How to perform a Windows 10/Ubuntu dual boot


Apr 19, 2016

It is possible to have the best of both worlds and enjoy a straightforward Windows 10 experience with all the power and complexity of Linux. Dual-booting your machine is easier than it sounds and as long as you follow the following steps carefully, should have you up and running within an hour. So here’s a simple guide to performing a Windows 10/Ubuntu dual boot.

I’m going to assume you already have a complete Windows 10 install on your machine and a copy of your Linux distro of choice on USB or DVD. This tutorial also assumes you have a UEFI system rather than BIOS.

To find out if your system us UEFI or BIOS
1. Type ‘System Information’ into the Search Windows box.
2. Look for BIOS mode.
3. If it says UEFI, you’re good to go. If it says Legacy or BIOS, this tutorial will not work for you.

Getting things ready
1. Back up anything you want to keep from your Windows 10 install just in case. Nothing should happen to any of your data but it’s always better to be safe.
2. Make sure you have enough free space for the install.
3. Enable boot from USB or disk drive in your BIOS.

Setting up a Windows 10/Ubuntu dual boot
Most Linux distros come with installers that you can load directly onto your media. They are self-contained executables that do all the work for you. Gone are the days of command line installs, they are now purely optional!

1. Insert your Linux distro media, reboot your machine and select to boot from that media.
2. I tend to use Ubuntu and recently they have added an ‘Install Ubuntu alongside Windows’ option. Use that. For some reason, not everyone gets this message. If you don’t, you should see a menu saying ‘Try Ubuntu’ and ‘Install Ubuntu’. Use that instead.
3. Select the space you want to set aside for Linux. Be aware that disk space you allocate to Linux will not be available to Windows or any programs within Windows.
4. Choose the language, select install third-party software and Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager when prompted.
5. Select Install Now.
6. Select your time zone, keyboard layout and enter your personal details once prompted and let the install complete.
7. You should now be presented with the Ubuntu desktop. Every time you boot your machine, you should now see a bootloader that will give you the option to boot into Windows or Ubuntu.

Other useful Windows 10 tutorials include:
How to run compatibility mode in Windows 10
How to add a show desktop shortcut to Windows 10
How to fix the Start Menu and Taskbar in Windows 10