Setting up dual-boot system

Hey, I’m considering distro-hopping to EndeavourOs (Linux is my daily driver OS), so wanted to ask about the best/optimal way to set up my system for dual-booting, so that I can quickly reboot in Win10 with less clicks, and keep both systems from messing up each other.

My laptop has 2 nmve drives and I want to set up one for Linux (with separate /root and /home partitions), and the other for win10 (gaming), also with system and documents partitions. The laptop is UEFI enabled.

  1. Can win10 be installed on the second nvme drive, or does it have to be on the main boot drive?
  2. can both systems share a /boot partition?
  3. in what order should I install them? Win first and then Linux?

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: added information for clarity.

The best/optimal way is to not use windoze, that’s just cancer in your PC. All privacy and security benefits of Linux are voided when you use another operating system (which is actually malware) that can read and modify your Linux drive.

But if you have to, you can install windoze on a physically separate drive and just pick from which drive to boot from the BIOS menu. That’s the simplest setup.

Most people, however, install windoze and Linux on different partitions of the same drive. Personally, I think this is a terrible idea, but it works.

Of course, this post is very opinionated. But that always happens when you ask for the best way to do something. :rofl:

Welcome to the forum!

Thanks for the welcome and your very opinionated opinion. :slight_smile:

Linux is my daily driver, and I would like to install windoze on a separate drive, so that is has no or minimal chance of messing up the bootloader. But I am not sure that windoze can be booted with grub from a second drive? Maybe rEFInd would work better?

If you have windoze on a separate drive, you don’t need to boot it with GRUB. Just use whatever bootloader windoze uses (some unnamed proprietary crap).

When you have both windoze and Linux on the same drive, then you need to boot both with GRUB.

But when you have separate drives, you can select the boot drive from the BIOS (just like you select to boot from USB or DVD when you install Linux).

Right, but that is more cumbersome/involved than just selecting the OS from grub menu. An extra hoop to jump to when I want to reboot in windoze to play a game in late evening.

You could install it on whatever drive you want.

There is no need for a separate boot partition. Assuming this is a UEFI enabled system, you will have a ESP (EFI System Partition) which can be shared between the two systems.

The order makes no difference.
“Historically”, it has been recommended to install Windows first and Linux later.

If UEFI system, Windows installer would normally set up four partitions of which one is ESP.
You could use the same ESP for your Linux install or you could create a separate one for your Linux when partitioning the disk.

If you choose to install Linux first, the Windows installer tends to use the ESP from your Linux install.
If you want to avoid this, remove the boot,esp flags from Linux’ ESP before installing Windows.

Assuming os-prober is installed and enabled in /etc/default/grub, Grub should be able to pick up on your Windows bootloader and add it as boot option to its boot menu.

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Using rEFInd is also a viable choice for simplicity. You can use grub as well (have rEFInd boot from it) if you want, or have something ‘extra’ like auto-snapshots in the grub menu. Our wiki will explain further if you wish (or I can :grin: )

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This not the best description of your requirements, unless you are just testing people’s knowledge. If you really want the best advice, use more descriptive words, like faster, less clicks, secure, volatile,… etc.
Hardware/firmware can never read minds (yet…).

Previous comments describe several best approaches already.

It can be done. Yet Calamares installer tends to (re)use an existing $ESP partition, leading to using the same $ESP from windoze installation. That’s why it is safer for a normal (not expert) user to remove windoze drive when installing Linux. After Linux installation, you can reconnect the drive permanently, so grub can discover other OS with os-prober (enabled).

Nevertheless, with UEFI installations, it is easier to select OSes from BIOS quick menu, which requires the enormous effort :upside_down_face: of pressing a button when booting.

Select and use your own poison :slightly_smiling_face:

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Right, should have been more specific.

By ‘best/optimal’ I meant less clicks and less error prone installation of EOS and Win10 on separate drives.

The system is a UEFI enabled laptop: AMD Ryzen, RTX3070, 32GB RAM, 2x1TB nvme.

Win10 would be exclusively for gaming, thus I want to be able to quickly reboot into Win - without it messing up my Linux system and/or boot.

As I understand, I could also create a new EFI partition on the 1st drive (as I plan to do manual partitioning anyway), os-prober would find the Windows installation and add it to the menu. That way there is even less risk of messing up the Win installation (don’t want to waste time troubleshooting windows).

Again, these contradict each other. Prioritization is required.

Greek quote

Θέλω και την πίτα ολόκληρη και το σκύλο χορτάτο

I use this method on my laptop (one drive).

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