Making an existing RHEL 8.0 system dual bootable with Debian 9.9

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First, thank you to Christian and many others who helped me successfully perform a clean installation of RHEL 8.0.

I've just been told that I need to make this RHEL 8.0 system dual-bootable with Debian 9.9. Suggestions for the best way to do this? (I used the graphical interface for installing RHEL 8.0 and it worked smoothly; don't know if that info helps, but there it is.)

Again, new Linux user, so patience much appreciated.



Welcome back, Nina ! Hey, that's great news ... glad to read that your fresh installation succeeded. Now I have a question :
Why do you want to install another system "side-by-side" ? I'm asking because that indeed is not a trivial thing to manage
for a new and not experienced user. What you would need to do is to free disk space, create a new partition on which the
new 'debian system' can be installed. There is one one downside in doing that - every time a new kernel gets installed on
one of the systems, this system will be the default one to boot, which means that you would have to select the other one
to boot and and update the GRUB configuration file in order to boot the other system, not very comfortable, you agree ?
I suggest to install debian in a KVM virtual machine, which lets you boot this system from within your RHEL 8 system ... :)


Hi Christian,

I agree, not very much fun, but...I have been asked to do this because one of the applications we are using only works with Debian, and the other, only with Red Hat and its variants.

Do you have links for installing Debian in a KVM virtual? There will be a separate disk for Debian, if that helps.

Thanks, Nina

Hello Nina,

You may want to take a look at Configuring and managing virtualization

I regularly create and run VMs for my work under RHEL 6, RHEL 7 and RHEL 8. It has been a long time since I installed Debian in a VM.

Another option may be to use containers, but I have little experience with containers. See Building, running, and managing containers



Thank you, Marc. I will check out the virtualization link (and be back here, I'm sure!)

I know you said it's been a while since you've installed Debian in a VM, but if there's a chance that anything falls out of your memory, it will be appreciated!.

Hi Nina,

Sorry for the late reply ... had to organize some private stuff. "There will be a separate disk for Debian, if that helps." No, it
doesn't, it makes things even more complicated. To make use of the existing disk, you would need to boot from the debian
installation medium and reinstall GRUB to the existing EFI partition, definitely not a trivial task for a new user. What makes
me wonder is that your application shall not run on RHEL - debian and RHEL are both committed to open source software.

Which application do you need to run ? Eventually it can be run as a flatpak (in case it has a GUI) or as a podman container.
I wanted to provide you with the link to the virtualization documentation ... but I saw that Marc (thankfully) already did it. :)


Hi Christian,

It is a custom FPGA translator that has not been tested on RHEL. That said, it may still work, and I am going to find out tomorrow...

Hi Nina,

If it is installed on debian, it's most certainly a .deb package - you can convert it to .rpm and install it on RHEL.
Read more here : ... :)


Much appreciated!

You're welcome, Nina ! Not sure if that would work though ... but it could be an alternative solution for you. :)