How To Have Linux And Windows On The Same Computer

Having the flexibility of using both Linux and Windows operating systems on a single computer can provide you with a vast array of tools and options to perform your tasks more efficiently. This process, known as dual booting, allows you to switch between operating systems depending on your needs.

Here is a step-by-step guide to set up your system with both Linux and Windows:

1. Partition Your Hard Drive

Firstly, you will need to partition your hard drive to create space for Linux. A partition is a portion of your hard drive that works as an independent disk. This can be done from within Windows itself using the Disk Management tool.


  • In the search bar, type Disk Management and open the tool.
  • Select the volume you’d like to shrink. This should ideally be the volume where Windows is installed.
  • Right-click the selected volume and click on Shrink Volume.
  • In the pop-up window, enter the amount of space to shrink in MB and click on the Shrink button.

The above process will create an unallocated space that can be used to install Linux.

2. Install Linux

Before you install Linux, you’ll need to create a bootable USB stick. You can use tools like UNetbootin or Rufus to create a bootable Linux USB stick from an ISO file.

Once you have your bootable USB ready, restart your computer and boot from the USB stick (usually by pressing F12 or F10 during the startup screen, depending on your computer’s manufacturer).

Follow the on-screen instructions to install Linux. When asked for the installation type, select the option ‘Install Linux alongside Windows’. This will ensure that Linux uses the unallocated space we created earlier.

3. Choose Your Operating System at Startup

After successfully installing Linux, whenever you start your computer, you’ll see the GRUB boot loader. It will let you choose between Windows and Linux.

If you want to change the default operating system that loads at startup, you can do so by editing the GRUB configuration file in Linux.

To do so, open the terminal in Linux and type in the following command:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Find the line that says GRUB_DEFAULT=0 and change the number to correspond with the operating system you want to boot by default. Note that the count starts from 0.

After making the change, save the file and exit. Then, update GRUB with the following command:

sudo update-grub

And there you have it – a computer with both Linux and Windows installed side by side! With this setup, you can enjoy the best of both worlds and switch between operating systems depending on your needs. Happy dual booting!