How to dual-boot Linux and Windows

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How to dual-boot Linux and Windows

Postby kingabs » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:10 pm

A few users have PM me about how to dual boot windows and linux but today i cam accross a little article on some insight on this.

Partitioning, cross-platform apps and sharing data explained

Many of us like to run more than one operating system on a single machine. It's a great way of experimenting with how the other half live, testing new distributions and even playing a few Windows-based games.

But dual and triple booting has always been considered something of a dark art. This is because it involves the double jeopardy of messing around with your disk partition tables and playing with a pre-installed operating system. If things go wrong, it can be a disaster. Or at least, that's the popular perception.

The reality is that dual booting needn't be a risk, and installation can be effortless. With the latest distributions, you might not even notice the process. All this means that if you've been put off by older installations and those old horror stories of things going wrong, it's time to try dual booting again, and our our aim is to demystify exactly what is happening and give you the confidence to delve into the world of dual boot.

But before we push off into the world of running Linux alongside Windows, and Linux alongside Linux, there are a couple of important considerations.

First, dual-booting still involves a lot of data shuffling, and while we've not seen the process go wrong for years, if your data is valuable, it's not worth the risk. If you've got anything on your system that you couldn't live without, make a copy of it now before it's too late.

Secondly, with multiple-boot systems, planning is everything. If you've got a blank system that you know you're going to install more than one operating system on to, you can save yourself a lot of time by working out how those systems are going to be arranged, how much space you'll need for each OS, and how you'd like them to be installed.

Partitioning your drive before you install the first operating system can save you tons of number crunching and the risk of repartitioning. If you do this, follow our partitioning guide, then install Windows first followed by your favourite Linux distribution.

Finally, as with all things Linux, the main thing is to enjoy the freedom of being able to dual boot, because Linux is the only mainstream operating system that actively encourages you to do so.


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