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Recipe 12.5. Preparing a System for Multibooting Linux
Most Linux distributions let you customize the partitioning during installation. Create new partitions only as you need them during each installation, and leave free space for additional installations.
Let's walk through a clean Fedora installation on a 20-GB IDE drive, using this partitioning scheme:
Here are the steps:
Now you can continue with the installation. Make sure that you install GRUB, not LILO. When you install additional Linuxes, they will share /home and /swap. You can install any number of Linuxes, until your disk is full or you have used all available partitions.
Most modern Linux distributions install GRUB by default. Make sure you don't install LILO.
QTParted is an excellent graphical utility for creating, deleting, moving, and resizing disk partitions. QTParted is included on Knoppix, so you can set up your partitioning before installing a new Linux, if you prefer. You can also make changes after installation, even to partitions with data on them. Of course, you must have good backups first. QTParted does a good job, but messing with partitions can backfire.
Putting /swap on its own partition improves performance, and it can be shared on a multiboot system. Giving /home its own partition lets you share it between the different Linux systems you're running, and it allows you to do all sorts of system installations and removals without forcing you to restore your data from backup every time.
Linux partitioning is limited to 63 partitions per IDE drive: 3 usable primary partitions, with the 4th containing up to 60 logical partitions in a single extended partition.
SCSI drives are limited to 15 partitions per drive: 3 usable primary partitions, and 12 logical partitions in a single extended partition.
12.5.4 See Also
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