How to Dual Boot Windows and Ubuntu?

Do you want to use Ubuntu on your computer but aren’t willing to get rid of Windows 10 completely? One option you can enjoy the best of both worlds is to install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10.

If you don’t know how to do that, then you’ve come to the right place. This post will guide you in preparing your computer to install Ubuntu dual boot with Windows. So stay tuned!

Get the PC BIOS Firmware Type

Knowing your computer’s firmware or BIOS type is crucial to the dual boot Windows and Ubuntu setup. Your computer would either have legacy BIOS or UEFI firmware. To determine which BIOS type your PC has, run the command below in an elevated PowerShell session.

Get-ComputerInfo -Property BiosFirmwareType

Below is the expected result if the computer uses a legacy BIOS firmware type.

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If your PC has the UEFI firmware, below is the expected result

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Disable Secure Boot (UEFI)

If it turns out that your PC uses UEFI firmware, the next step is to disable the UEFI Secure Boot. Secure boot disallows the installation of operating systems other than Windows on a computer.

First, determine whether Secure Boot is enabled. To do so, run the below command in PowerShell.

Confirm-SecureBootUEFI

The command returns either True or False, confirming your computer’s UEFI Secure Boot status.

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What happens if you run the same command on a non-UEFI computer? You’ll get this error: Confirm-SecureBootUEFI : Cmdlet not supported on this platform: 0xC0000002.

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If Secure Boot is disabled, you don’t need to do the next step. If Secure Boot is enabled, proceed as follows.

Run the below command to access the advanced boot menu.

shutdown /r /o /f

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Click Troubleshoot.

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Click Advanced options.

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And lastly, click UEFI Firmware Settings.

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The next step will vary because there’s no single standard BIOS or UEFI interface. Generally, once you’re in the system setup in UEFI, look for Secure Boot or Secure Boot Configuration.

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Look for and select the option to disable Secure Boot.

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Save the UEFI settings and restart your computer to boot back to Windows.

For good measure, rerun the Confirm-SecureBootUEFI command in PowerShell and confirm that the result is False, meaning that Secure Boot is now disabled.

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Create a Bootable USB Installer

Now that you’ve finished preparing the computer, this part of the process requires three things.

  • Ensure you already have a USB flash drive connected to your computer. A 16GB flash drive should be enough.
  • You must have the Ubuntu ISO file already on your computer. If you don’t have it, download the Ubuntu ISO file first.
  • You must download Balena Etcher. We’ll use this tool to create a bootable Ubuntu USB flash drive.

Open Balena Etcher, click on Flash from file, browse and select the ISO file, and click Open.

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Click Select target, check the box next to the USB flash drive, and click Select.

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Lastly, click Flash.

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Balena Etcher starts creating the bootable USB flash drive.

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Wait until the flashing process is complete, then close the Balena Etcher window.

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Install Ubuntu Alongside Windows

Most computers would have a designated key that you need to press to access the boot device menu, such as F10, Esc, F12, etc. Consult your computer’s documentation to know how to boot to USB.

Restart the computer and boot to the USB flash drive.

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The GRUB boot manager shows up. Select Try or Install Ubuntu and press Enter.

dual boot windows 10 ubuntu 20.04

Wait for the Ubuntu environment to boot up. On the Welcome page, click Install Ubuntu.

dual boot windows 10 and ubuntu 20.04 uefi

Choose your keyboard layout and click Continue.

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Choose your installation options and click Continue. In most cases, the default options are fine.

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On the Installation type, select Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager, and click Continue.

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Next, drag the separator and slide it to adjust the Ubuntu partition (on the right). Make sure the Ubuntu partition is at least 20GB. Once you’ve adjusted the partitions, click Install Now.

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Click Continue to confirm the changes to the partitions.

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Again, click Continue to confirm formatting the new partition.

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On the next step, specify your location or accept the automatically detected location and click Continue.

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Enter your name, computer’s name, username, and password, and click Continue.

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Wait for the Ubuntu installation to finish. Once the installation is finished, click Restart Now to reboot the computer.

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At this point, you can now disconnect the USB flash drive from the computer.

Dual Boot Windows and Ubuntu

After restarting the computer, you’ll see the GRUB boot manager by default. You can select whether to boot to Ubuntu or the Windows Boot Manager on this boot menu.

To boot to Ubuntu, select Ubuntu from the list, and press Enter.

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Once you reach the login screen, enter the password and log in to Ubuntu.

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Restart the computer to test whether you can still boot to Windows.

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To boot to Windows, select Windows Boot Manager and press Enter.

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Log in to Windows with your credentials.

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That’s it! You’ve successfully completed the dual boot Windows and Ubuntu setup.

Cyril Kardashevsky

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