Two different flavor of Distros dual boot

I’ve done distro dual boots on same drive before that worked both Ubuntu based, now I tried Manjaro Xfce and pclinuxos KDE in different hard drives first one SSD, second HDD did not work, ended up wiping and starting new, I did not partition second HDD would this help? I am a newbie learning as I go!

How big are your drives? I’ve always used gparted to partition my drive before adding another distro, I don’t trust the installer. I use gparted to shrink my 1TB drive and add another 250 for another distro. Then use the installer, and pick which partition to install into. Then one is my main, and it’s grub gets updated and has both distros when it boots…

Good luck with it…

One computer has 240gb SSD and a 750gb HDD 7200, I’ve been able to boot two ubuntu distros one on each drive, but when I try Manjaro Xfce and pclinuxos KDE the one replaces the boot menu and it makes a mess.

If you have the new distros installed, go into the one that boots and do sudo update-grub, it should search out the new ones, and give a list with all of them when it boots


If you’re distro hopping, then a 20-30gb linux partition is plenty (most installations run between 6 and 10 gb). Then have a large /home partition (located next the install or on a different drive even) which you don’t format when you install or remove another distro) and just use user account names and logins like: ChrisArch, ChrisUbuntu, ChrisFedora. You’ll end up with /home/ChrisArch … folders and the like… separate from the linux install and where all personal files/media/VMs are kept, and the ones relative to that distro (settings files, they’re usually hidden). I’ve never had problems accessing the information in adjacent user accounts from other installs.

If you’re using MBR bios you can have 4 primary partitions or 3 and a logical or extended partition where you may have additional partitions.
i.e. linux1 (or windows), linux 2, linuxhome, swap. More partitions… you’ll make the 4th partition a logical or extended partition and build from there.

If you’re using UEFI bios you can have a lot of partitions without having to make a logical/extended partition.

Have fun, there are may ways to do this, I’m not even sure mine is the best. Feel free anyone to correct my post.

As you have seen here - you will get a lot of information that you will have to filter through to see what works for you and is it explained in such a way that you will understand it.

In my opinion you could not have chosen two more difficult Distro’s to dual boot as both have issues working with other Distro’s. Let me clarify that a little.

Manjaro linux writes the grub file in a slightly different format to other Dostro’s. Don’t ask me to explain the exact difference as I can’t, but I know they do. When booting with an Ubuntu based Distro - Manjaro will probably kernel panic. The only way to do this successfully will be to have an /etc/grub.d/40_custom grub file entry which, when performing an update-grub - it will take that 40_custom file and tack it on the bottom of the grub entries when you boot. The idea is you take the working Manjaro grub section and place it in the 40_custom file so that it will boot using the Manjaro way of working and won’t suffer a kernel panic.

So you have to make a conscious decision that Manjaro is going to be in charge. So when you are dual booting PCLinuxOS and Manjaro - install PCLinux OS first and then do Manjaro. Usually the last distro installed will be the one to take over the boot process.

It then all depends on how you wish to proceed partitioning wise. I have always found it better to partition things yourself as each Distro will take a different approach.

Two trains of thought really in my opinion. One partition for the Distro job done. The only problem with this is if you re-install you will lose everything and have to start over. Two partitions one / (root) and the other /home means that if you re-install you can leave the /home partition alone and when you re-install your apps config files, held somewhere in /home will probably be ok. (Always make a back up first.)

Also be careful of having two diff Distro’s sharing the same /home folder as again you may come across slight differences in file structure and one distro will do things one way and another will do it differently and your apps might end up getting confused if their configs get written in slightly different places. Now, I know, this should not happen as there are standards. If that is the case please explain why Manjaro kernel panics when booted from an Ubuntu based grub. They should be following the same standard right??? Wrong.

Now this is over simplifying things ( or over complicating things depending on how you are reading this - I tend to ramble a bit and go off topic) because you will also need a legacy grub partition or an EFI boot partition depending on your system setup.

You will also need to decide which of the two OS’s will have the fastest SSD drive to work in.

Lets not get into having two efi boot partitions - one for each Distro (something I have to have if using Solus OS.

Now I hope you are beginning to see that there is no ONE simple solution but that you will have to experiment yourself (read a LOT) and see what works for you and your mindset and your setup

Regards Zeb…

Be Kind Whenever Possible… It is Always Possible - Dalai Lama

Linux User #565092
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I’m just going to state for the record that you aren’t allowed to claim to be a non-technical user anymore. Well explained, thoughtful and concise. Sorry, but you’ve outed yourself. :wink:

Edit: This was a reply to Zeb. Doesn’t look like it’s showing that for some reason??


sounds good I’ll see how good I do at trying this the terminal and different distro sets is my achilles heel

Okay I know enough to hang myself as I replied to Zebs info the terminal is my achilles heel.

@zebedee.boss gave a great explanation. I currently boot 7 Distro’s and Windows spread across (1) M.2 and (1) SSD in my laptop. I have learned that Manjaro has to be the boss. So the way I handle it, is close to the explanation you received above. Install your other Distro, then install Manjaro. It will become the master, boot into Manjaro, Sudo update Grub, it will see the other distro and your good. Every time I install another distro, I then boot into Manjaro and update the grub file. I have attached Pics of my Grub Boot Menu as reference, they won’t fit on one pic…:joy::joy::joy:image image