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Using Multiple Physical Hard Drives with VMWare Workstation to use Multi-Boot OS Install within an OS Instance

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Good Day!


I currently have a system with only an NVME SSD and an SSHD to store everything else. I am considering a potential upgrade to get a set of physical SSHDs for segregating different operating systems. My current setup involves an installation of Windows 10 LTSC Evaluation, Debian 9 and macOS 10.14 Mojave (running using AMD Kernel Patches, https://github.com/AMD-OSX/AMD_Vanilla and Clover EFI) all bundled together with the help of rEFInd.


The reason I need to run them as a multi-boot setup instead of just running them in the Virtual Machine is that Tensorflow does not do well with AMD GPU's (RX480 is considered to be nearly legacy by ROCm) and I am using a custom program in Debian (tf-coriander, https://github.com/hughperkins/tf-coriander) to work with Tensorflow, due to bare metal requirements and lack of Windows support, a multi-boot setup is necessary.


As for my macOS Install, it is because I am used to working with Logic Pro X and it will not work in a VM as smoothly as directly on hardware (also, I am not aware of macOS VM's for Ryzen 7 based CPUs). Also, I occasionally have programs that will only work well with macOS and will not play well on a Windows Installation and Virtualization is too slow for it to be reliable


Occasionally, I need to collect files from the partitions run by parallel operating systems (EXT4 on Debian and HFS+/APFS on macOS) and there aren't really any reliable drivers for them across all three operating systems. I considered briefly using btrfs or zfs as a partition as a common area partition until I found out that its Windows Driver is not fully developed and that data loss is still possible, sometimes - I also need to run non-intensive programs (for example, sampling a response from a Tensorflow trained file) while running a different operating system.


As of now, I have not considered going through the VMWare Workstation (chosen because of macOS support) as I do not have dedicated physical disks for each operating system instance, is it practical to pull something like this off?



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Usually an instance like yours requires one clean drive, or a drive with nothing important on them. Running windows, or whatever default Operating system you are running (Windows has a default for this), Partition out Your root file system, ext4 file extension, common area, and Swap partitions on the drive you desire to install the OS onto. Debian will naturally install next to Windows 10 on the same drive. I am not experienced with Macs as far as running VMware or running Linux alongside it. @NyetARussianSpy

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank You @kdawwgg1221! Although, I already have a multi-boot system in place with all three operating systems installed and co-functioning. My problem with a common partitioning space isn't that there isn't space, it is that I cannot find a common file system that will not create any problems. NTFS has this habit of occasionally locking the drive (risking data loss), preventing other operating systems from functioning. APFS does not have any drivers that work on both Windows and Linux that I am aware of so far and EXT4 does have an experimental Windows driver that only allows read operations, making it unsuitable


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