This is an “Ask before one shoots themself in the foot” question.
I have the following:
Twilight:~ # fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 500.1 GB, 500107862016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 60801 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x9dd6057a
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 1567 12586896 27 Unknown
/dev/sda2 1568 1580 104422+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 1581 21162 157286676 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 * 21162 60801 318400268+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/sda5 21163 25078 31455270 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda6 25079 25600 4192933+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7 25601 29516 31455238+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda8 29517 33432 31455238+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda9 33433 33954 4192933+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda10 33955 37870 31455238+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda11 37871 45703 62918541 83 Linux
where partitions sda1, 2 and 3 are Windows 7, sda5 is a shared data partition, partitions sda 6, 7 and 8 are Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS, and partitions sda 9, 10 and 11 are openSUSE:
sean@Twilight:~> uname -a
Linux Twilight.site 18.104.22.168-0.5-default #1 SMP 2010-10-25 08:40:12 +0200 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Not shown is (approximately) 116GB on unallocated space in the extended partition. Actually, one can infer this from the fdisk -l output. None of these installs are of any production-use (yet), as such is on another laptop and desktop.
I am entertaining the idea of installing a test set (openSUSE 11.4 MS2). Not having installed two separate openSUSE’s on the same HD, I would like to know if
a) can it be done ?
b) since I will have to manually direct the install to a new set of partitions (pre-allocated with either GParted or Parted Magic), will the second installation recognize the first openSUSE and include such in the new GRUB ?
c) in addition to re-adding the Ubuntu entries in GRUB (no problem, have done so before), are there any further considerations for GRUB ?
d) (actually, a -beta issue), any potential problem(s) with sharing a swap partition with a -beta version ? The two (2) existing -swap partitions are currently shared, but that will cease when hibernation is started. (That is another story).
Installation of two versions of openSuSE should not be a problem, many of us do that.
Which version og GRUB are you currently using? The one from openSuSE (called legacy) or the one from Ubuntu (GRUB2)? There are many threads on this and other linux forums about this subject. As long as you save (or can create) the stanzas for both the new and old installations you can always edit the necessary boot files.
And there is no need to pre-partition that rest of the disk because you can all do that during the install. Also when you want to pre-partition there is no need to use one of the magic partition tools. You showed allready you have fdisk. That is the ultimate partition tool and as you only want to partition not used space, you can use the fdisk from any of your existing Linuxes.
Only to show you the alterbatives. All of the roads above (and in betweens) can be followed.
I am using (and prefer) GRUB “legacy”. It has shown to be easier for manual changes. I have tinkered with Ubuntu’s GRUB 2, but only when Ubuntu steps on the preferred (openSUSE “legacy”) boot mechanism. With the recent demise of the installation media “Repair” facility, I have taken to PartedMagic.
As for the two (2) swaps, I had entertained separate swaps for hibernation purposes. Frankly, unnecessary, as I only keep the Ubuntu for pedagogical (sp?) purposes, but mostly due to Ubuntu working correctly with my Intel GMA HD. <sigh>
On a note closer to this theme, the second openSUSE (11.4 MS2) is comfortably installed alongside openSUSE 11.3, Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS and Windows 7. After completing the install, I noticed that the new GRUB had entries for Windows and the “other” (prior) openSUSE, with the correct kernel.
After saving a copy of /boot/grub/menu.lst, I booted into the prior openSUSE entry (to restore the Ubuntu entries), and … SURPRISE! The entry for “old” openSUSE actually takes me to my prior GRUB menu! I am most pleasantly surprised!
On a less positive note, I can re-confirm that 11.4 MS2 (kernel 2.6.36-rc2-16) does NOT include support for the Intel GMA HD. This is, of course, not surprising, as a newer kernel (2.6.36-90.1) also was found absent of such support. Apparently, 11.4 MS3 is near (05 Nov 2010).