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I have 2 SSDs and would like to dual-boot Kubuntu and Linux Mint. I am completely unaware of how to set up the partitions over 2 separate drives for the 2 distros.

Before this is marked as a duplicate, I have done so much research here and I have many unanswered questions regarding this. Does each distro need separate /, swap and /boot partitions? Should these be placed on separate drives, or if they share some of these, which drive should hold the shared partition?

If there is a standard partition set up for 2 distros, over 2 drives, one on each drive please point me there.

I am a Linux novice, but want to learn!

  • Often to avoid issues, easier to just disconnect one drive when installing. Most desktops do not need separate /boot unless using LVM with full drive encryption (and that may not be required now). And newest Ubuntu versions use swap file. It will use a swap partition if one is found during install. If UEFI and not disconnecting drive, you must manually partition in advance and include ESP on both drives. askubuntu.com/questions/743095/… & askubuntu.com/questions/343268/… – oldfred Apr 28 '18 at 23:53
  • @oldfred: Sounds almost like an answer. ;-] – David Foerster Apr 29 '18 at 6:07
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Often to avoid issues, easier to just disconnect one drive when installing. Most desktops do not need separate /boot unless using LVM with full drive encryption (and that may not be required now). And newest Ubuntu versions use swap file. It will use a swap partition if one is found during install. If UEFI and not disconnecting drive, you must manually partition in advance and include ESP on both drives.

Partition in advance:

How to prepare a disk on an EFI based PC for Ubuntu?

Partitioning during install, but you will not get ESP on second drive unless a drive is disconnected: How to use manual partitioning during installation?

With multiple installs do not share /home or /boot or any system partition. If you want data shared best to have a separate data partition. I use /mnt/data and link folders into each install. Details:

storing data on second HDD, mounting

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First, decide which distro gets which drive.

Because it doesn't matter what's left over on the swap partition when Linux boots, you can and probably should share a swap partition or two between the two distros. If you put half the swap size you need (or the full amount needed) on each drive and ensure that both distros use both swaps, you'll have a system that has all needed swap space normally yet still has a decent amount of swap space if you remove a drive for some reason.

You shouldn't share a /boot partition between the two. See these answers for why. You should make a /boot partition on each distro's drive.

You definitely shouldn't (and can't really) share a / partition. You should make a / partition on each distro's drive.

  • okay thanks, and what about /home partitions? one for each? or shared? I've seen advice for both? – public string 'HELP' Apr 28 '18 at 23:51
  • Sharing swap partitions makes hibernating difficult, if hibernating is desired, better to use a swap-file in each distro. – mook765 Apr 29 '18 at 12:18

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