Peppermint OS Community Forum

Support => Installation => Topic started by: alynur on March 25, 2017, 10:32:16 pm

Title: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer hard drive(SOLVED)
Post by: alynur on March 25, 2017, 10:32:16 pm
Hello Peppermint People, So Now that I-m playing around checking out different distributions, I'm not real happy with the performances of these distros through usb sticks. So I-m thinking of getting another hard drive of maybe 250gb, and turning it into a multiboot system. I don-t want to mess around with my Peppermint 7 hard drive, but for playing around, it  would be acceptable to swap out the hard drives. Or maybe even a second hard drive installed in the computer, I know the motherboard has another SATA recepticle that I could plug into. I was thinking about an external hard drive sinilar to my storage hard drive but I don-t know if the performance would be as good, especially as slow as my processor is. I would appreciate your thoughts and any references to "how to" would be great. Thanks guys
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer main hard drive
Post by: josephd on March 26, 2017, 12:15:50 am
I've had up to three on a single drive and I'm sure you can safely fit more. However I'd suggest no more than two.


or install virtual box and test everything from within Peppermint. Ideal if you don't trust the distro you're testing.

Swapping out drives keeps things nice and simple but you then run the risk of doing damage to the ports over time.

Here's what I do on my desktop.
I have a 120GB SSD which is my root and swap for peppermint
I have a 1TB HD which is my home directory
I have an old 320GB HD that I install anything on.

This works great, I can wipe that 320GB hard drive and simply update grub without touching my other two drives.
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer main hard drive
Post by: zebedeeboss on March 26, 2017, 03:21:07 am
Hi alynur,

in theory you can have as many as you like and have HDD space for.    When it becomes a real pain is when one particular Distro wipes out every other grub entry and just leaves itself. Because the developers don't care about other Distro's and whether they show up in grub or not. Also the more you have installed the longer it takes to install and update grub on the next distro install.

I allow 25 gb per distro that I install and play with but you need to be VERY confident in partitioning and fully understand how to fix it when it goes wrong.

I currently have installed Peppermint 7 (175Gb) - Win10 (150Gb) - Debian 9 RC2 - Makulu Beta - Feren OS beta - Manjaro xfce - Solus - Ubuntu Mate 17.04 beta  over 2 x 250gb SSD's

DO NOT share the same home folder ( I just install to root /  anyway) - this will cause major problems and also be aware that some Distros will reformat the SWAP partition which will then cause problems with booting to other Distros and there will normally be a 90 sec delay as it cannot find the correct UUID for the swap partition as it will have been changed.

but then I am mental and an avid distro tester.  :D

Hope this helps

Regards Zeb...
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer main hard drive
Post by: PCNetSpec on March 26, 2017, 08:36:56 am
It depends on whether the HDD is using a MSDOS (style) or GPT partition table.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that in a non RAID configuration and before GPT there was a maximum of 93 logical partitions in an extended partition in Linux .. so as you could only have 3 primary and 1 extended partition basically this gave you 96 partitions to play with per disk (still many more than Windows 26, which is limited by the amount of letters in the alphabet as partitions are assigned drive "letters").

I'm assuming GPT has removed this limit, but have no idea if a limit will then be incurred from somewhere else (though it certainly won't be the amount of letters in the alphabet ;))

So on a single drive with an MSDOS style partition table, assuming a separate / and swap partition for each .. 48 distros.

I have no idea for a drive with a GPT partition table .. but it's "likely" to be more.
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer main hard drive
Post by: alynur on March 26, 2017, 10:01:33 am
Okay great! This is what I wanted to know. So basically all additional distros can go into the extended partition with two partitions each.  Wow, that was easy!  :)
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer hard drive(SOLVED)
Post by: PCNetSpec on March 26, 2017, 11:03:22 am
You got it :)

**theoretically** you could share swap partitions and get more on .. but this can create problems, specially when (but not necessarily limited to) hibernating.
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer hard drive(SOLVED)
Post by: alynur on March 29, 2017, 06:46:32 pm
Hi guys, well nothing ever passes easily for me. In my hard drive, my swap partition is in the extended partition. I shrank my Data partition and was going to resize the extended partition to include all of the free space rendered but gparted won't let me do any thing to the extended partition or actually won't let me resize it any bigger than I have it. How do I handle this? I was attempting all this while logged in to usb stick with Mint 17.2 os installed into it(figured out how to do that.). I want to clone the usb partition into the new partition I was going to make in the enlarged extended partition. Make sense? Is that doable? I'm trying to learn guys, I'm trying to learn.
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer hard drive(SOLVED)
Post by: murraymint on March 29, 2017, 06:48:55 pm
Right-click the swap partition and click on Swapoff. Make sure no partitions are mounted on that drive at all, unmount any that are. Then you should be able to resize it.

Remember to do Swapon to the swap partition once you've finished.
Title: Re: How many Linux based O/S's can be installed in one computer hard drive(SOLVED)
Post by: Sgthawker on April 08, 2017, 12:09:11 am
I currently have 9 distros on my laptop, and 3 on my desktop. I use a separate /mnt/DATA partition for my Documents etc., and I use symlinks to make these folders seem to be each distros Documents etc. It works out really well and saves the hassles of a /home that becomes bastardized by configuration settings of different desktop environments all installed to one /home.