How To Dual Boot Mageia Linux And Windows 8.1

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How To Dual Boot Mageia Linux And Windows 8.1

Mageia 5
Mageia 5.


Anybody who has followed my work will know that I haven't always got on well with Mageia.

I have to say though that Mageia 5 looks like it has really turned the corner and therefore I am pleased to be able to give you the instructions you need in order to dual boot it with Windows 8.1.

There are various steps you need to follow before the actual installation begins.

Backup Your Windows Files

Whilst I found the Mageia installation very straight forward I always recommend backing up Windows before embarking on a dual boot with another operating system.

Prepare Your Disk For Installing Linux

In order to dual boot Mageia with Windows, you will need to make space for it. The Mageia installer actually offers to do it as part of the installation but, personally, I don't trust these things and recommend making the space first.

Create A Bootable Mageia Linux Live USB Drive

In order to install Mageia you will need to download the ISO image from the Mageia website and create a USB drive which will enable you to boot into a live version.

When you have followed the pre-requisites listed above click on the next button to move onto the next page.

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How To Install Mageia 5 Alongside Windows 8.1

How To Dual Boot Mageia And Windows 8
How To Dual Boot Mageia And Windows 8.

Start The Mageia Installer

If you haven't already done so boot into the live version of Mageia (the guide showing how to create a live USB shows you how to do this).

When Mageia has booted, press on the Windows key on your keyboard or click on the "Activities" menu in the top left corner.

Now start typing the word "install". When the icons above appear, click on the "Install To Hard Disk" option.

If you have done everything right a screen will appear with the words "This wizard will help you install the live distribution".

Click on "Next" to continue.

Partitioning The Hard Drive

The Mageia installer is actually very good. Some installers (such as the openSUSE installer) make this part of the installation look trickier than it actually is.

There will be four options available to you:

  • Install Mageia in the empty space
  • Use the free space on the Windows partition
  • Erase and use entire disk
  • Custom

Lets discount "Custom" straight away. Unless you have specific requirements for the size of your partitions you do not need to choose this option.

If you have decided to get rid of Windows completely and just have Mageia then you just need to select the "Erase and use entire disk" option.

If you decided not to shrink your Windows partition as specified on the first page of this guide you will need to choose the "Use the free space on the Windows partition". I would recommend quitting the installer and following my guide to create the empty space required, ​however.

The option you should choose for dual booting Mageia Linux and Windows 8 is "Install Mageia in the empty space".

Click "Next" when you have made your decision.

Removing Unwanted Packages

The next step in the installer will give you the option to remove things that you don't need. For instance, there will be drivers for hardware that you don't even own included in the installer and localization packages for languages you don't speak.

You can choose to remove these unwanted packages by leaving the checkboxes ticked. If you decide that you don't want to get rid of anything then uncheck them.

Click "Next" to continue.

Installing The Bootloader

The bootloader deals with the menu that appears when your computer first boots up. 

This screen has the following options:

  • Boot Device
  • Delay Before Booting Default Image
  • Security

The boot device lists the drives available for booting from. By default, it is set to your hard drive.

The delay before booting the default image specifies how long the menu remains active before the default option boots. By default, this is set to 10 seconds.

You can specify a password which is required to boot your system. I recommend not doing this. You will have a chance to specify a root password and create user accounts at a later stage. Do not confuse the bootloader password with the operating system password.

When you have finished click "Next".

Choosing The Default Menu Option.

The final screen before Mageia installs lets you choose the default option that will boot when the bootloader menu appears. Mageia is the default item listed. Unless you have a reason for not having Mageia as the default I would leave this alone.

Click "Finish".

The files will now be copied across and Mageia will be installed.

The next page in this guide will show you the final steps required to get Mageia working such as creating users and setting the root password.

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How To Set Up Mageia Linux

Mageia Post Installation Setup
Mageia Post Installation Setup.

Setup The Internet

If you are connected to your router with an ethernet cable you won't have to complete this step but if you connect via wireless you will be given a choice of wireless network cards to use.

After choosing your network card (there will probably only be one listed) you are then able to choose the wireless network you wish to connect to.

Assuming your network requires a password, you will be required to enter it. You will also be given the option of having the selected wireless connection start on every subsequent boot of Mageia.

Updating Mageia

When you have connected to the internet the updates will begin to download and install to bring Mageia up to date. You can skip the updates if you so wish but this isn't recommended.

Create A User

The final step is to set an administrator password and create a user.

Enter a root password and repeat it.

Now enter your name, a username and a password to be associated with the user.

Generally, when using Linux you will use a normal user as it has restricted privileges. If somebody gains access to your computer or you run the wrong command the amount of damage that can be done is limited. The root (administrator) password is only required when you need to elevate your privileges for installing software or performing a task that can't be performed by an ordinary user.

Click "Next" when you have finished 

You will now be asked to restart the computer. After the computer has rebooted you will be able to start using Mageia.