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I am currently running Windows 7 Home Premium x64 on my laptop. I would like to install more than one Linux distro, IN ADDITION TO Windows 7. How do I go about this, what do I need to be careful and aware of, is it possible?

The specific distros I might eventually install:

  • Definitely: Ubuntu (is it a good idea to install the Linux-Secure-Remix version?)
  • Almost definitely: OpenSUSE
  • Probably: Zorin
  • Possibly: Arch
  • Possibly: Fedora
  • Possibly: FreeBSD

Computer details:

  • Successfully used WUBI for Ubuntu in the past
  • Recently reinstalled Windows using the RECOVERY partition
  • Windows 7 Home Premium x64
  • model: ASUS K53U series
  • AMD Brazos Dual Core E450 1.65 GHz
  • 750GB hard drive, currently partitioned into C: (300GB total, 246 GB free), D: (373GB - total, 167 GB free), and RECOVERY (the rest of the space, I think)
  • 4GB RAM

Can I be sure that GRUB will work, if WUBI has worked?

In short, how do I go about triple- or quadruple-booting Windows 7, Ubuntu and other distros? What do I need to be aware of? How do I set up the partition structure?

Thank you in advance

share|improve this question
@TrailRider Feel free to edit my answer, I made it CW. – Lucio Nov 2 '13 at 15:47
@Lucio thank you I did just that, I didn't want to horn in just to address this, you had answered the question well. I just wanted to address what was kind of a "second" question that I saw. I will not be insulted if you think I have butchered your answer and roll-back..;) – TrailRider Nov 2 '13 at 16:04
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Well, dual booting is kind of pushing it already. You will find that over time you stop using all OSes but one.

If you REALLY want to have multiple OSes, VMs are the best way to go. You can install, uninstall, and trash them at will. =]

If you REALLY REALLY want to have more than 2 OSes that are NOT in a VM, just create a partition for each. Finally install something like GRUB or BURG.

share|improve this answer
I agree with this, but must also point out that we're midway through a conversion from BIOS-mode to EFI-mode booting. If multi-booting is really required, it's imperative to first identify the current boot mode, because mixing boot modes is tricky, and multi-boot procedures differ for BIOS vs. EFI. See here for how to identify your current boot mode. – Rod Smith Nov 2 '13 at 17:11
Sorry, I completely forgot about the pain that is EFI. – Kaz Wolfe Nov 3 '13 at 4:45

If you just want to try out the different distros I would advise to run them in a virtual machine (eg. virtualbox). you can install the os and try it out and when you don't need it just remove the machine and it is all gone. afterward you can always decide to install the distro on the hardware.

share|improve this answer
+1 this is good advice, if you(the OP) are only going to install all the listed OS's just to give them a try I would recommend this also, then when you decide which one(s) you like you can install them to your hard-drive...this saves any problems(rare,but still a risk) that might happen when uninstalling the unwanted OS' will also prevent having to re-size/move partitions on the hard drive after unistalling them.... – TrailRider Nov 2 '13 at 15:50

First advice: don't use WUBI any more.

To set multiple Operative Systems in the same machine, you have to install them, one by one, there is no mystery here.

After install all the hundreds of OS that you wanted, if you cannot boot in every one because you don't see them in a boot manager or if there is no boot manager at all, then you will need to repair it.

That's all.

In fact, there are plenty of questions here asking the same thing (how to do it? what will happen? etc.) and every one of them finish on the same subject, repairing the GRUB.

To address the part of your question about the "Remix" version...

The major difference between that and the vanilla Ubuntu it that the remix will save your Windows bootloader before it is overwritten by GRUB.

If you might want to make it a standard Windows install again you can just restore the bootloader file with the remix CD. If you have a Windows 7 install disc you can also use it(question here will tell you how to do it) so if you have the Windows CD or know that you will not need to restore the windows bootloader(this will make all other OS's unbootable BTW) then using the remix is really not needed but you can still use it if you want to.

Using the Remix will give you a Vanilla Ubuntu install plus a few other useful programs (boot-repair is one for example) but they are all available via the Software Center(or via ppa in the case of boot-repair) for install after you have installed Ubuntu.

share|improve this answer
Thank you - I was never planning to use WUBI in the first place. – professorfish Nov 2 '13 at 17:31

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