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Dear Ubuntu Community,

I have a question about how to partition my SSD in the new ultrabook i received. Please help me out so i can get started as soon as possible. (sorry for bad English).

My situation right now; Win8.1 UEFI boot, Kali Linux only bootable when I change settings in bios to legacy.

256gb splitted in a few recovery partitions, boot partition, win8, swap and kali Linux (ext4) partitionn. a

My plan is to install 4 operating systems; Win7, Win8.1, Ubuntu, and Kali Linux(debian). I want to be able to start up any one of the operating systems with one bootloader, either grub or maybe some alternative bootloader (rEFInd bootloader? someone told me thats good for this kind of situations)

My strategy is to first format the SSD and start from scratch. I will set my bios to "legacy first" since there is no legacy only option. After that I I will first install Win7, after that Win 8.1 (Will it install as non-uefi when I have bios set to legacy first? I hope so..) When win8.1 is installed, i will install either Kali Linux firs(debian) or Ubuntu first, and after that I will install the other one, so I will end up with; Win7 Win8, Kali and 8.1.

My questions; what kind of partition scheme do you guys recommend? (I mean about the primary/extended/active kind of thing. I dont really know what all these terms mean, and I want to do everything right the first time around. I think I will use gparted to set up my partitioning. The partition sizes are as follow;

Win7: 40gb NTFS Win8: 60gb NTFS Kali: Linux: 25gbext4? Ubuntu: 25gb ext4? DATA partition: 100gb. This partition will be used by Win7 and Win8, so i guess it will be NTFS, right? I can store data from my Linux partitions as well to this disk, correct? Or is it not advised to store Linux data to a drive used by windows?

are there any extra partitions that I am missing? Boot partition, for windows maybe? what about swap, I got 8gb of ram, and will not use hibernation, so is it recommended? or not really necessary?

What would you guys recommend me to do? How should i let Gparted partition my ssd before installing everything? please be as detailed as possible. Is the order I will install my OS's in correct?

Will the uefi windows 8.1 thing be any problem? remember; I have brand new laptop, with uefi enabled, and only "legacy first boot" option, in bios, and I want to be able to load all 4 OS's from one bootloader, without going into BIOS. (I have 8gb ram, so I dont know if I really need a swap partition?

Well, I think these are all questions I can think of right now, I hope your answers will be enough to start as soon as possible. I have already made a backup of the laptop as is, so now its just waiting for your information before I can go on!

Thank you for participating in this great community. it has learned me allot already!


  • Bent
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Ok man, sorry for bad English, but at first quad boot with windows OS is not possible why? because windows 7 and 8 make/build an extra primary partition called RECOVERY. Do not forget that SSD does not support more than 4 lprimary partitions, so with Windows 8 and Windows 7 the four primary partition are already made. Second, windows 8 uses GPT instead of MBR disk format(i do not if this is correctly write/wrote) so you have to delete all GPT partition on your disk. Third, disable UEFI and Secure Boot from your BIOS. So, you can format your disk and delete windows 8 and GPT partitions, install Windows 7 or 8, then make two additional partition, and here be careful because you must install first windows and then kali linux and the last has to be ubuntu or debian.

Si hablas español, espero ayudar, No puedes hacer un booteo con cuatro sistemas operativos si uno de ellos es windows, por que windows 7 y 8 utilizan una particion extra, una particion primaria para recuperar el boot si algo le pasa, y como sabes los discos duros hasta donde se, tambien los ssd, no soportan mas de 4 particiones primarias, esto limita tus opciones a tener tres sistemas operativos, claro si uno es windows y los otros son linux. si te animas igual debes formatear tu disco, borrar las particiones GPT(esto es importante) e instalar primero windows ya sea seven o windows 8 y luego kali linux y de ultimo debian, asi tendras menos errores de booteo.

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First, managing that many OSes in a multi-boot configuration can be a real pain. I strongly recommend you consider using virtual machines (via VirtualBox, VMware, or whatever) instead. If you need direct hardware access in multiple OSes, consider setting up just one of each type for dual-booting and then use virtual machines for the rest.

Second, if you must install that many OSes, I recommend using EFI-mode booting for all of them. The reason is threefold:

  • Switching between BIOS-mode and EFI-mode booting is awkward on most computers, and impossible on a few. Thus, using just one mode (BIOS or EFI) is highly desirable.
  • EFI-mode booting will enable you to use the GUID Partition Table (GPT), which lacks the distinction between primary, extended, and logical partitions. This will simplify setting up and managing your partitions. (Note that you can boot Linux in BIOS mode from a GPT disk, but Windows requires EFI mode to boot from a GPT disk.)
  • EFI enables easier coexistence of multiple boot loaders. This feature can be very helpful in situations like yours, although it won't really do much good unless you understand the EFI boot process. See my page on EFI boot loaders for Linux for some background. (The "EFI Boot Principles" sub-page will be particularly helpful.)

OTOH, there's a lot more documentation and online know-how for BIOS-mode multi-booting than for EFI-mode multi-booting. There are also EFI bugs and quirks that can complicate the matter under EFI. Still, EFI's advantages outweigh its drawbacks, IMHO, unless you happen to have a particularly buggy EFI.

Beyond that, this page of mine provides tips for installing Linux on EFI-based systems. This Ubuntu-specific page may also be helpful. I don't have any URLs handy for Windows 7/8.1 dual-boot tips, but there are probably sites out there that describe this sort of thing. (Windows 7 and 8.1 will probably want to share a single entry in whatever top-level boot manager you use, though.)

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