I would like to have dual boot of two Linux distributions on my laptop. One stable (Mint 18 that I found to work well with Yoga 3 Pro) and one that would be probably changing often; I want to try different distributions like Fedora or OpenSuse, without destroying my stable working environment.
I wonder how I should do partitioning of boot partitions here. I would like to do it in the easiest possible way that would allow removing the second Linux installation easily.
I was thinking about having two boot partitions, one for each Linux. During installation of the main Linux, I could choose to put the boot loader into the MBR, and for second one into the proper partition. But then I would have to update Mint's grub every time I install a new test distribution; would that be a good solution? Also, I am not sure if I can have two EFI partitions.
What would be the most stable and safe option here?
First of all, I did more research and realized that I was confused about a few things. I didn't know that
Device for boot loader installation  option during Mint installation is completely ignored during installation in UEFI mode  (1). Also poor naming in Ubuntu installer (2) made me believe that
ESP is doing the job of
/boot partition, not the
Knowing that I am thinking of following partition scheme (256GB SSD drive):
/dev/sda1 EFI System Partition fat32 /boot/efi 512MB (ESP partition) /dev/sda2 ext2 /boot 512MB (boot for Mint) /dev/sda3 ext2 512MB (boot for other) /dev/sda4 lvm2 ( / for each Linux, shared home, swap )
And then during installation of each Linux I would make 4 mounting points of correct partitions:
Is that reasonable? And do I understand correctly that option for choosing
Device for boot loader installation during Mint installation is redundant in EFI mode and I should not worry about it anymore? And do I understand correctly that now shared
ESP will just have a config to start loading
GRUB from a
boot partition it got set up as default?
I am going with a scheme I proposed above. However, creating partitions
GParted resulted in some errors in the Mint installer. I repeated the process by destroying these partitions and creating them again from a Mint installer and it went smoothly.
/dev/sda4 I created before running Mint installer in
GParted and created local volumes from terminal. This tutorial on LVM was very helpful on that .
After installing Mint, I proceeded with installing Fedora (3); after that, the system by default booted into Fedora, but in the BIOS I was able to choose Ubuntu or Fedora and each of them worked well.
I change the BIOS to boot first from Mint, and then from Mint I executed:
sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
which allows me basically to boot both Linuxes now.
Because I made the assumption that the other Linux is for testing purpose I more or less achieved what I wanted. If I remove
Fedora and install in its place for example
OpenSuse I could probably simply execute the above command again to obtain the stable boot system.
(0) I am keeping that question updated all the time just in case someone may find it useful in the future.
(1) I did installation on a different computer some time ago that had two hard drives (separate devices).
/dev/sda was fully meant for Windows 10 and I wanted to install Mint on
/dev/sdb. Despite the fact that I selected
Device for boot loader installation as
/dev/sdb it found ESP on the other drive and used that partition for booting.
EFI System Partition (ESP) is named in Mint (Ubuntu) installer as
EFI boot partition .
(3) I had to be super careful with choosing mount points and partitioning her.