I am having Ubuntu and I want to install opensuse in parallel, is it good to keep both bootloader in MBR, or I should keep opensuse bootloader in other partition which I allocated to it during installation. In which case I will see options to login into ubuntu/opensuse.

  • Have you considered running one of the two in a virtual machine? Might be easier and eliminates the need for rebooting. – schaiba Nov 24 '17 at 11:30
  • Why do you want to switch between the to distros? The best solution depends on what you are trying to achieve. – bu5hman Nov 24 '17 at 12:45

While installing a bootloader in MBR it replaces the existing one, if any. So, it's impossible to install two bootloader in MBR. However, there are several easy way out.

  1. Configure an entry manually to the existing bootloader's configuration for new OS. By default grub load configuration from grub.cfg located in some sub-folder of /boot. Make an entry like this for the new OS. menuentry 'Name of New Linux' { set root (hdX,XXXXX) kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version root=/dev/sdX other_options initrd /boot/initramfs-version }

NOTE kernel & initrd commands are grub version dependent. Replace XXXXX with gptX or msdosX as per your system. To find proper command and partitions for installed grub, please go to a grub shell (before system boot) and view one existing kernel command line.

  1. Install new bootloader into a partition instead into MBR. Set an entry to chainload to new bootloader in the configuration of old bootloader (i.e the one in MBR).

NOTE If you're using UFI based system instead Legacy BIOS you need not to install bootloader into MBR at all. So, this problem doesn't arise with UFI based modern systems.


The best idea is to install a Ubuntu and then virtualize opensuse, as an example with Virtualbox. If you don't want to do this, then the two systems have to install on different partitions and use ONE boodloader. As an example with Grub you can choose then which one you want to start.

  • Virtualbox is not the best idea. A VM will not have knowledge of the underlying hardware. This will prevent the user from developing or using tools that require interfacing directly with that hardware, such as CUDA. – user5915738 Jun 19 '20 at 18:51

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