The design of the linac delivering electron bunches into ten independent soft x-ray free electron lasers (FELs) producing light at 1 nm and longer wavelengths is presented. The bunch repetition rate in the linac is 1 MHz and 100 kHz in each of ten FEL beam lines. Various issues regarding machine layout and lattice, bunch compression, collimation, and the beam switch yard are discussed. Particular attention is given to collective effects. A demanding goal is to preserve both a low beam slice emittance and low slice energy spread during acceleration, bunch compression and distribution of the electron bunches into the array of FEL beamlines. Detailed studies of the effect of the electron beam microbunching caused by longitudinal space-charge forces and coherent synchrotron radiation (CSR) have been carried out and their results are presented.