Tired Of Windows 8? How To Dual Boot Windows & Ubuntu

Danny Stieben 30-05-2013

dual boot windows and ubuntuIf you discover that Windows 8 isn’t quite your cup of tea We've Actually Used It - What Does MakeUseOf Think Of Windows 8? If you haven’t installed Windows 8 yet; don’t worry, we’re technology writers - it’s our job to test these things out for you. Quite a few MakeUseOf staff including myself have taken the plunge and... Read More , and you have no feasible path to downgrade, it may be a good idea to dual boot with Linux to have an alternative operating system you can use. For most people, using Ubuntu is an excellent choice because of its popularity, software selection, hardware support, and ease of use. However, if you want to dual-boot, you need to do a few things before you’re ready to enjoy your Linux installation.


A few side notes: as the title of this article may imply, this article is about installing Ubuntu after Windows 8 is already on your computer. Installing any version of Windows after installing Ubuntu will require a different process that will not be covered here. Additionally, these instructions can be applied to any other Ubuntu-based distribution without any modifications.

Non Ubuntu-based distributions can also be installed this way with some minor modifications to the instructions. For those distributions, it’s best to check the project’s documentation for official guidance, but a similar process should be used.

Download & Burn Ubuntu

If you haven’t already, go ahead and download yourself a copy of the latest Ubuntu version (13.04 Ubuntu 13.04: What's New In Raring Ringtail? [Linux] On April 25th, the newest version of one of the most popular Linux distributions was released -- Ubuntu 13.04, codenamed "Raring Ringtail". Unlike previous releases of Ubuntu, 13.04 doesn't bring extraordinary new visual features which... Read More at the time of this writing), and don’t forget to make sure that you’re getting the 64-bit version instead of the 32-bit version as it comes with EFI support if you need it. Once it’s downloaded, burn the ISO file onto a DVD or USB flash drive.

There are now two different ways for you to install Ubuntu — a simple, automated manner that takes care of everything for you, or a manual process that gives you more control.

Simple Way

dual boot windows and ubuntu


Boot your computer with the new Ubuntu media. The installer has come so far now that there’s very little that you actually have to do by yourself. Once the media finishes loading, it’ll ask you whether you’d like to try or install Ubuntu. Choose your language from the left and click on Install. You should now be able to choose “Install Ubuntu alongside them” which will make all the necessary changes on your computer to make room for Ubuntu and install it properly on your system, no matter if it will install operating systems in the legacy BIOS mode or the new EFI mode.

Before the installer commits changes to the disk, it’ll ask you how you’d like to split your hard drive between the two operating systems, so make that decision as you please and carry on with the installation.

Manual Way

First things first, you’ll need to make space on your hard drive for the Ubuntu installation. While your hard drive may be showing free space within your Windows partition, you’ll actually need to shrink the partition itself in order to produce the necessary space to create a partition for Ubuntu.

There are two ways you can do this — by using Windows’ Disk Management Tools (which you can find by right clicking on “Computer” in the Start Menu, and choosing Manage, then looking in the left-side pane), or by using a partitioning tool such as GParted within Ubuntu’s Live environment.


dual boot windows 8 and ubuntu

You’ll generally find two or three partitions already on your hard drive – these are all related to your Windows installation. Simply shrink down the largest of these partitions by however much space you want to give your Ubuntu installation. You’re shrinking this partition because the other two are related to Windows’ boot process and should not be altered in any way. After you’ve shrunk the partition, you do not need to create new partitions for your Linux installation as you’ll make the necessary partitions in the Ubuntu installer.

Boot your computer from the Ubuntu media and choose to install the operating system. Please note whether you saw a purple screen with a small keyboard icon at the bottom center or a black and white selection menu while the media loads, as this is important later. When asked about how to allocate space, choose to do “Something else”. This will open a partition editor screen where you can create your partitions. You’ll need to create 1-2 partitions here, depending on your system and your own preferences.


dual boot windows 8 and ubuntu


If you saw the purple screen while the media was loading, then your system used legacy BIOS to boot the media. Within the allocated space, you can create a Linux partition (preferably ext4) and set its mount point to root (“/”). If you wish to have a swap partition (which acts as a place for data stored in RAM to go for hibernation or as an overflow container), you can leave enough space to create one. The good rule is for the swap partition to be twice as large as the installed amount of RAM.

Also don’t forget that if you’ll end up having more than four partitions, you’ll first need to make an extended partition that spans across all of the unallocated space on your hard drive before creating the Linux and swap partitions within the extended partition. Once you’ve done this, continue with the rest of the installation. Ubuntu will install GRUB to your MBR, which can allow you to choose between Ubuntu and Windows during each boot.

EFI Boot

dual boot windows 8 and ubuntu
If you saw a black and white selection screen, then your system used EFI to boot the media. Choose to do “Something else” when asked about how to allocate space. You’ll probably want to reuse Windows’ EFI partition as EFI partitions need to be at the beginning of the hard drive, and using it for Ubuntu as well will not destroy the contents needed to boot Windows. The EFI partition should be formatted as FAT32, and typically with only 100MB.

You may increase this size to 200MB if you wish to go through the struggle of having to move the other partitions out of the way first to make the room. Then choose the EFI partition, and make its mount point be /boot/efi if it’s not already.


dual boot windows and ubuntu

Then continue to create your Linux partition(s) (and swap partition if desired), and finish with the installation. An EFI version of GRUB will be installed which will allow you to choose between Windows and Ubuntu during each boot.

Troubleshooting and Conclusion

These tips should help you be able to dual boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu. The chance of any issues occurring is very low, but feel free to comment on the article with any questions that you may have. The only concern is if you get a “Secure Boot” or “signature” error when you try to boot the Ubuntu installation media. If that happens, you will have to go into your system’s BIOS and disable the Secure Boot option. For other troubleshooting, check out this article on installing Linux on a Windows 8 PC How Do I Install Ubuntu on a New Windows 8 Computer? The introduction of personal computers with Windows 8 preinstalled with them also introduced a controversial under-the-hood modification - Secure Boot. Secure Boot is a technology which is included in any new computer that has Windows... Read More .

If you’re new to Ubuntu, check out our great Ubuntu guide for beginners Ubuntu: A Beginner's Guide Curious about Ubuntu, but not sure where to start? Everything you could possibly need to get started with the latest version of Ubuntu is right here, written in easy-to-understand, plain English. Read More !

Do you dual boot Windows and Ubuntu? What’s your stance on EFI vs. BIOS? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Ubuntu Wiki

Related topics: Dual Boot, Ubuntu, Windows 8.

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  1. ashu
    June 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

    the option will give in the pc after installing ubuntu you have to open ubuntu or window

  2. kai
    December 23, 2016 at 3:11 am

    if i put ubuntu and windows on my computer then how can i delete the windows part later if i change my mind?

  3. sree
    February 6, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    i have windows 7 in my laptop and i have ubuntu sticker on my laptop .it means is ibuntu already in my system

  4. sree
    February 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    i have windows 7 on my pc, is this the same procedure to install ubuntu?

  5. Anonymous
    September 3, 2015 at 5:08 am

    Thanks for your reply.

  6. Anonymous
    September 1, 2015 at 1:07 am

    The article specifies Win 8, will the contents work just as well with Vista or Win 7?

    • Mihir Patkar
      September 1, 2015 at 7:12 am

      More or less, yes. There might be slight variations here or there, but largely, it's the same procedure.

  7. Sides
    November 23, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Followed your instructions and everything worked like a champ. I now have a dual boot Ubuntu and win 8 system. Had no problem at the startup. Grub shows up with both Linux and Window 8.

  8. André Ricardo Silva
    November 20, 2013 at 12:53 am

    I cannot see the EFI partition at Ubuntu 13.10 installation. Can you help me in this? Thank you in advance!

  9. Joseph Clifford
    November 15, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I have a computer with two bays. Right now I'm running Windows 8 in Raid0. I was thinking of doing a fresh install of Windows 8 on one drive and putting Ubuntu on the other drive. So one hard drive for each OS. Will this work?

  10. Jomar Enrico
    November 8, 2013 at 9:15 am

    My OS is windows 8.1 and i tried to dual boot using ubuntu 13.10. But i'm having a problem in step 12 where it suppose to say "This computer currently has windows 8 on it. What would you like to do?". But mine only say's "The system doesn't detect any OS" and has the option of "install ubuntu" instead of "Install Ubuntu Alongside windows 8" it seems the ubuntu installation can't detect my OS...

    Can Anyone help me out?

  11. Basavaraj
    October 26, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I am using windows 8 in my sony vaio laptop.
    I am not able to enter into BIOS screen .
    could you please help me?
    Thank you

  12. MrT
    October 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I ahve an acer laptop and it came with windows 8 installed. I followed the instructions on this thread. It works but I have to select the boot loader in my bios. My windows 8 came with a windows bootloader so grub can't see my windows insatallation. Long story short... I can dual boot but the selection is made in the bios...

  13. Techguy
    October 4, 2013 at 9:06 am

    It's a good article but I would also suggest disabling the 'secure boot' feature present on most Windows 8 computers that had it installed at the factory, and with uefi replacing the bios. If that isn't done it will boot straight to Windows 8, ignoring Ubuntu. To do that press F2 or F8 or del (it's different for different machines) to get into the uefi menu and select 'disable secure boot'. Then put the Ubuntu disc in the dvd draw and reboot into the installation menu for Ubuntu. Follow the instruction above in the article.

    I would add I've run Ubuntu for over 8 years on my own home machines and on one of our networks at work. It's a great system and easily outclasses Windows OS's for security and reliability. I've installed it on more than 200 machines without any problem worth mentioning and certainly without the frustrations we used to get installing Windows XP and Windows 7 on our other networks. Staff training was at a minimum and everyone got used to it very quickly. Interfacing with Windows computers is no problem either. Ubuntu can see every Windows computer on the network but the Windows machines cannot see the Linux Ubuntu machines making our network very suitable for the high security work we do. It's possible to make our Linux machines show up of course if needed.

  14. Rakshith
    September 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    i dual booted using the normal way and used the auto partition tool but now my windows is not booting!!!
    Really need help now fast!!

    • Jackal Rhino
      September 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      Silly rabbit. Don't believe everything that you read on the internet.

  15. ndh
    August 9, 2013 at 6:53 am

    many steps are skipped and many important info like disabling secure boot etc are not even mentioned. and even the photos do not corresponds what it is explained on the text. I think the text and photos are copied and pasted from different sources.


  16. Iris
    August 6, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Hi. My laptop came pre-installed with Windows 8, and I am trying to install Ubuntu 12.04 from a USB drive. I am able to get it to boot until grub asks me what I'd like to do (black EFI boot screen with 'Try Ubuntu', 'Install Ubuntu', etc.). But after I choose to install, it just freezes. I've tried waiting for until 20 minutes until something happens (bec they say installing through a USB 2.0 port is a little slow), but nothing. I've tried choosing 'Try Ubuntu' instead, still nothing. Would you have an idea why it does that and how I can troubleshoot it?

    Informative article, btw. I was wondering why I never see the purple screen, like what other instructional articles say I should see; you answered it.

  17. RAMUK
    August 5, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    i have dual booted my windows 8 system with ubuntu 13.04 , installation was successful but when i restarted my system it is directly booting into windows mode.
    while installation of ubuntu i have followed the above process only. can you help in overcoming this problem

  18. kiran
    July 25, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I am using sony vaio laptop. I had windows 8 preinstalled on it. Now i am not able to run ubuntu on it. It does uefi boot so i tried the steps u mentioned but still it boots into windows after ubuntu installation. I even tried easybcd but still i am not able to do dual boot!! Any other methods?

  19. Corrosive Jedi
    July 16, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    does this work? im afraid i will screw up.

    • Daniel
      July 18, 2013 at 6:48 am

      The author of this article does not know what he or she is talking about because there is no way possible Ubuntu will install on Windows 8. The author needs to go and attempt to dual boot Ubuntu and windows 8 and then come back and post how he or she was able to complete that task. I am extremely savy with computers and operating systems and I say: There is no way possible to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 8!

      • Savege
        August 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

        Never speak in absolutes especially when new technology comes out and it meets Linux. There are ways to dual boot Windows 8 and Linux. If you have a computer that comes with Win 8 pre-installed, you may have to work around UEFI Secure Boot. That makes it more complicated than just throwing a live disc in and booting, but it is possible.

    • average joe
      September 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm

      I just install Ubuntu 13.04 on a computer already with Windows 8 and it boots just fine. I have to say that this is not a purchased computer with a preinstalled version of windows8, I build this computer a couple of years back. I say this just to clarify that computers bought with windows 8 preinstalled are different to the ones you can build yourself and this may be the reason why a dual boot might not work. (?)

  20. Dheeraj Thedijje
    June 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Nice article but i have to say something on this.
    As i know this

    Windows 8 uses the fast startup technology which is using the Hibernate instead of complete shut down, thats why Windows 8 starts and shutdown too fast.
    This makes the Windows 8 or Linux to Hold the data in Swap and will be deleted every time one will use the windows 8 or switch to Linux or any other Distro like Ubuntu.
    Is there any solution for this?

    • Gaetan
      February 15, 2015 at 12:55 am

      The final step, "[Ensure] 'Turn on fast startup (recommended)' is unchecked (this entry might be called 'Hybrid Boot', depending on your system version)" under 'Power options settings' is the most important I think...

    • Gaetan dF
      February 17, 2015 at 1:03 am

      I posted two successive messages and it seems that the second replaced the first... To make sure you'll have all the data even if my second message is replaced by this third one, I will try to write all again here...

      Although the post I'm answering is more than a year old, I hope the following could help someone.

      To prevent the fast startup technology (which uses hibernation and can produce conflicts), you could follow the advice from "'s_EFI_Install_Guide/Preparing_Windows_8_for_Dual-Booting" (without quotes). Step number 14, the final step (at the time I'm writing this post), states that under 'Power Options Settings' (Windows Key + Q to search for "power buttons" and once in the corresponding settings window, click on 'Change what the power buttons do') you should ensure 'Turn on fast startup (recommended)' (or 'Hybrid Boot' depending on your system version) is unchecked. Before that, at step 4 in the same document, it proposes to run "powercfg /H off" in a command window in order to deactivate the hibernate capability, but before coming to step 14 it activates the hibernation back (don't read too fast the document). I have to add that on some computer, the hibernate and fast statup options were not accesible (I've seen the case on a Dell Precision). In those cases it is generally because the computer is fast enough at statup and shutdown (SSD disk, etc.). I find the whole guide "" very instructive (independently from the Linux distribution(s) you want beside Windows 8.1) and I think it could dissipate many doubts (and help keeping Secure Boot at the end of the process).

      I hope it will help,

      Gaetan dF

  21. Sean Sand
    June 10, 2013 at 6:17 am

    Please help me find the best way to burn an ubuntu 13.** to a cd.


    The wannabe tech fellow!

  22. techguyknows
    June 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

    How do you boot into Ubuntu on a Windows 8 computer?

  23. Gaurav Joshi
    June 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    i have same partitions that you have shown in one of the screenshots.I was able to successfully install ubuntu dualboot but i get errors while trying to boot into Windows 8 such as "error invalid drive map ","error invalid efi path" so what can i do now to fix this

  24. nalk
    June 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I like trying out different OS's on my computers.

    I use XP with Mint 14 on top. :)

    I installed it on a Asus eee single core netbook. 1600 MHz CPU and 1 gig of RAM.

    Upon downloading the Mint ISO, I found the installer file, mint4win, in the folder where I had unzipped the ISO using Winrar.

    Double clicking on that file "WUBI-installed" Mint in a jiffy. All done within XP.
    First boot into Mint I found the Install Mint. Did that with some trepidation. I wanted to keep Windows. Well I did and now it runs mainly Mint and only XP when I have to which is seldom. I only keep Windows for the resale value of my computer... One born a minute...:)

    Mint is my favourite at the moment. I just cant say enough good things about the nerds who thought up Mint. May they never run out of chips and sodapop.

    Now as for doing the same in Win8.

    Doesnt work! :( Apparantly only Ubuntu and its F&%#" up desktop GUI works on Win 8. (I'd reeaaaly like to "shake hands" with the "genius" who thought up the idea of gluing the task bar to the top of the screen)

    I tried it on a couple of laptops like the Compaq Presario CQ61, an old dual core Fujitsu Siemens and a Travelbook 5510 all with Win8. No luck.

    Now on my other "throw away" netbook a Dell Mini 10, 1300 MHz CPU and 1 measly gig of RAM soldered to the motherboard, so no chance of updating that, I did a clean install of Mint from a USB-key. (The kids wore off the Win-sticker and messed up the Win install.)

    I downloaded Unetbootin and used it to "burn" the ISO to the key. Worked like a charm. I'm actually using the Dell to write this.

    Now kids, have you seen my screwdriver and the Android USB.........

    • Alan
      June 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Very vague article with no real explanation or knowledge of 'dual booting'
      Very poorly written dribble...
      Regards Al....

  25. J Enrique Fernandez
    June 2, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I had Windows 7 pro and Windows 8 trial edition in dual boot mode in different partitions in my desktop computer. I decided to get rid of windows 8 and install ubuntu. So I downloaded the latest ubuntu edition (13.04), but I wasnt able to install it from usb or cd... the devices would just boot... (i have an asus motherboard P8P67_Deluxe, my hard drive had 3 partitions) So after a few hours I decided to format the partition where i had windows 8 installed.. went to msconfig and deleted the dualboot option... discovered that i could install ubuntu version 12.04 directly from windows... so i downloaded wubi and finally installed ubuntu :D later on upgraded to ubuntu 12.10 and to 13.04 using the update manager. Let me tell you that ubuntu Versions 12.10 and 13.04, gave me a lot of problems and broken updates... at the end i formatted the partition again and installed ubuntu 12.04... now everything is working fine... I like ubuntu very much specially the workspace switcher!!! im surprised that windows and mac have been on top for so long when there are OS like ubuntu.

    • J Enrique Fernandez
      June 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

      ** usb or cd with ubuntu 13.04 woudnt boot

  26. Aqil Nazeer
    June 2, 2013 at 5:54 am


  27. Stephanie Staker
    June 2, 2013 at 5:12 am

    I am still not going to jump for Windows 8. I have just seen too many articles on its problems and issues. I surely don't know why Microsoft can't make an operating system that works as it's advertised and safe to use!

  28. Tuesday Peacock
    June 1, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Hi,Danny...,Since I started to become a member on,you wrote a great article about Github and tips in it are very useful to me.Now,when I'd like to use Ubuntu alongside Window,my current OS,you do write this article.......I even wonder if we have telepathy between us :P . Anyway,Thank you.....

  29. Aqil Nazeer
    June 1, 2013 at 4:11 pm


  30. Ashwin Divakaran
    June 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

    The reason im not using ubuntu or any other linux is i cant play the top games and cutting edge software

  31. Anomaly
    June 1, 2013 at 1:46 am

    There was basically no instructions in this article about how to boot from the USB or DVD on the new Windows 8. It's easy to do with the legacy BIOS but it's a different ball game with EFI and Secure Boot on Windows 8.

    What's the process to boot from the USB or DVD on Windows 8?

    • Anomaly
      June 2, 2013 at 1:25 pm


      I guess this article will remain useless until the author explains how to boot into the Linux USB or DVD on Windows 8. What keys do you press during boot to get into the Linus live environment and install? It's much different than the old BIOS way.

  32. Justin Klyczek
    June 1, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Great guide. I've been thinking of trying Ubuntu and now I really have no excuse! Thanks :)

  33. Rich Laue
    June 1, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I did dual boot windows 7 and Mint. At least once a month I booted Windows, Then one day Win 7 wouln't start. Now I only have Mint on 2 computers and Puppy on a 3rd. Freedom is not having to put up with M$

  34. Sean
    May 31, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    Tired of windows 8? YES. Tired of Ubuntu Unity? YES. I dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu 11...awesome!!!

  35. Kevin Larsen
    May 31, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I've been dual booting for years now, mostly XP and openSuse. I've tried Ubuntu a couple of times, and it always seems slower. I have always used Bios due to the fact I have not heard of the EFI until now. I will have to investigate this method now.

  36. Maxi3w
    May 31, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    What about WUBI? Is that not an even simpler way or have I missed something and it doesn't work with Windows 8?

  37. James Van Damme
    May 31, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Some PCs (e.g., HP) have all 4 partitions in use, so you have to nuke one and change it to a expand partition; afterwards you can split it up into other partitions. You can use any but the Winndows partition.

    Clean up the junk (CCLeaner, etc.), and defrag first.

    Linux distros work fine in 20-40 GB partitions if you keep your data files somewhere else. I keep a separate partiton for "good stuff", and it's accessible from Windows if you format it NTFS. I multiboot Ubuntu, Mint, Bodhi, and maybe Puppy. Can't decide which I like best, and each might have several desktops too.

  38. Robert Backlund
    May 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    If you plan on using any other OS on a Windows 8 machine, including other earlier versions of Windows there is one critical thing you need to check first before your purchase. Contact the Dell, etc support people and ask a very important question, Do they have Secure Boot enabled in Bios? IF they do you are out of luck, the only OS that will run on your hardware will be Windows 8. A sure fire way is to take a live DVD of your favorite Linux with you to the store you are going to purchase your new PC and see if you are successful in booting into Linux from the DVD, you will quickly find out if secure boot is enabled or not. Another way is to look to see what drivers are available for your particular model of laptop or desktop from the manufactures support site, if you see any other version of Windows listed then it will be a safe bet that they have not enabled secure boot. I dual boot Gentoo with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. The only reason I still run Windows is because I am an avid gamer and as of right now there are only a handful of indi games that are available for Linux and trying to get Windows games running to suit me using Wine is just too much of an effort for marginal performance. If you are in the market for a new laptop especially a gaming laptop check out they still give you the option of having Windows 7 installed. To do this click on the customize button and you can select what OS Win 7 or Win 8. There are probably other companies that do this but not Dell or the other main OEM's they just stick Windows 8 on them and you take or leave it. I personally will never screw up any of my PC's by putting that abortion called Windows 8 on them. I will just continue to use Windows 7 for gaming, and Gentoo for everything else at least until gaming shifts to Linux but more likely gaming will become dominated by Android based games.
    As far as using Ubuntu; I personally feel it is only a couple of steps above Windows 8. I personally hate this distro and gave up on Ubuntu several years ago, why you may ask? Because they are unable to keep your current set of hardware working from one major upgrade to the next. If everything works great the first time you try Ubuntu and you happen to like their screwed up idea of a GUI then you will think it is great, however I bet that there will be at least one important piece of hardware that will mysteriously stop working the next time you update Ubuntu to the next version. The reason? in their infinite wisdom the developers may not compile an important driver that your system needs in the next upgrade. After trying to use Ubuntu for 3 years I gave up after having to chase down and in most cases having to compile a missing driver after an update to the system. This is something that most would not know how to fix. In my opinion there are a lot better choices out there in the Linux world, Mepis Linux, Mint Linux, Fedora Linux, Suse Linux, Sabayon Linux and if you are in the mood to learn what makes Linux tick while using a great distro then try your hand at building and running a Gentoo system. The good thing about Mint and Sabayon are since they are produced in Europe the developers have all of the codecs pre installed to play all your favorite media.
    One caveat to this is that I do not believe it is possible to play a commercial Blu-ray movie under Linux, I have to admit I have not tried it in a while but to my knowledge no one is producing a Blu-ray player for Linux for sale at any price and due to the encryption scheme use on Blu-rays the players available on Linux do not have the means of dealing with the encryption.

    • dragonmouth
      May 31, 2013 at 11:10 pm

      Setting up Gentoo properly is not for the faint of heart or for the inexperienced. :-)

      • Robert Backlund
        June 1, 2013 at 1:12 am

        Yes I know, but it is an excellent distro if you really want to learn how Linux works it is a good choice to give a try. I never said that a novice or even someone with moderate Linux experience should attempt. However it really is not as difficult as most make it to be. Most pc users regardless of what OS just want to turn it on and have it just work, well this is ok I suppose but when something doesn't work regardless of if it is Windows or Linux the average user will not have a clue as to how to fix it. Most things in Gentoo are are done using config scripts, not some GUI tool that may or may not work correctly so if you learn how to do this then you will know how to fix something later regardless of if you continue to use Gentoo or move to a different distro. It has been my observation that Gentoo has the best collection of documentation and how to's than any distro out there. I am convinced that anyone regardless of experience level if they want to learn and who does not mind putting forth some effort with the aid of the Gentoo user community will be able to successfully build a usable system. They even have instructions of how to build a Gentoo system while running Ubuntu, will work with any flavor of Linux that you choose to run. Once it is built you then migrate it to an unused partition or a new hard drive. If you look at their docs the building of Gentoo is very logical and step by step. The thing I personally like about Gentoo is that this effort is only required when first building it, after that it is continually updated including new kernels. You never have to install the next version of Gentoo like with just about any other distro. You only will have to do it when moving on to new hardware but even then you probably will only need to compile a new kernel with the needed drivers for the new PC or laptop, I have not done this yet because I am using the same hardware and cannot afford to upgrade.

  39. Curtis
    May 31, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Windows is the most picky OS about how its partitions are dealt with. I would highly recommend using the native windows tools (I thnk it is diskpart.exe) to first create space for the second operating system. Gparted is a fantastic tool, but I have seen countell reports of windows being rendered unbootable after manipulation of the windows partition in this way.

    After you get things all settled, you can then reliably use gparted for whatever. It is really just a gui wrapper around (primarily) GNU parted and mkfs, for anyone who is interested in learning how to do these things manually via the CLI.

    One last thing... instead of Ubuntu, I think an easier switch for current windows users, would be to install Linux Mint instead. The interface is just much more windows-ish than Ubuntu's Unity (both MATE and Cinnamon), so at least the different GUI wouldn't be quite as shocking if you net this router. The Mint DE (Debian Edition) is particularly nice since it is based off of Debian's Testing branch, which makes it a rolling release instead of something that goes through the more typical bi-annual upgrade cycle.

    • Danny Stieben
      May 31, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      Thanks for the suggestions, Curtis!

    • lei
      June 1, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      The most Windows-like linux distro is Zorin OS 6.2. It's Look Changer gives you a Win7 or WinXP or just Gnome desktop environment. Really clever. I dual boot Win7 and Zorin OS, but spend nearly all my time in Zorin. Zorin is Ubuntu-based and has loads of tools straight out of the box. Its the mosty stable linux distro i've come across. It's also lightning quick. Whenever i'm on Windows now i very quickly get annoyed at how SLOW Windows is compared to Zorin.

      • Curtis
        June 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        Though I am glad you have found something you like, I have to disagree with your claim of ultimate stability. In fact, I think that this applies not just for zorin, but anything based off of ubuntu.

        While I may not like the direction in which ubuntu is headed, particularly their total lack of willingness/capability of contibuting upsteam, it is a fine distribution. But it (somewhat) tracks Debian testing. So to say that ubuntu or anything that uses it as a base is the most stable, totally disregards the fact that it comes from a (technically) non-stable branch of another distribution.

        So if you want stable, go with Debian. Or, even better, learn how Linux actually works so that you can ensure that the things you do to your system are not going to cause you issues down the road. I am an Arch Linux user, which you may know uses ridiculously bleeding edge packages. While it may not be entreprise ready like Debian, it is particularly stable because I put it together myself, and it only has the packages which I have deemed necessary.

        • lei
          June 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm

          Ah. Curtis, You come across as a a bit of a linux snob! Do you mean to? A shame. I hoped that all linux users stuck together against the evil Micro$oft and the plundering Apple. Alas, it seems not. I use Zorin BECAUSE it is so like Windoze. But with important differences that matter to me. And I don't want to learn code & comand line & stuff, that's why i like Zorin. I find it to be eminently customisable. If i wanted to learn how my computer works then i WOULD use something like Arch. I've tried Debian, and i don't like the GUI. I didn't find Mint particularly stable. Or even Ubuntu. And i HATE Ubuntu's Unity interface. I've even tried a couple of Fedora forks and i simply didn't have the patience. If you want to work with the guts of your computer UI then go ahead, knock yourself out. But i don't want to. And that's ok isn't it? I feel that any non-proprietary distro that can hold its own against M$ and Apple is quite frankly heroic. And so is any user of said distro. Even you, Curtis. Even you are a hero in my eyes, you Arch Linux user, you. ;-)

        • Curtis
          June 3, 2013 at 8:39 pm

          Hmm.. Linux snob? Maybe. But that was not what I was trying to get across. The point was that when you take something that is known to be stable, fork it from its testing repository, then use that as a base for something else, you have several more layers in which bugs can come up. It just doens't make sense to go looking for ultimate stability where you have been looking.

          If you are not interested in learning how to code, that is fine, but to say that you don't like THE Debian interface is just silly. Debian has the largest repoistories out there if you count both their free and non-free repos (I think the only larger "repo" might be gentoo, but they have ebuild scripts, not actual binary packages). Besides that, just about everything under the sun is packaged in deb format. So not only do they offer various installers in which you can choose the DE (or simply a window manager), there is also the possibility of looking up a simple aptitude (or apt-get) command to get the interface you desire. I wouldn't consider that learning how to code.

          But hey, if you found something you like then that is great. I just don't want any non-linux user to come here thinking that they should run their production server off of zorin, as it may be stable enough for what you use it for, but there are many better options out there.

  40. Ray M
    May 31, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Why dual boot when you can run a vm version? My main OS is a version of Ubuntu called LXLE. It's a version of Lubuntu based on 12.04 LTS while Lubuntu is just a standard support version. It's also aimed at older hardware.

    I have Win 8 Pro on Virtualbox. I use it only for some things that DEMAND real Windows and not wine. I've had few problems with Win8. Windows Vista was another story. It is what drove me to Linux.

    • Danny Stieben
      May 31, 2013 at 6:18 pm

      Putting Windows in a VM isn't bad, but the solution sucks if people want to use Windows for gaming.

  41. Adil Farooq
    May 31, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Not able to Dual boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu now using VMware for it searching for last month on it but my PC isn't allowing me to do this .

  42. Yan Thériault
    May 31, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Anybody tought of Wubi??? A software that does all this into windows. Very easy

    • Maxi3w
      May 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm

      That's what I was thinking about as the easiest method. So I don't understand why it wasn't mentioned in the article; unless it doesn't work on a Windows 8 machine?

    • Diego
      June 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      It doesn't work.

    • michel
      June 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      it also didn't work for me on Vista.

    • Mars Bonfire
      March 26, 2015 at 3:07 am

      Not a good thing to do according to the latest from Canonical..

  43. Pooky Joralyn
    May 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

    My machine simply has a culprit that I was never able to boot from Windows 8 DVD in Secure Boot (or EFI) mode even when I set it to "Setup Mode" or "Factory Mode", but the Ubuntu DVD always boots fine.

  44. Inderpal Shingari
    May 31, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Anybody tried the simple way on new windows 8 machine?

  45. Zhong J
    May 31, 2013 at 3:13 am

    The process will become complicated if you install Linux first then Windows next, since MBR will erase GRUB, making the linux OS undetected which you'll need to recover grub again and this requires a LIVECD or a some external media to perform this function.

    • Brendan M
      November 6, 2013 at 12:43 am

      use easybcd to "find" the partition and add it to the boot list

  46. Kevin Richard
    May 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    I don't dual boot Ubuntu and Windows. My main laptop is running Gentoo and my desktop dual boots Arch Linux and Windows 7.

  47. Dave
    May 30, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I have been using Ubuntu 13.04 for three months now, and love it. I checked in to Win 7 today just to be sure the thing was up to date. Then right back to Ubuntu!
    It is only going to get better, folks.

  48. Waldo
    May 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Nope, I don't dual boot Windows and Ubuntu. I dual boot Windows 7 and Mint on my laptop, and multi boot Windows 8, Debian, OpenSUSE and Fedora on my desktop.

    • Danny Stieben
      May 31, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Great variety! Which one do you like best?

  49. Kyle Zhou
    May 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    About a month ago, I tried dual-booting several linux distros, but it always failed to boot past the GRUB menu in EFI mode (but it always booted in CSM/BIOS compatibility mode). I later gave up.

    • Danny Stieben
      May 31, 2013 at 6:14 pm

      I had that problem for a while, but it was fixed after a BIOS update.

      • Kyle Zhou
        May 31, 2013 at 8:48 pm

        Makes sense, but my laptop hasn't had a firmware update since last September

    • Mars Bonfire
      March 26, 2015 at 3:06 am

      What a jerk! Who the heck Are YOU to crap on someone you do not even know and judge his actions by your own pathetic standards? Losers apply here...

  50. dragonmouth
    May 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    "Do you dual boot Windows and Ubuntu?"
    No, but some time ago I multi-booted Win 98se, Win XP, Slackware and Mepis. Then I gave up on Windows and now I just multi-boot a bunch of different distros.

    • superbuch
      October 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      and just waste time showing off and just making your desktop workable. with enough functionality of windows 95