Linux is a good and free alternative for anyone looking to leave Windows. If you still need Microsoft’s operating system or don’t want to lose it completely, that’s also possible. For this, you need to dual-boot your computer.
Dual boot is the name given to installing two operating systems on the same machine. When starting the equipment — that is, booting — it is possible to choose which one will be used.
In the following guide, you’ll learn how to dual-boot Windows and Linux on a machine that already has the Microsoft system. The process may vary depending on your computer or the systems chosen.
How to Dual Boot Windows and Linux
- Download Ubuntu: If you have a Windows computer, you will need to download Ubuntu to install it on your computer. Access the official website of the system and download it. The LTS (long-term support) version is recommended as it is more stable and supported for five years.
- Create a bootable disk: Ubuntu’s file is .iso, and you can’t run it directly inside Windows. You need to create a bootable disk, which will be read by the computer when it starts up. The easiest way to do this is with a USB drive. Ubuntu recommends the balenaEtcher program, which is compatible with Linux, Windows and Mac. Download the program and install it. Then, choose the image, select the pendrive and click on the “Flash!” button.
- Reboot to boot: Pendrive prepared, now it’s time to put it to play. Restart the computer with the drive inserted in the USB port. Usually, the machine recognizes the component and uses it to start the system. If it doesn’t, see the settings to put the USB input at the top of priorities. The process may vary by brand and model. A good try is to press and hold the F12 key during boot.
- start installation: When the computer reads the USB drive, an Ubuntu welcome screen should appear. You can either try the system without changing anything on your machine or install it. In this tutorial, we’re going straight to the second option.
- Choose language and keyboard layout: The first step is to choose the language and type of keyboard you use. Usually, Ubuntu automatically detects these two parameters. If you have doubts, you can also test the keyboard or redo the process manually.
- configure the installation: Then Ubuntu gives some options to install the system. You can opt for a full installation or a minimal one. The first takes longer, but the system is ready for most cases. The second one is faster, but you may need to install some programs manually, depending on the use you are going to make. You can also choose to download updates (it takes longer, but the machine is ready at once) and install third-party drivers (recommended for those with dedicated graphics cards).
- Choose the option to install Ubuntu alongside Windows: This step is important. This is where you’ll start installing Ubuntu alongside Linux, to have dual boot when you turn on the system. Choose the option “Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10” (if your Windows is different, its version will appear here). This is the simplest and most straightforward alternative and we will use it in this tutorial. There is also the “Advanced option”, which shows a table of partitions (divisions of your storage disks). It is recommended for advanced users.
- Choose partition size: Soon after, the installer gives the option to adjust the division between disk partitions. Just drag the bar between the two spaces to the sides. It’s good to leave a reasonable amount of free space for both systems so that neither system runs out of space very quickly. You can change this later, but the process is not so simple.
- Create your username and enter password: On the next screen, you will have to name your computer, define your username and create a password. After installation, you can create more users.
- wait for installation: Wait for the process to terminate.
- Choose the system to be used: After installation, every time you turn on your PC, you’ll see a screen to choose which operating system will be used for that session.
Knowing how to dual boot with Windows and Linux, you can use the most appropriate option for each moment and need, like one to play and the other to work, for example. Remember to back up to avoid data loss. The process is simple, but mistakes can happen.