How would you partition for a triple boot config w/ Manjaro, PopOS and W10?

Hi everyone I have been an on and off again Ubuntu user for about 5-6 years. While not completely new to Linux, I still find myself fumbling around when it comes to drive partitioning.

I have a laptop that I'm ready to wipe the drives clean and start over, and I'm curious how you might configure the drive partitioning for a triple boot setup.

My primary OS has been PopOS recently, but after trying out Manjaro I find that I definitely like it enough to give it more prominence in my life (at least more than tinkering around in a VBox setup).

I would like to keep Windows 10 around. Not entirely necessary, but it leads to my question - how to configure partitions for a triple boot config?

I actually have a triple-boot setup working now, but it's a mess. This was a W10 only laptop which I set up for dual boot with PopOS, and now I have Manjaro going on it too.

The issue now is that my partitions seem less than optimal, and I'd like to format and start again.

Screenshot of the current partitions:
image
(I know, a mess, right? :astonished: :sweat_smile: )

My system specs are: Dell Inspiron 5577 laptop with Nvidia GTX 1050 mobile card. (also has an Intel HD graphics chip). RAM is 8GB (will be bumping up to at least 16 soon)

Hard drives are:
1 500GB NVMe drive
1 1TB SATA drive

Obviously I would like to have boot, swap and primary OSs on the NVMe drive (any reason not to?). If Windows goes on the SATA drive I'd be ok with that, because I only log in there about 10% of the time if that. But I'd like to have the SATA disk mostly for the extra file storage.

How would you go about this starting from a clean slate? I like Manjaro's boot loader screen that allows me to choose OS on system startup. If I could keep that, and then be able to choose between Manjaro, PopOS and Windows 10 - that's my goal! And to have the drives partitioned optimally.

Thanks for any insight and advice.

Hi,
Not too different to the OS's I am running so maybe sharing what I have will help!?

/dev/sdb: 1.37 TiB, 1500301910016 bytes, 2930277168 sectors
Disklabel type: gpt

Device          Start        End    Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sdb1        2048     923647     921600   450M EFI System
/dev/sdb2      923648    1128447     204800   100M EFI System
/dev/sdb3     1128448    1161215      32768    16M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sdb4     1161216  961008171  959846956 457.7G Microsoft basic data   <-- Win10
/dev/sdb5  1781633024 1783394303    1761280   860M Windows recovery environment
/dev/sdb6  1783394304 2883004415 1099610112 524.3G Linux filesystem     <-- Manjaro KDE/i3
/dev/sdb7  2883004416 2930276351   47271936  22.6G Linux swap
/dev/sdb8   961009664 1735679999  774670336 369.4G Linux filesystem       <-- Manjaro XFCE
/dev/sdb9  1735680000 1781633023   45953024  21.9G Linux swap

Disk /dev/sdc: 1.37 TiB, 1500301910016 bytes, 2930277168 sectors
Disklabel type: gpt

Device          Start        End    Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sdc1          34     262177     262144   128M BIOS boot
/dev/sdc2      264192 2606563020 2606298829   1.2T Microsoft basic data    <-- Mint and timeshift snapshot location
/dev/sdc3  2606563961 2606565914       1954   977K BIOS boot
/dev/sdc4  2606565915 2906724118  300158204 143.1G Microsoft basic data
/dev/sdc5  2906724352 2930276351   23552000  11.2G Linux swap

Disk /dev/sdd: 223.59 GiB, 240065183744 bytes, 468877312 sectors
Disklabel type: gpt

Device      Start       End   Sectors   Size Type
/dev/sdd1      34    262177    262144   128M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sdd2  264192 468875263 468611072 223.5G Microsoft basic data  <-- just games on the SSD

Could be nice using your SSD as primary, however you would probably want to monitor its health closely because you may not be warned when its about to die.

@carverj75:

  • You have 2 EFI system partitions. While possible, there should be a very good reason for doing so, so I would not recommend that as a standard to other users.
  • You have 2 swap partitions. While possible, there should be a very good reason for doing so, so I would not recommend that as a standard to other users.

So to answer @ericdgreene's question:

  • Use the same user names for W10, PopOS, Manjaro
  • 1 EFI partition 500Mb FAT32 for a triple boot (preferably on SSD)
  • Install Windows 10 first with its standard partitions, split between
    • C: (system) 64GB (SSD preferred)
    • D: (Data) : HDD: move C:\Documents and settings to D:\Documents and settings
  • Install PopOS second: Manjaro will overwrite PopOS's grub with its customised grub
  • 1 Linux swap partition to be shared by PopOS and Manjaro: SQRT(RAM) if you do not use hibernation, SQRT(RAM)+RAM or zswap if you know what it is. ('SSD preferred)
    • 1*64 GB EXT4 / for PopOS (SSD preferred)
    • 1*24 GB EXT4 /home for PopOS but Documents, Pictures, Music, ... to be symlinked to the NTFS Data partition. (SSD preferred)
  • Install Manjaro
    • 1*64 GB EXT4 / for Manjaro (SSD preferred)
    • 1*24 GB EXT4 /home for Manjaro, Documents, Pictures, Music, ... to be symlinked to the same location. (SSD preferred)

That way:

  • All OSes have their own 64GB C: or /
  • All OSes have their own swap space
  • All OSes and applications run from the SSD
  • All documents are automatically shared between all OSes using NTFS (Read NTFS-3G Advanced user permissions on how to make this work) on the HDD.

@Fabby: Thanks, you are right and I'll see if I can clean up my post..

@ericdgreene: For me I use a small SSD to store applications and data that I would like improved performance speed for. Not sure I trust an SSD as my primary drive but that distrust on my part could change.
So with that in mind I would have a go at Fabby suggestions, or if I were concerned about SSD lack of reliability monitoring something like this:

1 Tb SATA drive

  • 1 EFI 500Mb FAT32

  • Windows 10 install. Yes, an extra D: Data drive always nice so what Fabby has above. You could have an NTFS partition of at least 120Gb on the SSD as an option/substitute too I suppose.

  • Install PopOS to the third OS partition (for me I have Manjaro XFCE)

  • Install Manjaro. Yes, could symlink /home to separate partition/drive if you desire

  • 1 shared Linux swap. Yes you could go up to 64Gb for that, especially if you have 32Gb RAM

1 500GB NVMe drive

  • Could be used for your linked /home partitions either on all NTFS or go EXT4 (haven't looked into BTRFS's maturity in a while but could be even better)

  • Could also have an NTFS partition in place for Win10

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