Partitioning for multi-boot (more than dual-boot)

I’d like to ask advice about proper partitioning.

First about modern machine with UEFI and GPT-disk.
It has already installed Windows and other Linux distro.

Installed Linux has partitions:

  1. /boot/efi
  2. /
  3. swap
    /home doesn’t have separate partition, it resides under /.

Disk has enough free space.
I’d like to install several different Linuxes (including EndeavourOS) to that disk.

For EndeavourOS I’m going to create partition for / (root) and separate partition for swap.

My plan is first to manually create necessary new partitions using Gparted or other tool, and then just specify them in the EndeavourOS installer.

Question: do I need to create separate partition for /boot/efi of EndeavourOS, or during installation I can simply use existing /boot/efi of already installed other Linux distro ?
In this case will EndeavourOS installer add to Grub menu item for booting EndeavourOS, while keeping and not deleting already existing Grub menu items ?

Boot / EFI can be used by all. I used 5 distros on the Windows EFI partition without problem (and that is only 100Mb)

Swap too will be re-used (automatically, even) by all.

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You should be able to use the swap partition you have with multiple linux distros.

In most cases you would only have a single efi partition on each disk. What is the other Linux and what is it’s bootloader?

Typically you would only have one grub and boot all the OSes. However, not all grub’s are compatible so choosing the right one is important.

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OK, thank you for the information :slight_smile:

Currently it is MX-19, its bootloader is Grub2.

I’m not sure if it would help, but if you go look at the wiki How to install rEFInd, at the end is a link to a ‘case study’ - in that are screenshots for the partitioning for a ‘heavy’ multi-boot system (9 all together). You will see that there is only 1 /boot/efi and 1 swap - then a root for each other system. Oh - and they all work :grin:

The main article does not go into partition details, but the setup there is similar with Xubuntu, Arcolinux, EndeavourOS, Arch and MX-19 in the multi-boot. Hope this helps…

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So, as already mentioned, you can use existing /boot/efi and swap. But be sure not to format /boot/efi!

And as you plan to install several Linux distros, I suggest you let EndeavourOS have control over booting. (I assume you will select the booting distro from the BIOS/firmware.)
That’s because many other types of distros cannot boot Arch based distros by default.

Grub boot menu is created into /boot/grub/grub.cfg of each distro (provided they use grub).

If EndeavourOS grub does not show other distros in the boot menu, you will need to run command

  sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

and after reboot you should see all other systems.


Thanks, it’s interesting information :slight_smile:
The screenshot gives idea about space required for EndeavourOS with each DE.

Thank you, I didn’t know about it.

I have an older laptop (Thinkpad T420) which currently has Windows 10, MX1.9.1 and EOS installed in EFI mode. No problems doing it, using a single EFI partition and a common /home partition for both MX and EOS.

The only (minor) problem I’ve hit with that combination is that I installed EOS last, and for reasons that I don’t understand, its Grub install never seems to get the screen resolution correct. But it is a very minor issue…

That can be changed quite easily, but the grub from MX-19 is unlikely to get the details right, and might well boot to a blank screen, or a kernel panic, so it may not be your first choice! Basically, whichever grub runs last gets control of booting, so running a grub mkconfig from a distro makes it be the ‘last’ at that time… Odditites caused by grub like this are why I switched to rEFInd for my my multi-boots, as you can easily set boot and init parameters that stay put even through grub updates.
Happy to discuss further if you wish.