I wish to dual boot ubuntu (currently installed) with fedora and/or openSUSE (fedora for vanilla gnome and SUSE for a good KDE experience). I do not know much about dual booting and grub. Do I only have to put in the liveCD and install side by side? Or do I have to partition and stuff? Also, is there an easy way to remove one if I do not want it?
Please note that I do not want them on the same /home partition, I want them to have a different one each. (and also if there is a way that is mostly graphical and user friendly, it would be most appreciated)

EDIT: What if I wanted to install something like arch of mint? how would I do that?


You can install each system separately, by booting from their respective live/install CD's and running their installers. Whatever order you install them in, each has the ability to resize partitions created by the others to make room for itself. Alternatively you could partition manually so that dynamic partition resizing is not necessary (making sure that each OS's partitions take up little enough space that there's enough unpartitioned space left over for the subsequent OSes). Another benefit to partitioning manually is that you can make them all use the same swap partition, which would probably not happen if you installed without manual partitioning. (On the other hand, if you want to be able to hibernate one OS and boot into another, then they must have separate swap partitions.)

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  • So if I just pop in an openSUSE cd and run the installer, it will work and I will be able to have both suse and ubuntu on my laptop? with no conflicts? And i won't have to partition anything? – Stramato Nov 23 '11 at 0:29
  • @user25757 Partitioning will have to occur for openSUSE and Ubuntu to be installed side-by-side and work properly. You should not attempt to install them into the same partitions. However, all modern GNU/Linux distributions' installers will perform automatic partitioning. It's been a little while since I last installed openSUSE, so I don't know if by clicking the default button for each installation step, this will happen--maybe the default is to erase the existing system and install openSUSE using the whole disk! But if you pay attention during installation, it should work without problems. – Eliah Kagan Nov 23 '11 at 0:38

While it is (probably) possible to install two distros side by side, just by popping in CDs and following default options, but it is not a good idea to do it without spending some time thinking about partitioning your hard-drive first.

Let us take the example of installing Ubuntu and Suse together. You would typically want a /boot (< 1gb) ( primary partition) , a (primary or extended) partition (for installing ubuntu swap,/ and /home) and a similar partition for Suse. Then you may want a storage space to be used by ubuntu and suse (but separate from both).

This is one possible example (not the best I guess) and partly inspired by (http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/6344/different-linux-distros-sharing-the-same-home-folder).

It is probably not a great idea to use same swap and /home for different (linux) distros and careful planning (and some research) the partition initially will save a lot of pain later.

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  • Wanted to add: Even if the /root, swap and /home etc are perfectly installed in their little partitions, the important part (in my opinion) is to get the boot-loader (Grub/ Grub2) working as expected. For example Suse uses Grub-legacy and Ubuntu uses Grub-2. A quick glance at (dedoimedo.com/computers/grub.html) will tell you that there are some intricacies which unfortunately most how-to-dos completely ignore. – justquestions Sep 4 '12 at 0:08

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