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Linux Install Linux alongside Windows

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Running Linux and Windows on the same machine is pretty easy - you just choose which system to start when you boot. All the necessary steps can be found here simply explained.

How does dual boot work?

When you turn on the computer, Windows usually just starts. The process can, however, be canceled by clicking at the beginning press [Shift] + [F8] at some point (from Windows 8; with older versions only [F8]). A menu appears with boot options, for example for the safe operating mode. If you install a Linux later, such a boot manager will also be installed - and it always appears after switching on.

And at this point then select the desired operating system. Alternatively, the standard system starts after a few seconds, usually your Windows. It does not matter on which data carrier you install Linux. If there is enough space, this can also be the same disk on which Windows is running.

Create boot medium

First of all, you need a boot medium, usually one USB stick. However, it is not enough to simply copy a downloaded Linux onto the stick ISO file must be extracted with a special program. If you want to install a typical Linux, such as Ubuntu, the easiest way to do this is with Unetbootin, which can also download the ISO file.

  1. Unetbootin consists of only one window. First determine the Linux to be installed. Either choose above from the area "distribution"one of the systems offered (Attention: Not always up to date!) Or enter below under "image"a self-downloaded ISO file.
  2. Now select the at the bottom of the window desired USB stick. But Attention: The drives are only listed here with drive letters, so the wrong thing can easily be selected. And that would erase all of the data on the disk. Then confirm with [OK] and wait for the writing process. If Linux is to be installed on the same computer, the stick can remain plugged in. Otherwise you shouldn't just take it off, but use the USB icon in the system tray "eject".

Configure the boot order

Not all computers start an inserted boot medium immediately, but most of the time they boot from the hard disk or SSD. Hence, in all likelihood you will need the Change the boot order in the BIOS / UEFI (the firmware of the computer). By the way, you only need to do this once: If no bootable USB stick is plugged in, the computer will boot from the disk without asking.

  1. Restart the computer. In order to get into the BIOS on older computers and into the UEFI on newer computers, you have to click on a button immediately after the computer restarts - unfortunately it is not always the same. When the computer turns on, a short splash screen usually appears with a logo of the mainboard or computer manufacturer. The key you want is usually there too. In most cases, however, it should be [DELETE] work, partly with [F2] or [F12] or [ESC].
  2. Now in the BIOS you have to navigate with the keyboard, there is also mouse support in the UEFI. Since BIOS / UEFI don't always look the same, you'll have to do a bit of searching. Somewhere there is an entry for "Boot options", "Start options"or something like that Boot order. Put the plugged in here USB stick all the way to the top.
  3. Exit BIOS / UEFI and save the settings. The computer then restarts automatically and you land on the welcome screen of, for example, Ubuntu. It continues with the installation.

Install Linux

The installation is pretty simple, basically you have to enter things like username, password, regional settings and so on. However, there are also a few important options that cannot be taken for granted, such as where Linux should be installed, here using Ubuntu as an example.

Note: Before installing Linux alongside Windows, you should always back up your data. Read here how to create a backup with Windows 10.

  1. On the first screen select the Wished language and the option "Install Ubuntu".
  2. In the next step, you will be asked if you want to update Ubuntu during the installation and if third-party software can be installed. You should activate both options. The third-party software is a non-open source tool such as an MP3 codec or graphics card driver, which is essential for smooth operation.
  3. In the following dialog the installer informs you that a Windows has been found and by default the options "Install Ubuntu next to Windows (10)"offer. Accept this so as not to change the Windows system.
  4. Now comes the question where to install Ubuntu. If only one hard drive is installed, you can probably just accept the suggested settings. The installer then creates another partition for Ubuntu. You can change their size with the mouse. However, if Ubuntu is to be installed on a second hard drive, click the "advanced partitioning tools". In the example it is a new, empty, unformatted hard disk.
  5. By default, you will now see one hard drive called "sda" and a second called "sdb". "sda" is the first hard disk with Windows, "sdb" the empty second one. Call with one Double click the properties of the plate up and leave a Create partition. The defaults can stay that way, you only have to enter the "Embedding point" on "/". The slash stands for the lowest directory. In the Windows world this would simply mean that Windows should be installed normally under" C: \ ". And if necessary, you should use the Restrict the size of the partition. There is little point in installing the operating system on a 3 terabyte partition. Now confirm the partitioning and carry out the installation using the button "Install now"continued.
  6. In the following two installation steps you only confirm the localization settings, i.e. keyboard layout, time zone, language and so on.
  7. Ultimately, you forgive Username and password. And you can choose whether to be your own Files encrypted should be. This is practical with laptops. Because even if nobody could log on to the computer without a password, you could still expand the memory and read the files on it as normal. Confirm the dialog, remove the USB stick when prompted and then restart the computer.
  8. So you are now in the aforementioned Boot manager landed. There is probably an entry here about "Windows XXX", two times"Memory test XXX"(Tests for the RAM) and"Ubuntu" and "Advanced options for Ubuntu". Ubuntu starts automatically after about ten seconds, Windows must be selected manually. (The order can of course be changed.)

In this tips + tricks article, we explain how to install Ubuntu without dual booting.