PC with Win 10 and Mint - how to also install Zorin, without damaging existing install?

Hello. I am a linux advanced beginner. I am currently running dual boot Win 10 and linux Mint, and all works perfectly. I want to add Zorin so that the boot loader will present all 3 operating systems when I boot. I have searched the forum and found some posts about "triple boot", but the don't seem to answer my question.

Here are the relevant partitions:

/dev/sdb1 fat32 flags: boot, esp
/dev/sdb3 ntfs Win OS & my data files
/dev/sdb4 ext4 Mint OS
unallocated: space for Zorin

The question is not how to install the Zorin OS itself - I can figure that out. The question is how to handle the boot partition upon the zorin install. The existing partition allows me to dual boot Win 10 or Mint perfectly. I don't want to mess that up.

So, when I install zorin do I use the existing boot partition? That seems to make sense, but I am concerned it will damage/overwrite my existing boot setup.

Or, do I create a new boot partition for zorin when I install it? That seems safe, but will the boot loader be able to find that in addition to the existing boot partition?

Thanks very much in advance for any help you can offer.

Welcome to the Forum!

If the Installer find the existing System you will clearly see in the Installation Process. There You should have then 3 Options:

Install Zorin alongside Windows
Erase the Drive
Something Else

I must say: I never had a Tripple boot. I only had Dual Boot. But I would think that the Something Else Option would be the Choice here. In this Option You must manually make the Partitions.

So, from Your List I can see that You already have a FAT32 Partition and prepared unallocated Space for Zorin. One Question here: How big is the FAT32 Partition?

In the existing FAT32 Partition comes the /boot/efi Mount. And on the unallocated Space - which You must format to ext4 - comes the / Mount for the Rest. So would I do this. BUT: Like I wrote, I never did a Triple Boot System. Maybe more experienced Users with that could write something to that.

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Thanks for your response. I realize that I will need to choose Something Else and do the partitioning myself.

The question is how to handle the boot partition. My current boot partition is 100 MB, of which 38 MB is free. I believe it is adequate. It is mounted at /boot/efi as you predicted.

So, the question is: do I used the existing boot partition for zorin (as well as Win 10 and Mint), or create a new boot partition for zorin? Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

Zorin OS will find the efi partition & use it accordingly.
When you load the install & select "something else" you will see the partition you have made for Zorin OS & select it & the install will do the rest .
Keeps us informed
hope this helps

This is exactly true and it is safer to allow the Ubiquity installer to directly assign the Zorin Bootloader alongside of the Windows and Mint Bootloaders.

There is one thing to bear in mind: When you install a Distro alongside another, the latest install of grub takes priority. This was a thorn in my pawn whenever I installed Mint after Zorin OS, since I prefer the Zorin Grub. It is very easy to rectify this - just boot into the preferred distro that you want grub to be priority on and reinstall grub with (replace sdX with your actual drive device I.D. You can use lsblk to check the I.D. if needed):

sudo grub-install /dev/sdX

Update grub:

sudo update-grub

To show You a Picture:

That is the Screen what you get when You choose the Something Else Option. You see there the Dropdow Menu for ''Device for boot loader installation''. There You choose - if it isn't already chosen - the Windows Boot Manager Entry.

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Many thanks to all who replied! With your help I was able to install zorin successfully, with a boot screen just like I wanted: with choices for zorin, mint, & windows. I am able to boot into all with no problem, and nothing important got overwritten.

To summarize for any who may follow: Choose the "Something Else" option to install zorin to unallocated space of your choosing, as you would with any install.

For the Dropdow Menu for ''Device for boot loader installation'' choose the Windows Boot Manager entry [all credit to "Ponce-de-Leon" for suggesting this]. The installer is smart enough, at least in my case, to add zorin to the existing boot options. Good luck!