Boot three Linux distros?

I am expecting my (batch 16) Laptop 16 Ryzen7/64G/2TB. around the end of this month and am trying to form a OS and software plan for it.

I have used Mint on my daily drivers for years, I despise Windows, last used Win7 years ago. I have had old, slow laptops (6G ram/120G SSD) and have gotten along fine with Mint Cinnamon. I like Mint but also have not had the space to try other distros… I am not a Linux power user but I can follow a guide.

TLDR: I will now have the resources to try other distros so I thought I might multi boot the 2 FW official distros and Mint on the single SSD.

I looked at the Install guides for Ubuntu and Fedora. Very basic stuff but no mention of partitioning…

• Can I use a common /home partition?
• Is there a guide or other resources I can learn from?

An interesting question indeed. A quick research led me to the following discussion:

To summarize:

  • Due to version conflicts, it’s not recommendable to share a home-partition completely between multiple distribution by using the same username
  • It’s okay to do so by using different usernames or a subdir per distro
  • Ressources can also be shared by using symlinks to the home-partition for all non-config directories instead (see the linked discussion for details and examples)
    => most commenters recommended this approach

P.S.: I am aware, that the linked discussion is quite old, but I think the answers are still valid, except for the standard partition format now being ext4.

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Thank you,


So, my current plan is to install Mint (Edge) as the daily driver with a large /home partition, leaving 500G free so I can allocate 100G each for Fedora, Ubuntu and any other distro I want to play with, each having their own full compliment of partitions and folders. If I like any of the others and start doing work in them, I can symlink to the Mint /home part to share stuff.

On the surface this may seem wasteful of drivespace but nothing is permanent and the 2TB drive is vastly larger than I need plus there is another slot…

Strategy and logistics:

  • I want to run Memtest86 to exercise and test the memory before I load an OS

  • Is there a similar testing utility on Live session for the NvME drive?

  • How should I partition the drive? Installing Mint using manual partitioning?

  • Or should I use a USB Live session to access a partitioning tool beforehand?

I have Debian Bookworm, Ubuntu Noble Numbat, and EndeavourOS Gemini all installed in a shared volumegroup, which I assigned 250G of my 1T nvme (the rest is in a thin pool for other use). Switching between them is easy by pressing F12 on boot.

I currently don’t share a /home, and i would certainly not advice to share the same user home directory among different distro’s due to the subtle differences in installed tools they may offer. Most desktops end up creating a number of config files and directories in your home directory, and they may not be compatible across distro’s.
You could of course map subdirs like Photos & Documents to a shared directory, either by giving them each a separate volume, or by using links. (oh, and beware to use the same uid for your user if you wish to share things between the distro’s)

Note that these three distro’s were easy to install on an existing volume group, not every distro is as cooperative, and you may need to install to external storage (e.g. usb) and then copy things over and manually fix the boot. Your mileage may vary.

By the way, although I’ve been a long time Ubuntu user, so far EndeavorOS is my favorite on the Framework 16.

Sounds like I am getting myself in way over my head lol.
This machine at least at first will be a toy to play with and learn more about Linux than I’ve had the resources to do before due to lack of drive space and other priorities.
So I’ll try the plan I’ve outlined and see if anything blows up :grin:. As long as mint works, I’ll be a happy camper. The others are just to play with and for Framework compliant error reporting in case there’s a hardware issue.

Linux Mint should install just fine, it is Ubuntu/Debian based, which both install fine as well. I suggest you make a backup of your home directory (don’t forget to include the ‘dot’ files and directories), so that you can recover in case another desktop messes things up.
I also suggest you keep a live usb handy in case your boot gets messed up. I must say though that for me pressing F12 on startup works great, and I have not yet needed to fix any boot.
Good luck with your experiments!

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Thank you,
I will do as you suggest, as well as keeping the contents of my current /home off the new laptop until I’m reasonably assured of it’s stability with the three distros installed.