I've a small laptop with eMMc 32gb, and I want to keep it with Windows installed. I've also 64gb USB 3.0 thumb drive. My question is: "Is it possible to split that into 3 partition with different Linux distros installed."

Main question is above details are below; I've Mac and another Windows PC, I tried Windows Disk Manager, I couldn't split format second partition etc.

Tried Active@ Partition Manager, things get complicated, couldn't format the second partition. I couldn't be able to restore everything and completely remove partitions. So I'm stuck that way.

I've managed to split into 2 partition at OsX with Disk Utility. First part for linux second part as additional space, but couldn't format the second partition and windows didn't recognized it. But I've managed to install Ubuntu from another USB ISO Image.

So at that point I'm still able to split USB Drive in OsX into 3 partitions. But neither Unetbootin or etcher won't allow me to select partitions. I can only select main drive. Is there a way to manage this?

2 Answers 2


You want to look into GRUB (http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html#Introduction).

Grub can boot particular partitions on a disk, and is how most dual boot windows/Linux machines are managed. It can also allow you to boot as many linux distros as you have installed onto partitions.

The easiest method (if your hardware supports it) would be to try to install these distro's from their install disks, and choose/create a partition on the USB for the target of the installation.

It's a large beast, but I used GRUB to boot any of the ISOs I put into a directory on a USB drive, so booting live partitions should be very possible.


The easiest way (at least for me as a Linux user) would be to start up Linux from a live CD/DVD and use gparted to partition the USB drive, then install the three distros into the three partitions. You need to install GRUB such that it recognizes the three OS installs and lists them in the boot menu, this is a bit tricky and probably beyond the scope for this answer.

  • so i need to create additional usb drive for each distro, and install to my main usb thumb is that correct?
    – siniradam
    Jul 16, 2016 at 11:04
  • 1
    No, just 3 partitions on one USB drive (gparted should do that easily). Jul 16, 2016 at 15:41

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