Greetings Manjaro brains trust,
I have a Razer Blade laptop with 16 GB of RAM, booting via UEFI from a GPT-formatted 512 GB Samsung NVMe SSD, running Windows 10 Home Edition (Version 1809). I would like to create a dual-boot setup with Manjaro.
This will be my first attempt at installing a Linux distribution. I settled on Manjaro after quite a bit of research and also trying out a few different distros off a live USB. I know my way around a terminal and bash scripting, having learnt programming on a Unix environment, but am very much a newbie in terms of the finer points of setting up a system from scratch. Nevertheless, I'm aiming to avoid the easy road as much as I can in order to force myself to learn more about the inner workings of Linux; if I can get my head around all the various components, I hope to eventually use the architect installer.
I'm having a bit of trouble deciding whether to create a second EFI System Partition to be used by Manjaro, or whether to just share the 100 MB ESP that is already being used by the Windows OS.
Looking through the forum here, I have come across posts by linux-aarhus and gohlip describing the merits of having separate ESPs for Windows and Manjaro, which certainly make sense. However, I subsequently discovered other sources claiming the opposite --- that the presence of multiple ESPs is asking for potential trouble. In particular, this post by the author of the EasyBCD software, where he claims:
Now, granted that the Windows bulletin relating to this issue (as well as a superuser post) that he uses in support of his advice against multiple ESPs are 5+ years old. So I'm not sure whether the concerns raised on these pages are not relevant to Windows 10; I haven't been able to find conclusive information either way.
As far as I can gather, it seems that in the best-case scenario, either approach would result in a working system. After all, there are guides based on both options, and I can only assume the people making these recommendations are basing them either on first-hand or reliable second-hand information. But there doesn't seem to be conclusive proof that the theoretical worst-case outcome in each case is beyond a reasonable doubt (dun-dun... Law and Order: ESP! hehe ). Either we share the ESP and risk Windows damaging Manjaro-specific boot files, or use separate ESPs and risk Windows not booting, or potentially breaking things during a future Microsoft update/upgrade.
So it seems to be a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils, and thus my question: How does one go about making that choice? What factors should I take into account? Does the choice change depending on other system parameters that I haven't mentioned here? For instance, I'm hoping to go with an LVM on LUKS setup for my Manjaro partition, in case that has any bearing on the ESP choice. Or is the decision clear-cut due to one of the worst-case scenarios being far less likely to occur than the other?
My apologies for the verbose post, and my gratitude in advance for any assistance you may be able to provide.