I have seen many Windows users on the Internet who want to install Linux keeping their Windows OS. It's good to install Windows and Linux both and you can use any OS when you need to. It's sometime hard for Windows users to do so although most Linux distros have got GUI installer. In this article I'll tell you how you can dual boot Windows 10/8.1/8 and Linux Lite 2.8/2.6. Linux Lite is an easy to install and easy to use Linux distro. So let's get started!
Before you start installing there are couple of points that I want you to take attention to. First, Linux should not scare you. It's easy to install and easy to use. If you have tried installing Linux earlier and were unsuccessful then this time you should be able to do it through this complete tutorial. And the second point is pay attention to the partitioning steps. Only partitioning can be little unclear if you're new but don't hesitate to ask any question in the comment section below. So for now keep these points in mind and let's get started.
Why Linux Lite?
If you are thinking why Linux Lite then there are couple of reasons of using Linux Lite. First Linux Lite is especially for Windows users so if you want to switch to Linux then Linux Lite can be a good way to jump on. Although there are other distributions that are newbie friendly such as, Linux Mint, Zorin OS etc. In the next article I will triple boot Windows and two other Linux distributions. I can use any other beginner friendly Linux in that tutorial. There is one more reason for choosing Linux Lite, it's faster. If you're thinking to use your old computer then Linux Lite is a good to go.
How To Dual Boot Windows 10/8.1/8 And Linux Lite 2.8/2.6?
Should I cover Windows installation? I think, NO! I assume that you already have Windows 10/8.1/8 installed. So let's quickly jump to the Linux.
Step 1. Prepare To Install Linux Right From Windows Installation
The first step to dual boot Windows and Linux Lite is you need to leave some free space on the Hard Disk while you are installing Windows. Many people have asked me what if they can install any Linux distro in their Windows partition such as, D: drive or E: drive. You can not install Linux in the Windows drives even if it has enough space for Linux. You have to have a separate partition for installing Linux. If you install Linux on Windows partitions then the drive will be formatted and all data will be erased. So the best is to leave some space for Linux installation while you're installing Windows.
Step 2. Create Bootable USB/CD?
The second step to download .iso of your Linux distro. In this article I am using Linux Lite so you can download their latest release 2.8 that is based on Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS.
You can create a bootable USB of your Linux Lite. Simply install Unetbootin and create Live USB. You can visit Unetbootin official website to download Unetbootin .exe file.
Step 3. Set Your Computer To Boot From USB
After you have created bootable USB, now set your system to boot from USB instead of HD or CD/DVD ROM. If you are using CD then skip this step.
To set system boot from USB, boot into BIOS settings. You can open BIOS settings by pressing Fn + F2 while system is booting. The key may differ depending on your laptop or desktop. In my laptop I have a button to boot into BIOS. To know the key for booting your laptop into BIOS, simply google your laptop model for opening BIOS settings.
When you're setting up system to boot into BIOS, don't eject USB. Otherwise your system won't give option to set USB as preferred bootable device.
Step 4. Boot From Live USB Or CD
After you have set up system to boot from USB, restart the system. Now your system should boot from Live USB. Select Start Linux Lite. Now your system will boot into Linux Lite. Live boot is the live session. You can do anything without installing Linux Lite but as all of your data will be removed once your restart the system. But you can obviously save any downloaded data to your external HD before you shut down.
After you select 'Something else', you will have the following screen with all your partitions and free space. Note down one thing, we are not going to delete any existing partition but we'll create partitions out of the free space we have.
Basically you need to create atleast three partitions to successfully install Linux Lite, i.e. root '/', '/swap' and '/home'.
I have already discussed in my earlier post 'how to dual boot Ubuntu 15.04 and Windows 10' that what all of these partitions mean. I will be touching here briefly.
root also symbolized as '/' is the partition that contains all the installation of Linux Lite. You can think of it as the 'C' drive in Windows. You can assign 15GB space to the 'root' partition so that you don't have any trouble later on you install so many applications in your system.
/swap is the partition that comes in use when your RAM usage gets to 100%, so all of the applications data start getting saved into /swap partition.
/swap is also used when you hibernate your system. It saves all your session data into your /swap partition.
/swap size should be double the size of RAM but if your RAM is already enough for your work then don't worry you can assign /swap 2GB or 4GB. For example, if your RAM is 8GB or 16GB like I have then don't create /swap 32GB because it will be more than enough. Just make it 2GB or 4GB if you think your 8GB RAM storage may go 100%.
/home partition is used to store your personal data, i.e. Music, Videos, Documents etc. The size of /home depends upon you. It can be from 2GB to 500GB depending upon the size of data you have. For example, I store all of my data in an external hard drive so I don't need large /home partition.
First create 'root' partition out of the free space available at your hard disk. Select Use as 'Ext4'. Select Mount point as '/'.
Create '/home' partition now. Everything should be same except mount point. Select Mount point as '/home'.
I am sorry I could not take screenshot when I was creating '/swap' partition but I'll tell you how I did it. It was same as the two partition above except Use as. Select Use as 'swap' and this will make Mount point unavailable and you are good to go.
Now Install now and make sure everything is as you want and click confirm. Now the next step is to select timezone. Select timezone and click continue.
Select your Keyboard layout.
The next step is fill in your information.
Click continue and you're all done! The installation will start. It will take sometime. If you're connected to the Internet then the setup will download and install all the available updates.
Hurrah! You have dual booted Windows 10/8.1 and Linux Lite 2.8/2.6. Now while you're booting you should be getting menu to boot into either Windows or Linux Lite.
As of now you should have understanding of the important steps of Installing Linux. Partitioning is the most important step and I have described it in my earlier post. But if you still have problem then don't worry, ask you query in the comment section below and I'll try my best to answer it.
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