Is triple booting possible

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Phiver
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Is triple booting possible

Post by Phiver » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:25 pm

Hi folks. I recently set up a dual boot on my computer with windows 10 and Mint. I'm using windows 10 primarily for gaming, and mint for web surfing, downloading etc, and to just play around with a new/different OS. I like Windows and Mint cause they are both fancy, and pretty with lots of bells and whistles. Who doesn't like bells and whistles right?

However, I would also like to have something small and lightweight on my PC. Is this possible to do? Is it possible for that matter to have 4,5,6 etc OS's on a computer?

If so, Would I set it up the same way I set up the initial dual boot by just setting aside some space in diskmgmt and installing another OS to it? Will that new OS automatically show up in Grub?

Lots of questions I know. Any help is greatly appreciated

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Reorx
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Reorx » Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:28 pm

In answer to the thread title > YES :!:
Phiver wrote:Is it possible for that matter to have 4,5,6 etc OS's on a computer?
Yes.
Phiver wrote:If so, Would I set it up the same way I set up the initial dual boot by just setting aside some space in diskmgmt and installing another OS to it?
Yes.
Phiver wrote:Will that new OS automatically show up in Grub?
If it is an OS that installs GRUB (most Linux distros), Yes.
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Phiver
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Phiver » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:30 am

Actually after tooling around on distrowatch and youtube, I'm thinking of trying either kali or parrot. I'd like to get into that kind of stuff. wondering which would be better, how easy they are to install, etc.

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Reorx
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Reorx » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:41 am

I don't know anything about either :!:
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RichardM333
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by RichardM333 » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:20 am

One way to triple boot is to use three separate hard drives with a hard drive switch.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/11339 ... c139s296b3

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/19748 ... c139s296b3

This switch supports a dual boot system:

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/duduhadrposw.html

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golf4fun
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by golf4fun » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:38 am

Booting multiple systems is possible but it is much easier to install virtualbox and install as many different systems in virtualbox as you want to try out.

i currently have 8 systems running in virtualbox and three are using virtual hard drives so I can do more thorough testing and retain settings.
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Pierre
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Pierre » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:24 am

this Laptop is indeed a "triple boot" system,
but - it's using three Linux Systems., only.

some of my 'test PCs' have 6 - 8 O/Ss installed onto them.

but - most of my testing is done in a VB,
& then only some of those get a 'bare metal' install,
and only a few ever wind up in a production type machine.
- - LM is usually one of those O/Ss.
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Reorx
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Reorx » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:25 am

P.S.:

1) My favorite small & light distro is LXLE.

2) Bootloader (GRUB): Your GRUB is in 2 parts. The first part is in the "MBR" of your HD and it contains a pointer to the second part of GRUB which resides in the file tree of the last distro you installed (or from which you have manipulated GRUB or installed a new kernel). In general, the distro where the second part of GRUB resides is listed first in the GRUB menu (unless you have re-arranged the menu). For the sake of this discussion, lets say that the second part resides in dev/sda5/boot/grub... If you decide that you no longer want the distro that is on SDA5 and remove that partition, you will break GRUB and your HD won't boot (even if the other distros on the disk are perfectly intact). Just an FYI. If you want to install another distro in SDA5 (overwriting the previous distro), it will install its own GRUB (parts 1 & 2) and the resulting GRUB menu will function as expected (the disk will boot normally). See also THIS thread.
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Acewiza » Fri Jun 24, 2016 11:22 am

If you insist on loading native OS'es (instead the the excellent VBox suggestion, above), to include Windoze, do the M$ OS first. It doesn't play with other bootloaders very well, by design.

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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Dngrsone » Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:31 pm

I use a third-party bootloader: rEFInd to multi-boot my laptop (currently: Win 10, Mint 17.3 KDE, Kubuntu 16.04)

It's a little work setting it up, but I can add new distributions without any problems and rEFInd picks them up without a problem. It even works with Secure Boot turned on, though some distros require me to sign a local key to allow them to boot in Secure Boot.
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Phiver » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:27 pm

This is all very helpful! Tank you all.

I looked at LXLE like reorx suggested. It looks nice! May just give that one a try for my light weight distro.

I know that Linux is not really built for gaming, but if I wanted to try and run windows based games through wine. would it be better to use a lightweight distro? Or a heavy one?

For that matter, has anyone had any luck with any particular distro for this purpose?

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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Reorx » Sat Jun 25, 2016 4:58 pm

Phiver wrote:I know that Linux is not really built for gaming, but if I wanted to try and run windows based games through wine. would it be better to use a lightweight distro? Or a heavy one?
You want as light as a distro as you can find that still does the job.

I have never had good success with wine - I gave up on it years ago. I hope your experience is better.

If you are into Steam type games, there is Steam for Linux and there is Steam OS (a Linux distro). You might consider SteamOS for experimentation purposes. I have heard that it is a work in progress but eventually, it should get to be pretty fantastic platform (in theory). You should give it a try if you are a serious gamer.
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br1anstorm
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by br1anstorm » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:14 pm

There are different ways of arranging triple/quad/however-many different OSs to boot on a single computer. I'm still new to Linux (so please would more expert colleagues correct any errors in this beginner's guide).

If you have (and want to keep) a Windows OS and want to add one or more Linux distros, the standard route is to install the Linux OS alongside Windows as dual boot. Basically this inserts the Linux OS on a separate partition, and its bootloader (GRUB) in place of the original Windows bootloader (MBR). Because Grub can "see" and launch Windows, while the WinMBR can't see and launch Linux, essentially the Linux Grub takes over and offers you the choice of which OS you want each time you boot up.

You can then add further Linux distros (each in its separate partition), and the Linux Grub already in place can, and should, see and list these additional distros (NB it is necessary to update the Grub after adding distros.... browse the forum for detailed advice on this).

However........ replacing the Windows MBR with Linux' Grub is a fairly irrevocable step (it is possible to rebuild/reinstall the MBR, but that has always seemed a daunting task).

If for whatever reason you'd rather like to keep the Windows OS and its MBR unaltered, but still want one or more Linux distros, there is another option. Install EasyBCD - the site is at http://neosmart.net/EasyBCD/ - in your Windows OS. It is free for personal use. Put simply, this works with the existing MBR. Then you install whatever Linux distros you want - each in a separate partition on your hard drive, of course. BUT instead of putting the Linux Grub into the bootloader partition (where the MBR already sits), you put the Grub of each additional Linux distro into the same partition as its distro; then you "tell" EasyBCD where to find the additional Linux OSs. When you boot up, you get a list offering you the choice of which OS to launch.

And that's it. I have a laptop with Win7 installed as OEM. Having installed EasyBCD on it, I have added Linux Mint (now my favoured and default OS). I also have Linux Lite and PCLinuxOS, all on the same laptop. (All the Linux distros use a shared DATA partition on which I store my files, music, photos etc - but that's another story.) Because I have kept my Windows MBR unaltered, in the unlikely event that I wished to get rid of Linux and revert simply to the original Win7 configuration, I can do so painlessly.

PS: Cautionary note. There is a difference between OSs which boot via BIOS and those which use UEFI (which I believe is more recent). I don't have a clue about these different boot modes or processes but I think it is important to know which applies..... perhaps others will be able to explain why and how this matters!

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White Phoenix
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by White Phoenix » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:29 pm

Reorx wrote:
Phiver wrote: wrote:
Will that new OS automatically show up in Grub?
If it is an OS that installs GRUB (most Linux distros), Yes.
Would it be possible then to have the third non-grub OS show up on the Grub menu by other means instead of automatically?
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by Dngrsone » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:05 pm

White Phoenix wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:29 pm
Reorx wrote:
Phiver wrote: wrote:
Will that new OS automatically show up in Grub?
If it is an OS that installs GRUB (most Linux distros), Yes.
Would it be possible then to have the third non-grub OS show up on the Grub menu by other means instead of automatically?
It is a matter of manually creating an entry pointing to the .efi file of the OS in question (assuming EFI).
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by ralplpcr » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:36 pm

There are certainly multiple ways to install a triple, quadruple, or even pentuple booting system. Doing so in Linux is fairly simple - - just make space where you wish to install the OS, run the installation (pointing to the space you've cleared, of course!), and the running sudo update-grub. If Windows (*any* version) is thrown into the mix, it vastly complicates things, however. Windows only allows 1 "master" partition by default, and will happily erase/overwrite any bootloader that isn't part of the current installation. So while installing Windows 7 & Windows 10 on the same system is possible, it's not an easy task. Best way I've found is to set them up on separate hard drives entirely.

I'll second the suggestion to use virtual box or some other virtualization program. Unless you 100% absolutely need the bare-metal installation, virtual systems are much easier to manage & maintain, with much less difficulty in keeping them from corrupting each other. If you're just trying them out or experimenting, you'll find it to be much less painful in the long run. Once you settle on the installation(s) you want, you can then delete those you don't and reclaim the space easily - no muss, no fuss. :)

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White Phoenix
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by White Phoenix » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:13 am

I cannot afford custom hardware, and I cannot afford to buy another external drive at this time. I have used virtual machines. They won’t run as 64 bit and have limitations on both Windows and Linux. I have a desktop and a laptop. I plan to make the desktop my main system and use the laptop as a backup system. So I would prefer them to have the same setup.

I have had a third OS before temporarily, but only through a second menu on Windows. The one time I did it, I put the second Linux OS on an external drive. But I was wondering how much extra work it would be to just add the second Windows OS onto the Grub menu. Thus eliminating the second menu. Theoretically, I should be able to install all three OS on the main drive. That would be my preference. Otherwise, either I may have to make changes between the external drives I have, or I will have to run one Windows OS on the desktop and the other on the laptop, which defeats the purpose of the laptop being strictly for a backup system.

Dngrsone’s solution may work if Windows meets the requirement and i can find instructions on creating an entry in the grub menu. I can reluctantly edit a Windows registry, so editing the grub menu would seem to be possible. In any event, if it doesn’t work out, I simply use the mistake as a learning experience. I have a folder of notes about what works, what doesn’t, and what tools I still need.
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by vansloneker » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:48 am

White Phoenix: often you have to enable in the bios (system setup, system settings) a hardware virtualization setting to enable 64bit support for virtual machines.
Unless stated otherwise Mint 18.3-64 XFCE

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White Phoenix
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by White Phoenix » Sun Apr 01, 2018 6:03 am

Nothing in the instructions of VMware or VirtualBox mentioned anything about this. It is a moot point, there are still the other limitations and idiosyncracies involved. I am no longer interested in virtual machines. Also I am even less inclined to make changes in the BIOS than in the registries. Thank you.
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Re: Is triple booting possible

Post by GS3 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:32 pm

Another vote for just using different HDD for each OS. That is what I do. The UEFI boots into Mint by default but I can choose another OS in the menu. In fact, most of the time I have the Windows 7 HDD disconnected because I very rarely use it and disconnecting it saves heat, wear and tear, risk of accidents, etc. It cannot be easier or simpler as each OS is completely independent of the others. HDD are so cheap these days that it is not worth messing to save a very few $$.
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