I'm using Lubuntu 11.10.

Here is my hard disk. I have two partitions mounted, sda1 and sda2.

enter image description here

As you can see I have a lot of free space in the middle (yes, I wanted that).

Now I'd like to use that free space to create some new partitions and install many distros on each one.

So I have two mayor questions:

1. Should I create a logical (or it would be extended) partition there, using the total free space and after that could I divide it into maybe 5 or 6 partitions? I'd like to have something similar to this:

sda1 # already there
sda3 # new 
sda4 # new
sda5 # new
sda6 # new
sda2 # already there

I don't if the names would be correct.

2. Suppose that I'm installing Ubuntu on the first new partition (lets call it sda3). During the process I'll need to choose where to install the GRUB (or boot loader?!)

Should I install it on sda3 instead of sda so I'll be able to keep my current GRUB and only update it after to see the two distros installed?

  • In general it is not a good idea to combine multiple questions into one. – terdon Jul 4 '13 at 17:14
  • @terdon, you're right, I agree with you. I wrote there for the number 2 had appeared while I was typing number 1. – Sigur Jul 4 '13 at 17:18
  1. You should create an extended partition in your unallocated space. Extended partitions can be divided into as many logical partitions as you need.

  2. If you want to keep your current boot loader, yes, you should install each distro's bootloader into the root of their partition, or even better, not install one at all. After each installation, you will need to boot into your original system and update grub so it will detect the new installations.

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  • Thanks. So I'm not too wrong. It's as I imagined. Also, should I create those partitions now with my current distro or during the installation? – Sigur Jul 4 '13 at 17:16

Instead of creating logical partitions you could create another primary partition and make this a PV (physical volume) for LVM. LVM is much more flexible than partitions. Another advantage is that the volumes have a name then. You may have a VG (volume group) linux with the LVs (logical volumes) debian, ubuntu, opensuse, ... and it's trivial to know what a certain LV is used for. You can easily resize the volumes and (with the exception of the root volume) make snapshots for consistent backups.

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  • So, to create the primary partition I use Gparted, right? And to make it a PV, how would I do this? – Sigur Jul 4 '13 at 17:25
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    @Sigur GParted would do. After creating sda3 you call pvcreate /dev/sda3 (or rather use your distro LVM tool for that). vgcreate vg0 /dev/sda3. lvcreate --name lv0 --size 10G vg0 – Hauke Laging Jul 4 '13 at 18:43
  • After I'd created the volumes, they will appear on Gparted as /dev/lv0 and so on? Then I can mount wherever I want. – Sigur Jul 4 '13 at 19:13
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    @Sigur They should appear as /dev/mapper/vg0-lv0 and /dev/vg0/lv0. Maybe you have to activate the VG with vgchange -a y vg0 first. But usually that should happen automatically at boot. – Hauke Laging Jul 4 '13 at 20:27

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