How to install Ubuntu on Windows Machine. (Dual Boot)

I have installed Ubuntu On my Windows PC and have been enjoying the bells and whistles of Ubuntu since then. I installed it (if I remember it vaguely, October of 2008). Loads of people (Mostly my friends) are asking me how to do this and that. So I decided to document the whole thing. I will be starting with the installation of Ubuntu. The rest will be documented soon.

You need the following things to install Ubuntu on Windows Machine. Windows include Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Requirements to install UBUNTU 8.xx and above on windows based PC

  1. An Open mind to try UBUNTU. There will be different ways to work, different terminologies to learn. There will be hiccups. So an open mind and an attitude to learn is important.
  2. A basic knowlegde of computers. The difference between a keyboard, mouse display screen and interaction with computer is needed by anyone performing this install. If you do not know what is being talked about in this sentence, fear not. Ask a Geek friend in your circle. Trust me, you will find one, if you think hard. He is sure to help you out.
  3. A PC to spare, having at least (the word is at least). The more the better
    1. 1 GB RAM
    2. 4 GB HDD Space for Ubuntu(that’s what UBUNTU CD will tell you). My recommendation is to give at least 10 GB to Ubuntu partition. If you plan to keep windows and Ubuntu both, then keep 20 GB for Windows XP / VISTA partition alone for windows to breathe. That makes 10 + 20 = 30 GB HDD. I really do not think, 30 – 40 GB HDD is a problem these days. We are having 150 – 160 GB of HDD. If your Laptop is having 100 GB of HDD Space, you should be fine.
  4. A working CD Drive to install Ubuntu, or if you have NETBOOK with you, you need to have external USB Enabled CD ROM DRIVE. Another option is to use UBUNTU on USB Drive. (
  5. An internet connection  possibly for installing ubuntu softwares. Installing Ubuntu Software is a breeze. It is more easier. But ensure that you having access to cable internet, most probably broadband and your network card is built in. Ubuntu will be giving you a hard time if your network card is installed externally. No Dial ups please. Ubuntu will be giving more hard time if you need to detect your modem.
  6. An Ubuntu Live CD. :). I would recommend ubuntu 8 at least.
    You can order the Ubuntu CD from ( The delivery usually takes 6 – 10 weeks once the order is placed. Do place the order of UBUNTU Desktop CD. Do not choose to have UBUNTU SERVER CD. You do not need it unless you plan to use Ubuntu for development or enterprise uses. The website requires, that you need to be a user. Sign up, and provide your P-mail address at which you want it delivered. Do keep in mind, that the Pakistan Postel service do have problems. They may be keeping the CD with themselves too. Yes this is coming from experiences. Ensure, that the address you are giving does receives the international packages. Because, Ubuntu will be sending normal registered package not a FED EX or DHL Mode package.

OK, I have all the requirements.

  1. PC with 1 GB RAM
  2. 160 GB HDD 
  4. Working Internet connection
  5. UBUNTU LIVE CD (8.xx or 9.04)

Proceed to preparation.
Preparation to be performed in your Window Partition

Gone are those dreading days, when low level formats were done. All you need to do is point and click choose options wisely. Our plan is to install UBUNTU and keep the working version your Windows (XP or VISTA) instact. So that, if anything goes wrong in UBUNTU, or if you cannot perform a task in UBUNTU, you can always switch back to Windows and perform your task there. For that, you need to make a partition in your Windows Vista.

  1. Load up your Windows Vista.
  2. Make sure you login with Administrator user name and password. Yes, if you are a smaller sibling to your younger brother, and if he has given you non-administrative rights, email this link to him and ask him to perform installation. Without, Administrative rights, you cannot do a thing. Or you can hack his Adminsitrative Username password.
  4. right click on main Vista Partition and select SHRINK VOLUME. Usually the default values will be calculated, and 50% of your HDD space will be given in the resulting dialog box
  5. Perform the shrink. If things are performed correctly, there should be another line added by the name of Un-Allocated, Leave that. Do not give it a name or format it. That is all you need to do in Windows Vista. Now Take backup of your documents in an external drive. Just in case if anything gets messed up, you do not fear losing your precious love letters and documents. Don’t say, you haven’t been warned.

UBUNTU Installation
Now, pop up the UBUNTU CD into the CD Drive and re-boot the PC.

  1. ensure, that your PC boots from the CD Rom Drive first, and then if doesn’t find OS in Boot CD, it loads from your HDD. For this to ensure, try reading this link. I do hope you will get the idea. (
  2. once that is done, re-start and boot from UBUNTU, a small prompt will ask to load from CD. Act accordingly and sensibily. From now, make a habit of reading and acting as making a sensible choices. Trust me this attitude will help you a lot from now on. Windows way of entering ENTER in everyone should be changed.
  3. You will be presented with a black screen of installing UBUNTU like this.
  4. Choose INSTALL UBUNTU. After a while, depending on your PC performance, you will be presented with another screen like this.
  5. Choose the Language which will be English in most case. If you are planning to use UBUNTU in your langauge, may be, Arabic, do not worry. You can always change it once successful installation. While I recommend to choose english, I cannot stop you from not choosing your preffered language. I am quite sure the installation will be smooth, but then this toturial won’t be giving you the screen shots in your preffered language. So again, choose wisely.
  6. Click FORWARD.
  7. You will be presented to choose your local time zone. Again, choose your timezone by choosing your country and then navigating to your city.
  8. Click FORWARD. Next screen will choosing your keyboard. Choose the default.
  9. Click FORWARD.
  10. You will be presented with a CRUTIAL SCREEN. If you have been speed reading. STOP. HOLD. HALT.
    Yeah, you should be careful here. Choose the option, USE LARGEST CONTINOUS FREE DISK SPACE. Do not choose USE THE ENTIRE DISK, or SPECIFY PARTIONS MANUALLY. It will ruin this whole tutorial. The other options are for advanced users only.
  11. Click FORWARD. You will be presented with entering some information about you.
  12. Accordinly, and sensibly, enter your Username and password. Do choose a wise password. ( or (
  13. Ubuntu picks up your documents residing in your Windows Vista installation. Yes, your complete Bookmarks, Favoutires, pictures, Music, Videos, etecetera will be migrated to Ubunutu account. So go head and give permission to ubuntu to migrate all your documents into ubuntu. You can also choose to access documents in your Windows Vista to your Ubuntu account, but that is another story.
  14. Click Forward. A confirmation will be asked from you. Have you chosed “USE CONTINUED FREE DISK SPACE”? If not, you can still go back and change that. Confirm it. The ubuntu installation will commence. Go a grab a cup of Coffee, and do someting else. Just make sure, your PC does not shuts down due to power failure. Relax.
  15. After installation, the Ubuntu will be asking you to remove CD and shutdown PC. Act accordingly.
  16. UBUNTU is installed. All you need to do is to remove the UBUNTU CD from your CD ROM drive and re-boot the PC. One change is new is GRUB window will be allowing you to choose the Operating System to which to boot.
  17. The first one will be, obviously, UBUNTU. The last one will be Windows VISTA. If there is anything, you can’t do in UBUNTU, for example
    1. Printing
    2. using Scanner
      You can always boot into Window and perform the task. The above tasks needs some work to be able to performed in Ubuntu.
  18. Enjoy your New UBUNTU Installation.

You might be wondering what can you do in UBUNTU. Well the list is very long, but I would list to obvious.

  1. Surf the Web (Securely, with no or little concerns of Virus). You are very less likely to get virus when you are in UBUNTU. Almost 99%.Now this is not what I am saying. Trying reading some proof here. (
  2. Open documents in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access Database. A default Open office (Alternative to Micorsoft Office is installed in this installation. All you need to do is check it out.)
  3. Listen to Music (MP3, MP4, AAC, WAV, MIDI.). A default player named Rhythm box is also installed in this installation.
  4. Play Games. An assortment of games are also installed in this installation
  5. Play / Watch Movies / DVDs. A default player Movie Player is also installed in this installation.
  6. Download Torrents to your hearts content, again without a fear of getting any virus.
  7. Get an eye candy for your Ubuntu. Can your WINDOWS DO These

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