Dual booting multiple distros, should one stay on usb or can I partition my hard drive to handle them both?...

karimfc

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Ok, Iam pretty much just being curious, but if y'all respond to this with some how--to, or links for some how-to's, and I think I can do it, ima do it... So I got my ol' Dell laptop, right... Just installed Zorin on it recently, and it's great, but as I have been reading, and learning about Linux in general, I have noticed that most people suggest that a newbie (that'd be me) really should "try-out" multiple distros to see which one suits them best... Ok, so I decided to go with a suggestion that I received from someone here, I want to say about the first week I was actively here... CAN YOU DUAL BOOT A UBUNTU DISTRO DEV ALONGSIDE A DEBIAN DISTRO DEV? OR SHOULD ONE DISTRO STAY ON AN USB?
 


Nelson Muntz

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Good morning karimfc,

This is all that I have found about dual booting Linux with Linux.

Personally if Zorin is installed and working I would stick with it and use it and get some Linux how to knowledge under your belt before distro hopping.

I dual boot using two hard drives one hard drive for each Linux distro.

You should be able to dual boot most Linux distros side by side.
 

stan

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most people suggest that a newbie (that'd be me) really should "try-out" multiple distros to see which one suits them best...
That usually means just to try them out on a live USB. That is enough to see their desktop, how comfortable it may feel for you, whether your wireless internet and sound and other hardware works.

Dual booting is usually done by people with only one computer and who don't want to give up Windows. But two or more Linux operating systems are possible... ask @wizardfromoz about that! Chris runs about 40 (or more!) Linux distros on one computer! I would not recommend you to try that.

In fact, I would not recommend you to dual boot at all because you do not really have a need for it. I'm glad you like Zorin, but let it go... and install a new Linux over the top of it (each time telling it to "use entire disk"). And then pick another, and install it. And then another. The practice of burning the different Linux .iso files to USB and installing each of them onto your Dell is invaluable. The same installation processes are used if you load multiple operating systems too, so you could think of it as practice for the future if you want to multi-boot. Some of your choices may not work well on your Dell, but that is part of the goal... to see what does, and what doesn't. Keep notes!

After 3 or 4 (or 5 or 10) fresh new bare metal installs of different Linux distros, you'll likely be ready to pick one to re-install and keep. And then you can dive deeper into using Linux... installing other software, using the command line, etc. When you've settled into one Linux, install and learn about Timeshift so that you can recover your system if you have a major "oops!" moment. If you get the itch to try something new again, just burn another USB... you will be good at it by then.
 

captain-sensible

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if you format a usb stick, using Ventoy thats big enough say 16 gig or more; you can have 3 or 4 difference Linux distro .iso files.

Via booting up from cold and hitting the right key F9 on mine; you choose to boot from the usb. Then you will get a ventoy splash giving you the choice to boot from any of the linux iso you have.

There's a thread on this forum about Ventoy
 

Vrai

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Ok, Iam pretty much just being curious, but if y'all respond to this with some how--to, or links for some how-to's, and I think I can do it, ima do it... So I got my ol' Dell laptop, right... Just installed Zorin on it recently, and it's great, but as I have been reading, and learning about Linux in general, I have noticed that most people suggest that a newbie (that'd be me) really should "try-out" multiple distros to see which one suits them best... Ok, so I decided to go with a suggestion that I received from someone here, I want to say about the first week I was actively here... CAN YOU DUAL BOOT A UBUNTU DISTRO DEV ALONGSIDE A DEBIAN DISTRO DEV? OR SHOULD ONE DISTRO STAY ON AN USB?
Yes. You can 'dual-boot' various Linux distro's installed to the hard drive. It is quite easy actually.
Often I will have more than 5 or 6 Linux distro's installed on the same hard drive on my "testing" box.
@wizardfromoz may have dual-booted a few times and have some insight :)

If this is a machine you are using for learning and testing I would advise just going for it! Install, partition, test, to your hearts content.
But if it is a machine upon which you wish to have a stable, usable, operating system for production or play then perhaps play it a bit more conservative.

Note: when 'dual-booting' with Debian based distro's and Arch based distro's you will likely run into trouble with the GrUB boot loader.
 

karimfc

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I have dual-booted Mint with Windows 10 before, so I'm a tiny bit familiar with it...And, my machine is just for playing around with Linux and/or otherdistros. I have a lenovo for school/home/important things. And, also, thank you for the 'note' at the end. That was actually the question that I wanted to ask, but am not knowledgeable enough, just yet, to know how to word it. You gave me a definitive answer. Much appeciated. Now, back to my lunch....
 

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Vrai

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Why? Is he one?
Oh Lord is he ever! Actually he is "vegan". He was recruited from a restaurant in Colorado by an outfit in California. He has opened 7 or 8 brand new vegan/vegetarian restaurants for them. Apparently on the West Coast vegan fare is quite popular! My wife and I are 'old school' and we like our steaks and ham. But my son's vegetarian cooking is so good, tasty, and flavorful - that's why I say I could be a vegetarian if he would cook for me!

And by the way - he is not one of those vegan evangelicals. He does not preach to nor admonish anyone about their dietary choices. He will cook up whatever anyone likes to eat. He just decided, one day years ago, that he did not want to eat meat any longer, and that was that. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

wizardfromoz

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Good moaning from DownUnder - hey Kari, tell us at https://linux.org/threads/what-it-do.33485/ how you went with the course. :)

And back to business, here.

I have yet to finish reading in more detail the rest of the comments above, and I will.

But I'll put in considerably more than my 2 cents here for now, and then grab more coffee (yawn) and digest the rest.

Chris runs about 40 (or more!) Linux distros on one computer!
Nahh, Stan ... naahhh...40? Kid stuff :)

69 today, might be 70 tomorrow if I try out Nitrux or other.

I'll just read the latest post and be back.

Wizard
 

wizardfromoz

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Like I said - back to business. You pair choof off to Off Topic to talk about food, I'm getting hungry!

Back soon.

choof off in British English. (tʃʊf ) verb. (intr, adverb) Australian slang. to go away; make off.
 

galen

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multibootusb will make mutli boot distros on usbs [but not Ubuntu, MX]

if you use USB flash sticks, make sure you make one FAT32 partition on it in case windows wants to reformat it. create another ext4 partition on it
 

karimfc

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Good moaning from DownUnder - hey Kari, tell us at https://linux.org/threads/what-it-do.33485/ how you went with the course. :)

And back to business, here.

I have yet to finish reading in more detail the rest of the comments above, and I will.

But I'll put in considerably more than my 2 cents here for now, and then grab more coffee (yawn) and digest the rest.



Nahh, Stan ... naahhh...40? Kid stuff :)

69 today, might be 70 tomorrow if I try out Nitrux or other.

I'll just read the latest post and be back.

Wizard
With the course? Which one, the Linux course or my culinary? LOL
 

wizardfromoz

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On burning multiple distro iso's to a stick, new Member @galen (and welcome to linux.org :) ) has mentioned multibootusb, and there are others, if you want to "try before you buy". Here's an article worth taking a look at, but it does have an error or two in it which I will address on my tomorrow:

https://www.linuxbabe.com/apps/create-multiboot-usb-linux-windows-iso

I have some areas with stan's #3 I'd like to address, likewise tomorrow (not disagreeing or taking issue with it, but providing an alternative point of view).

And I will tell you how I come to be running so many distros.

Kari in the meantime, this page is worth a look at, as it broadly divides the Linuxes out there into Families, and if you mix those, you will be on a learning curve, but I believe that is fun in the same way as I enjoy rollercoasters. Thrilling challenges.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_distributions

Cheers for now and c u soon.

Wizard
 

galen

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note:
if hard disk is partitioned with partition table
msdos you only get 4 main partitions
if GPT you need boot partitions etc

booting many from USB is problematic

remember that last distro you install will control the boot manager grub2
if you delete that partition the hard drive wont know how to boot

mainly go with hard drive installs into custom partitions, do not wipe your drive

if you have an stick around 2GB use it for puppy linux bionic 32
it is a very good rescue / fast minimal resources distro with loads of tools
 

karimfc

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note:
if hard disk is partitioned with partition table
msdos you only get 4 main partitions
if GPT you need boot partitions etc

booting many from USB is problematic

remember that last distro you install will control the boot manager grub2
if you delete that partition the hard drive wont know how to boot

mainly go with hard drive installs into custom partitions, do not wipe your drive

if you have an stick around 2GB use it for puppy linux bionic 32
it is a very good rescue / fast minimal resources distro with loads of tools
My hard drive is already wiped. I am not starting from windows, but rather Zorin. And I'm not to familiar with partitions, but plan on educating myself about the subject today. Appreciate your input
 
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