Want to explore the world of Linux? Need to install Linux for study or work purpose? Want to start developing apps? 0r just want to get to know new things? Don’t want to lose your primary and beloved Windows operating system? Then you will need to install dual boot Linux Mint alongside Windows.
There are many types of Linux distributions available on the internet, Linux Mint is one of them. It was started almost 10 years ago in 2006. Linux Mint distribution is based on Debian and Ubuntu. But it is powerful and easy to use. One of the main reason to choose Linux Mint over other distributions is that- it provides full multimedia support out-of-the-box and comes with many free open-source application packages.
Dual booting Linux with Windows or any other operating system is quite simple. Many people found it so hard but trust me it is very simple. Also, this process is pretty much similar to all other Linux distributions. Here I have explained the process step-by-step and in detail.
How to Install Dual Boot Linux Mint alongside Windows
Here I have illustrated the process in three steps. The first step is to create free space for dual boot Linux Mint installation. The second step is to create bootable media through which you can install Linux Mint. The third step involves actual installation process.
Note: Before processing further I would recommend creating a backup of your system. The process I illustrated below doesn’t cause any loss of data. But, just in case if something goes wrong you will be needing a recovery drive to restore your Windows operating system back.
Step 1: Create Free Space to Install Linux Mint
You will need to create free space for Linux installation. There are lots of ways to create free space on your PC. But, we will be doing it on Windows disk management utility.
- In Windows press Win key + R and type: diskmgmt.msc, hit enter.
- Disk Management utility will open, select the drive on which you want to install Linux Mint (prefer the drive with the lots of free space).
- Right Click on the selected drive and choose Shrink volume.
- Now, enter the size of the volume to shrink in MB, on which you wish to install Linux Mint (I recommend creating a minimum of 15 GB free space), then click Shrink.
- After that, you will see the free space created on that drive, labeled as unallocated space.
This unallocated space will be used for dual boot Linux Mint installation. Now, as we have completed our first step, let’s move towards second. The second step includes creating bootable media for Linux Mint installation. If you already have bootable media like CD or USB drive then skip step 2, if don’t then follow step second.
Step 2: Create Bootable Media for Linux Mint Installation
The things you will require here is CD or USB drive and ISO image of Linux Mint distribution. You can download Linux Mint ISO images from here (Don’t worry the link will open in new tab). If you are using USB drive, I would recommend using USB 3.0 as it is a lot faster than others.
I have written a whole other article about creating bootable media for Linux installation. Check the link below and follow the instructions carefully.
Related Article: How to Create Bootable Media for Linux Installation?
The process is of creating bootable media is same for all Linux Distributions. Now, I assume you have followed the instructions in above article and successfully created bootable media for Linux installation. So, now it’s time to move towards our third and final step, which is to install dual boot Linux Mint alongside Windows.
Step 3: Install Dual Boot Linux Mint on Free Space
Now, we have reached the final step, at this step, we will finally install dual boot Linux Mint alongside Windows. Before proceeding further, you need to have knowledge about- how to boot from bootable media. Most of the times it is F8, F10 or Esc buttons.
- Boot from bootable media.
- When the following screen appears, click on Install Linux Mint.
- Next, choose the language of your choice and hit Continue.
- Check the box to install third party software for multimedia purpose and click Continue.
- Now, if the option Install Linux mint alongside them is visible then select it and hit Install Now (it is usually visible on systems with UEFI firmware), if not, then head over to the next step otherwise skip the next 6 steps.
- If don’t have the above option available then, select Something else and hit Continue.
- Now, the following window will appear, select the free space and click on ‘+’ icon.
- Next, we will create the SWAP partition. Enter the size in MB and select swap area from the drop-down menu and hit OK. Many people say its size should be as double as your RAM, but I won’t find it necessary. You can create the swap partition with the same size as your RAM.
- You can see the swap partition created on your drive. Now, again select the free space and click on the ‘+‘ icon.
- Enter all your remaining free space from drive, select Ext4 journaling file system from the drop-down menu. Set the mount point to→ /, then hit OK.
- Now, select the ext4 partition and click on Install Now.
- The following window will appear, click on Continue.
- Select your time zone and press Continue.
- The following form will appear, fill the details and click on Continue.
- After that, the installation process will begin, wait until it finishes.
- After the installation process completes, click on Restart Now.
Your computer will restart and the Linux Mint bootloader will appear. From there you can choose which operating system to boot. Congratulations! you have successfully completed all the step to install dual boot Linux Mint alongside Windows. You can now enjoy the taste of two OS on your PC.
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