Installing Linux Mint Alongside Windows (dual boot)

Dual booting Linux with Windows is always suggestible for the beginners. And in this article, I’ll show you how to install Linux Mint in dual boot with Windows. The version of Linux Mint never matters either it may be 17, 17.1, 17.2,17.3 or till the latest 18.1, for Linux Mint Updates view the official site.

To be clear here I show you how to dual boot Linux Mint with Windows with legacy BIOS system. If you are not sure, read this to know if you have BIOS or UEFI system.

It is just to clarify that this process does not show you how to deal with UEFI. Which will be held in a later section.

Step 1: Create a live USB or disk

The foremost step for Linus Distro Installation is collecting the distro so we have to Download and create a live USB or DVD. If you are using Windows, you can use a live USB creator tool or something like Rufus, power ISO etc. In Ubuntu, you can use Startup Disk Creator (if it works). Or it is better to burn using USB Image Writer which is pre-installed in Linux Mint from a guy who has Linux Mint Installed.

Step 2: Boot into live USB

Plug the live USB or disk into the computer and restart the computer. While booting the computer press F10 or F12 function key (defers from computer to computer), some computer BIOS have F1 or F2 to go to the boot menu. Now, choose the option to boot from USB or Removable Media (usually the USB disk company along with the memory size you are using will be displayed).

Step 3: Start the installation

It takes some time to boot from the live USB or disk. Have some patience. Once it boots into a live disk, you’ll be provided to Try Linux Mint or Install Linux Mint. Even if you choose to try it, you can find the install option on the desktop, for a newbie user, it is recommended to choose the option of “try it” first. After booting into the Distro via the Live ISO there opens up the door of freedom.  😛

L&T Scholarship

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In next few screens, you’ll be asked to choose the language of the operating system. It will then do some checks on available space, battery and Internet connection. It is advised not to connect to your internet while installation because it may update all the packaged to the recent release which may cause to time to install the Distro.

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Step 4: Prepare the partition

This is the most important part of the whole installation. Where to install Linux Mint?. There are several options mentioned on the screen. The option “Install Linux Mint alongside of them “, installs your Linux Mint along with windows ( the drive in which Windows is running obviously the C: drive). The option “Erase Disk and install Linux Mint” formats the partition in which Windows is present and replaced the Linux Mint in them. It is advised not to choose the first option “Install Linux Mint alongside of them” because if the Windows gets corrupted the files of Linux Mint also gets corrupted so we can’t boot the system and cause unnecessary trouble.  As mentioned before, I prefer separate partitions for Windows and Linux. Windows is already installed here, we’ll prepare a new partition for Linux Mint. In the Installation Type window, choose Something Else:

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Now, I have 3 NTFS and some ext4 partitions. If you don’t have an ext4 partition, don’t worry, we don’t need that. As you can see in the picture below, one of the NTFS partition consists of Windows installation. This should be untouched if you want to keep your Windows installation safe.

I hope you have more than one NTFS (or FAT 32) partitions (i.e. Drives in Windows term) on your hard disk, with one of them consisting of Windows installation (usually C drive). What you need to do here is to delete an NTFS or existing ext4 partition and create some free space. This will delete all the data in that partition and this is why I asked you to verify if you have Windows installed on a different partition. So u can better have a drive free so that you may check the particular drive easily by noticing its disk space and space used, which avoids unnecessary trouble and prevents loss of data.

Click on the desired partition and press the “–“ to delete the partition.

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Step 5: Create root, swap and home

Once you created free space on your hard drive, its time to install Linux Mint on it. Now, there are several ways to do it. But here, I’ll show you my favorite way and that is to have a Root, a Swap, and a Home.

Create a root partition first. Choose the free space available and click on +.

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Here, choose the size of root (10 GB is enough but I chose to have 20 here), choose an ext4 file system, and mount point as / (i.e. root). The above steps are very important:

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Now, next is to create a swap partition. It is advised by many that Swap should be double of your RAM. You can choose the swap size accordingly. Basically why the swap space is needed is when your machine has a hardware constraint of low memory (*RAM) or you are running lots of applications at the same time which fills up your memory which causes overflowing of the stack. So the process of low priority are copied from the memory to the swap space and the process of higher priority are copied to the memory. After the process/ applications in the memory get completed and space is freed up the data from the swap gets copied again to the memory to continue it.

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The next step is to create Home. Try to allocate the maximum size to Home because this is where you’ll be downloading and keeping the files.

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Once you have created Root, Swap and Home partitions, click on Install Now button.

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Step 6: Follow the trivial instructions

Technically, you have crossed the main hurdle if you react till this point successfully. Now you will be taken through a number of screens to select options like keyboard layout, login credentials etc. You don’t need to be a genius to figure out what to do here afterward. I have attached screenshots for reference purpose here.

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Once the installation is over, you will be presented with the option to keep trying live version or to restart the system.

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And that would be it. On next boot, you will see the option of Linux Mint on the grub screen. And thus you can enjoy the beautiful and beginner-friendly Linux distribution. I hope you found this guide to Linux Mint dual boot with Windows helpful. If you want to remove, you can follow this guide to uninstall Linux Mint from Windows 8 dual boot in my following Blog which I would write it ASAP. 😛 time constraint

For official User Guide refer here.

If you have questions, suggestions or a word of thanks, feel free to drop a comment or mail me. Stay tuned here for more stuff, have a great time with Linux.

I

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