Taking your first steps in the world of Linux can be a scary proposition. After all, we have a whole new world of terminal commands, desktop environments and applications to learn. Fortunately, Linux installation has improved by leaps and bounds from the early text-based installers used in the late 1990s (Debian and Slackware) to graphical installers in the early 2000s (Corel Linux, Mandrake) . Since the 2010s, we’ve seen better graphical installers that provide peace of mind as we test Linux.
The first steps in Linux are divided into two paths. A single board computer like the raspberry pi. Or, more traditionally, a dual-boot setup, where Windows and Linux are installed on the same machine, often on the same boot drive. Using a custom boot menu, GRUB, we can choose between the two operating systems when we turn on our PC.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to dual boot Linux with Windows, using Ubuntu and Windows 11. The steps are the same with Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Creating a Linux installation USB
Our Linux distribution is usually downloaded as an ISO image (ISO was originally called CD/DVD sized images) of a live Linux operating system that we can test on our machine. To use the ISO with a UEFI/Secure Boot system, we need to use Rufus, a popular free utility that writes ISO files to USB flash drives.
Our goal is to create a bootable USB stick containing our chosen Linux operating system. A minimum capacity of 8 GB is recommended for your USB drive.
For this project you will need
- Computer with Windows 10/11 (We tested with Windows 11)
- USB flash drive, 8 GB or larger
- Linux distribution (we chose Ubuntu)
1. Download and install rufous for your operating system.
two. Insert a USB drive into your machine Y Rufus opens.
3. Select your USB drive using Device, Y then click SELECT and select the Linux operating system you want to install. In our case it was Ubuntu 22.04.1.
Four. Select the GPT partition scheme and click START to write the operating system to the USB drive. GPT is the latest partition scheme and is required to install Ubuntu on a UEFI system. It is gradually replacing MBR.
5. When prompted, select “Write in ISO Image Mode” Y click OK.
6. Read and understand the prompts to ensure that the Linux operating system will write to the correct drive. There is no going back if you make a mistake.
7. Click QUIT to exit Rufus and remove the USB drive from the machine.
How to install Linux for dual boot
The Linux installer has come a long way. Gone are the old days of scary user interfaces and in their place are attractive and easy to use installers that guide you through the process. We are going to use the Ubuntu 22.04.1 installer to split our 256 GB NVMe drive in half. Give Windows and Ubuntu enough space for a basic dual-boot installation. We will then follow a typical installation of Ubuntu.
1. Insert the USB drive into your computer and boot from it. Every computer is a little different. Some will offer a function key to select a boot device, some must be selected from the BIOS.
two. In the GRUB menu, select “Try or install Ubuntu” (or your Linux operating system of choice) and press Enter. The GRUB menu is a custom boot menu used on Linux devices. can also be custom to display a background image.
3. When prompted, click Try Ubuntu to load the operating system into RAM as a “live distribution”. Live Distros give us enough operating system to test on our machine without making any changes to the system. They are also useful as recovery devices to boot broken computers.
Four. Test your hardware to make sure everything you need works. Check audio, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. before continuing.
5. Double-click the Install icon to launch the installation application.
6. Choose your language Y click Continue.
7. Select your preferred keyboard layout Y click Continue.
8. Select a normal installation and optionally install third-party software, then click Continue. Third-party software includes drivers and applications that may not match the permissive license used by your Linux distribution. For more information, see the website for your chosen Linux operating system.
9. Select “Install Ubuntu together with Windows Boot Manager” Y click Continue. Any other option will either delete the entire contents of the drive or require manual configuration, so be very careful.
10 Make sure the correct drive is selected, Y slide the middle slider to adjust how much space each operating system will have.
eleven Click Continue to write the changes to disk. Check that everything is correct before continuing. The changes made now cannot be easily remedied.
12 Click Continue when asked if you are sure.
13 Set your location Y click Continue.
14 Set up your user account, with your real name, computer name, username and provide a strong password. Click Continue when you’re ready.
The installation will take a few minutes to complete.
fifteen. Click Restart Now to restart your computer.
sixteen. Remove the USB drive and press Enter When prompted.
First Linux Dual Boot
The first boot of a dual boot Linux system requires a little fine-tuning in our BIOS. We need to tell the system to boot from our Linux installation, which will trigger the loading of the GRUB menu. From there we can select an operating system to boot from. Every BIOS is a little different, so use these steps as a general guide and refer to your motherboard manual for more specific information.
1. Open your BIOS menu. See our story on how to enter your bios if you don’t know how to do this already.
two. Select the boot menu.
3. Select UEFI NVMe Drive BBS Priorities.
Four. Set Boot Option 1 to be the Linux installation.
5. Verify that the change has been made, then save and exit BIOS.
6. The system will now boot into GRUB, choose your Linux operating system and press Enter. If we leave GRUB for 10 seconds, it will choose the default option, usually Linux.
7. Boot into the Linux desktop Y check that everything is correct.
8. Reboot to GRUB Y select Windows to check that everything works.