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

I want to set up a system for testing where I can boot into Ubuntu 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What would be the best way to partition my drive to do this? Also easiest way to configure Grub2?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

grub will figure things out for you so no real need to do anything with it if you want each OS to be included in grub. If you want multiple Ubuntu's on the same machine one method could be to just partition your hard disc for the amount of version your are going to install. Ubuntu 8.04 to 11.04 makes 7 operating systems so divide your harddisc up into 7 partitions and a data partition (you can use that to use the same files (audio,video etc). With the 1st one you format this datapartition. With the other 6 you just mount the datapartition.
It is time consuming to set this all up and during install you basically can not use your system. And it is not flexible.

There is another option that I would prefer:
Depending on what you want to achieve with this you can also use virtualbox-ose-qt Install virtualbox-ose-qt for every operating system. This would require you to create 1 Ubuntu on the whole disc, install virtualbox and inside virtual box you create space to install the other 6 operating systems. If you do not want to test for speed this could be a more flexible option: adding more or deleting existing systems is possible without needing to reformat your disc or create more space to install it. And when you are done you can simply remove all the operating systems and still have your base system up and running without the need to add the other partitions to this system.

Here is an example from kUbuntu with Ubuntu:


It is slower than normal and you need a bit of RAM in your machine but you can also run all the OS's at the same time if need be ;)

share|improve this answer

You should simply create a separate boot partition ;-).

Then, when you install a new version of Ubuntu, at the partitioning stage, select to use this new common boot partition for /boot.

Do this for all versions of Ubuntu that you install, and you should be able to boot into all of them.

share|improve this answer

Do not format home partition while installing,just select a another partition for root(/) file system.Use the same home folder for every version of ubuntu but different root partition

share|improve this answer

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.