Dual Boot / Multiple OS

Just finished downloading OpenSuSE DVD installer on the site itself. Now my question is on how to do dual-boot or have multiple OS in my computer?

I am definitely new on doing this. And I don’t want my computer be messed up.

I have searched for a guide on internet regarding this and I landed on this site. Would anyone please confirm the validity of the guide posted on the site? I am not a computer pro so I really need your help.

Thank you very much! :slight_smile:

Welcome here.

In order to make it easier for anybody (not necessarily me)
to answer your questions, a bit more of information is needed.

Which one, openSUSE 12.2 64 bit (x86_64) ?

I saw that you referred to a page describing multiboot with windows.
But which windows do you have? XP, Vista, 7, 8 ?

How old is it: new, more than 3 years old?
Is it a desktop PC or a laptop?
What’s the size of your hard disk?
Do you have a graphics card or use onboard graphics?

(edit: added last question)

Tell us about your computer. If it’s new, it may complicate things some if it has UEFI BIOS.

You can test openSUSE and most Linux releases with the Live CD version. The OS boots and runs from the CD without any installing. So you can see how it performs (it will be a little laggy as it has to read everything from the CD)

From a live session you can open a terminal and type:

su -
fdisk -l

The result we need to see, so post it here. It will tell us about your partitions.

Check the Articles section of the forum for tips too

Hi guuwey,

quite a lot of questions, you may think.

Be sure, we’re no spies here !! :wink:

But the times havn’t got easier for multiboot systems since the increase of the size of hard disks and the introduction of UEFI boot, etc.

I even forgot a further question (perhaps someone should take the time to make a list of such questions,
perhaps named ‘compatibility issues’, to be published on opensuse.org …).

This question is:
does your computer use Intel Smart Response Technology,
i.e. a combination of a Solid State Disk (SSD) with a hard disk to speed up the hard disk by caching ?
In this case no Linux at all will run on that computer !
Except perhaps that you enter a 2nd hard disk.

Compare communities.intel.com/thread/30443

If, on the other hand, you have a bit older hardware, then chances are that a dual boot with windows would work fine without trouble.

So if you want to increase the chance that you get the help that you need, tell a bit more.

Good luck

Grub2 is very clever in detecting multiple os;) without intervention.
“But” Those people here need more information about your system
so you can go on smoothly with your installation with their expert advice.

Sorry for not giving much information about my computer. I never thought those would be needed. Anyway…

The specs of my computer:
Intel i3 processor 32-bit
2GB Memory
320GB HDD (100GB free, but I believe I can free it up to 200GB)

I’ve downloaded openSUSE 12.2 x86.
I am currently using Windows 7 Ultimate.
My laptop is almost 3 years old, and everything’s onboard.

As for the Intel Smart Response Technology thingy, I will try to do some research about it after I’ve done my assignments from school since its the first time I’ve heard of it. So yeah, I’ll be back with that question. >,< In general, what I’ve bought 3 years ago is Acer Aspire 4745G. No modifications at all except for the common softwares being installed.

By the way, can anyone tell me what SUSE means? :slight_smile:

Also, is it possible for me to use a flash drive instead of burning into a DVD the installer of the OpenSuSE?

Sorry for the late reply! Just got home.

On 2013-01-07 14:36, guuwey wrote:

> By the way, can anyone tell me what SUSE means? :slight_smile:

Wikipedia :wink:

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4, with Evergreen, x86_64 “Celadon” (Minas Tirith))

Some tips

USB yes
This may work Win32 Disk Imager | Free Development software downloads at SourceForge.net

Hi guuwey,

all OK ?

Your laptop doesn’t have an SSD as it seems,
Acer Support: Acer Aspire 4745 Notebook Specifications
so the Smart Response Technology isn’t a topic for you.

I looked around a bit, and it seems that UEFI or EFI boot isn’t a topic for you either.
Although the pages of Acer aren’t very telling with respect to this.
You can check this further by entering BIOS setup at power-on,
not changing there anything yet, just looking around a bit,
if you see any sign of the term EFI, e.g. in the name of the BIOS.

For a last check, step one of that check is already suggested in the post of caf4926 above:

The Live CDs can be downloaded as well following “Get it” at openSUSE.org.
I prefer KDE Live, but that’s a matter of taste.

With respect to using an USB stick / key instead of a CD / DVD
(by which all previous contents of that USB stick are destroyed)
caf4926 already suggested

Other hints on this can be found here

Because it seems that you never used openSUSE before -
if you could boot from the Live CD or the image of that on an USB stick:
do you know how to open a terminal, and copy and save the output there,
in order to post it here ?

Good luck

I followed the first instructions posted here. After writing the files into the USB, and removing it again, the capacity of the flash drive went down from 16GB to 4GB.

How do I return the capacity of the flash drive I’ve used?

What do you mean?

By the way, from this guide, I will be asked to choose between KDE and Gnome desktop. How does the two differ?

Considerably !

KDE is more typical to a layout windows users will be familiar with
Gnome is quite different

Otherwise, they are the same in that they let you do the same things

Ok thanks. Last question so I can now proceed with the installation.

Say I would be following the instructions posted on the website I indicated on my first post. (LINK!)

  1. Is shrink volume a must? After doing some research, I still don’t get what and how this shrink volume works and how it affects my computer.
  2. Do I need to have a separate partition for the new OS to be installed? Or as I install the new OS, the files in my drives can still be accessed or at least seen on the new OS?
  3. I should change the boot priority to USB so once the computer started, it will be reading the USB first, right? Then after reading the contents of the USB, it will automatically proceed to the installation indicated on the guide I’m following.
    4.1 After installation, every time I reboot my computer, I will be asked to select which OS will be used, right? Or I need to configure something in my computer before that thing goes up?
    4.2 Right after installation, should I immediately change the boot priority to its original?

Sorry for asking too much (dumb?) questions. I just want to make sure everything will go flawlessly. This is my very first time and I have no idea on how to install an OS. I don’t want my computer to be messed up.

I don’t recommend that guide.

I’d need to see what partitions you have now.
You must backup and defrag windows

Did I show you this https://forums.opensuse.org/content/26-install-opensuse-win7-guide.html

See also: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10573557/12.2_liveCD_Install/12.2_Install.m4v

Hi guuwey,


What do you mean?[/QUOTE]

A terminal provides a command line (already heard that?),
which let you enter commands as text or call programs by entering their name.
The output of some of these programs is quite useful in this forum.

Besides, if you didn’t install yet:
make a backup of your data beforehand - always good practice !

Because you want to keep windows, it would be a good idea,
to make a backup too of the system files, and to create a
recovery CD/DVD (if you havn’t got one already), using windows.

Just to have a plan B in case anything should go wrong.

Good luck

You’ve probably already proceeded with your installation before reading this, so hopefully you’re viewing this forum within openSUSE :). However, in case not:

This openSUSE installer is clever and doesn’t modify your hard drive until you confim it may proceed. Before this confirmation, it lists the changes to your hard drive so you should have a complete idea of what it’s doing beforehand.

Yes. I’d recommend another separate partition as swap space but that’s not compulsory.

Files stored on Windows (NTFS) will still be accessible within openSUSE, with options to change read/write access according to your preferences.

For installation, you obviously have to change the boot priority in your BIOS so that the drive containing your installation media (USB/DVD) boots before your hard drive otherwise you’ll just boot into Windows.

With a default openSUSE installation, the bootloader program will ask which partition to boot into, and in effect you select which OS at that stage.

That’s your choice, and I wouldn’t really worry about it. If you find the changed priority a pain in the long run, then there’s no reason why you can’t change it back to it’s original.

No problem asking questions but I must admit I fear for your peace of mind going into Linux installation expecting it will always work the very first time'. Linux is not free, you just pay with time rather than money. The nature of Linux is that it gives complete control to people who like tweaking the computer to do exactly what they want rather than being hostage to corporations. This however comes at a cost. You have to take responsibility for your computer and accept that no tweak’ is risk-free. Fortunately there is a large community of experts to help you who volunteer help. The chances are that your computer won’t be `messed up’, but the first things to do before you proceed is back-up your most valuable data and make sure you have a Windows Recovery CD as Mike has said above.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

You may find this the links listed this URL useful:

Useful Links for openSUSE installers new to Linux


To be honest, I really do not understand what’s on that guide you’ve given me. I’m having hard time understanding those so I just skipped it. Sorry.

Anyway, since I’m having hard time downloading the pmagic4.5 on the site you’ve given, I guess it’ll be fine to use this (https://docs.google.com/open?id=0Bx15FEerj8BXWUxrUE5vWmw2Mnc) temporarily while I have not downloaded the file. I’ll try downloading the file tomorrow. Hopefully I can give you what you really need.


Terminal? You mean the one that’s being used in Linux, like the command prompt in Windows? If yes, I’ve tried using it once last week in our school. That was the very first time I’ve used that, though.

Yes, thank you! I’ll be definitely backing up my system files. :slight_smile:


Thank you for clarifying those things. I was able to write only the iso file from the homepage into the USB. Aside from that, I have not performed anything nasty yet. :slight_smile:

I’ll be sleeping for now. Hope to see your replies tomorrow! Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Hi all


Yes. I’d recommend another separate partition as swap space but that’s not compulsory.[/QUOTE]

A remark on this:

I liked openSUSE from the start.
But when I first installed it, I didn’t already thought of that I one day would want to update openSUSE to a higher version.

To have separate logical drives for root (or /) and home (or /home) whithin an extended partition, considerably eases later updates of openSUSE.

By the openSUSE installer, a swap partition usually is created by default.

So you would then end up with 3 logical drives for openSUSE (root, home, swap)
in addition to your windows partitions.

Hopefully you don’t have too many windows partitions, because the number of partitions is limited on a hard disk
(at max 5 as far as I remember) that is formatted in the old conventional way (means no UEFI-booting).

Unlike windows, openSUSE runs fine booting from a logical drive within an extended partition.

This stuff may seem a bit complicated, but this isn’t even closely linked to openSUSE as such.
The usual windows user (one “drive” C: for everything), however, usually isn’t concerned with this.

Good luck

On 2013-01-10 14:16, guuwey wrote:
> Say I would be following the instructions posted on the website I
> indicated on my first post. (‘LINK!’
> (http://www.tweakhound.com/linux/suse/113/dualboot/1.html))

Instead, read the books posted at doc.opensuse.org.

Carlos E. R.