Is there any existing step by step guide instructing how to install 2 different Linux OSs (say, Red Hat and SUSE), and Windows OS on the same machine?

(When tried it I entangled with the partitions configuration, and I've heard from others that the secondary Linux has to be installed without its boot loader).

  • What are you missing from the existing answers, which made you open up a bounty?
    – Christian
    Oct 27, 2010 at 12:45
  • Make sure to partition wisely, aside from installing Windows the boot corruptor first, this will save you the biggest heartaches. Also, leave space unformatted or in a larger than necessary swap file. Keep that swap partition next to Windows so when it bloats you can absorb a bit. gParted works wonders, but corruption is always possible with NTFS.
    – mfg
    Nov 2, 2010 at 12:49

4 Answers 4


In my experience always install Windows as first OS. Otherwise it will overwrite the boot loader of the previously installed OS. There are ways around it, but these just make it more complicated.

After installing Windows, install your first Linux distribution. It normally will find your Windows installation and add it to its boot loader automatically so you can dual boot with windows and Linux.

Now comes the third Linux distribution. Some distributions find other distributions and will add them to their boot loader (I don't know for sure about SUSE and Red Hat). Just try it during your installation. When all OSes are recognized install the boot loader of your third OS, otherwise boot into your first Linux distribution and add the second one manually to the boot loader. As the type and version of the boot loader depend on the distribution I can't tell you how to do it, but you'll find some good tutorials in the net.


My experience : Knowledge : There are only 4 primary in a a disk .

  1. Make 2 NTFS for windows OS and one for common data.

  2. Install windows first

  3. Install linux , make 2 linux partition : 1 ext 4 and 1 swap for linux installing .

  4. Install ntfs-3g to access ntfs in your linux .

My example :

Laptop 500Gb :

  1. C: 50Gb for windows OS [NTFS]

  2. D: 436Gb for Common Data [NTFS]

  3. ext4: 10Gb for arch root and 4Gb left for swap partition

Note: you shouldn't try to access linux on windows, it doesn't have any software can access ext4 and many errors appears when you're trying to do that. In linux ntfs-3g does smoothly :)

  • how much do you recommend i keep for linux in 2013? have c and d drive. and now have free space for linux ... upto 50 GB?
    – tgkprog
    Jun 7, 2013 at 20:18

First install Windows operating system

Next install Your 1st linux after that 2nd linux.

Following links help you to do it....



Study this too...



Ok, here are some steps:

First of all, prepare your hard disk. I use the parted live cd for that. So you don't have to worry about partitioning while you're installing the distributions.


  • Use the following layout: One primary Windows NTFS partition; One primary Linux partition, which has a size of ~200 MB for /boot (ext2 oder 3). Two primary Linux partitions (ext4), One logical partition for swap. This should be twice the size of your ram.

  • Install Windows

  • Install the first Linux Distribution, with grub as bootloader

  • Install the second Linux Distribution, don't install a bootloader

  • Boot into the first Linux Distribution, edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and add the second linux distribution


That's it. Windows should be added to grubs menu.lst automatically. If you want to install 2 distributions, that name their kernels the same way, you'll have to reboot into the first linux distro before installing the second one, and rename your kernel to something else, and change the menu.lst file to match it.

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