Guide To Install Elementary OS Freya In Dual Boot With Windows

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Beautiful Elementary OS Luna logo

The article was originally written for an earlier version of eOS but it is equally applicable to install elementary OS Freya in dual boot with Windows.

elementary OS Freya stable version has been released. It is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. By now, you might have see the new features introduced in Freya. If you are impressed with the features, you might want to give it a try yourself. In this tutorial, we’ll see how to install elementary OS Freya in dual boot with Windows.

I always dual boot Linux with Windows. It gives me a way to recover in case I screw up my Linux system. I was dual booting Windows 8 with Ubuntu 14.10 Beta and I installed Elementary OS Freya in place of Ubuntu 14.10. Though it was for an already dual booted system, this guide can be used to dual boot any Linux OS along with Windows. If you have UEFI, you can follow this tutorial to install Freya in dual boot with Windows 8 UEFI. The article is actually for Ubuntu but works the same for Freya.

Install Elementary OS Freya in dual boot with Windows:

Follow the steps below to install Elementary OS Freya in dual boot with Windows:

Step 1: Create a live USB or disk

Download and create a live USB of Elementary OS Freya.

Step 2: Boot in to live USB

Plug the live USB or disk in to the computer and restart the computer. While booting the computer press F10 or F12 function key (defers from computer to computer) to go to the boot menu. In here, choose the option to boot from USB or Removable Media.

Step 3: Start the installation

It takes some time to boot from the live USB or disk. Have some patience. Once it boots in to live disk, you’ll be provided to Try Elementary OS or Install Elementary OS. No need to tell you what to do here.

Install Elementary OS Luna via Live USB

In next few screens, you’ll be asked to choose the language of the operating system to be installed. It will then do some checks on available space and other petty stuffs.

Choose Language in Elementray OS Luna installationElementary OS installation

Step 4: Prepare the partition

Now comes the important stuff. Where to install Elementary OS Linux? My favorite way is to create a separate partitions for Linux and Windows. Since Windows is already installed here, we’ll prepare a new partition to install Elementary OS Luna. Choose Something else in Installation Type window:

Install Elementary OS LUna with Windows in dual boot

Now if you see here, I have 2-3 NTFS partition and some ext4 partitions (from Ubuntu 13.10 installation). If you do not have ext4 partition, don’t worry. I hope that your Windows OS have several (or at least two) drives (read partition) in it. C drive where (usually) Windows is installed and one (or more) other drives. What you need to do here is to delete a NTFS or existing ext4 partition and create some free space. Choose the partition and click Delete. This will delete all the data in that partition and this is why I asked you to verify if you have Windows installed in a different partition.

Create partition in Linux installation

Step 5: Create root, swap and home

Once you have some free space on your hard drive, its time to install Linux system on it. There are several ways to do it. But in this post, I am going to show you my favorite way and that is to have a Root, a Swap and a Home. I’ll discuss why this is my favorite way in some other article. Lets just focus here on the installation of Elementary OS Luna.

Create a root partition first. Choose on the free space available and click on add.


In here, choose the size of root, choose ext4 file system, and mount point as / (i.e. root):

root partition

Now, next is to create swap partition. It is advised by many that Swap should be double of your RAM and stuff like that. Honestly, I don’t care much about it. I just use a value higher than my RAM.

swap partition to install elementary OS luna

The next step is to create Home. Try to allocate the maximum size to Home. After all this is where you’ll be installing, keeping the files mostly.

home partition

Once you have created the Root, Swap and Home partition successfully, click on Install now to proceed with installing Elementary OS Luna (or any other Linux OS). I hope you don’t run into Grub rescue error for messing up with the partition.

install elemnetray OS luna after creating partition

Step 6: Follow the trivial instructions

Once you have created the partition successfully, you have almost won the battle, no kidding. Now you will be taken through a number of screens with a number of things to do for which you don’t need to be Einstein or Ramanujan. I have put the screenshots just for reference:





insatlling elemetray OS luna

Once the installation is over, you should be notified by a message like this:

Elementary OS Luna installed

And that would be it. On next boot, you will see the option of Elementary OS on grub screen. And thus you can enjoy the beautiful and elegant Elementary OS. I hope you found this guide to install Elementary OS Freya alongside Windows helpful. If you have questions, suggestions or a word of thanks, feel free to drop a comment. Don’t forget to stay in touch on Facebook and Google Plus. See you again with more Elementary OS tutorials.

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  • Caleb

    This is the first tutorial I have found that explains the different partitions, I have no idea how I have installed Ubuntu so many times and not have to know this. Worked like a charm! Will be bookmarking for future use! Thank you so much!!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      You are most welcome Caleb :)

  • Kirnath

    I followed your guide last night, to dual boot with Win 8. But it won’t give me the options to choose my OS. I’ve tried using easyBCD but keep getting an error when I choose EOS. Any suggestions?

    • FreeFly

      I have the same problem with Windows7, I don’t have the boot option when rebooting the system…

    • Yossi Cohen

      boot with grub instead of windows loader…. it worked perfectly for me!
      just run eos in try mode(did it with ubuntu) and run the famous boot-repair program. it will install grub 2 and will let you choose win8 or ubuntu.
      using easyBCD all i got was a grub4dos command line when choosing ubuntu.

      • Abhishek Prakash

        Thanks for the tip Yossi. I’ll write an article on it in near future (i hope).

  • Yossi Cohen

    i have a d partition on my laptop.
    i want to allocate about 100gb using the windows tool(unformatted for later ext4 formatting) for linux and i wanted to know if later on when and if i will wanna get rid of linux can i format it and remerge it(and its 3 logical partitions) into that d partition with the windows tool again?
    thank you in advance.
    ps:eOS looks beautiful and modern!

    • Abhishek Prakash

      If you have Windows and Linux on different partition, you can delete the Linux partition and change it in to NTFS to use in Windows.

      • Yossi Cohen

        its fine got the partitions right but installed ubuntu as for eos wont boot nor install at all! I WANT TO TRY LUNA!
        (tried wefi truied without same thing did everything even nomodest)
        all i get is a forever black screen after i choose an option in the live usb grub menu.(be it install try or check) while this works fine with ubuntu(almost gave up on dual booting my laptop with linux but then i said lets give ubuntu a chance.)
        just 1 problem so far and is that it shows my battery capacity as 42% and it takes about 42 mins to completely drain on powersaving mode.
        now tried to drain it completely in ubuntu and charge in windows 8 to see if there is major battery life change.(win8 is 1:20 hrs+ on maximum performence+max brightness just like when i bought the pc almost 2 yrs ago).

  • ishaan

    Can I remove the EOS from dual boot just by deleting the ext4 partition with disk manager tool in win8 and use use win8 as my default and only os in my laptop? Or I will have a GRUB error? i don’t have a dvd drive in my laptop and thus, i won’t be able to run the startup repair for windows8 boot thing???

  • bonga

    I am getting “grub-efi could not install” near the end of the installation….secure boot is disabled, I am currently dual booting ubuntu 13.10 and win8…but installing elementary fails near the end.

  • Jose Mau Feat

    Restarting says “input not supported” how I can repair this error? please help

  • Sadiq Saleem

    First of all, thank you for your excellent article. I have run into installation issues while creating a dual boot with Windows 8. Hope you or the community may have some input. I am totally new to Linux. Though many people recommend Ubuntu or Mint but I really like the interface of eOS.

    I have Dell XPS-One 27 (touchscreen, windows 8, i7 3770, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD). I undertook the following steps:

    1. Created a live USB using unetbootin with the 64-bit version.
    2. Backed up my data
    3. Shrunk the volume, allotted 900GB and formatted it with NTFS format
    4. Disabled Fast boot
    5. Disabled secured boot (it was already disabled)
    6. Changed the first booting device to USB
    7. Chose to install eOS
    8. When it reached the stage for installation type i was expecting to see options such as removing windows 8, alongside, etc. I didn’t see any options and the installation couldn’t move forward (no such options as shown in step 4). I can only see the screen shot from step 5 but with no options. Is it because its not detecting Windows 8? I can see the OS option in the Files menu of eOS when I am using it as “try”.

    9. Tried couple of times didn’t work.
    10. Disabled the UEFI mode. Nothing happened.

    When I am in Windows, I can see the partitions. I can’t see the partitions in eOS “try” mode. When I run sudo fdisk -l and showed me my hdd and the USB drive.

    Will really appreciate your help.

    • Harman Signh

      Maybe you already have four partitions…

      Go into windows, type in run Disk Management

      See how many partitions you have.

      Also, there is noted trouble with dual booting any Ubuntu-ish distro with Windows 8.

      Windows 8 has 2 features that screws installing linux:

      UEFI which substitutes what we have known as the BIOS (which it is an alternative to)

      UEFI which substitutes what we have known as the BIOS (which it is an alternative to)

  • luster par

    sir i tried to install this elementary os but when i press install always stock in whitescreen

  • Ahammar

    Thank You :)

    • Abhishek Prakash


  • MarceloTF

    I followed your tutorial but now I cant boot to Windows 8, I have the option on the GRUB but, when I choose it, I get an error from Windows 8 boot loader, it told me to insert Windows 8 dvd to fix it, but I think if I do that it will mess with grub, any suggestions?

    • installer

      I had the same issue. What did you do?

    • alex

      WIN8 bootloader with UEFI mode , can’t GRUB others, suggest disable UEFI int BIOS ,and install win7 and this OS,

  • Muhammad Nauman

    My last 5 GB drive is not showing in the partition menu. What should i do? I want to install this on that partition.

  • Muhammad Nauman

    how did you make “free space” after ntfs partitions? I made a 5gb drive and left it “unallocated” but in the linux installation menu it is showing this “notusable”. what is this?

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  • marina

    After installing Elementary OS on top of Windows 8 on my Lenovo- I am experiencing serious battery life issues, the laptop cannot function without being plugged in.. it literally stays on for no more than 3 – 4 minutes! Anyone know how I can solve this?

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Try Jupiter

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  • 620113

    I followed your instructions, it installed perfectly but after reboot I have no boot loader.. not with Linux nor windows. I just boot straight to windows 7 ultimate. This is the same result I had before following your instructions. The odd thing is that all partitions are always logical in an extended partition… is that the way it suppose to be? Shouldn’t root be a primary partition? Any idea why I don’t have a boot loader for my Elementary 0 install? Thank you.

  • Gabe

    Thanks for the tutorial! Everything worked exactly as explained/expected.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Welcome Gabe

  • Joko Rivai

    Here is my result on Toshiba Satellite L745, intel core i5, RAM 6gb, nVidia, hdd 650gb: success dual boot with windows 7 by following your guide. Thanks!

  • Cyberbyte

    Worked perfectly with Freya 0.3. But there are a lot of bugs, hoping for fix in rc1(especially keyboard layout and corrupted mouse icon bug). Thanks a lot :) Someone who have issues with changing keyboard layout, just delete all languages except english and re-add them, and use alt+space combination. it helped me. thanks again 😉

  • someone

    hello everybody, i have some problems with this article.

    I follow all instructions in this article, but when i click on “Install Now” (in choosing partition) i got a message that said i have to make 1MB of partition that marked with “Reserved BIOS …(bla bla bla i forget)”. but because in this article have no need to make that partition, i ignore it and i click continue. after installing, i reboot my computer(laptop), but it just boot into windows(8,1) and have no boot loader to select eOS. then i open “System Configuration” and “Boot” tab, but, there’s no eOS in the list.

    Next i reinstall but i make the reserved bios …(blablabla) partition, but it has no change, i still can’t boot into eOS, please help me with this probs.

    Thanks dude

    –I install elementary OS Freya 0.3–

    • Sir Ammar

      well i have the exact same problem. i even make 4 partition ( one is /boot) but nothing change after i restart my laptop, it still directly bring me to windows 7. i tried boot repair but it says i have legacy mode on. i turned it off but the same thing happens. i dont know what to do else! trying to dual boot windows 7 and eOS freya

  • Adam Johnson

    Your instructions from the post worked perfectly for me. Dual booting Windows 8.1 and Elementary OS Freya 64 bit on a Dell Studio XPS 1640. I used Gparted Live CD to shrink my partitions and create some unallocated space on my 250gb SSD. Then, I installed eOS via the instructions above. I’d wager having the SSD helped to keep the data between OS’s/partitions from becoming corrupted.

    I was a little confused about the difference between the root and home partitions. This article explains them well:

    Basically, root is where eOS is going and Home (/home) is where your files/data will go.

    • Abhishek Prakash

      Thanks for pointing that out Adam. I should have explained the difference between / and Home.

  • Gendi

    grub rescue: file not found…
    i don’t know what went wrong. I formatted sda5(where i installed Elemenetary os LUNA) and installed elementary os FREYA there. Could it be something to do with the mount point or partition type (ext4, mount point= ‘/’) ???