Linux UEFI multi-boot

“Let’s start by clearly stating what this post is, and what it isn’t. It is a description of how I set up multi-boot for Linux systems, sometimes including Windows, using the GRUB bootloader. It is not intended to be a complete guide to Linux on UEFI firmware. There are certainly other ways to configure UEFI multi-boot - this is simply the way that I have found most useful and reliable to do it. OK? Good, here we go…”

"In the first post of this series I looked at the general characteristics of Linux installations on systems with UEFI firmware - specifically how the disk is partitioned, and how multi-boot installations interact with each other.

“In the second post I looked at some details of the boot process, and how the GRUB configuration file was set up, first for a simple Linux-only installation and then for multi-boot with Linux only and Linux/Windows combinations. Whew. That’s a good bit of territory to cover, and I congratulate those who are still with me at this point.”

“Now I want to look at a couple of exceptions, unusual or uncooperative situations.

I’ve read this and I’m ready to go…after one last question…or two.
The ssd has almost 500GB, plenty of room for a full opensuse system. However, the lifespan of ssd is affected by read/writes. For that reason, I wanted to put /home on the current (Windows) hdd. Is this worthwhile?

The article points out that a linux install is trivial and takes hardly any time. For that reason, I’m thinking to just do an uncomplicated install and redo it if a better setup is available. From what I read, I could format the unallocated space on the hdd as NTFS and opensuse could read/write with no problems and make it /home. I’m not trying to get fancy or overcomplicated. I just want a fast, long-lasting, opensuse system.

It depends …

If that disk space is really unallocated (i.e. not already part of any (windows-)partition) the you can partition it and put a file system on it (= format it).

If it is already part of a windows partition but not used yet for any data then you need to re-size (reduce the size of) that windows partition first in order to free the unused space. Then you can proceed to use the unallocated space for Linux.

Again it depends …

If you use the ntfs-3g file system driver you will be able to read and write to that file system. However you should be aware that NTFS is a Windows file system and (not only) the concept of file access rights is different between Windows and Linux. So as soon as you have to rely on file access rights things can become complicated.

That might be possible but i personally do not like the idea.

I would choose a different setup:

  • One “small” partition (formatted with a Linux file system like ext4) for /home
  • One “large” partition (formatted with NTFS so that it can be accessed from Windows) purely for data files (docs, spreadsheets, pictures, music, video, …). For seamless usage the content of that partition can be soft-linked into the /home partition.