About 6 months ago I came up with a fun idea for a project. I realized it should be possible to multi-boot several distros out of a single zpool using zfs and systemd-boot. So I went about testing it out. Sure enough, I was able to get Manjaro, Arch and Nixos booting out of a single zpool which meant that not only did I not have to carve my disk up but any of the installed OSes could handle snapshot replication for the others. Then recently, I decided an interesting project would be to add Fedora which has noticeably worse zfs support than the others. It was a bit of a challenge, but I was able to get that working too. Now I was quadruple-booting out of a single zpool!
Now that it is all working the way I want, I am left with a question. Other than the fun I had setting it up, what is the benefit? At this point, it feels like more of a pain than a benefit. Not only do I have 4 different OSes to keep updated but I have to shut everything down and reboot every time I want to switch. For testing/playing with different distros, my VMs are vastly easier to deal with. I can spin them up/down whenever I want and run several at the same time.
I am toying with the idea of removing one or more of my installed distros to cut back on the maintenance. Before I did that, I thought I should ask the people who multi-boot many distros, “Why do you do it and what is the benefit?”
Who knows, maybe I will decide to shoehorn a couple of more in there instead.