Is there a point in having multiple Linux distributions on one computer


The short answer is no. I have had five Linux distributions on my laptop for three months and I have used only two of them. And the second one only to log in and update and do pretty much nothing with it. Of course, at first I was logging in to all of them but eventually, I started using only one of them. What are the reasons for this?

For basic tasks, you really only need one Linux distribution

How does the average user spend their time on a computer? Browsing the web, studying, doing some work or playing computer games. If you are an average user you don't really need more than one good operating system.

Too many drives

As I installed five Linux distributions I ended up having seven hard drives on my drives panel. And that is too much to handle.

Sharing files and folders needs some hustle

I created a separate partition for my work and entertainment files and folders. But still, it doesn’t feel right to have that many partitions and drives on one computer. Plus I had problems with getting my Dropbox work from just one drive. I had to make separate Dropbox folders under every distribution.

Syncing the Dropbox

I’m using Dropbox daily. I didn’t dig too deep into merging all of the Dropbox folders into one folder but it seems that by default while having multiple Linux distributions you end up having multiple Dropbox folders.

Eventually, end up using one distribution

I wouldn't suggest dividing your workflow and files between multiple distributions. It's possible and it's quite easy actually. You just need to create a shared partition for your work files and folders. But as I ended up using only one of the distributions I wish I hadn’t made these shared partitions. I’m even considering formatting my hard drive once again and installing only one Linux for main use and the second much smaller partition just for the testing.

Having Linux and Windows on one computer is useful

The other thing is having multiple different operating systems on a personal computer. I’m very satisfied with having Linux Ubuntu 18.04 and Windows 8.1 on my Acer laptop. The main reason for having both of them is that they have different native and additional applications. There are lots of apps that I’m using on Linux and lots of apps that just don’t run on Linux versions. So, there are days when I’m jumping between the two operating systems. But my Samsung laptop has only Linux operating system with many distributions on it and therefore I ended up using only one of them.

Multiple desktop environments will do the thing

You can have multiple desktop environments on top of a one Linux distribution. And for me, that is pretty much enough. I would limit my hard drive down to three main partitions:

  • Main Linux distribution with multiple desktop environments
  • Test Linux partition
  • Windows partition if needed

Last update: 2019-01-04 (Y,M,D)

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