Many people want to run both Linux and Windows at the same time. The reason is pretty simple: Linux has strengths, and Windows does too, so why not get the best of both worlds and dual-boot them? In this tutorial, we’ll go over how to correctly set up a dual-boot between Ubuntu Linux and Windows. This article assumes that Windows 10 (or 7/8/8.1) is already installed on the system. If Windows is not already installed, go through the standard Windows installation process, then refer to this tutorial to dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows 10.
What You Need
Selecting A Ubuntu Version
Several versions of Ubuntu are available. The LTS version of Ubuntu gets official support from the developers of Ubuntu for 5 solid years. This means that for 5 years, users will not need to go through the updating process every six months for regular releases.
The first version is one that most users new to Ubuntu should consider installing the long term support (LTS) version. Along with the LTS, Ubuntu releases a traditional release that is good for 6 months. As of this post’s release, the version is Ubuntu 17.04.
This version is best for those that are new to Linux, but still require newer, more up-to-date software. Ubuntu as a whole is about the same, regardless of release. Still, with this version users can expect the latest and greatest drivers, kernel updates and software.
Creating Boot Disk
Make a bootable Ubuntu live disk with Etcher by following these three steps:
- Select the Ubuntu ISO file.
- Insert a USB flash drive (of at least 2GiB in size), and select it in Etcher.
- Click the “Flash!” button
To load the Ubuntu Live Disk, plug the USB in, and go into the PC’s BIOS. Change the boot order so that the USB loads first.
When the Ubuntu live disk loads, there will be two options: “Try Ubuntu” and “Install Ubuntu”. Select the try option if you wish to see how Ubuntu runs on your PC before installing it. Don’t worry, everything runs inside of RAM, so no files will be lost.
To start the installation process in Ubuntu, select “Install Ubuntu”.
On the first page, the installation tool will ask the user to “Download updates during installation”. Select the checkmark box next to it, as it saves time. Also check the box next to “Install third-party software”. This will make it so any drivers, proprietary media codecs, etc., are installed. Then, select the “continue” button.
On the next screen, Ubuntu asks the user to choose an installation type. If Windows is installed on the PC already, Ubuntu will automatically detect it, and add an option to “Install Ubuntu alongside Windows”. Select the “Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10” option, then click “Continue” to move onto the next page.
Note: Though this article uses Windows 10 as an example, Ubuntu can detect any version of Windows, as long as they exist on the PC.
With Ubuntu setup to install itself alongside Windows, the partitions need to be set up correctly. Using the slider, drag one side left or right to make either the Ubuntu installation or the existing Windows installation larger, then select the “Install Now” button to start the installation process.
What follows the partition setup, is a wizard that asks the user to select a timezone, create a user and select the keyboard layout. Fill out all the information, and once again, click “Continue” to move onto the next page of the installation process.
With the username, and other information set up and ready, the installation can begin. Be patient, as this process could take up to 30 minutes.
When Ubuntu finishes installing itself alongside Windows, a window appears and lets the user know that “the installation is complete”. Select the restart button to reboot the PC. When the PC finishes booting back up, instead of seeing a Windows logo, the GNU Grub bootloader will appear. This tool allows the user to choose what operating system to load at boot.
To load Ubuntu, do nothing and wait for 5 seconds, or press the enter key. This will prompt GNU Grub to load Ubuntu, as it is the default operating system. To load the Windows installation, use the arrow keys to select Windows, then press the enter key to start the boot.
Additionally, use the arrow keys to select “Memory test” to run a RAM test, or “Advanced options for Ubuntu” to access Ubuntu recovery options.
Now that you know how to dual-boot Ubuntu and Windows 10, you have the option to load one or the other when the PC starts up. For those wanting to try out Linux, but afraid to get rid of their Windows installation all-together, this is the best option.