Dual-boot Vista with Linux, or adding Linux on Vista machine

November 3, 2007

How to dual-boot Vista with Linux - Adding Linux on Vista machineIf you want to explore and enjoy both Vista and Linux world on a single PC, then you have to configure your PC to handle a dual-boot system. It may sound difficult, but it’s really within the knowledge of average computer users. Here are the steps to add Linux to your Vista system so it will dual boot.

1. Boot into Windows Vista and shrink the Vista partition to free up some space

Note: There are third party software for shrinking hard drive partition but some are not fully compatible with Vista. So, it is best to use Vista’s native partition tool.

  • Go to Disk Management – right-click “My Computer”, Manage, Disk Management.
  • Right-click on the main Vista partition and select Shrink Volume.
  • Set the amount of space to shrink in MB (It is best to have at least 10GB shrink space for your Linux).

2. Reboot your Vista machine from the Linux CD/DVD installer and start the installation process

Note: While all flavors of Linux can be added to your Vista machine, some of their built-in GNU GRand Unified Bootloaders (GRUBs), which are used to createmulti-both partition systems, require additional configuration to pick up the Vista partition. (Ubuntu 7.04 GRUB picks up Vista with no user input).

  • Follow Linux installer instructions to install Linux system.
  • Set the Language, Time Zone and keyboard for your system.
  • Set the partition where you are going to install Linux. Select the unpartitioned space you created earlier in Step 1.
  • Proceed to complete the Linux installation.

3. Reboot the system. When the GRUB boot menu is displayed, select the operating system you want to run.

Windows Vista and Linux are two different worlds. But, you can access both of them on a single machine by making your system dual-boot.

You find a more detailed overview here.

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