In this article, we are going to learn how can you dual boot windows 10 and Linux Mint and switch between them as per your needs. Although it is laced with many features, Linux isn’t perfect yet. You still might need your Windows installation because of some proprietary software programs or games that just cannot run on Linux.
Note: This only works if you install Windows 10 first, or you already have a Windows installation on your hardware first. You cannot install Linux Mint first and then Install Windows, Windows installer will simply remove your Linux Installation.
Steps to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint
Let’s get right into the steps to dual boot windows 10 and Linux mint on your system. You can replace Linux Mint with Ubuntu and follow the partitioning section below.
1. Download Linux Mint ISO.
Go to Linux Mint’s official website, and download the edition of Mint that you prefer. No matter which edition you pick, the installation method will be the same. For the sake of this tutorial, I’m using Linux Mint – Cinnamon edition.
2. Create a bootable USB stick using Ventoy.
Pick any USB drive of at least 4 GB capacity and make sure that you have no important data in it, as this process will erase it. From Ventoy’s official GitHub page, download the latest version of the Ventoy-Windows.zip file.
Open your downloads folder and extract it there. Now, insert your Flash drive and open Ventoy2Disk.exe. Make sure that your USB stick is selected, if not, click on the refresh button, Now click on install.
3. Transfer the ISO file to the Flash Drive
Navigate to your Downloads folder and look for the Linux Mint ISO you just downloaded. Copy the ISO using Ctrl + C, now navigate to the Ventoy USB and simply paste it there by pressing Ctrl + V.
4. Disable Secure Boot
Check your Laptop/Motherboard manufacturer website for the key you need to press to access the BIOS menu. It is different for each manufacturer. Don’t worry if you can’t find it, it’s usually one of these keys – DEL, Esc, F2, F10 or F12.
Restart your PC and press the key which will lead you to the BIOS menu when the manufacturer logo comes on the screen. Navigate to ‘Boot Options’ using the arrow keys on your keyboard and there, disable ‘Secure Boot’, and using the F5 & F6 keys, change the boot priority order so that your Ventoy USB will be on top and hence booted first. Press F10 key to save and exit.
Now, on the next screen, select Linux Mint and press enter. In a few seconds, you will be greeted with Mint’s Cinnamon desktop interface
5. Free Up Space
Now, before we proceed to the installation, press the ‘Super’ key (or Windows key) on your keyboard look for software named GParted, and launch it. We have to free up some space where we will install Linux Mint.
Select any partition and right click, resize your other partition so that you have at least 50 GB – 60 GB of unallocated disk space.
Click on Resize and hit apply changes, this process will take some time if the partition you are shrinking has any Data on it. Although not always, this process can corrupt your files.
When the process is complete, close GParted. Now we are ready to install Linux Mint on your device alongside Windows.
6. Begin Installation
Launch the Installer, select your Language and hit continue.
On this step, you need to select your keyboard layout.
If you are connected to the Internet, the Installer will give you an option to Install Multimedia codecs, click on the checkbox and hit continue.
In this step, if the installer detects your Windows installation, then great! Just hit continue, select the unallocated space we just created, and click on the Install button.
7. Drive Partitions For Dual Boot
For some reason, if the installer does not detect Windows, select ‘Something else’ as the installation type and hit continue.
Next, you’ll see an NTFS partition within the list. This is your Windows partition.
Make sure you do not make any modifications to these NTFS partitions as they will contain Windows system files unless you know exactly which drives are non-Windows drives.
We’ll only work on partitioning the unallocated spaces. So go ahead and right-click on the unallocated space and select create a partition.
I’m dedicating my full 50 GB to this partition, but if you want, you can also create a /home partition. Finally, when you are sure of the changes you are going to make, click on Install now.
8. Complete The Installation
Choose your Time-Zone in the next section and hit next.
Lastly, set up your Username and a desktop password. Click on continue. This installation will take 10-15 minutes from this point. The installer will then ask you to restart your PC and then remove your Installation media and press Enter.
9. Update your Installation
The next time you start your PC, the GRUB bootloader will ask you to pick between Linux Mint and Windows 10. Boot once into Linux mint, open Terminal, and type in the following commands to update your system.
$ sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade
If you do not see Windows 10 or any other operating system that you have installed alongside Linux, go ahead and run the following command on your terminal:
You have successfully installed & updated Linux Mint 20.3 alongside Windows 10.