Do I need multiple physical drives

I’m currently using EOS on my laptop and am very happy with it. I’m looking to get a new desktop to move to EOS from Windows. I’m currently not sure whether to go for separate physical drives for OS and data, one physical drive and partition it, or just one drive as-is.

I’ve seen various posts on the forum about how to partition and/or install over two drives, but is this a recommended practice in Linux/EOS?

I’d be looking at using NVMe drives for all, whichever method I go with. So either separate 250GB and 1TB drives, or one single 2TB drive.

The question is more about security for your Data.
And mainly on dualboot with windows it is a known issue that win updates can screw linux partitions.
Second is that if you have your personal data on a seperate drive you can reinstall OS without the need to be angry about the data drive… what can be removed from the system while reinstalling … same counts for dualboot with windows if linux is on its own drive you can remove it before bigger win updates…


This is the main reason I have both a SSD and a HDD in my laptop. I rarely get angry at the data drive, however :wink:


Personally, I would go a step further than just separate drives. I would never use windoze and Linux on the same computer, especially if that computer had any sensitive data on it. Windoze can read all your Linux partitions. So, if you really need windoze, the simplest and best solution in my opinion, is to have separate hardware for it. If that was not an option, I would physically exchange drives (unplug all drives that have Linux and sensitive data, plug the windoze drive, boot, when done, unplug windoze drive, plug in Linux drives… etc).

The company I work for provides me with a laptop that has win10 on it, which I use whenever I need windoze for work. I do most of the work on my private computer, though, which has EndeavourOS on it.


Thanks for all responses so far. I think my initial post must have been misleading, as a couple of folk have mentioned sharing Linux and Windows on a machine. To be clear, I’m not planning on dual booting. I currently have a Win desktop and I’m looking to get a new desktop to run Linux/EOS on and ditch Windows completely.

I’m not sure whether or not that changes the answer to my question. I guess there’s still a benefit to having separate drives, for cleaner reinstalls etc.

1 Like

If you are going to get a new desktop, then you have the old one to run windoze on, if you really need it. That is how I would do it.

This is how I would rate the possible scenarios, from best to worse:

  1. Having only GNU/Linux computers, no windoze in your life at all
  2. Having two computers, one with GNU/Linux, one with windoze
  3. Having separate drives, one for GNU/Linux, other for windows, physically exchanging them
  4. Having separate drives, one for GNU/Linux, other for windows, choosing from which one to boot
  5. Dual booting
  6. Having only a windoze computer

Thank you. I think I’m still not being clear with my question. I am aiming to move to having only a GNU/Linux computer. Apart from work, where I have no choice and have a separate laptop, I’m done with windoze.

My question was regarding my upcoming single GNU/Linux machine. Is it better to have a two separate drives, e.g. one for /boot and /, and one for /home, or is that overkill/old-fashioned. If I can manage well enough with one physical drive, I think I would prefer to do so.

Oh, I see. Well that doesn’t matter very much. It’s nice to have home on a separate partition if you are going to reinstall very often.

Personally, I don’t like to have many partitions, usually I stick to one partition per physical drive, with the exception of the EFI partition that shares the same drive as my root partition. I have a fast NVMe for root, and a large, but slow HDD for home. Some files in home I actually store on the root drive (because fast access is beneficial), and just symlink them. Filesystem on Linux is such that it doesn’t really matter where anything is, you can have mountpoints and symbolic links arranged in such a way that the directory structure does not correspond to physical drives at all: two files that appear to be in the same directory can actually be links and be on different physical drives.


that`s a sad truth … windows is able to read and write Linux partitions but do not offer a simple way to read from them as a user :wink:


Exactly! When you dual boot, you have no idea what windoze is doing with your Linux partition. It could easily replace your kernel with a patched kernel with malware in it. I’m not saying it is doing that, but that it can do it, and when you dual boot, you trust it not to do that.


To answer your question directly, No, you do not “need” multiple physical drives. I have two; one for my system and one for backup (Timeshift).

Drive 1: 2T Seagate SSHD

500MB FAT32 partition, Mount Point = /boot/efi
16GB /linux swap
60GB ext4 partition 1 = sda1 Mount Point = /
300GB ext4 partition 2 = sda2 Mount Point = /home

Drive 2: 1T Seagate SSHD

400GB ext4 partition = sdb1 /backup (full path mounted in fstab)

Hope that helps you out.

1 Like

This is very troubling. If they really were up for doing this, how would they go about technically to achieve this?

It wouldn’t be difficult at all, since they have read/write access to your Linux partition (assuming it’s not encrypted, of course). It would come down to changing a few files (e.g. /boot/vmlinuz-linux).

Of course, I don’t think they are actually going to replace your kernel, because the chance of getting caught doing that would be pretty high (even though a normal user wouldn’t think of checking that, there are millions of Linux users, and many of us are not normal at all :slight_smile: ), and news of it would spread like wildfire and we’d certainly hear about it. But the point is that since they can do that, they can also do more subtle things (which we haven’t even considered).

The simple truth is that by dual booting, you are giving a very untrustworthy operating system full access to your other operating systems, which in effect means that none of them can be trusted any more. Worse still, even if Micro$oft were the good guys, windoze is still a terribly insecure OS and can easily be infected with malware. This malware can then get access to your Linux system and modify files on it, giving some malicious third party root access (for example, by replacing your sudo executable with a modified one, or something like that).

1 Like

That’s quite a nefarious scenario!
Thanks for the the explanation!

1 Like

Thanks all for your feedback. I’ve now ordered the PC. I went with two drives in the end, as the power supply that allows for two drives has come back into stock. It’s been really interesting to learn what you’ve been sharing.

1 Like

This is how I do it. It works great.

@fbodymechanic your Linux system can still be compromised unless you physically unplug the drive on which it is installed while using windoze. See above.

1 Like

I’m not pulling the bottom off of my Thinkpad pulling the nvme drive, putting in the little wwlan nvme, carefully closing and making sure I don’t pinch the wires every single time I use windows. It’s impossible. The screws and bottom would be ruined in short order if I was to do this every time.

I specifically purchased a laptop with capabilities for two drives do I could do this. Until I can afford a house with a room just for a computer, all I have is my Thinkpad. And at $600k+ fit a house here, I’m pretty much F**. It’s all I can do unfortunately.

I agree that this is impractical. However, I’m just pointing out that your windoze install has read/write access to your Linux drive, and there is a possibility that malware on windoze (including the OS itself) can compromise your Linux system. You may or may not find this risk acceptable, but it is important to at least be aware of it.

Maybe you could disable the Linux drive in UEFI setup so that it is invisible to the windoze system. I’m not sure whether that is possible or not, I think it depends on your motherboard.

The only really safe solution which does not involve unplugging drives every time you use windoze, is to have a separate computer for windoze, and a separate one for Linux (and a good firewall setup in your local network, if both of these computers are online at the same time).

Not a lot of options for me really. Until I retire, or have space/more funds or select another profession, there’s not much more I can do. It has to be acceptable. It would be like me deciding not to drive to work because people die everyday in a car accident. The alternative ramifications are tough.

Plus, my Thinkpad isn’t available for coreboot either. So, there’s already proprietary drivers there too.

If you want to get off the grid, the only way is to stop using it.

Alternatively, I will happily accept all donations so I can retire and no longer need windows or any other computer in my life.