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Science and technology

Dual booting Windows and Linux utilizing UEFI

Rather than doing a step-by-step how-to information to configuring your system to twin boot, I’ll spotlight the details. As an instance, I’ll seek advice from my new laptop computer that I bought just a few months in the past. I first put in Ubuntu Linux onto your entire exhausting drive, which destroyed the pre-installed Windows 10 set up. After just a few months, I made a decision to put in a unique Linux distribution, and so additionally determined to re-install Windows 10 alongside Fedora Linux in a twin boot configuration. I’ll spotlight some important details to get began.


Dual booting isn’t just a matter of software program. Or, it’s, but it surely entails altering your firmware, which amongst different issues tells your machine start the boot course of. Here are some firmware-related points to remember.


Before making an attempt to put in, be certain your firmware configuration is perfect. Most computer systems bought right now have a brand new sort of firmware generally known as Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which has just about changed the opposite firmware generally known as Basic Input Output System (BIOS), which is commonly included by means of the mode many suppliers name Legacy Boot.

I had no want for BIOS, so I selected UEFI mode.

Secure Boot

One different vital setting is Secure Boot. This function detects whether or not the boot path has been tampered with, and stops unapproved working techniques from booting. For now, I disabled this feature to make sure that I might set up Fedora Linux. According to the Fedora Project Wiki Features/Secure Boot  Fedora Linux will work with it enabled. This could also be completely different for different Linux distributions —I plan to revisit this setting sooner or later.

In brief, for those who discover that you just can’t set up your Linux OS with this setting energetic, disable Secure Boot and take a look at once more.

Partitioning the boot drive

If you select to twin boot and have each working techniques on the identical drive, you must break it into partitions. Even for those who twin boot utilizing two completely different drives, most Linux installations are greatest damaged into just a few fundamental partitions for quite a lot of causes. Here are some choices to contemplate.


If you determine to manually partition your boot drive upfront, I like to recommend utilizing the GUID Partition Table (GPT) reasonably than the older Master Boot Record (MBR). Among the explanations for this modification, there are two particular limitations of MBR that GPT doesn’t have:

  • MBR can maintain as much as 15 partitions, whereas GPT can maintain as much as 128.
  • MBR solely helps as much as 2 terabytes, whereas GPT makes use of 64-bit addresses which permits it to help disks as much as eight million terabytes.

If you have got shopped for exhausting drives just lately, then you recognize that a lot of right now’s drives exceed the two terabyte restrict.

The EFI system partition

If you might be doing a recent set up or utilizing a brand new drive, there are in all probability no partitions to start with. In this case, the OS installer will create the primary one, which is the EFI System Partition (ESP). If you select to manually partition your drive utilizing a software reminiscent of gdisk, you will want to create this partition with a number of parameters. Based on the prevailing ESP, I set the dimensions to round 500MB and assigned it the ef00 (EFI System) partition sort. The UEFI specification requires the format to be FAT32/msdos, probably as a result of it’s supportable by a variety of working techniques.


Operating System Installation

Once you accomplish the primary two duties, you’ll be able to set up your working techniques. While I deal with Windows 10 and Fedora Linux right here, the method is pretty related when putting in different combos as nicely.

Windows 10

I began the Windows 10 set up and created a 20 Gigabyte Windows partition. Since I had beforehand put in Linux on my laptop computer, the drive had an ESP, which I selected to maintain. I deleted all current Linux and swap partitions to start out recent, after which began my Windows set up. The Windows installer mechanically created one other small partition—16 Megabytes—referred to as the Microsoft Reserved Partition (MSR). Roughly 400 Gigabytes of unallocated area remained on the 512GB boot drive as soon as this was completed.

I then proceeded with and accomplished the Windows 10 set up course of. I then rebooted into Windows to verify it was working, created my person account, arrange wi-fi, and accomplished different duties that have to be accomplished on a first-time OS set up.

Fedora Linux

I subsequent moved to put in Linux. I began the method, and when it reached the disk configuration steps, I made positive to not change the Windows NTFS and MSR partitions. I additionally didn’t change the EPS, however I did set its mount level to /boot/efi. I then created the standard ext4 formatted partitions, / (root), /boot, and /dwelling. The final partition I created was Linux swap.

As with Windows, I continued and accomplished the Linux set up, after which rebooted. To my delight, at boot time the GRand Unified Boot Loader (GRUB) menu supplied the selection to pick out both Windows or Linux, which meant I didn’t need to do any further configuration. I chosen Linux and accomplished the standard steps reminiscent of creating my person account.


Overall, the method was painless. In previous years, there was some issue navigating the modifications from UEFI to BIOS, plus the introduction of options reminiscent of Secure Boot. I consider that we’ve now made it previous these hurdles and might reliably arrange multi-boot techniques.

I don’t miss the Linux LOader (LILO) anymore!

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