How to Dual Boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux

This post shows students and new users steps to install Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux on a single computer. If have a Windows 11 install on your computer and you want to run Ubuntu Linux on the same computer, you’ll have to setup a dual boot – meaning you will be able to boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux on the same machine – although one at a time.

Windows 11, a successor to Windows 10 which was released on October 5, 2021 is becoming the primary Windows OS. Ubuntu Linux which is probably the best Linux OS is also popular. If you want run both operating systems without additional hardware cost, the steps below will show you how to do that.

Installing Windows 11 or Ubuntu Linux is a pretty straightforward process. However, if you want to run both on the same machine, then a bit of a preparation will be required.

In most cases, you’ll want to install Windows first, then install Ubuntu later on a separate partition. If Windows 11 occupies the entire partition, then you may have to shrink the primary partition, create a new to install Ubuntu on it.

We’ll show you how to do it below.

To get started with dual booting Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux, follow the steps below.

How to partition hard drive in Windows 11

This post assumes that Windows 11 is already installed and functioning. If that’s so, login and create a separate partition to install Ubuntu Linux on.

Below is a post that shows you how to create a partition in Windows 11. If Windows occupies the entire partition, you will have to shrink the existing partition, then create new one for Ubuntu Linux.

How to create a partition in Windows 11

Download and create Ubuntu bootable USB drive

Once the partition is created above, go and download Ubuntu Linux ISO image and create a bootable USB drive.

  • Ubuntu Linux requires at least 25GB free storage
  • 8GB USB drive

With your USB drive in hand, go and download balenaEtcher app and create a bootable USB drive with the Ubuntu Linux image.

The post below shows you how to do that.

How to create bootable Ubuntu USB drive

How to boot and install Ubuntu Linux with Windows 11

How that you’ve learned how to create a partition and a bootable USB drive, let’s go and install Ubuntu Linux.

But first, please backup your Windows 11 machine. It’s always nice to have a backup before attempting to do anything that may render your computer inoperable.

With Ubuntu Linux bootable USB drive in hand, insert it into your computer running Windows, then boot from the USB drive.

Different computers have different ways of specifying where to boot from, find yours. Most likely pressing a key when you turn your computer on. Esc, F2, F9, F12 , etc.

When the computer is booted from the DVD disc or Flash Drive, you should see similar screen below.

Click the Install Ubuntu button to begin the installation. You could Try Ubuntu without making changes to your computer, but our goal is to install Ubuntu, so click Install Ubuntu to continue.

Next, select your Keyboard layout. Ubuntu installation picks US English Keyboard layout by default. This is a good place to change it if it’s not your default. Click Continue to move on with the installation.

The installation should be preparing to install Ubuntu packages. On the screen below, you’re given an option to Download updates while installing Ubuntu which saves time after the installation. and to install third-party software for graphics WiFi devices and media codes.

You do not have to select these boxes. However, if you have a stable and reliable Internet connection, you may want to select these options to download important packages while Ubuntu is being installed.

On this screen is where you select the installation type. The first option to Install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10 is the easiest of them. This will install Ubuntu on the same partition as Windows.

Option #2 Something else — is to perform a custom installation for advanced users.

For this tutorial, we’re going to be selecting Something else and choose the partition created earlier in Windows 11.

Click Continue

Next, select the partition that was created for Ubuntu Linux and click on the Change button. Should be the next one after the Windows 11 partition.

Then, click on the drop-down menu next to Use as: field and select Ext4journalingfilesystem option.

After your selection click the Format the partition option. Then use the drop-down menu and select the forward slash / as Mount point.

Click the Install Now button after the settings.

Accept that the installation will erase the hard drive and install Ubuntu on it. click Continue to move on.

On this screen is where you choose your time zone. Type a city name you live in and click Continue.

The next screen is where you type the first user account and create a name for the computer. Type your name, your username and password and choose whether you want to type a password to sign in always. When you’re done, click Continue.

Wait for the installation to complete. this should take about 7 mins depending on the speed of the computer. When the installation is done, you’ll be prompted to restart.

This is the last screen and the installation is complete. All you have to do is restart your computer, remove the disc from the drive and log back in.

You’ll be prompted with the login screen after rebooting. Login with the credential created above.

On the boot screen, you should have both Ubuntu and Windows 11 options you can choose from to boot into.

That should do it!


This post showed you how to dual boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu Linux. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.