition for the 4 Linux distros.

But what are sdc14 and especially sdc15 which is only 1GB big?

From the above (first URL example) I am concluding that what I should be doing is:

a. create a 500MB Primary partition with 32FAT to act as C:/ for Windows and which I will make ACTIVE;

b. create a 200MB Primary partition called /boot formatted ext3 for use by Linux distros;

c. create an Extended partition from the remaining space, and then create within this logical drives for-

1. swap (common to all distros) of 4GB;

2. partition for oS12.2;

3. partition for oS 12.1;

4. partition for Distro-1;

5. partition for Distro-2.

Now, installing XP is not a hassle, and installing oS 12.2 is OK as well - I assume I install grub legacy to the common /boot; and I then also install the subsequent distros to /boot as well - is this correct? In your URL example above, this common /boot would be (your) sdc3, correct?


PS BTW, I don't intend to re-install XP ever as it will be there only to remind me of what crap looks like :-) .

Using openSUSE 12.2 x86_64 KDE 4.8.4 & kernel 3.5.1-2 on a system with-
AMD FX 8-core 3.6/4.2GHz processor
16GB PC14900/1866MHz Quad Channel Corsair "Vengeance" RAM
Gigabyte AMD3+ m/board; Gigabyte nVidia GTX550Ti 1GB DDR5 GPU

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