I have a laptop (Samsung, 8GB Ram, HDD 1TB) and I want to set it up as multi-boot with:

  • Fedora

  • Oracle Linux

  • CentOS

  • TrueOS

  • Windows

I want approx. 200GB on each of them - which is plenty for my requirements - the biggest thing I'll be installing is Oracle and then a few other databases - mostly Open Source.

Now, I plan to allocate 20GB of swap for each system - I would like to know if I can use the same swap partition for them all? Or all but Windows? I don't currently have a Windows disk, but will get one shortly - can I install Windows after (my laptop is UEFI capable) or am I obliged to install Windows first - my understanding is that with UEFI, you can now install Windows afterwards?

I have read that I can have a maximum of 4 primary partitions on a disk - but if I'm to have 5 Operating Systems, how am I to do this?

Furthermore, my Red Hat like systems will have root, swap, boot, home partitions (or at least, I think I need these?). Windows, I don't really care - I could have C:\ (~30GB) and D:\ (~150).

My question really is what partitions do I set up using GParted?

  • Do I set up 4 Primaries and then sub-partition them?

  • Do I use the install .iso to do partitioning? I have found that I am unable to install more than 2 Red Hat like Operating Systems just using the .isos - seems that my installs consume their "ration" of partitions with the first two OS's on the disks - there is still plenty of space left on the disk!

As far as I know, TrueOS and Windows both require a primary partition, but Fedora (again AFAIK) does not necessarily. I won't be hibernating or anything like that - just boot and run one system at a time!

Any and all links to good URL's, references, discussions or other resources welcome. I would also welcome being told if my requirements are unreasonable and/or impossible? :-)

  • If you are using UEFI I strongly recommend you to use GPT (GUID Partition Table) partitioning, not DOS/MBR partitions. GPT does not have the four primary partition limitation of the MBR partition table. GPT does not make a distinction between "primary" and "logical" partitions, and you can have as many partitions as you want. For UEFI you also need an ESP (EFI System Partition). – Johan Myréen Sep 11 '17 at 14:35
  • @Christopher - care to expand on this? What sort of performance penalty am I looking at for virtualisation? – Vérace Sep 11 '17 at 14:44
  • @JohanMyréen - sounds good - any good guides out there that you can recommend? Obviously I can Google, but if you have any that you find particularly à propos, that would be great! – Vérace Sep 11 '17 at 14:46
  • Here's an interesting story by a guy who installed five different Linux distributions plus WIndows on a UEFI machine. – Johan Myréen Sep 11 '17 at 17:11

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