Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Alright here's what I'm looking for help with.

I want to Partition my external Gofelx drive so that I can install 4 OS's on it.

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Windows Seven/8 and another linux distro I know I will eventually pick to put on it.

I have had experience with dual booting OS's since currently I have a linux distro installed on the drive and experience somewhat with gparted live since I once had to use it to fix a problem with the drive.

It's a 500 gig drive and I was thinking of making the partitions 40 gigs each for the linux and 50 for the windows, leaving me with the rest of the drive as storage room for files and backups and whatnot.

Put short I just need some help making sure I'm doing this right to make sure I don't screw up.

From what I know, what I want to do is start up gparted live and use it to format and partition the drive in 5 partitions, the 3 40 gig partitions, the 1 50 gig and the rest for storage.

Gparted lists file sizes as MiB, not MB, no problem we have calculators for a reason.

So I want 3 37.253 GiB partitions, 1 46.566 partition and rest as free space.

Then it comes to installing the OS's, which is where I get a bit wary about things.

So I know there are multiple ways of installing OS's to a drive or a partition on a drive, just want to make sure I don't screw things up.

So do I say take wubi, and install the ubuntu and kubuntu distros to the designated partitions with it, or should I burn them to disc, which I would prefer not to do since, well physical media costs money.

Or should I try something like YUMI to install them to the partitions.

I also have heard you can use virtual box to install OS's to drives/partitions.

I also have image mounting software I was wondering if I could use that somehow to install to the partitions from within windows.

And then comes the worst part, install windows 7/8.

If I can just use YUMI, would I use it for that as well or what, here's where I really go off the ropes, since I may be native to windows, but understand more about how to operate with linux.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Ok many questions but I will give it a try. Here the answers:

First you can partition like you said. But notice: You should first create an extended volume since primary partitions are limited to just 5 partitions. With extended its no problem.
You should also take care of swap (a bit more than your ram usage or more than double your ram size if you want to hibernate. Because hibernating means to write your RAM to the swap space and if there is already something it needs more space.)

Next: I prefer to install windows first because Windows always breaks Grub and all custom bootloaders. Every linux distribution supports detecting other operating systems.

After installing Windows you can proceed to Ubuntu and to the rest.
Notice In Ubuntu (or whatever you change as first distribution to install) you should install the bootloader to your hard disk /dev/sdX (X refers to your hard disk drive) and every Linux afterwards should not install Grub to MBR.

At the end of your installation routine you can boot into your Ubuntu or first chosen Linux system and do update-grub.

How you can install without CD/DVD:
Use multisystem for more than one ISO on a USB drive. So you can save time. If you prefer installing every single ISO to your USB drive you can check out UNetbootin.

If you choose Multisystem:

  1. Download the required ISOs
  2. Load them all into Multisystem
  3. Quit multisystem
  4. Boot from USB drive
  5. Choose first distribution you want to install
  6. Wait for being booted (could take some minutes)
  7. Install distribution as it would be on a CD/DVD to your hard drive
  8. Reboot again into USB drive
  9. Choose your next Linux
  10. Repeat this from 6 to 9

If you choose Unetbootin:

  1. Download all ISOs
  2. Install the first ISO to USB drive
  3. Reboot and install the distribution
  4. Reboot into another system and copy the next ISO to the stick
  5. Do this loop too

By the way: Good luck and have fun ;)

share|improve this answer
I was doing some reading while I waited and your first paragraph confirms what I thought I should do from the reading, which makes me glad. The second paragraph is the same. Although the third I'm not sure is on track with my last questions. I'm looking to do a full install on the drives, not live distros, but I want to know if I can install the OS without the use of a disc or flash drive. If your last paragraph is about that could you clear it up a bit for me, seeing UNetbootin just right away said to me live distro. – William Apr 26 '12 at 23:54
check out my detailed answer ;) and just ask if something is unsure. – Michael Tanner Apr 27 '12 at 0:05
Although I am aware of how to use a USB flash drive to install to the hard drive, I was wondering if there is a way to install WITHOUT the USB flash drive, or a cd/dvd, as I believe I saw some posts about such a way while googling. I think they mentioned making a partition large enough size for the ISO and setting it to boot from it as if it was a disc drive, or using software like alcohol to make a virtual disc to be used in the same manner. I am not sure and will go back and look for the links to the posts about it, I hope though in the mean time you understand what I meant there. – William Apr 27 '12 at 0:16
I can't approve those methods 'cause I didn't hear something about this methods. The easiest way and the way without any problems is the steps I wrote above. – Michael Tanner Apr 27 '12 at 0:19
Alright, thank you to save time I guess I will just have to backup the files on my flash drive and then use it, I have 32 gig flash drive with 31 gigs filled with files so it's going to take as long as it will to install the OS's as it will to transfer the files to my hard drive. – William Apr 27 '12 at 0:30

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.