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Old 04-29-2012, 07:20 AM   #1
hMeU
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On Installing Multiple Linux Distros on a Computer


Guys, I was planning to install Ubuntu, Fedora and Backtrack on the same computer (along with Windows 7). My Specifications are:

2.67 Core i5
4GB DDR3 RAM
500 GB HDD

I have a system running Windows 7 with 3 partitions (240, 130, 130) GBs. And I was planning on freeing out 30GB of space and dividing it into 3 new partitions. And, then, installing one linux-distro on each. Will the idea work ?

I've been running Ubuntu on vmware for some time but I'm quite not happy with it. So, I was planning to install it along with Windows. And, then, the idea came to have Fedora and Backtrack too. But, then, came the fear of conflict between these distros...

So, are there any chances of conflict between these distros when installed side-by-side ?

Last edited by hMeU; 04-30-2012 at 01:06 PM.
 
Old 04-29-2012, 07:49 AM   #2
SandsOfArrakis
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What makes you unhappy about Ubuntu? I guess you may want to try using a different Linux distro in Vmware first before messing with your hard disk partitioning.
 
Old 04-29-2012, 08:02 AM   #3
hMeU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandsOfArrakis View Post
What makes you unhappy about Ubuntu?
Sorry for the confusion. It's not that I'm unhappy with Ubuntu, it's just that I'm unhappy using it on vmware.

I'm seeking its true potential.
 
Old 04-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #4
TroN-0074
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I think having a multiboot system is a good idea, if done well though. Otherwise you can end up with an unusable system.
My advise will be read some guides first. I meant before you dive into changing settings and partitions on your hard drive find some documentation.
Another thing is Make a back up of all your data. once you have formated your disk there is no way to recover it.
Also make a recovery W7 disk. Otherwise it will cost you money if you want it back, no that you need W7 but lots of people tent to think they need it in their computers for some reason.

Actually if you could just get a different Hard Drive and do all your changes in it while your original hard drive is put away in a bubble wrap bag in a safe in case you need it back in the future.

Good luck to you!
 
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
Satyaveer Arya
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Checkout this discussion, http://www.daniweb.com/hardware-and-...oning-question, it could help you.
 
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:20 AM   #6
markush
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Hello hMeU, welcome to LQ,
Quote:
Originally Posted by hMeU View Post
...
500 GB HDD

I have a system running Windows 7 with 3 partitions (240, 130, 130) GBs. And I was planning on freeing out 30GB of space and diving it into 3 new partitions. And, then, installing one linux-distro on each. Will the idea work ?
this is no problem. I would recommend to use more than 30GB of Space for the three distributions. I would use about 50GB or 60GB, this leads to more flexibility.

I've often used such systems. You should create one extended partition in the free space and then divide this extended partition into several logical ones. One Partition for the swap-space (which can be used for all of the distributions). With 4GB of RAM you don't need swapspace, but if you want to suspend your system to RAM, you'll need at least 4GB of swapspace. Otherwise I would create about 256 or 512 MB of swapspace. Then you will need at least two partitons for each distribution, one / and one /home. And I would additionally recommend to create a large partition which can be used from all of the distributions for shared data. I have such a partition on all my computers and mount it in /usr/local/public.

It is very useful to have a separate /home partition for any of the distributions because one cannot mix config-files for different program-versions.

Here as an example the output of "df -h" of my server which runs three distributions but no Windows
Code:
srv-zuhause:~# df -h
Dateisystem    Größe Benutzt Verf. Verw% Eingehängt auf
/dev/root        30G     18G   11G   63% /
/dev/sda5        20G     11G  8,5G   56% /home
/dev/sda6        60G     46G   11G   82% /usr/local/public
/dev/sda7        50G     42G  4,9G   90% /usr/local/music
/dev/sda2        30G    7,7G   21G   27% /usr/local/gentoo
/dev/sda9        35G     21G   13G   63% /usr/local/arch
tmpfs           1,9G       0  1,9G    0% /dev/shm
and from my laptop, which yet has Win 7 and one Linux-distribution
Code:
samsung:~# df -h
Dateisystem    Größe Benutzt Verf. Verw% Eingehängt auf
/dev/root        25G     21G  2,8G   89% /
/dev/sda7        15G    8,1G  6,2G   57% /usr/local
/dev/sda8        20G    8,3G   11G   44% /home
/dev/sda9        60G     54G  3,4G   95% /usr/local/public
/dev/sda10       61G     41G   17G   71% /usr/local/vm
tmpfs           2,0G    940K  2,0G    1% /dev/shm
/dev/sda3        98G     53G   46G   54% /usr/local/win7
and here the partition-scheme:
Code:
samsung:~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sda: 320.1 GB, 320072933376 bytes
255 Köpfe, 63 Sektoren/Spur, 38913 Zylinder, zusammen 625142448 Sektoren
Einheiten = Sektoren von 1 × 512 = 512 Bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x096716b2

   Gerät  boot.     Anfang        Ende     Blöcke   Id  System
/dev/sda1            2048    31459327    15728640   27  Hidden NTFS WinRE
/dev/sda2   *    31459328    31664127      102400    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda3        31664128   236791807   102563840    7  HPFS/NTFS/exFAT
/dev/sda4       236791808   625137344   194172768+   5  Erweiterte
/dev/sda5       236791871   289234259    26221194+  83  Linux
/dev/sda6       289234323   299740769     5253223+  82  Linux Swap
/dev/sda7       299740833   331212104    15735636   83  Linux
/dev/sda8       331212168   373173884    20980858+  83  Linux
/dev/sda9       373173948   499027094    62926573+  83  Linux
/dev/sda10      499027158   625137344    63055093+  83  Linux
Markus
 
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:21 AM   #7
yancek
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Installing those three distributions in and of itself won't be any conflict but it is easy for a user with limited knowledge to create problems. You might glance through the article below on booting multiple systems.

http://www.justlinux.com/forum/showt...hreadid=143973

10GB is a pretty small space for a current operating system. Ubuntu once installed will be 4-5GB. Depends upon what you plan to do. How were you going to create this space and where on the hard drive? If you plan on installing it on the end of the drive you may have problems booting due to BIOS limitations.
 
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Old 04-29-2012, 11:33 AM   #8
TroN-0074
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If your hard drive is 500 GB allowing only 30 GB for tree operating system is a little bit limiting.
Installations are very personal but you should create a 3 GB partition for swap and have it share it among the tree of them, Then you should at least allow each OS to reside in 20 GB each. that will give you room to install more applications in each and download some data in each one of them.

Good luck to you
 
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:38 PM   #9
hMeU
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1. Thanks to Everyone!

2. Yeah, I have to stick with Windows until I get familiar with the other OSes.

3. Of course, I'm no expert at using these OSes and my only purpose for installing them is to get to know to use them (as of now).

4. As far as giving "10GB" to every OS (while I have 500GBs) is concerned, I only want to know with what minimum requirements should a learner begin with. I may later use Ubuntu/Fedora as my main OS with maybe 200GBs of space or maybe more.

5. As of now, I don't have sufficient resources to back up my data, so I guess first of all I should arrange for an External HDD and backup my data and then proceed.


My plan is to proceed as follows:

a. Backup the data
(or should I rather expriment with the OSes on the external HDD instead of using it for backup ? But then, the disk read/write might be slow as compared to the internal HDD...)

b. Free around 60-90GBs (as recommended by you people) of space on using Windows Partition Manager and leave it as unallocated memory.
c. Boot with a bootable Ubuntu Disk (which I happen to have) and proceed the installation as per step by step instructions given in a technology mag that I have.
d. Then, I guess I'm gonna go through this tutorial --> http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/grub-2.html
e. And, then, try and install Fedora and BackTrack.


Lastly, as far as I know about partitions it's something like this -->
Every physical HDD can have atmost 4 primary partitions
In a multiboot system, every OS needs it's own primary partition

So, I guess 4 primary partitions can hold upto 4 separate OSes but my Windows Disk Management shows two Primary Partitions being used at the time. One by C: and the other is named as RECOVERY. Should I care ?
 
Old 04-30-2012, 02:57 PM   #10
hMeU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markush View Post
You should create one extended partition in the free space and then divide this extended partition into several logical ones. One Partition for the swap-space (which can be used for all of the distributions). With 4GB of RAM you don't need swapspace, but if you want to suspend your system to RAM, you'll need at least 4GB of swapspace. Otherwise I would create about 256 or 512 MB of swapspace.
I guess having sum fair amount of swap-space won't harm, rather would be better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markush View Post
Then you will need at least two partitons for each distribution, one / and one /home. And I would additionally recommend to create a large partition which can be used from all of the distributions for shared data. I have such a partition on all my computers and mount it in /usr/local/public.
Yeah, I was hoping for something of this kind so that I can share all my data without having to copy here and there.
One silly question, would it be possible to access this 'large' partition from Windows too ?
 
Old 04-30-2012, 05:04 PM   #11
markush
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hMeU View Post
...
Yeah, I was hoping for something of this kind so that I can share all my data without having to copy here and there.
One silly question, would it be possible to access this 'large' partition from Windows too ?
Well, theoretically yes. There are programs for Windows which can read Linux-filesystems, but I've never tried that.

It is also possible to format the shared partition with fat32, but then you don't have any filepermissions on the partition which means, that the permissions are lost once a file is stored on there. I've tried this once, but it was very unconvenient.

Markus
 
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Old 04-30-2012, 05:58 PM   #12
TroN-0074
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I am dual booting OpenSuSE 12.1 & Windows 7. I basically have a /home directory under OpenSuSE with 100GB, another 100GB for Windows 7 and I have another partition of 100GB to throw inthere files that I would want access from Linux or Windows, these files are mainly data, by that I mean Mp3, Avi, PDFs and photos. Nothing executable nor anything to do with any OS.

I have another installation in an old Pentium IV with 80GB hard drive. I am triple booting Slackware, OpenSuse, & FreeBSD. I installed FreeBSD in its own 25GB partition for the rest I created a 2GB swap which is shared. Then 10GB for Root of Slackware and 10 GB root for OpenSuSE
They both share /home which is the rest of the disk.

Now in your case you wont be able to access your Linux data from windows but from Linux you can go into windows partitions just fine.

I am facing similar situation with FreeBSD.
Good luck to you!
 
  


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