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Old 07-11-2004, 01:34 AM   #1
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Question How many Distros on one Compute?

How many distros can I put on one 80 gig hard drive? Due to partitioning is it limited? Can I share my Swap and /boot between all different distros? This is imagining of course I had a 200 gig second hard drive for storage.
Old 07-11-2004, 02:19 AM   #2
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the Swap partition can be shared between all of them. . .

BUT, if you plan on running one distro then jumping into another with VMWare to do some quick whatever. . . the swap space will need to be different on the hosted OS.


You can have 4 primary partitions per drive. Then after that you need to make some logical partitions. . .
I don't think you would have a problem putting 4 or even 6 OSes on the drive. Now I think the record was like 32 done by some kid with way to much time on his hands (and that's 32 different OSes, not just distros.)
But the 32 was spread over quite a few drives.

Just how many are you thinking of anyway?
Old 07-11-2004, 05:45 AM   #3
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actually for most use there are only 3 primary partitions (the 4th one should not be made into a primary one, as then you wont be able to add anymore partitions)
Old 07-11-2004, 12:37 PM   #4
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Oh, I was to understand that all logical partitions were related to the fourth partition. . .
Old 07-11-2004, 08:48 PM   #5
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The number of distros you could multi-boot from a single drive would depend on the size of the hard drive. The bigger the drive, the more distros you could install.

From a practical point of view though, I would guess that single and dual boots probably make up at least 95% of all PC's out there, if not more, with a tiny fraction doing triple or quad-booting. Going beyond that certainly is possible, but would be extremely uncommon because you'd probably end up spending an awful lot of time just rebooting to change from one OS to another and besides, there'd be no real point in setting up a machine this way. I saw an article on Slashdot a while ago about a guy who had something like a 37 boot system, which is interesting academically, but realistically, assuming he used his PC for 8 hours a day and used each OS equally, then he'd be using each OS for only about 12 minutes a day. What's the point -- who wants to have to reboot 5 times an hour, every hour, especially if you've got actual work to do. Obviously I am only expressing my own opinion here, but I would expect that in virtually all cases, having a single, dual, or triple boot system should have you covered in any event.

In any case, I would definitely encourage you to give a variety of other distros a tryout if you are thinking of making a switch. They don't all have to be installed simultaneously though. Good luck with the project, whatever you decide -- J.W.
Old 07-11-2004, 08:56 PM   #6
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Right now I have 5 distros and Win2K Server on my 80GB HDD:

hda0 - Win2k Server
hda1 - Conectiva
hda2 - Swap
hda3 - Fedora Core 2
hda4 - Extended Partition
hda5 - Mepis
hda6 - PC Linux OS
hda7 - SLackware

Just make sure you install windows (if at all) first, then your first linux distro, install the boot loader in the MBR...then each additional distro, install the boot loader in the root partition...then add an entry and chainload it in your boot koader. It's alot of fun
Old 07-11-2004, 10:00 PM   #7
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if you make all 4 partitions primary, then theres no place to have an extended partition, so you can add logical ones

so setting up a computer to only have 3 primary partitions seems best, as the 4th would have to be extended if you want to add logical partitions ....


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