How to Dual-Boot Windows And Linux OS’s On Your Computer

It’s like having two computers in one – start your system up and choose between Windows and Linux.

What is Multi-boot OR Dual-boot?

Multi-boot or Multi-booting is the act of installing multiple operating systems on a computer, and being able to choose which one to bootwhen starting the computer. The term dual-booting refers to the common configuration of exactly two operating systems. Multi-booting requires a program called a boot loader.

Install Windows First – Then Linux

Windows must be installed into a primary partition (and in older systems this must be the first partition). Linux can be installed into a partition in any position on the hard drive and can also be installed into logical partitions (within the extended partition).

Almost all Linux distros recognize that Windows exists, and are willing to share the computer with Windows. This is why you should always set up Windows first, then set up Linux.  If Linux is installed into a logical partition within the extended partition, it is unaffected by changes in the primary partitions.

There are ways to install Windows after Linux and still dual-boot :

1.Installing From USB

It’s 2011; optical drives are all but dead. If you’ve got a computer without an optical drive, be it a netbook or simply a desktop with a broken drive, don’t panic: you can install Ubuntu from your USB drive.

2. Installing From Within Windows

if you want, you can install Ubuntu (LINUX) directly from inside Wubi. If you have an Ubuntu CD go ahead and insert it in Windows; you’ll be asked if you want to install Ubuntu. This is possible because of a program called Wubi.

Don’t have a Linux CD? That’s okay, you can download Wubi from the web. It will automatically download Linux and install it for you. Best of all, if you decide you don’t like Ubuntu (LINUX) you can remove it from within Windows the way you would any piece of Windows software.

3. On A Mac

Mac’s own Boot Camp software doesn’t officially support Linux and many of the guides for doing so around the Internet are really complicated.

To a certain extent there’s no getting around this: this is going to be complicated, however, which will give you an idea of what’s involved. All methods described there are based on rEFit, an alternative boot loader for Macs that’s far more Linux friendly than BootCamp.

4. Install To USB Disk

Having your USB disk function as a LiveCD is cool, but if you want a portable version of Ubuntu that you can customize however you like and use on any computer don’t worry: there are a variety of tools for the job. You could use Portable Linux for the job, orLiveUSBCreator.

Do you want to install Linux alongside an already-existing Windows installation? This is also possible, although a little more complicated. I’d highly recommend defragmenting your drive before you do anything else, however.

1.Back Up!

If you plan on dual-booting, you should really backup your data. It’s unlikely, but there’s always a chance when you’re messing around with your disk partitioning that something might go wrong. You can backup your data manually if you like.

Do you need more information? Check out our free backup guide or our live CD guide to find out more.

2.Install Linux!

 Doing this is easy, just download the ISO file for your Linux distro of choice, burn it to a CD and then boot from the CD.If you want an easy-to-set-up distribution, I recommend Ubuntu. Its guided installation process will help you make room for itself:

Pay careful attention to your options. You want to install and if in case Do you want access to your Windows files from Ubuntu? You can. During installation, set up your Windows drive to be mounted every time you boot.

Unfortunately it’s a lot harder to get Windows to see files from your Linux partition.

Conclusion :

Congratulations! You’ve now got a dual-boot environment set up. It was pretty easy, wasn’t it?There you have it: a series of unique ways to install Ubuntu. I realize many of these methods could work with just about any version of Linux, so feel free to apply them as you see fit.