I'm trying to triple boot Windows 11, Ubuntu 21.10 and Fedora 34. At the moment, the only OS on my system is Windows 11. How do I go about the install? Also, I had a question about swap partitions - do I need them? (16GB RAM, if that's important) and is it possible to use a common swap partition for Ubuntu and Fedora?

  • Even with 16 GB RAM, it is a good idea to have small swap space. However, you can use ZRAM instead of traditional swap (which uses HDD/SSD), it is much faster. Then you will not need a common swap partition. Modern versions of Ubuntu (Fedora supports this too) uses a swapfile by default, so you would not need a swap partition anyway. However, if you still want to, you can use a common swap partition (it will be a much slower than ZRAM). Nov 14, 2021 at 13:21
  • To install Ubuntu, create a partition, write the ISO to a USB flash drive, and follow ubuntu.com/tutorials/install-ubuntu-desktop#1-overview. Installation of Fedora is very similar, but Fedora is off-topic on this site. Nov 14, 2021 at 13:22
  • A swap file will take up space on both partitions and not be shared. If you're going to use swap at all, a swap partition is better. If you create it for one linux, the other may automatically pick it up during install. You almost never need swap, but it sometimes helps a lot.
    – user10489
    Nov 14, 2021 at 13:31
  • Two basic recommendations, I'd install Fedora before Ubuntu, just because I had a problem with Fedora's grub once and Ubuntu's will remain on top if you install it last. And a swap partition can be really helpful even if you don't usually use it. Also, beware Windows can mess up your triple or dual boot configuration whenever it upgrades, it's better to use two separate disks.
    – Santiago
    Nov 14, 2021 at 13:56
  • It's also possible to rerun grub-install in ubuntu at any time to make it the default grub bootloader for all three operating systems.
    – user10489
    Nov 14, 2021 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


The first step to setting up a multi-boot system is to decide how you want to distribute the space between the operating systems and decide which partitions you will be sharing between them.

If you are using it, the efi partition MUST be shared between all three operating systems. You may have to enlarge it, but frequently it is large enough by default.

It is possible to share not just swap but also /home between Ubuntu and Fedora. However, this could cause issues as shared config files between different versions of the same software may not work well. If this does become an issue, you can continue sharing /home but create a new home directory (spelled differently) for your account in one of the operating systems, and then symlink shared files into the new directory. (I've shared /home between Ubuntu 18 and 20 without issue before, so it's probably not a big deal.)

It is also possible to share a data partition with windows. However, the best filesystem format to share between linux and windows is probably xfat which would not work well for /home. It might just be better to let linux mount the windows ntfs partition, but this has its own issues.

Once you have decided how to split your space, start by using the windows disk manager to shrink the windows partition.

Then install one of the other two operating systems; use the option to manually partition it, optionally creating /home and possibly swap, and leaving enough space for the third operating system.

When you install the third operating system, again select the option to manually partition, and create a new partition for / and select /home and swap that already exist, but make sure the option to format them is not selected. (It is ok to format swap, but if you do, you will have to go back to the second operating system and change the UUID in /etc/fstab to match and it may get upset when it can't find it the first time.) The installer may automatically recognize and select swap for you.

  • Best not to try to share /home, but share data partition(s). I use a /mnt/data partition and have multiple LInux installs using it. Back with XP I also had a /mnt/shared as NTFS for some data shared with XP & Linux installs. With no data in /home, it is tiny, mostly hidden configuration files and Firefox & Thunderbird data (which I also move to data partition). Can be same drive: askubuntu.com/questions/1013677/…
    – oldfred
    Nov 14, 2021 at 14:50
  • I've done that as well and would certainly consider that for sharing with windows. But like I said, if sharing /home becomes an issue, it's not hard to separate the actual home directories on /home.
    – user10489
    Nov 14, 2021 at 14:53

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