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How to dual-boot Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7

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You can see that there are two ntfs partitions on the disk already. The first one, /dev/sda1, is the Windows 7 Loader partition, and the second, /dev/sda2, is the main Windows partition. The task now is to start creating partitions for Ubuntu. The objective is to create four partitions for the following mount points:

  • /boot
  • swap
  • /, the root directory
  • /home

Keep in mind that a new installation of Ubuntu takes up less than 3 GB of disk space, with the bulk of that used by root directory. To start, select the free space as shown and click on Add.


Select free space

The first partition to create will be one for /boot. The default file system is Ext4, the mount point should be /boot, and a size of 100 MB to 500 MB is good. OK.


Create /boot

With /boot created, select the free space and click on the Add button to create the next partition. Note: This step will need to be repeated to create all the other partitions.


Select free space

The second partition will be for swap space. Recommended size for swap is slightly higher than the system memory. For “Use as,” select “swap area.” OK.


Create swap

Ubuntu 10.10 will install in less than 3 GB of disk space, so anything higher will do. Be generous here. Ensure that the mount point is /, and the file system is “Ext4 journaling file system.” OK. Note: If you need to install Ubuntu on a B-tree File System, select btrfs from the menu. If you choose btrfs, then it is no longer necessary to create another partition. This should be the last one, and you will then assign all the free space to it. For a guide on this, see how to install Ubuntu on a btrfs file system.


The last partition will be for /home. The rest of the free space will be allocated to this partition, file system will be the default (Ext4 journaling file system), and the mount point will, of course, be /home. OK.


Create /home

With all the Ubuntu partitions created, you can now continue with the rest of the installation by clicking on Install Now.

Note: It has been reported that Windows 7 tends to mess with the GRUB menu after a Windows update/upgrade. To avoid any issue that might arise from that, you need to install GRUB to the boot partition of the Ubuntu installation, then use EasyBCD to edit the Windows boot menu and add an entry for Ubuntu. This method was used in how to dual-boot Fedora 14 and Windows 7. If you opt for this method, select the boot partition (/dev/sda3 in this example) from the dropdown menu under Boot loader section.


Install Ubuntu

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  1. Valeri says:

    Thank you .I used to have a problem with the dual boot but now it’s solved :)

  2. cyberst0rm says:

    Great simple solution. I have been running ubuntu on Vmware workstation within Windows 7. Been running super stable, but I always wanted the dual boot solution. I prefer it actually.

  3. QASIM says:

    very veryyyyyyyyy muchhhhhhhh

  4. Kat says:

    Thanks for a really clear example of how to set up multiple partitions, with an idea of sizes… the screenshots really help, too. I couldn’t remember how to set up my swap space. My new install of Ubuntu has been working like a charm. I set up my /home on my secondary partition.

  5. Sean says:

    Spectacular guide. Lots of screenshots and very detailed.

    You have my thanks, great job!

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