How to install Windows and Linux – part3


In our previous article you’ve learned how to make bootable usb-stick with Linux Ubuntu live distribution on it. This is the last on – “How to install Windows and Linux”, in this part3 you will learn how to:

  • boot from installation media
  • make Windows ntfs partitions
  • install Windows
  • make Linux ext4 partitions
  • install Linux Ubuntu

After all been done you will have a really cool workstation with two operating systems, Windows and Linux Ubuntu.

Many users will probably switch to Linux, and keep Windows for gaming and Video editing.

Simulation installing Windows and Linux – dual boot

In my simulation i was having 100 GB hard disk space available and i’ve decided to give approximately 50 GB to windows and 50 GB to Linux ubuntu operating system, because this was made on qemu-kvm  for educational purpose.

Some reasonable hard drive capacity now days is about 1 Terabyte (1000G) if you have a hard disk similar capacity  you can decide how many space you want for each system. If you just started as beginner,and you wish to use linux for some time you can give 900G to Windows and the rest will go to Linux.

It’s really up to you how many space you want to give to each operating system. Follow the instructions, furthermore you can “stick” to my recommendations for Linux partitions sizes, but when you create /home partition you can give it all available space you got because on this partition goes your personal data like Music, Videos, Documents ..etc.

One more thing to mention, if you have a really big hard disk (2TB or more) the procedure will be different, you will have to use GPT partition tables. We will cover more about GPT in the future articles.

Installing Windows and leaving some extra space for Linux ubuntu

First thing is to set Bios / Uefi  where you have Windows CD-ROM installation media. The rest of procedure you probably know already. I will skip to the point where you making partitions.

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - selecting custom install

The recommended approach is to choose Custom: Install Windows only, this option will give you more flexibility for making custom size ntfs partitions. While making ntfs Windows partitions make shore to leave free space for Linux Ubuntu operating system.

making windows ntfs partitions and leaving some free space for linux ubuntu

In this dialog choose New and enter your desired space in megabytes. In my example i was set 51200 MB (50 GB) After you click Apply

windows is creating system partitions

To ensure that all Windows features work correctly, Windows might create additional partitions for system files, click OK!

windows is making system reserved partition
windows installation in bios mode

If your computer was booted in legacy bios mode this is how its partition table will look like. Now you’ve created two Windows partition and unallocated space will be given later to Linux Ubuntu.

Other ways  if you see something that looks like this:

created partitions ready for installing windows uefi mode
windows installation in uefi mode

you’ve been booted in uefi mode and from this point you should continue with  tutorial How to Install Windows and Linux – part4. In this case procedure is little different because you have little bit more partitions to handle!

Users that end up with bios version (illustration with blue border above) should continue reading this tutorial:

You just created two windows partitions, click Next and installation of Windows operating system will start. After you successfully install Windows follow this procedure:

  1. Turn off your computer and remove your Windows installation media.
  2. Put your linux usb-stick in place
  3. Turn on computer and quickly press (delete or whatever) key you need to enter for entering Bios
  4. In bios set boot priority for your usb stick, it has to be first device in order to load your operating system.
  5. Exit and make shore you save your boot changes.

After Windows – Installing Linux Ubuntu from usb-stick

Again, just to make things more clearly – in this episode we are installing Linux Ubuntu after we have installed Windows 8.1. Installation goes in empty space previously left after installing Windows.

If you booted from your Linux usb-stick correctly you will see something like this:

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - boot menu unetbootin
…just choose Install Ubuntu

How to install Linux ubuntu? – Just choose Install Ubuntu and follow procedure!

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - booting ubuntu

During boot process you will see the Ubuntu logo we are waited for! Be patient and wait for Welcome screen. Speed of this boot up varies on your hardware like RAM amount and processor. If you got plenty of RAM your system will load faster.

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - installing linux ubuntu welcome screen

You can choose your language here. There will be some additional steps like setting keyboard, this is quite simple.

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - selecting updates and software

In this menu choose Normal installation, Download updates while installing Ubuntu and Install third party software for graphics and wi-fi hardware and additional media formats.

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - setting installation type

Here you can choose Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 8 and that reminds me on one Epic scene in movie called Matrix, furthermore the first option is like a blue pill, or if you choose option Something else(red pill) – “you stay in wonderland and i show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes”

If you select first option the system will install by itself and you will loose opportunity to learn how to make partitions.

Partitions are really great subject to learn, once you gain knowledge how to deal with partitions you will be able to install many more operating systems on one computer. In this tutorial we are making classic MBR partition scheme. There are also GPT scheme which are used for really big hard disks with more then 2TB space.

installing linux ubuntu on free unallocated space bios mode

Those are the most important steps. Select free space and click on plus symbol. Here we going to make our self a Linux partitions. This is empty space that we previously left when we where installing Windows.

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - making boot partition

This is your first linux partition called /boot partition. Klick OK! After this select free space and click + symbol again!

How to install Windows and Linux – part3 - creating swap partition

This is your second partition called swap partition.

Make sure you create this partition as Logical partition, if you choose Primary by accident you will not be able to create more partitions!

How much swap space do i need?

Now in this simulation i was having only 4GB of ram. Since you are installing Linux on real hardware there are some rules of thumb how much swap space you are going to need. Here are the examples:

RAM Size Swap Size (Without Hibernation)  Swap size (With Hibernation)
 256MB  256MB  512MB
 512MB  512MB  1GB
 1GB  1GB  2GB
 2GB  1GB  3GB
 3GB  2GB  5GB
 4GB  2GB  6GB
 6GB  2GB  8GB
 8GB  3GB  11GB
 12GB  3GB  15GB
 16GB  4GB  20GB
 24GB  5GB  29GB
 32GB  6GB  38GB
 64GB  8GB  72GB
 128GB  11GB  139GB

This table is borrowed from for example, if you have 8GB of RAM you can put 11GB of swap space. Set the proper value and Klick OK. Create another partition called ” / “

installing linux ubuntu - creating root partition

This partition is called root partition(slash symbol). Click OK and choose free space, click on plus symbol create last partition called /home.

creating home partition linux ubuntu

Usually when you make last partition called /home the system will offer you all available hard disk space and you don’t need to calculate, just use all. Now, this is our final preparation before Installing. Just click OK.

Linux ubuntu ready partitions - dual booting

And our final result is looking like this! Blue section represents Windows and orange is representing Linux Ubuntu partitions which are part of Linux Ubuntu operating system. Just click on Install Now! …and final warning before partitioning looks like this:

final warning before partitioning

…just click Continue and your installation will start, furthermore you will have to set your personal settings like Country, keyboard, username, password …etc.


 setting user in linux ubuntu

IMPORTANT: Do not enable Log in automatically! Set your username and password!

All you have to do now is grab a beer, smoke a cigarette or do some meditation. 🙂

install windows and linux - after finished task
Beer is natural, even hot girls like it

There is really no need to wait here, grab a beer girl  and enjoy. I mean beer! O gosh!!! Both!! – anyway, you deserve this because i know linux world is pretty confusing at a first time! How to install Windows and Linux – part3 is final part, after that you will have a really great machine with two operating systems side by side.

How to install Windows and Linux – part3  a good starting point for plenty more research

Linux Ubuntu also comes in many flavors, some versions works pretty good on old computers, furthermore you can also make some different Linux ubuntu usb stick directly from this new linux system you’ve just created. I will mention some of them:

  • Kubuntu
  • Lubuntu
  • Budgie
  • Kylin
  • MATE
  • Studio
  • Xubuntu

Linux 32bit pc(i386) version

If you have some really old hardware and you want to do some experiments they still doing support for linux ubuntu, therefore the last ubuntu version that work with 32bit pc(i386) is Linux Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS (Xenial Xerus) and this version will be supported till April 2024.


In this artice “How to install Windows and Linux – part3” you’ve learned how to make linux partition in graphical mode. There are a few things more to mention, for example if you stuck in process of making partitions.

On linux you can only have 3 primary partitions (bios mode), forth partition is called Extended, and after that partition system creates Logical partitions. Having created 4 partitions as primary, you can’t create any more partitions! Here is an example:

unusable partition space - linux ubuntu partitioning error

In example above, we count partitions like this:

  1. Partition: /dev/sda1    type ntfs    Windows 8  (system files)
  2. Partition: /dev/sda2   type ntfs    Windows 8   (Windows installation)
  3. Partition: /dev/sda3    type ext4   /boot    (Linux)
  4. Partition: /dev/sda4    type ext4   /home  (created by mistake as Primary)
  5. unusable   (unusable space) 53GB in size!!!!

In example above you can’t make any more Partitions, that’s because you’ve created partition 4 (/home) as Primary partition. To correct this error and use all space you must create this partition as Logical partition.

After having done this, you will be able to create many more Logical partitions. In this example above easiest solution is just to delete partition 4 and create it again as Logical partition.

That’s all for now, this “episode” How to install Windows and Linux – part3 is final part regarding installation to real physical hardware. After this article we are going to do all kind’s of tests and stuff. I really hope you make it all work!


Author: Krunoslav Kralj

Im Linux enthusiast from Croatia using Linux for 13 years! My first Linux was - Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon), released on 18 October 2007. After some time iv'e switched to Centos 6. Im still using Ubuntu for my daily tasks, and i really miss my Centos 6 which reminds me to some older versions of Ubuntu.

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