Boot Ubuntu Alongside with Windows


August 31, 2015



Difficulty: Average to Expert



Installing Ubuntu alone on a blank machine is pretty easy . The Live CD or Live USB Ubuntu installer lets you boot to the operating system environment and start the installation within the system with easy-to-follow instructions. After just a few minutes, you have a highly secure, open source system with a friendly and elegant interface. You can easily download applications with Software Center.


But how about PCs with pre-installed Windows 8 and 8.1? While open source software is gaining popularity (primarily for security reasons), many Windows users want to install free OS without loosing their original one (because of software availability and support).


Nowadays, installing other operating systems on newer computers with Windows is more tricky due to proprietary limitations by Microsoft and/or computer manufacturers. In contrast, on machines released last 2011 and below, you are only required to boot from a Live media and follow the on-screen instructions, selecting the “Install Ubuntu alongside with Windows.”


This tutorial will help you how to make a dual-boot PC released 2012 and above with Windows 8 / 8.1.




1. A Live USB with Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit and above (preferably 15.04 64-bit on newer computers). Only Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit fully supports computers from 2012 and above that has UEFI (BIOS).


2. Disable Secure Boot on your computer BIOS. Secure Boot enables the BIOS not to start operating systems other than Windows so we need to disable it. Instructions are posted here.


3. Disable Fast Startup on Windows. Instructions are available here.


4. Make a blank partition on your hard drive where you will install your new OS. Instruction can be found here. Just leave the partition “unallocated” – do NOT create a “simple volume”.




1. Turn off the computer.


2. Plug in the Live USB.


3. Boot the computer from the Live USB (flash drive).


4. Ubuntu will start. Choose “Install Ubuntu.”


5. Select your language.


6. Select your internet connection (choose not to connect if you don't have a fast connection since it will download all the update files available)


7. At installation type, choose “Install Ubuntu alongside Windows”. If it is not available, choose “something else”, then make four partitions inside the “unallocated” partition you made earlier with the following recommendations:


    a. /boot – System boot installation
    Size: Arround 300 MB should be enough
    Partition type: primary
    File system type: ext2
    Mount Point: /boot

    b. / – File system installation
    Size: variable
    Partition type: Logic
    File system type : ext4
    Mount Point: /

    c. /home – personal files storage
    Size: variable
    Partition type: Logic
    File system type : ext4
    Mount Point: /home

    d. swap – Virtual memory dedicated partition
    Size: depends on the RAM, recommended is 1.5x the physical RAM
    Partition type: Logic
    File system type : swap area


Set the bootloader to /boot.


8. Click “Continue”.


The installation will then start normally. Restart the computer.


You computer may restart only in Windows or Ubuntu without the Linux (GRUB) bootloader to choose which OS to start.


Repair boot sector


a. Start from Live USB again. This time, you have to connect to the internet. There is a wifi symbol option at upper right area of the screen.


b. Open the Terminal. Access it by pressing Windows key then type “terminal”.


c. Enter the following, one line at a time:


       sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair

         sudo sh -c "sed -i 's/trusty/saucy/g' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yannubuntu-boot-repair-trusty.list"

         sudo apt-get update

         sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair && boot-repair



d. When the Boot Repair Screen appears, click “Recommended Repair”. Follow the instructions on screen.


e.  Restart the computer. Your GRUB boot loader will appear. “Windows Boot UEFI loader” starts Windows and the first option starts Ubuntu.


For instructions on making a LiveUSB from your Ubuntu ISO, click here. To download the Ubuntu ISO file, click here.