If you’ve upgraded your Windows 10 on your PC and are wondering how to install Linux distro like Ubuntu, Fedora or LinuxMint to dual-boot alongside the new Operating System from Microsoft, then this is the guide for you! Follow along.
Two years back, I had written a guide to install Ubuntu or Fedora with Windows 8/8.1. While process of installing Ubuntu remains more or less same, there’s a difference in how you configure the boot records.
I assume that for using this guide, you’ve a prior experience of using one of the Linux distributions. However, even if you haven’t installed any Operating System in dual-boot before it should not be a problem. However, I recommend you choose which Linux distribution is best for you. And of course, you can ask your queries in comments.
Download Ubuntu/Fedora for Desktop
I believe you’ve already completed this step. Still for the sake of completion of this guide I’ll list it here.
First of all, download your favorite Linux distribution. Links to the latest versions of three of the most popular Linux OS are Ubuntu, Fedora and LinuxMint. Choose whether you would like 32-bit version or 64-bit version according to your system.
Differences Between Ubuntu, Fedora and LinuxMint
This is one of the most searched query on Google. First of all you should know all three of these OS use Linux kernel and which is obvious. However, I’m highlighting few differences for end-users.
To begin with, Fedora is oldest of all three. Fedora celebrated its tenth birthday in 2013.
- Desktop Environment: Fedora uses GNOME 3 as default desktop environment. Ubuntu comes with Unity desktop environment, and you can install GNOME 3 on it, if you would like. LinuxMint comes in various flavors like Cinnamon, MATE. You can find full list on download page.
- Parent OS: Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat. Ubuntu is sponsored by Canonical and is a derivative of Debian. LinuxMint is a derivative of Ubuntu.
- Creator of the Linux kernel — Linus Torvalds — uses Fedora.
Prepare Live USB
Now let’s prepare a Live USB. To create a bootable USB stick, you’ll need a pen drive with at least 2GB free space.
- To create a Live USB image, download and install Pen Drive Linux USB installer.
- Select your operating system from the drop down, say Ubuntu or Fedora Live Desktop.
- Browse and select the .iso file for that OS.
- Choose the USB stick drive letter carefully and click Create.
Format the drive before creating bootable USB stick to be on safe side.
To install Linux, we need to create a separate partition on the hard disk. This is where all the files related to Linux will be stored. To create a separate partition:
- Open File Explorer.
- Right Click on My Computer/This PC and select ‘Manage’ for which you’ll administrative rights.
- Go to Storage > Disk Management.
- In the bottom half pane, you’ll find the list of all partitions. We’ll shrink a partition to make space for another.
- Right click on the partition, select ‘Shrink Partition’.
- Enter the amount of space you would like your new partition to be. It cannot be more than free space for that drive. You can shrink multiple partitions to add more space. I recommend freeing up at least 20 GB space.
- Click ‘Shrink’ and an un-allocated new volume will be generated.
Turn Off Windows Fast Startup
- Go to Control Panel > Power Options.
- Click on ‘Choose what the closing lid does’.
- Click to Enable setting that are unavailable yet (Needs administrator access).
- Deselect ‘Turn On Fast Startup’ an Save Changes.
- Turning off Fast Start-up is optional but recommended. Also, if you want to get access to all files (documents, pictures, videos, music and everything else) in Ubuntu or Fedora it’s required to disable Fast Startup.
System Dependent Tweaks
Ubuntu now supports UEFI installation. However, if you prefer BIOS installation, following changes are required. These settings can be found in BIOS/UEFI System (and not in Windows) of your hardware. These were not required in my system but if you’re unable to boot (even after the procedure I am describing below) you should try these and then follow the steps below.
Do these at your own risk as some of the steps may cause temporary/permanent damage to your system. Turning Off UEFI/Secure Boot may cause security issues.
- Restart your system and press ‘Esc’ to pause start-up. This key may differ in your system.
- A Start Up menu is displayed. Press the key defined to BIOS System/UEFI System. In my case it’s F10.
- Go to System Configuration.
- Turn Off Secure Boot
- Turn On Legacy Boot
- Save and Exit.
Boot Into Linux
Finally, we’ll install our Linux distribution. To get started with installation, insert the Ubuntu/Fedora bootable USB stick into your PC and restart your Windows 10 system. In the following steps I’ll just be using Ubuntu, that should be replaced with Fedora if you’re a Fedora user. Now follow along:
- If Linux boots automatically, go directly to step 4. Otherwise follow step 2 and 3 first.
- As the system boots, press F10 or Esc to bring up boot menu. If none of these keys work, search on Google for the key to bring up Boot Menu on your PC model.
- Furthermore, from the Boot menu, select ‘Ubuntu UUI’ or ‘Fedora Workstation’. Or if you’ve name of your USB Stick then select that using up and down arrow keys. Hit Enter.
- Finally you’ll have to select the file to boot from.
- If you’re asked to choose from Install Now/OEM or Live Desktop, choose the Live version.
- Consequently Linux will boot from your bootable USB stick.
- Once you’re logged on the Desktop, double-click on Install Ubuntu icon on the desktop.
From here, the process is quite intuitive if you’ve worked on Linux installation before. If not, read on:
Once you’ve opened Install Ubuntu, you’ll be able to configure your installation:
- Now, select the language you would like to install Ubuntu into.
- Consequently an installation window will prepare for installation. You can connect to internet if you would like to fetch and install updates while installing. It’s not required anyways.
- Now you can choose how you would like to install and keep the two systems – Alongside Windows, Replace Windows with Ubuntu or Something Else. Choose Something Else.
- On the next screen you, you can choose where you would like to install Ubuntu. Select Free Space and click on plus (+) icon on the left below the table and above Device for boot loader installation.
- A Create Partition dialog box will open. If the RAM of your system is less you can create a SWAP space. Like if you’ve a 4GB RAM on your system, you can use a 4GB swap space. To create swap space, reduce Size to 4000 MB and in ‘Use as’ select swap. Additionally, Leave other settings as is. Then click OK.
- Now click plus (+) icon again to create a root partition. In the ‘Create Partition’ dialog box, for ‘Use as’ select ’Ext4 journaling file system’. Put a forward slash i.e. / in mount point. Click OK.
- Finally review the changes to be written on the disk and click ‘Continue’.
After configuration you can personalize your system.
- Because personalization is awesome Choose Timezone. You can change this later.
- Choose keyboard layout.
- Give your computer a name. Enter details like your name, username and password.
Once the installation is complete, a dialog box will ask if you would like to continue testing or restart. Furthermore click on ‘Restart Now’ for final steps.
Update Boot Records
If Ubuntu or Fedora, during the installation process detected Windows 10 installation, a GRUB menu will give you options to log into Ubuntu/Fedora or Windows 10 on your dual-boot machine. If the case is not so, when your computer restarts, either of Linux or Windows 10 will boot up automatically.
Moreover, if Windows 10 boots, restart again and click F9/F10 or the key which brings Boot Options on your system. Finally you’ll be able to select your distribution from here.
In addition, if you’re not able to open Windows 10 but logging in Ubuntu or Fedora and GRUB doesn’t appear, don’t panic. Once you’re logged into your Linux distribution, open terminal (keyboard shortcut for terminal is
T) and run the following command:
and that’s all!
In conclusion, you can restart your dual-boot system to find the GRUB menu, from which you can choose if you would like to boot Windows 10 or Ubuntu/Fedora Linux distribution.