Trying to install IPFire on part of a hard drive to allow dual booting

Is there some way of installing IPFire on part of a hard drive to allow for dual booting? I have an empty 500G partition that can be deleted to allow for whatever partitions are required by IPFire.

I don’t personally know if this can be achieved via software (Software raid), which could be not what you requested, but get close to that.

As far as I know, computers allow only one booting path with no “choices”, only subsequent steps, unless a boot menu is requested.
Some product lines of branded PCs allow two boot paths if the primary (designed) boot source fails, allowing network boot (and sometimes automated image deployiment).

For what purpose do you want to do it?
Please explain your idea.

Partitioning and Formatting

In the next step, the system will format your disk in order to install the IPFire system on it.
**Beware! All data will be erased from the system.**
If you have only one hard drive, it will automatically be used for the installation. If you have more than one hard drive plugged in, you can select which one should be used to install IPFire on.


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I have outdated firewall software (>10 years old) that was free at the time installed on a dedicated PC. The upgrade path for this software is a paid subscription which I would like to avoid. In order to evaluate several open source firewall options with minimal downtime I shrunk the main partition on the PC, created several additional partitions and installed grub so I could select which partition to boot from. I have already install 2 other firewall packages which allowed installation onto a selected partition and was hoping I could do the same with IPFire.

You can do that, it’s just the install program that will repartition your drive. You need to install IPFire on a different disk (including a USB drive) and from there you can rsync the whole OS. But you need to know how to do all the steps to make it bootable, recreate the fstab, /boot etc.

If installing IPFire only for the purpose of evaluation, then it would be simpler to install, without journaling filesystem, to a USB stick and run from that. The default configuration does not require fast storage media.


Thank you for your replies. I used your suggestions and installed IPFire to a USB drive. From there I used GParted to ‘copy’ the boot, root and swap partitions to the space I had reserved on the main hard drive. GParted actually preserved the UUIDs of the partitions I was copying so I did not have to modify them afterwards. I then copied the menu entry from the grub configuration on the IPFire boot partition and added it to the grub configuration on the main hard drive. At that point I was able to boot to all the firewall options I had set up. Thanks again for your time and suggestions.

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