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new linux user and have some questions. I currently am dual booting Ubuntu and Windows 10, and they each have their own SSD (mistakes from first 2 attempts made me get each on their own SSD). So, the Ubuntu is on a 120GB drive and I would like to install Linux Mint in its place while also making a partition to install Kali linux for college.

I just don't want to mess up the Grub boot loader and not be able to get back to windows, even though it is on a separate SSD.

Can I just shrink the Ubuntu drive, and overwrite with linux Mint with no Grub issues? And then if I install Kali on the partition I create, will that have any effect on the Grub boot loader?

I know some people had asked some similar questions, but I didn't see any that used an entirely different drive and I'm paranoid about messing things up after I had to reinstall everything twice after my first Ubuntu attempt.

  • Don't be too scared of messing up your bootloader. They (both the Windows bootloader and grub) are very easy to repair, since that happens quite often ;) Most of the time when you are doing stuff like that it comes down to "Do what you want to do and fix the stuff you break afterwards". – Dakkaron Oct 27 '15 at 10:39
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Yes, you should be able to "just shrink the Ubuntu drive, and overwrite with linux Mint with no Grub issues" if you are using the GPT partition table format and if your partitions are addressed using the partition GUIDs (maybe have a look at /boot/grub/grub.cfg just to be clear). Otherwise you might have to refresh the grub configuration (run a grub detection script) which also is not the end of the world, you should be even able to do that from a live system.

Now I don't know how the installation of Kali is running but seeing it is based on Debian it really should be no problem and detect grub itself.

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