This Instructable helps you Download a Linux distribution and dual boot it with windows which allows you to use both operating systems on the same computer. I hope you find this helpful! If you have any questions let me know.
Step 1: Preparation
-Working Internet connection
- 4 GB+ Flash Drive
-at least 25 GB free space
-External HDD for backing up windows
Most computer users have these requirements, almost everyone has internet nowadays and hard drives come in big sizes so it is not much of a problem. You can buy an external hard drive if you don't already have one, they are cheap and easy to come by on Amazon or any electronics stores like BestBuy. The same goes for a flash drive.
You will need to get the flash drive in order to put the installation material onto it and use it as an installation medium instead of a CD. Many computers don't have disk drives like they used to a while ago, so we are using a flash drive because every computer has a USB slot. Make sure to check your computer free size available, in the picture it shows I have quite a lot of space. After that you should go to the windows backup and backup your windows drive to the external harddrive you plugged in. when you are done backing up your computer move on to the next step.
Step 2: Pick a Linux Distribution
There is a huge number of Linux distributions all over the internet. Anyone can make their own distribution, even I have one that I build stored in one of my old harddrives. You should pick one that suits your needs, read about it and pick the one you like. I picked Ubuntu because it is the most user friendly and has a great amount of support and it's also free ( like most Linux distributions). It is a great one to start with if you are new to using Linux because it is much simpler to use. You can go to the Download website
and you will find download links for all the versions.
there also other ones you can download and the process remains fairly similar, ones That I reccomend include:
-Arch Linux ( this is a great way to learn how linux works because you can build it from scratch)
You can also go to http://distrowatch.com/ and compare Linux distributions and find the one you like best.
Step 3: Extracting ISO to FlashDrive
The next step after downloading the Ubuntu Iso file from the website you should go to the website https://www.pendrivelinux.com/ and download Universal Usb installer, which will allow you to extract the Iso image onto the flash drive and use it as an installation medium.Or you can just install the Universtal installer and pick the distribution you want from the drop down and press on the checkbox download link and it will direct you to download the distribution version you selected. After you download it you should press browse and select the file you downloaded. From the dropdown menu pick your flash drive, If your computer has a limited amount of RAM then you should select swap space by dragging the cursor on Step 4. This can help your speed if you have limited Ram on your computer. After that hit create and it should start installing and it will be done in a few minutes. When that is done you are ready to move on to the next step.
Step 4: Boot
This step can change according to the computer manufacturer, But it remains relatively the same.
In this step after plugging in your flash drive and restarting you should access your computer's boot menu, which can be done by going to the BIOS menu. That can be done by pressing the key that shows up on your screen right after it turns on. its usually F2 or Esc button. then you can navigate to the boot menu and pick the Flash drive or move it to the top so that the computer can boot from it when it runs. After that you can press F10 to save and exit. Once you do that and restart the Ubuntu screen shown will appear and then you can press the second choice which is installing Ubuntu.
You can pick try Ubuntu without installing if you want to try it out and see if you like it or not, once you leave nothing will be saved so this is a useful tool to test things out. You can also use the try tool if you want to use Linux for your needs for a short amount of time on another computer other than yours. You can do anything you want on it until you turn the computer off. After you are done using the try option you can choose to install and that's where the next step comes.
Step 5: Installation and Repartition
This is the biggest step.
In this step you can follow the images in order to finish the installation.
Pick the language you want to use then choose download updates while installing in order to have most of the things that you will need be up to date and ready for use. One big thing to be careful from is a window that will show up and ask if you want to format your hard drive and install a fresh install. Do NOT pick that option, instead pick the option that says other. It will take you to the page where you can re partition your hard drive and resize your partitions. Now you pick the hard drive you want to install Ubuntu on and then pick the partition that you want inside that hard drive, the partition will be formatted to ext4 just like the image and then you should type / in the mount point. You can make a new partition table if you have a new hard drive to use because otherwise this option will delete all of your previous data so unless you are installing on two separate drives do not use this option. You can also resize a partition and make two smaller ones and pick one to install on. The rest of the steps are simple, first you can also pick to get a swap drive to improve the data management on Linux if you have less Ram than recommended but that is optional. Then you should pick your keyboard type and enter your username and password, then you can choose your location and at that point you are almost done.
Step 6: Done.
After the last step is done and the installation is complete you should restart your computer and then this message will show up every time you restart your computer and it will allow you to choose between windows and any other operating system you have on your computer. If you need to switch between the two then all you have to do is either restart or hibernate your current operating system and you will get this screen when you try to start up which will allow you to use both without interrupting what you are currently you doing if you hibernate because hibernation saves everything you are doing.
Congratulations! you now have a computer with dual operating systems. You are encouraged to tinker with Linux and learn more about it.
Here are some useful links to use if you need help:
If you want to make windows the default operating system you can go here:
This website can offer all sorts of help for Ubuntu:
This link helps people who are newly switching to get used to it better:
Linux has a lot to offer and starting with Ubuntu is a great choice because it has a lot of support and easy ways to install the apps you want using the Ubuntu software center in the Ubuntu Menu.