ibm450 wrote:for the love of god, how did you manage to install different distros? please step by step as im a a newbie. i tried to follow previous threads on hows to do this, but for some reason, a great big debate occurs on how one does the partitions to others and goes totally off track. can some one please, only in SIMPLE terms and guides, STEP by step, on how to create separate partitions to install separate distros on 1 HHD. im currently using LM7, 32bit and would love to experiment with other distros on 1 hard drive....say, partition 1 = lm7 gnome, part 2 lm7 KDE etc etc some other linux distro and be able to keep the /home folder or be able to mount home directory and be still be able to do fresh installs of what ever i choose in part 1 or 2 without loosing home directory and or one of the other distros through the grub menu....please im only after the ""HOW..." not interested in creating so many different partitions to make it boot faster etc. im intersted in the ext4 format.
You read about all your options, back up all the data you are sure to lose from doing this for the first time, and you experiment until you find the partitioning scheme that works for you. Most importantly, you listen to the advice of others even when it is something you do NOT want to hear, like you should not share /home between distros!
sda1 - swap - 2GB unless it is pon a laptop and you hibernate. In that case it equals RAM. Share this with all distros.
sda2 - /data ext3 or 4 unless you have win, in that case NTFS. You create this partition yourself and share this between distros. Private data.
sda3 - extended (if you only want to dual boot two distros then you can just use sda3 and sda4, but as there is a 4 partition max on a single drive you can create an extended partition and install as many distros as you want (within reason not sure the limit).
sda5 - etx4 / distro 1.
sda6 - ext4 / distro 2
For grub use an Ubuntu grub in the MBR as the master grub. Install other distro grubs in the /boot of that distro (which is in /) then manually map the master grub to the slave grub. This way each distro can automatically update the kernel and you never have to remap again.
You will have a problem using ext4 in Fedora because it requires grub to link to an ext3 partition. If you use Fedora the easiest way around this is just use ext3. The alternative is to create a small ext3 extended partition just for the Fedora /boot. I do not know if any other distros have this problem.
I left out sizes, that is your discreation. Since you have a /data partition for all your personal stuff, to be shared between all distros, then you really shouldnt need much over 10GB per distro. You could go as small as 7GB, I would prefer 20GB. Depends on your drive and your needs.
Of course, as you found out, this is just one way among many. I feel this is the easiest and the best, but others may argue.