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Triple Boot - Vista, Windows Seven RC, and Ubuntu 9.04

  • Windows Vista
  • Ubuntu
Last response: in Open Source Software
May 24, 2009 5:26:41 AM

Apologies first off if this thread has been created in an inappropriate area, and if this question has been answered previously (the forum search yielded few results).

I've recently pieced together and ordered a new i7 gaming rig (hailing a single one-terabyte gigabyte hard drive) in addition to a HP DV3T laptop (hailing a three-hundred twenty gigabyte hard drive). While both systems have yet to arrive, I have made plans to install Vista, Windows Seven, and Ubuntu 9.04 on both machines (Vista and Ubuntu 9.04 on the HP DV3T at the very least). I've read tutorials on dual booting Vista and Ubuntu or Vista and Windows Seven, but have yet to find one specific to Vista, Windows Seven, and Ubuntu 9.04. I'm also very interested in establishing a central file depository that could be shared by each operating system. Simply put, I'm curious as to what would be the best procedure to install the operating systems. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips?

More about : triple boot vista windows ubuntu

May 24, 2009 5:46:49 AM

Windows can't read or write to ext3/ext4 partitions, so the repository would have to be on an NTFS partition.

You should be able to install the two Windows OSs in any order and then Ubuntu after it. This will mean that the GRUB bootloader will be in control, which is preferable since the Windows bootloader doesn't tango with Linux as well.
May 24, 2009 6:05:55 AM

The bootloader would than look as followed, expect with both Vista and Windows Seven located under "other operating systems?"

Do you suggest creating the NTFS partition following installation of Ubuntu? How large should each partition be; 75GB for Vista, 75GB for Windows Seven, 75GB for Ubuntu, 135GB for shared depository (for the laptop)?
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May 24, 2009 6:52:43 AM

Yea that's what it should look like. I'd wait for someone else to respond before doing it though in case they have a better suggestion.

Partition size depends on how much software you need to install. 10GB for Ubuntu will let you install a reasonable amount of software (although not 4GB games and things ;) ), whereas 10GB wouldn't even fit Vista on it alone.
May 24, 2009 7:14:59 AM

Triple booting is not really that much different from dual booting, you just have to install the operating systems in the order randomizer suggested.

75-80GB for each operating system seems reasonable enough.

I'd suggest something along these lines

  1. 80gb /dev/sda1 ntfs win7 type 7 HPFS/NTFS
  2. 80gb /dev/sda2 ntfs vista type 7 HPFS/NTFS
  3. 80gb /dev/sda3 ext3/4 ubuntu type 83 Linux
  4. XXgb /dev/sdb4 fat32/ntfs shared type b / c / 7
  6. all of them primary

swap is optional since you should have more than enough ram

Good luck :) 
May 24, 2009 7:43:46 AM

Unlike Windows, Linux doesn't actually use the SWAP until you start to run out of RAM does it? I noticed that my swap file never got used with 4GB RAM.
May 24, 2009 10:35:15 PM

Yeah randomizer you're absolutely right.

Linux will effectively never ( essentially never ) use swap if you have enough ram, which is great because swapping kills performance.

May 25, 2009 12:38:50 AM

I appreciate the helpful responses. I've never done anything like this; however, I am lucky enough to have a few buddies who are willing to assist me in the overall building of the unit and installation for both machines. Nevertheless both individuals had never triple booted, only double. I just wanted to get a basic grasp of the concepts.
May 27, 2009 2:02:51 PM

You could always try it on an old computer first, just to get familiar with the process :) 
May 27, 2009 5:46:02 PM

I was talking with a buddy and he suggested I virtually boot the operating systems, which at this point looks considerably more advantageous.
May 27, 2009 7:22:30 PM

That's very convenient but it creates performance problems and many other issues.

I'd suggest installing one linux distribution ( whichever one you like the most ) and one version of windows ( whatever works for you ) natively and then running other versions virtualized.

Most virtualization solutions use really low end virtual hardware. Your virtual VGA, sound and network cards are going to suck.

Good luck :) 
May 28, 2009 3:48:58 AM

Unless you want VMware Workstation 6.5. It has decent video acceleration buy it is still not WDDM-compatible so no Aero if you don't run Vista natively. :) 
May 28, 2009 10:58:23 AM

Yup, you're right on :)  Some virt solutions have 3D acceleration but it's far from ideal and you can pretty much forget about running any sophisticated 3D games or 3D apps.

I heard Xen offers 3D, it might be hardware 3D, but haven't tried it.


May 30, 2009 11:50:00 PM

Xen... well Virtualbox (based off Xen I think) has OpenGL acceleration.
July 28, 2009 8:04:37 PM

It should be be an easy installation. I have Quadruple install on my xp,vista, win7, then Ubuntu 8.10. In case you encounter problem use easybcd to restore the ubuntu bootloader in case it does not come up.
July 29, 2009 5:51:29 AM

So yeah, I don't know if it is too late to contribute about the file systems, but Windows can read/write Ext2/3 volumes if you use the ext2IFS (installable file system). I have used it before with no ill effect in order to share data between Linux and Windows and it worked out rather well. I have only tried it with WinXP so YMMV with vista and win7, but its an option. Just go and google ext3 IFS and you should find it.

Just my $0.02

July 29, 2009 8:27:26 PM

+1 on ext2IFS. I've run it on Vista 64 and it had no issues with some very large media archives I was working on at the time. I would expect it to work fine on Win7 as the driver model is the same as Vista.