Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

Installing Ubuntu in a dual-boot configuration

I’ve installed Ubuntu several times on various machines in a dual-boot format, but I’ve never blogged about it. In all cases, it’s been with Windows on the first partition (mostly with XP, but also once with Vista on a new machine), so I’ll use that as my example here.

First things first. Get Windows ready. This usually includes defragmenting to get all your files at the beginning of the partition. That’s pretty much it.

Next, get the install CD (from Ubuntu or your favorite distribution).

Boot into the installation CD. Ubuntu comes with a partition editor (GParted) on the CD, which you’ll need soon.

Resize your Windows partition in order to leave enough space for (a) the linux system itself, (b) a swap partition if your RAM isn’t plentiful, and (c) any other shared partitions you may want to make:

Be sure to tell the partition editor that you’re going to want to put the root file system (/) on your ext4 partition, and ensure that your swap partition (if you made one) is correctly identified as such.

If you’ve made it this far, you’re almost done. Now run the installer and let it work its magic.

Ubuntu’s always installed GRUB without a hitch. But if you do run into trouble, this documentation from Ubuntu is a good place to look.

Congratulations, and welcome to linux!