Windows And Ubuntu Dual Boot Guide

This is the ultimate guide to dual booting Ubuntu with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. It is essentially an amalgamation of a number of other tutorials pulled together to form one complete guide.

Back Up Your System With Macrium Reflect

How To Dual Boot Ubuntu And Windows

With Macrium Reflect you will be able to create a complete backup of your system to DVDs, an external hard drive or a network location. You can also create rescue disks and a UEFI rescue menu option.

Create Space For Ubuntu

Windows takes up a large amount of space on your hard drive and most of it will be unused. 

The following link will show you how to recover some of that space so that you can install Ubuntu in it.

Create A UEFI Bootable Ubuntu USB Drive

Creating a USB drive will enable you to boot Ubuntu as a live version.

Adjust the power option settings within Windows to actually boot into Ubuntu.

How To Install Ubuntu - Choose Where To Install Ubuntu

How To Boot Into A Ubuntu USB Drive

To boot into a live version of Ubuntu insert the USB drive with Ubuntu on it and from within Windows hold down the shift key and restart the computer.

A blue screen will appear and you will see an option to use a device. Choose this option and then choose the option to boot from an EFI device.

Your computer will now boot to a menu with an option to "Try Ubuntu".

Choose this option and your computer will boot into a live version of Ubuntu.

You can do anything in the live version of Ubuntu that you can do when it is fully installed but when you reboot any changes you have made will be lost.

Install Ubuntu Alongside Windows 8.1

Connect To The Internet

Before running the installer you need to connect to the internet. 

If you are connected to your router via an ethernet cable you can move on to the next step as you will be automatically connected to the internet.

If however, you connect wirelessly to the internet you can connect to a network by clicking on the network icon in the top right corner of the screen.

A list of available wireless networks will appear. Choose a network and enter the security key.

Start The Installation

Install Ubuntu

Start the Ubuntu installer by clicking on the "Install Ubuntu" icon on the desktop.

The Ubuntu installer will now start.

The Ubuntu installation wizard is becoming more and more streamlined. There are just 6 steps now.

The first is to choose the installation language. 

Scroll down the list until you find the appropriate language and click continue.

How To Install Ubuntu - Complete The Installation

Install Updates And Third Party Software

On the second screen, there are 2 checkboxes.

  1. Install updates during the installation.
  2. Install third-party software.

We recommend placing a check mark in both boxes.

The updates will make sure your version of Ubuntu is up to date as the installation takes place and you can, therefore, be sure all security updates are implemented.

The third-party software will allow you to play MP3 audio files and apply proprietary device drivers.

Click "Continue" to move onto the next step.

Choose To Install Ubuntu Alongside Windows

Installation Type

After a short while a screen will appear with the following options:

  1. Install Ubuntu Alongside Windows Boot Manager
  2. Erase Disk and Install Ubuntu
  3. Something Else

If you want to replace Windows with Ubuntu then you should choose the second option.

However, for dual booting, you should choose to install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager.

The something else option will allow you to choose your own partitioning scheme but that is beyond the scope of this guide.

There are also options for encrypting Ubuntu and for creating an LVM partition. Again these are beyond the scope of this guide.

After choosing to install alongside Windows click Install.

Choose Your Location

Choose Your Location

After choosing the installation type you will see a picture of a map.

You need to choose your location by either clicking on the map where you are located or by entering the location in the box provided.

Click Continue to move onto the next step.

Choose Your Keyboard Layout

Choose Your Keyboard Layout

The penultimate step is to choose your keyboard layout.

From the left panel choose the language of your keyboard and then from the right pane choose the keyboard layout.

If you are unsure you can click the Detect keyboard layout button and you can test that the keys are correct by trying them out in the test box provided.

Click Continue to move onto the final step. 

Create A Default User

Create A User

The final step is to create a default user. You can add further users at a later point.

Enter your name in the box provided and then enter a name for your computer. The computer name will be the name of the computer as it appears on the network.

You should now pick a username which you will use to login to Ubuntu.

Finally, enter a password and repeat it to make sure you typed it correctly.

There are two radio buttons at the bottom of the screen:

  1. Log in automatically
  2. Require my password to log in

Whilst it would be tempting to allow your computer to log in automatically I would always recommend requiring a password to log in.

There is one final option and that is to encrypt your home folder. There are pros and cons to encrypting the home folder as shown in this guide.