Multibooting more than one Linux operating system (OS) can help you compare precisely how each works on your PC. While installing a Linux OS, you might wish to install it into a specific partition on your hard disk or solid-state drive (SSD). This document can help you create a new logical partition and then install a new Linux OS into it.
Author’s Note: In my experience, multibooting Linux operating systems works best with Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based operating systems.
Creating a New Logical Partition
You can add a new Linux OS to a PC on which you have already installed at least one other OS. For example, your multiboot configuration might include two partitions and an extended partition:
- Partitions /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2 contain an MS Windows 7 OS.
- Extended partition /dev/sda3, contains three logical partitions for Linux. Allow at least 20 GB for each Linux OS.
- Logical partition /dev/sda5 contains your Ubuntu Linux OS.
- Logical partition /dev/sda6 contains the Linux swap file. Note: Regardless how many Linux operating systems you plan to install, you need only one swap partition (approximately 2 GB).
- Logical partition /dev/sda7 contains your Linux Mint OS.
You need to create a new logical partition before you can install a third Linux OS into the above example configuration. As shown in the first image above, you can use the Gnome Partition Editor (GParted) to create a new logical partition, such as /dev/sda8.
Installing Linux Into a Root Partition
While installing Linux into a specific logical partition you must define that partition as root.
To install a new Linux OS into your new logical partition, do the following:
- Download an ISO image file of the Linux OS that you wish to install, and then burn it to a DVD to create a live disc. Alternatively, you can use an ISO image to create a live usb drive.
- Boot the live disc and then begin installing your new Linux OS. When you see an Installation-type window similar to the second image above, select “Something else,” which lets you install your new Linux OS into your new logical partition.
- Click “Continue” to display a window to similar to the third image above, select (highlight) your new logical partition, and then double-click it to display an Edit-partition window as shown in the fourth image above.
- In the Use-as dropdown menu, select “Ext4 journaling file system.”
- Checkmark the “Format the partition” box.
- In the Mount-point dropdown menu, select “/” to define your new logical partition as root.
- Click “OK” to close the Edit-partition window, and then click “Install now.” Note: Do not try to skip steps 4 through 7. Omitting them displays an error message, “No root file system is defined. Please select this from the partitions menu.” For more information, see Ask Ubuntu.
- After you install your new Linux OS, rebooting your PC should display a Grand Universal Boot (GRUB) menu similar to the fifth image above. In this example, Zorin OS 6 is the new Linux OS.
Note: If your GRUB menu does not display, you can restore it through an open-source Boot Repair CD.