Guide To Install Ubuntu 14.04 In Dual Boot Mode With Windows 8 Or 8.1 UEFI

Dual boot Ubuntu 14.04 with Windows 8 or 8,1 UEFI

Previously I had written about dual booting Ubuntu Linux with Windows 7 and 8 previously, But those tutorials did not cover systems that come with Windows 8 pre-installed. The newer systems that come with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, have UEFI instead of BIOS. This makes thing a little different from the conventional way of dual booting. In this tutorial, we shall see how to install Ubuntu Linux in dual boot mode with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

This tutorial is performed on a newly bought Dell Inspiron 7437 that has Core i7 fourth generation processor, 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM and built in 1 GB Intel graphics. I’ll cover all the steps you need to do in order to successfully dual boot Linux with Windows 8 UEFI. If you have already done some of these steps, just skip to the next one. If you have a fresh system, even better.

The steps mentioned here are applicable to other Ubuntu based Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, Elementary OS etc. Cutting the chit-chat, let’s see how to dual boot Linux on a UEFI secure boot enabled Windows 8 system.

Dual boot Ubuntu 14.04 with Windows 8:

There are various prerequisites to install Ubuntu on a UEFI system. Let’s see them one by one:

Step 1: Make a backup [optional]

It is always nice to make a back up, just in case if you mess up with the system. There are numerous articles on the web to show you how to backup your system. You can follow this tutorial here.

Step 2: Create a live USB/disk of Ubuntu

The next thing you need to do is to create a live USB or disk. I recommend Universal USB Installer to create a live USB of Linux OS in Windows.

Read this screenshot tutorial to learn how to create a live USB of Ubuntu Linux in Windows 8.

Step 3: Make a partition where Ubuntu will be installed

Assuming tat you have a fresh system, the first thing we need to do is to make partition to install Linux. The 256 GB in my system was already had several partitions from manufacturer but mainly for backup and other purposes. Main partition was C drive, of around 220 GB, where Windows 8.1 was installed.

If you have just one partition like this, you need to make some free space out of it for Linux. If you have several partitions of considerable size, use any of them except C drive because it may erase the data.

To make a partition in Windows 8, go to Disk Management tool. You can find disk management tool by searching for ‘disk’ in Control Panel.

disk management tool windows 8

In the Disk Management tool, right click on the drive which you want to partition and select shrink volume. In my case, I shrank the C drive to make some free space:

disk_partition_Windows8

You can leave the free space as it is. We shall use it while installing Ubuntu.

Step 4: Disable fast startup in Windows [optional]

Windows 8 introduced a new feature called “fast startup” for quick boot. While it is not mandatory, it would be better to have it disabled.

Go to Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings > Choose what the power buttons do and uncheck the Turn on fast startup box.

If you need more hints, follow this screenshot tutorial to disable fast startup in Windows 8.

Step 5: Disable secureboot in Windows 8 and 8.1

This is the most important step. The new secure boot feature of Windows 8, originally intended for security feature for rootkit viruses, prevents dual booting of Windows with Linux. To dual boot Windows 8 with Linux, we must disable secure boot in UEFI.

Step 6: Installing Ubuntu alongside Windows 8

Once you have disabled secure boot, it’s time to install Ubuntu. I hope you already created the live USB as mentioned in step 2. Plug in the USB and boot the system from it.

To boot from USB, will have to choose boot from USB option from within Windows itself. Either with PC Setting (like for UEFI) or pressing shift key while clicking on Restart.

Once you have booted in the live USB, you will be presented with option to try or install Ubuntu. Click on install. You will be presented with few screen options to choose the language. It will then do some checks on available space, power and internet connection etc. Just click on Continue.

dual booting Ubuntu with Windows 8

The main screen which you should pay attention to is Installation Type. Choose Something else here:

Installing_Windows8_Ubuntu_1

Remember we had created some free space beforehand? We shall use the free space to create Root, Swap and Home. Select the free space and click on the + sign.

partition on Ubuntu Windows 8 dual boot

It will provide you with option to create Linux partition. We are creating the Root partition. Any thing between 10-20 GB is more than sufficient for it. Choose the size, select Ext 4 as file type and / (means root) as the mount point.

Installing_Windows8_Ubuntu_3

Clicking on OK in previous step will bring you to the partition screen. Next we will create swap. Like previously, click on the + sign again. This time use the file type as Swap area. Suggestible swap size is double of RAM.

Installing_Windows8_Ubuntu_4

In similar fashion, create a Home partition. Allocate it maximum space (in fact allocate it rest of the free space) because this is where you’ll save music, pictures and downloaded files.

Installing_Windows8_Ubuntu_5

Once you are ready with Root, Swap and Home, click on Install Now:

Installing_Windows8_Ubuntu_6

Well, you have almost won the battle. You can smell victory now. Next you will be asked to set username password etc. Basically, you just need to click next now.

Once the installation is completed, restart the computer, you should be welcomed by a purple grub screen. Enjoy Ubuntu along with Windows 8 in dual boot mode.

I hope this guide helped you to dual boot Ubuntu with Windows 8 UEFI. Though this article is written for Ubuntu, it should be heloful for other Linux OS as well. Any questions or suggestions are always welcomed.

  • Mr Chris

    Did you think at all about running virtual box/virtual machine?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Running Ubuntu and/or Win 8 virtual box? Of course I did. But dual booting is still a better way to use both OS in same system, IMO.

      • oky19

        hi abhishek….i have install it …and i can load my windows 8…so i use boot-repair-disk…but boot-repair-disk says..we have to use ubuntu 64 bit ??
        can we dual with 32 bit ?? via ur ways above ??

  • Seoras Mackay

    Great guide but I hit one problem when it came to Secure boot in the UEFI settings I cant toggle mine off but I can select “Legacy Boot Mode” where it boots into Ubuntu but now Win 8.1 and UEFI boots into Win 8.1 and not Ubuntu. Is there anyway around this?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      This is strange. Because I did it in Win 8.1, I successfully toggled off secure boot. I see no need to using legacy boot mode. May be you can revert the changes and try to turn off secure boot again.

      • gingoro

        I also have to enable Legacy Boot Mode, which on my HPie laptop disables Secure Boot. So now if I boot normally I get Winders 8.1 and if I go into the startup boot targets menu and select the right disk I can boot into Ubuntu. Not a very optimal solution.
        Have tried EasyBCD but the resulting Windows boot option will only work to bring up Winders, when I click on the icon for Ubuntu it simply restarts the machine.
        Frustrated
        Dave

        • gingoro

          I can run in Secure Boot mode as well but to get to Ubuntu I need to bring up the boot from dialog and select the right drive and then presto Ubuntu comes up.

        • m33d

          For guys having a hard time disabling secure boot, I had same problem too. I have an Acer BTW. All you need to do is create a new supervisor password and the option would be available but I strongly recommend clearing the password once you’ve disabled secure boot to prevent password loss.
          I don’t know if you can still convert back to UEFI from legacy though.

  • Akhil

    Can’t see free space in linux mint partition space

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You’ll have to make some free space. You ca do it while istalling by shrinking a volume. But be careful as it may erase some data.

      • Rizky Fahrul Rozy

        still can’t see free space :v

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  • M

    Yep – successfully added Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon as dual boot to windows 8.1 on asus k200ma notebook.

    Great thanks for the awesome guide!

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome..

  • Bruce

    I followed the above directions and every thing loaded fine, however, when I re-booted it did not give me the option to select which OS I wanted to use it just loads windows. It’s as if Linux Mint doesn’t even exist on this system. Can someone help me with this issue?
    Or, isn’t this the forum for this???

    Kind Regards,
    Bruce

    • Paolo Profetto

      I have the same issue

      Paolo

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Go to UEFI settings once again… find UEFI Boot options there… you’ll see Windows Boot Loader and Linux Boot Loader…. change the order to put Linux Boot Loader on the top. It should solve the issue.

      • Amit

        I opened UEFI Firmware Setting , but i am unable to find Windows Boot Loader and Linux Boot Loader, in boot option it shows OS Bootloader only.

  • riotanama

    Can I do that for Kubuntu?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Yes… the same applies to Kubuntu as well.

  • Konstantin Stefanov

    Great guide, thank you it hlped me alot :)

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      You are welcome Konstantin

  • dnbsk

    Unfortunately, not sufficient. I faced many problems and none of them mentioned above. I had to scan different blogs and forums to find detailed info and deal with it but I couldn’t. Then I gave up. The process is not that as smooth as you’ve explained.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Reading the comments here, I see many people faced issues but trust me, I wrote the exact process I followed and it was flawless for me.
      Could you please share the troubleshoot you did so that it can help future readers?

      • dnbsk

        UEFI Firmware Settings under Advanced Settings was missing, I searched it and couldn’t find anything practical; then I realized that I did not have a problem about secure boot. I couldn’t create more than 4 partitions while instaling Ubuntu, but you have many partitions and all 3 partitions you’ve created for Ubuntu are primary. I tried not creating swap area and installed Ubuntu. Then I saw a black screen and realized that my W8.1 was not available anymore. I gave up and booted W8.1 from the very beginning.

        • BenJamN

          Did your installation process flip back to Installation Type after having set up and selected the partitions you wanted to install Ubuntu? Ours seems to be going around in circles.

          • dnbsk

            No, actually it installed Ubuntu but destroyed Windows 8.1. I did not even complete the circle :)

  • http://devgizmo.blogspot.in DeVansh TriVeDi

    after secure boot off, when i chose to boot from live usb (UEFI) i was stuck at a black screen that said grub v2. and asked me to enter linux commands..so i couldn’t boot into Ubuntu .. pls help.. ASAP

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Was it grub rescue error? Some details would be better.

  • BenJamN

    I’m having issues. The after setting all the partitions in a system that already has Windows 7, once I click to install after setting root and swaps, it goes back to the prior screen: Installation Type and looks like it might install over the Windows partition. Shouldn’t it tell me explicitly it’s doing a dual boot and install immediately when I tell it? It goes to some timezone thing and looks like it has an error message box popping up, too. The PhD engineer I’m helping keeps wanting me to cancel the installation because it doesn’t look like others’ method.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      It should not go back to Installation type screen. Just few questions. Do you already have Windows 7 installed on a separate partition before you try to dual boot it? (it hinders some times).
      Also, when you create Root, Swap and Home… does the format check box checked automatically?

      • BenJamN

        Yes, Windows 7 is already installed on another partition. The new unused volume was split into Root and Swap. There were checkboxes on them. The timezone thing came up at some point, and at some point we ended up back at Installation Type inexplicably though we were not hitting back. The person I was helping (an Engineering PhD fellow) was terrified I was about to destroy his Windows partition. That may have been what was about to happen, but I was telling him to trust me and trust the Ubuntu open source code stuff. Surely they have all these kinks worked out and we’re just being overly cautious. If I did not give permission to overwrite those other partitions, had designated new volumes, and was always hitting next or install, my assumption was this would work properly. I’ve never had so much issue installing any OS before, and I remember the good old days of CD Rom drivers within Dos! This Ubuntu 14.04 installer is really a step down from prior Linux installers that simply asked you things like “Dual Boot?”

        • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

          You said “Root and Swap” again. I hope you are also creating the “home” along with Root and swap.

          Trust me… with Ubuntu, installing Linux has been very simple. If you try to dual boot Arch Linux or OpenSuse with Windows, you’ll realize how easy it is to install Ubuntu.

  • Ankit

    what are the real disadvantages of turning of UEFI secure boot,i mean what happens to my pc? Will there be any change to my pc?And can i turn it “ON” after installing ubuntu

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      Then it will be susceptible to firmware exploits which is unlikely for a normal desktop user. If you enable it again, you won’t be able to access Grub, in my opinion, haven’t tried it though :)

  • Jon

    Not sure if this helps, but I read somewhere that you need to change: Device for boot loader installation:
    /dev/sda ATA VBOX HARDDISK
    to
    /dev/sdb

    sda to sdb <<<<<<<

  • sayan

    in my case when i installed with win 7, after creating the root partation other free space was display as un usable format.. can any one help..

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      more details please… swap and home was not created successfully?

  • Hitesh Ramani

    Hi, I was installing ubuntu 14.04 via USB stick and by mistake installed in the NTFS empty drive at the first go. I guess the file got corrupted and hanged then I exited the setup and restarted. It didn’t let me boot from windows as a black screen came with “grub>” command. I again read the whole procedure and this time did everything as written, successful in installing Ubuntu but now can’t get my windows 8 back! No option for chosing windows appears on the boot and Ubuntu starts automatically. Please help.

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  • Tim Converse

    Having some troubles with the installation of Ubuntu. In step 6 above, I am never given the chance to select “Something else” on the Installation Type screen. It seems to skip this step. I go immediately to the screen where I should be setting up partitions instead, but I don’t want to miss a step here. I’m installing on a brand new Alienware 18 machine with Windows 8.1 on it and I am trying to make this a dual boot machine. All the steps up to this point have been just fine.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      This should not happen. Why not run a checksum and see if the downloaded ISO is corrupted.

  • Premnath Tiwari

    Hi Abhishek,
    I have a Sony Vaio with windows 8 pre installed.I am not able to proceed beyond step 6.In Step 6 on selecting to boot from USB I am getting error “Your vaio failed to start using media(USB device/optical device).
    Can you suggest how to proceed

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      May be try using the legacy bio instead of UEFI (in boot) and see of you still have this error.

  • theVerge

    Does this mean that I have to reformat my HDD and re-install the Windows 8?

    • http://itsfoss.com/ Abhishek Prakash

      No .. not at all. This is mentioned no where.

  • gudari6

    I followed your steps and now I have the following options in the grub.
    -Ubuntu
    -Ubuntu advanced
    -Windows Boot Manager (on /dev/sda2)
    -System Setp

    When I choose -Windows Boot Manager (on /dev/sda2) a black screen appears and the OS does not load. Why?

    • paul

      If 8.1 was pre-installed, you have to install your ubuntu bootloader in the same partition where win 8.1 have his own efi bootloader. This is a very small partition (~100 Mb). You will see it in disk management in win8.1.
      You can’t just install grub like in this guide (in MBR) because one of the system will be always unbootable.
      Once your ubuntu is installed with grub in win 8.1 uefi ntfs partition all the options in your grub are working proper. After checking that’s working (you can boot both, win 8.1 and ubuntu) just go back to bios (UEFI) and enable fast booting and secure booting again. That’s it. Enjoy.

  • krish

    I have Windows & already installed. But i din’t shrink volume and create free space. Instead I formatted another partition and installed ubuntu by creating / and swap area.. forgot to create home folder. Now ubuntut works fine but i think windows MBR is screwed up. When i go into windows 7 it throws a blue screen and restarts.. Any idea on how to solve ??

  • LinuxUser001

    Thanks for the article! Worked out perfectly for me. One question though, after installing ubuntu, can I renable fast startup or will that conflict with something? because it makes a very noticrable difference in start up time

  • gadz

    hello. just a question. what’s the difference between installing it as primary from installing it as logical? thank you

  • Edwin Mokami

    Hi, I once did this, it worked and I was able to dual boot between my
    Pre-installed Windows8 and Linux Ubuntu, the problem came in when I had
    to remove linux, I formatted and removed the partition that I created
    for linux, and guess what happened? I Lost the Grub!!!!! So i lost both
    my Windows and Linux. So…is there a way that one can just remove The
    Linux partition safely?? without losing Windows 8?

  • priyanka

    Dear abhishek,
    After installation of ubuntu 14.04 on windows 8 installed pc i didnt get dual boot option. windows is directly loading. As you said i tried in UEFI boot settings but didnt find an option of os boot loader(linux bootloader/windows bootloader/os bootloader nothing). will you please eleborate the procedure in detail?
    thanks and regards,
    priyanka