Installing and organizing Linux after Windows 10 (separate drives)

Hi, and sorry for the length of the thread.
I just want to wrap all up what I have read in ArchWiki etc and your Tutorial.

Maybe it could help others in this entourage because some questions are not addressed in your tutorial.
I have gathered information from Archwiki etc, that you could integrate in your existing tutorial.

I am about to install Linux, windows 10 Pro is already installed on a separate SSD.
My laptop: Xmg neo 15 (2020)

  • 1TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus nvme SSD (for linux, at this moment empty),
  • 1TB Seagate FireCuda 520 nvme SSD (OS: Windows 10 Pro, EFI, …, Shared Data Partitions)
  • 32GB RAM.
  • 2 external monitors. (I have tried Gnome LiveCD with open source drivers, it recognized them),
  • 1TB external LaCie Rugged,
  • 1TB external Sandisk Extreme Portable SSD.

I am not new to Linux, but want also learn more, theory, scripting, later on.

1) I have read that SNAP, Flatpack can come with several issues (security), can it lead to package breakage? should one prefer the minimal install and install packages separately?
See Flatpak - a security nightmare and Flatpak - a security nightmare - 2 years later
2) I am thinking of encryption. LUKS, alternative? Encryption advisable? I don’t want headache with a postinstall.
What could one suggest? Setup encryption containers in home directory, data-at-rest encryp (arch wiki), systemd-homed also? In Windows 10, I have not set Bitlocker.
3) Partitioning. i have read a thread any best practices? (see also: Arch Wiki - Partitioning:

  • root (tutorial says: from 20-64GiB),
  • home
  • swap (file or size?)
  • shared data
  • other? media?
  • /var partition?

The Arch Wiki says you do not need an extra EFI partition?
Arch wiki: “The Windows installation will create the EFI system partition which can be used by your Linux boot loader. […] Mind that an additional EFI system partition should not be created, as it may prevent Windows from booting. Simply mount the existing partition.”
4) Which bootloader to prefer? Grub, rEFInd?
5) In windows disk management tool i see 6 partitions, but I have seen with nvme-list command (Manjaro LiveCD) that there are nvme0n1p1 … nvme0n1p7. Why is the last partition in windows tool?
It shows me an EFI system partition of 300 MB (should be the advanced format), filesytem is not shown. DO i have to do anything during installation? set mount point explicitly?
6) I also think of installing another Linux (maybe also manjaro) parallelly to the first manjaro installation- Should it go on the same SSD or the SSD with Windows?. Would that be ok? For testing purposes etc.
7) in Arch wiki regarding file names: “These are limitations of Windows and not NTFS: any other OS using the NTFS partition will be fine. Windows will fail to detect these files and running chkdsk will most likely cause them to be deleted. This can lead to potential data-loss.”
Can I bypass this issue? I want to have share partitions between windows and linux, so I guess I need another share filesystem, which one? Or i just keep to windows filename rules

Thanks! :grinning:

Tales from a newb:
1, i think any problems with “prepacked” apps are a trade off with your points vs simplicity. But then you have been happy with .exe files sooo :man_shrugging: .
IIRC flatpack/snap are disabled by default and require activating in pamac.
the choice between minimal and normal install is whether you prefer to add packages or remove them post install. I think either way is the same really depending on how usuable out of the box you want it to be (ie printers etc)

  1. i do not know enough on this

3, Would depend on your use/personal choices. (i prefer KISS)
-With regards to the EFI i would add an EFI partition during install on the Samsung 970 and leave the w10 one as it is. Windows updates have a tendancy to break/overwrite (remove linux entry) from it’s own efi. The windows efi can be added to grub later by enabling OS Prober in the manjaro install.
This gives 2 boot entries in BIOS/UEFI one for w10 only and one for grub (which will also have a w10 entry)

4, personal choice

5, Not quite sure what you mean by this but … assuming nvme0n1 is the Windows drive I would ignore it completely and partition nvme0n2 as needed. - From my perspective i did this so i have a fallback for if i bork my install (like i said im a newb) and want to go nuclear option and still have working W10. (so far so good :crossed_fingers:)

6, You can have multiple linux on the same system. (twin manjaro is somethiing i keep meaning to look into for an unstable instal, pretty sure i saw a guide around here - could be on the archived forum).
Example partitions nvme0n2p1 = 500MB EFI, nvme0n2p2 = SWAP (if required), nvme0n2p3 manjaro root+home, nvme0n2p4 other OS.
The other distro can share the same EFI partition (be sure to select NOT FORMAT during install) and the boot entry will be installed along side the current one (in grub), can also use the same swap partition.

7, You can use ntfs-3g or ntfs3 (depending on kernel choice) to access the ntfs drive. im not 100% on those limitations you mention (again newb alert here!)

I also used @linux-aarhus excellent guide.

I hope that’s of some help

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Hello @unixoid :wink:

  1. My personal view: Don’t use snap or flatpak. It is just a another package manager with a load of bloat. Use snap on Ubuntu and flatpak on fedora. Period. If you need software, use the official packages, build it yourself with the AUR or just use an AppImage if year really need a universal binary, which runs everywhere. However, it is your choice and the choice of the developers…
    If you a sandbox feature for what ever reason, then use apparmor or firejail and sort of…

  2. LUKS is the default here, but it is a personal choice. If it is a laptop with critical data and you travel with it, then consider encryption, unless not the case, skip it. If something goes wrong, you get more headache than necessary.

  3. I recommend:

    • one EFI partition for each OS with at least 100MB (1GB for systemd-boot)
    • one root partition
    • dynamic swap with systemd-swap (it creates a swap when needed, but not compatible with hibernation or a preexisting swap)
    • If you need hibernation then choose a swap size like that: RAM*1.5 (swap partitions make no sense on SSDs)
    • If you have other data, then create a folder under /media/first-partition and mount it there. If the device is external, then just use the file manager for temporary mounts.
  4. Personal choice. Grub is the default on Manjaro.

  5. Not clear what you mean. Enlight us with this output: sudo parted -l and lsblk --fs

  6. Sure, can be done.

  7. You can avoid that by adding: windows_names as option in fstab. Read this.


Hi all and thanks!
Is SNAP and Flatpak disabled by default or do I have to download the minimal installer, so that these are not installed/enabled? @Alfy mentioned that they are disabled.

LUKS is for the whole system regarding volumes, right? So i just could encrypt sensible data after installation with truecrypt or so, or linux tools.can one uninstall/disable LUKS afterwards?

Is /media/first-partition meant for external drives here?

My last reinstallation of Manjaro was a while ago. I would have to test it myself. But I think Alfy is right.

Sure, there are other methods. For example fscrypt is a filesystem encryption similar to the NTFS filesystem encryption. It works with EXT4 and F2FS.

And no, there is no undo or decrypt tool for dm-crypt. You have to decrypt and mount it, then backup everything. Then wipe the disk and recover the data from the backup.

No, this for permanent mounts. Should be a Data Drive, which has no relation or is a dependency of the root directory /, preferable connected internally.

For external Drives (connected via USB for example), don’t use it. Let the file manager manage it and mount them manually (It is just one click).

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