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How to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu

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If you are already running Windows 10 and want to use Ubuntu and don’t want to give up Windows, you can use Ubuntu on a virtual machine or dual boot your Windows alongside Ubuntu.

The major advantage of having dual boot is that your Ubuntu part can have complete access to your hardware rather than involving virtualization layers which drastically decreases performance if you use a virtual machine.

Once you complete the process, you have the privilege to choose your preferred Operating System every time you boot. So let’s start the tutorial on how to dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu but there are some requirements involved in this process as below:

Requirements for this process:

  1. Windows 10 should be already installed
  2. Your hardware should be using UEFI instead of Legacy with secure boot disabled
  3. USB drive for ISO flashing
  4. Working internet connection to download ISO
  5. Enough space for installing Ubuntu (30GB at least)

How to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu

Here are simple steps to dual boot Windows and Ubuntu.

Step 1: Download The Ubuntu ISO file

We are required to download the latest version of Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support). You can also choose the non-LTS version.

Go to the official site of Ubuntu. Click on Download and select 20.04 LTS. It will start downloading the file with an approx size of 2.6 GB

1. downloading Ubuntu ISO

Step 2: Downloading SD Card Formatter

Windows do not work well when we consider formatting drives. To solve this problem most efficiently, we can use an SD Card Formatter.

Go to the download page for Windows and scroll down till the end of the page. You will see options to Accept and Decline. Click on Accept and it will start downloading the SD Card Formatter. Install SD Card Formatter in your system.

2. Downloading SD Card Formatter

Insert USB Drive into your system and open the SD Card Formatter and select Your Drive from the options and then click on Format Button.

3. Formatting USB Drive

Source: Ksk Royal

Note: Don’t remove the USB drive till the whole process completes from now on.

Step 3: Installing Rufus for Making Drive Bootable

After formatting our USB drive, we are ready for making it Bootable. The reason why it is so important is that you can’t just install Ubuntu by downloading ISO. You are required to have some platform on which the ISO file has been written.

Rufus will do exactly what we are looking for. Download Rufus from its official website and install it on your computer.

4. downloading Rufus

Open Rufus and you will see, that your USB drive will be already selected. You are required to add the ISO file which we have previously downloaded by clicking on the select button.

Click on the start button to start the process.

5. flashing from Rufus

Source: Ksk Royal

You will get pop-ups for Download required and ISOHybrid image detected such as:

5.1 notice from Rufus

Source: Ksk Royal

5.2 ISO Hybrid

Source: Ksk Royal

Just don’t worry about anything hit OK and continue for both pop-ups.

Once the process is complete, click on the Close button.

Step 4: Creating New Partition for Ubuntu

Now we are moving forward to the last step required on the Windows side. To run Ubuntu alongside Windows, we have to free up some space where we can install Ubuntu.

Use Win + R to open Run and type cmd and hit Enter. It will open a command prompt

6. Run

Source: Ksk Royal

Use the given command to open Disk Management.


7. command prompt with diskmgmt


Source: Ksk Royal

Once the Disk management utility opens up, right-click on the C drive (or any other drive with required space) and click on shrink volume.

8. clicking on shrink volume

Source: Ksk Royal

Now, you can choose the space for installing Ubuntu. We recommend you to have at least 30 GB for a better experience.

As we are giving values in MB, use 30000 for getting approx 30GB of free space. And click on Shrink.

10. click on shrink

Source: Ksk Royal

After the process, you can see the 29.30 GB of unallocated space and this is the space where we are going to install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

11. Showing free space

Source: Ksk Royal

Reboot your system and when you see a blank screen use the following keys according to your brand:

Acer = Del or F2

Asus = F9 (for Desktop and Laptop)

Asus = F2 (Notebook)

Dell = F2 (for Desktops and Laptops of Inspiron models)

Dell = F12 (for Laptops of Precision models)

HP = F10, Esc or Esc + F10

Lenovo = F1 or F2

Step 6: Ubuntu Configuration

We will have to select a USB drive. In our case, it’s SanDisk. Use arrow keys to select SanDisk and hit Enter. You will see Ubuntu boot up

12. boot screen

Source: Ksk Royal

Click on Install Ubuntu

13. Install Ubuntu

Source: Ksk Royal

Choose your preferred language. In our case, it is English.

14. choose language

Source: Ksk Royal

Now, we have to select the Keyboard layout. In Ubuntu, the default is English (US) which is perfectly fine for most of the audience. If you prefer something else, you can choose it from here.

15. keyboard layout

Source: Ksk Royal

In the next step, we are going to select the type of installation. We are going with a normal installation which will get us a web browser, office software, and media player out of the box.

Select the “Install third-party software for graphics and Wi-Fi hardware and additional media formats” option. And click on continue

16. normal installation

Source: Ksk Royal

You will be given 3 options in the next step. Select the last one named “something else”. It will allow us to manage space manually. 

17. select something else

Source: Ksk Royal

Select the last option labeled as free space and click on the + button

18. select free space and click on +

Source: Ksk Royal

Now, enter the following

Size = 25000 MB

Type of new partition = Logical

Mount point = / (root)

19. making root partition-

Source: Ksk Royal

Click OK.

Again, select the free space and click on the + button. In this step, we are going to use our remaining space for a Swap partition. 

A Swap partition is used when your RAM is used and your Linux system still requires memory. 

20. click on free space again

Source: Ksk Royal

Click on Use as. You will be given many options to choose from. Select swap area and click OK.

21. swap space

Source: Ksk Royal

Now, let’s install the GRUB boot loader. We are required to select the root partition of Ubuntu. It is the same partition that we have partitioned for 25 GB and it is named/dev/sdb5. 

Select sdb5 in Device for boot loader installation.

22. GRUB install

Source: Ksk Royal

Click on install now.

Choose your time zone. In our case, we are going with Kolkata.

23. time zone

Source: Ksk Royal

In the last step, enter your name, computer’s name, and other details.

24. entering last configuration

Source: Ksk Royal

The installation will start and take time according to the write speed of your drive.

25. installation is started

Source: Ksk Royal

Once the installation is complete, you will be given two options. 

Click on Restart Now.

26. click on restart now

Source: Ksk Royal

Step 7: Setting Up BIOS 

You will be still booted in Windows. Once the Windows boots up, restart your Windows and get into bios using keys that you have used previously. Select Ubuntu.

0. boot menu with Ubuntu

Source: Imgur

You will be given a boot loader called GRUB. From here, you can select your preferred OS and start using Ubuntu alongside Windows.

27. final boot loader

Source: Davidd Tech

Frequently asked questions related to dual-booting Windows and Ubuntu

Can I dual boot Ubuntu and Windows 10?

Yes, if you have a spacious disk and you want to benefit from both platforms, you can use Windows and Ubuntu simultaneously using dual boot.

Why dual boot is not recommended?

There is only one reason why it is not recommended often and that is disk space. You have to have a large disk enough to store multiple Operating Systems and their data. 

Is VirtualBox better than dual boot?

Yes, but only if you have a powerful Computer. If you do not have a powerful CPU, you should opt for dual booting.

Related Post:

Which OS do you prefer the most? Windows or Ubuntu?

This was our take on how to dual boot Windows and Ubuntu without any errors and malfunctioning. From now on, you can use both of them rather than sacrificing one. Multiboot is a better option than VirtualBox especially when you are running with low-power hardware.

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Sagar Sharma
Sagar Sharma

Sagar always uses Linux to its core and loves to write the technical side of system administration! While he's not writing for GeniusGeeks, you can find him writing for core linux blogs like IT'SFOSS.com and LinuxHandBook.com

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