I have installed two operating system in my laptop: Ubuntu 11.10 and windows7. I have never used more than two operating system in a laptop/desktop. I want to install windows8 and my questions are:

  1. How many OS can be installed in a laptop/desktop?
  2. Can I use three operating system(Ubuntu 11.10, windows7 and windows8) simultaneously?
  3. What about performance after installing multiple OS?
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4 Answers 4

  1. The limiting factor is probably the available disk space or the number of partitions you can create.

  2. You can have three and more OSs installed, though I am not sure that W8 is a good candidate at the moment. It might not play nicely with other bootloaders, like Grub or EasyBCD.

  3. Performance is unrelated to the number of OSs installed.

  • 1
    assume that I gonna put the like this : Ubuntu, Win7, Win8. Ubuntu installation should be the last one because of the GRUB bootloader can detect all the OS, am I right? What I know, each computer has the partition limit to 4, meaning..... each computer only allowed to have 4 partitions in a single disk, or I'm wrong... feel free to clarify my statement :D Nov 15, 2011 at 5:35

If you want to use the OSes in parallel, you might consider installing only one OS directly (e.g., Ubuntu/Linux) and then run the other OSes inside a virtual machine such as VirtualBox or VMware Workstation.

Virtual Machines allow you to run multiple OSes in parallel without the need of partitioning the disk accordingly. They even allow you to share folders between virtual machines (e.g., have a Linux directory available in your virtual Windows installation). They suffer from lower performance, though. So if you want to use Windows for gaming, it might be worthwile having a native Windows installation and running Linux inside a virtual machine instead.


Use VirtualBox , it's free and you can run many popular OSes including *BSD, UNIX, IBM OS, Mac OS X, and Windows.

  • 3
    There is no operating system called IBM OS. IBM has produced multiple operating systems. You may want to edit your question to specify which you're thinking of. Similarly, UNIX no longer denotes any single operating system, but a number of operating systems are UNIX. Perhaps there are some specific proprietary UNIX operating systems you're thinking of when you say "UNIX" and "IBM OS". Jun 13, 2012 at 21:23

Performance is unrelated to the number of OSs installed. But leave some disk space so that whichever OS you are using at a particular moment will not became slow due to low space.


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