How to Install Linux Mint 18 Alongside Windows 10 or 8 in Dual-Boot UEFI Mode

Linux Mint 18.3 has been released in wild by the Linux Mint project developer team as a new long term support edition which will receive support and security updates until 2021.

This tutorial will guide you on how you can install Linux Mint 18.3 in dual-boot with a variant Microsoft Operating System, such as Windows 8, 8.1 or 10, on machines with EFI firmware and a pre-installed version of Microsoft OS.

If you’re looking for a non dual-boot installation on Laptop, Desktop or Virtual Machine, you should read: Installation of Linux Mint 18.

Assuming that your laptop or desktop system comes pre-installed with Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 or 8 you should enter UEFI menu and disable the following settings: Secure Boot and Fast Boot features.

If the computer has no pre-installed OS and you intend to use Linux and Windows in dual-boot, first install Microsoft Windows and then proceed with Linux Mint 18 installation.

Download Linux Mint 18

  1. Linux Mint 18 ISO image – https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

In case you own a UEFI computer stay away from the 32-bit version of Linux Mint because it will only boot and work with BIOS machines, while the 64-bit ISO image can boot with BIOS or UEFI computers.

Step 1: Shrink HDD Space for Dual-Boot

1. In case your computer comes pre-installed with Microsoft Windows on a single partition, logon to Windows system with a user who has administrator privileges, press [Win+r] keys to open run prompt and type the following command in order to open Disk Management tool.

diskmgmt.msc
Open Windows Disk Management

Open Windows Disk Management

2. Right click on C: partition and select Shrink Volume in order to resize the partition.

Shrink Windows Partition

Shrink Windows Partition

3. Use a value best-suited for you, depending on your HDD size, on the amount of space to shrink MB field (minimum 20000 MB recommended) and hit Shrink button to start the process of resizing the partition.

Assign Partition Size

Assign Partition Size

4. When the process finishes a new unallocated space will appear on the hard drive.

Unallocated Partition

Unallocated Partition

Close Disk Management utility, place Linux Mint DVD or USB bootable image in the appropriate drive and reboot the computer in order to start with Linux Mint 18 installation.

In case you’re booting Linux Mint for installation from a USB dive in UEFI mode make sure you’ve created the bootable USB stick using a utility such as Rufus, which is UEFI compatible, otherwise your USB bootable drive won’t boot.

Step 2: Installation of Linux Mint 18

5. After reboot, press the special function key and instruct the machine firmware (UEFI) to boot-up from the appropriate DVD or USB drive (the special function keys usually are F12, F10 or F2 depending on the motherboard manufacturer).

Once the media boots-up a new screen should appear on your monitor. Choose Start Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon and hit Enter to continue.

Select Start Linux Mint Cinnamon-Install

Select Start Linux Mint Cinnamon-Install

6. Wait until the system loads into RAM in order to run in live-mode and open the installer by double clicking on Install Linux Mint icon.

Choose the language you wish to perform the installation and click on Continue button to proceed further.

Select Install Linux Mint

Select Install Linux Mint

Select Installation Language

Select Installation Language

7. On the next screen hit on Continue button to proceed further. Third-party software can be automatically download and installed on this step by checking the check-box.

The recommendation would be to leave the box unchecked for the moment and manually install proprietary software later, after the installation process completes.

Preparing to Install Linux Mint 18

Preparing to Install Linux Mint 18

8. At the next screen you can choose the Installation Type. If Windows Boot manager is automatically detected you can choose to Install Linux Mint alongside Windows Boot Manager. This option ensures that the HDD will be automatically partitioned by the installer without any data loss.

The second option, Erase disk and install Ubuntu, should be avoided for dual-boot because is potentially dangerous and will wipe-out your disk.

For a more flexible partition layout you should go with Something else option and hit on Continue button to proceed further.

Select Installation Type for Linux Mint 18

Select Installation Type for Linux Mint 18

9. Now let’s create the partition layout for Linux Mint 18. I would recommend that you create three partitions, one for / (root), one for /home accounts data and one partition for swap.

First create the swap partition. Select the free space and hit on the + icon from below. On this partition use the following settings and hit OK to create the partition:

Size = 1024 MB
Type for the new partition = Primary
Location for the new partition = Beginning of this space
Use as = swap area
Select Free Partition Space

Select Free Partition Space

Create Swap Partition

Create Swap Partition

10. Using the same steps as above create the /(root) partition with the below settings:

Size = minimum 20 GB
Type for the new partition = Primary
Location for the new partition = Beginning of this space
Use as = EXT4 journaling file system
Mount point = /
Select Free Space

Select Free Space

Create Root Partition

Create Root Partition

11. Finally, create the home slice with the below settings (use all the available free space to create home partition).

Home partition is the place where all documents for user accounts will be stored by default, except the root account. In case of a system failure you can reinstall the operating system for scratch without touching or losing the settings and documents of all users.

Size = remaining free space
Type for the new partition = Primary
Location for the new partition = Beginning 
Use as = EXT4 journaling file system
Mount point = /home
Create Home Partition

Create Home Partition

12. After finishing creating the partition layout, select Windows Boot Manager as the device for installing the Grub boot loader and hit on Install Now button in order to commit changes to disk and proceed with the installation.

Next a new pop-up window will ask you if you agree with committing changes to disk. Hit on Continue to accept changes and the installer will now start to write changes to disk.

Linux Mint 18 Partition Summary

Linux Mint 18 Partition Summary

Accept Write Changes to Disk

Accept Write Changes to Disk

13. On the next screen choose your nearest physical location from the map and hit Continue.

Select Country Zone

Select Country Zone

14. Next you should select your keyboard layout and click on Continue button.

Select Keyboard Layout

Select Keyboard Layout

15. Enter a username and a password for the first account with root privileges, choose your system hostname by filling the computer’s name field with a descriptive value and hit Continue to finalize the installation process.

Create User Account

Create User Account

16. The installation process will take a while and when it reaches the final step it will ask you to hit on Restart Now button to complete the installation.

Linux Mint 18 Installation Completed

Linux Mint 18 Installation Completed

17. After reboot, the system will first boot-up in Grub, with Linux Mint as the first boot option which will be automatically started after 10 seconds. Form here you can further instruct the computer to boot in Windows or Linux.

On computers with newer UEFI firmware the Grub boot loader won’t be displayed by default and the machine will automatically boot-up in Windows.

In order to boot into Linux you must press the special function boot key after restart and from there to further select what OS you wish to start.

In order to change the default boot order enter UEFI settings, select your default OS and save the changes. Review the vendor’s manual in order to detect the special function keys used for boot or for entering UEFI settings.

18. After the system finishes loading, log in to Linux Mint 18 by using the credentials created during the installation process. Fire-up a Terminal window and start the update process from command line by running the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade

That’s it! You have successfully installed the latest version of Linux Mint 18 on your device. You will find Linux Mint platform to be very robust, fast, flexible, enjoyable, easy to use, with a ton of software required for a normal user already installed and very stable.

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Matei Cezar

I'am a computer addicted guy, a fan of open source and linux based system software, have about 4 years experience with Linux distributions desktop, servers and bash scripting.

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136 Responses

  1. Joey says:

    Why are we using windows disk management, rather than the linux mint “install alongside windows” option?

  2. Chris says:

    Great walkthrough. Had to change options in UEFI bios to eliminate the legacy option prior to loading the mint DVD; the ‘install alongside windows’ option would not appear.

    • Quincy Acklen says:

      I wondered why this didn’t show up for me. I needed to enable the legacy option to for the usb stick to boot, but then I didn’t have the “install alongside windows” option. On occasion it has appear – so it’s good to know it’s just a BIOS (mis)configuration.

      Also of note, selected any boot loader does not work. The default first partition (1MB) on my NVME drive just leaves me at a grub prompt with no help. (so now I’m reinstalling and surfing the inter while I’ll wait).

      I can see in the screenshot that that second partition matches my second partition (104MB with 33MB free) so I’m trying that now. If it works I won’t be back, but if it fails I’ll be back here to update (since I’ll have some time to kill during the next re-install).

  3. efueyo says:

    Thank you very much.

    Following these instructions, I managed to install LinuxMint 18.2 along with Windows, on a PC with Windows 10 and UEFI.

    I opted to reduce the space of the C: partition using the “Disk Administrator” of Windows. Later, during the installation, I chose the option that allowed me to size the partitions to create in the free space for the LM installation.

    In this step of creating partitions, it is necessary, before pressing “continue”, do not forget to select in “Device Boot Loader Installation”, “Windows Boot” Manager”.

    Best regards

  4. efueyo says:

    Dear all,

    I have a doubt that I will appreciate clarifying, If on the screen to choose the type of installation, Linux Mint automatically detects the Windows boot manager, and I select this option and also the Install Linux Mint along with Windows Boot Manager.

    The installer will automatically create the partitions in the unallocated space, or on the (C:)? Disk.

    • Matei Cezar says:

      If the hard drive has some unallocated space, minimum 10G, then ubuntu will use that space for the installation. However, if the space is smaller or there is no unused space on the disk, then, according to an algorithm, it will automatically shrink some of your hard drive partitions, create partitions and install Linux Mint alongside Windows.

  5. MartinaN says:

    Why using Windows diskmgmt instead of Gparted from the “live” session, which is much faster and safer?

    Why creating partitions from the installer instead of using Gparted? It is also much safer. Installer can mess up partitions table. Especially ntfs one.

    Why is not mentioned that you need firstly disabling this nasty “fast start” mode in Windows? If this is enabled, Linux won’t be able to mount some of its own partitions. Hibernation and suspend can be also disabled (turned off).

    The grub goes always into the partition marked as “EFI“, because not always is labeled as “windows boot manager”.

    And the last one.. The safest way is to boot the machine into the Linux live session from the windows “safe uefi mode“. Tap restart, tap and hold shift key and hit restart. Hold shift key until the “light blue screen” pops up.

    Then go into the menu and select “use a device” -> “uefi usb device”. Or something similar. This is much safer because the uefi “keeps an eye” on the entire boot process. Normal mode can sometimes be a cause for the future problems with the uefi setup.

  6. efueyo says:

    Dear All.
    I have upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 10 and try to install LinuxMint18 now. For this I realized a reduction of 127GB in the disk (C :) leaving it as “not signed”. When I try to install LinuxMint18, it detects the following partitions:

    /dev(sdb1 ntfs  208MB windowa 10 (loader)
    dev/sdb2  ntfs  156715MB  Windows 7 (loader)
    inutil         ntfs   137363MB
    /dev/sdb3 ntfs  21522MB    Windows Recovery
    /dev/sdb 4 fat32  4260MB
    

    Next I selected the partition without assignment, and it does not let me use “+”, neither format nor do anything.I will be grateful for your suggestions.

    • Matei Cezar says:

      It look like your hard drive in partitioned in MBR style scheme and all four partitions are primary. You need to delete the last partition and create a third partition as extended and then other logical partitions. But first backup data! And what’s the deal with that space between sdb2 and sdb3? is that a partition or what? It has a ntfs label there.

  7. Tony says:

    Did all of the above, but the system STILL boots into Win-10 only.
    re “In order to boot into Linux you must press the special function boot key after restart and from there to further select what OS you wish to start.”
    WHERE is this “special function boot key”?
    I have a 100 MB efi partition as sda2, the Win-10 is in sda5,
    and my Mint system is on sda6,7, and 8.
    I’ve tried using Rescatux to somehow fix the GRUB, but once all bootable devices are removed, the system still only sees Win-10
    Excuse my frustration- it’s the first time I came across a UEFI-enabled PC. I’m used to old BIOS systems! ;-)

    • Tony says:

      And, over several years, I have installed dual Ubuntu / Windows systems often so I’m not a newbie. Except when it comes to this UEFI partition stuff! Guess it’s time I came up to speed. ;-)

    • Matei Cezar says:

      Consult motherboard documentation to find out the boot-up special key.

      • Tony says:

        Please don’t tell me you mean the Del key to access the BIOS. Or, on some mainboards the F10 or F1 key. I’ve been tweaking BIOSes for 10+ years.

        Right now, my messing around with Rescatux has screwed up booting the PC completely. Neither Linux NOR Win-10 boot!

        Caution- Rescatux does not seem to have much UEFI support.

        So I’ll keep looking for..

        • Matei Cezar says:

          Be aware that on some laptop models you can access BIOS/UEFI by inserting a needle in a small hole (orifice) from a sideway of the laptop. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pBBnBv8wws

          • aqk says:

            Note here that ALL my UEFI problems have been solved by wiping the whole physical disk clean, changing the laptop’s BIOS to UEFI ONLY, and then re-installing.

            1- Win-10 (latest insider Preview)
            2- Ubuntu Mate 17.04

            Systems now boots into Grub on the Windows EDI partition, and then offers me a choice of either Ubuntu Mate or Win-10.

            Goodbye, old BIOS!
            AND!
            DO NOT trust Rescatux! It was the problem- converting my initial UEFI into the old BIOS format, and causing my EXT4 and Swap partitions to suddenly change into the old format i.e “free space” ready for an extended partition.

  8. dave says:

    I tried the manual install. Got all the way to the end and it would not let me select the windows boot option. Went back and select the install alongside windows option.

  9. Marg says:

    nice, thanks for this. super easy to follow

  10. Jonathan says:

    got it working nice thanks for the tutorial.

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