How to Install Linux Mint 20 Alongside Windows 10 or 8 in Dual-Boot UEFI Mode

Linux Mint 20 has been released in wild by the Linux Mint project development team as a new long term support edition which will receive support and security updates until 2025.

This tutorial will guide you on how you can install Linux Mint 20 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 Guide of Linux Mint 20 Codename ‘Ulyana’.

Assuming that your laptop or desktop system comes pre-installed with Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 or 8 you should enter the 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 20 installation.

Download Linux Mint 20

  1. Linux Mint 20 ISO images – 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. 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.

Shrink Windows Partition
Shrink Windows Partition

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

Unallocated Partition for Linux Mint Install
Unallocated Partition for Linux Mint Install

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 20 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 20

4. 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 boot-up a new screen should appear on your monitor. Choose Start Linux Mint 20 Cinnamon and hit Enter to continue.

Select Start Linux Mint Cinnamon Install
Select Start Linux Mint Cinnamon Install

5. 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.

Select Install Linux Mint
Select Install Linux Mint

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

Select Installation Language
Select Installation Language

7. Next, you should select your keyboard layout and click on the Continue button.

Select Keyboard Layout
Select Keyboard Layout

8. On the next screen hit on the Continue button to proceed further. Third-party software (multimedia codes) can be automatically downloaded 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.

Install Multimedia Codecs
Install Multimedia Codecs

9. 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 Linux Mint, 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 the Continue button to proceed further.

Select Linux Mint Installation Type
Select Linux Mint Installation Type

10. Now let’s create the partition layout for Linux Mint 20. 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 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 Space
Select Free Space
Create Swap Partition
Create Swap Partition

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

Size = minimum 15 GB
Type for the new partition = Primary
Location for the new partition = Beginning of this space
Use as = EXT4 journaling file system
Mount point = /
Create Root Partition
Create Root Partition

12. 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 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

13. After finishing creating the partition layout, select the 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.

Install Linux Mint
Install Linux Mint
Accept Write Changes to Disk
Accept Write Changes to Disk

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

Select Country Location
Select Country Location

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 New User
Create New User

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

Linux Mint Installation Process
Linux Mint Installation Process

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. From here you can further instruct the computer to boot in Windows or Linux.

Select Linux Mint Cinnamon
Select Linux Mint Cinnamon

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 the 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 20 by using the credentials created during the installation process. Fire-up a Terminal window and start the update process from the command line by running the following commands:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
Update Linux Mint
Update Linux Mint

That’s it! You have successfully installed the latest version of Linux Mint 20 on your device. You will find the 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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150 thoughts on “How to Install Linux Mint 20 Alongside Windows 10 or 8 in Dual-Boot UEFI Mode”

  1. Ravi, thank you for your valuable contribution. In section 13, you say “After finishing creating the partition layout, select the Windows Boot Manager as the device for installing the Grub boot loader and hit on Install Now button…”

    As you know, Linux needs a /boot partition, and if the machine is UEFI, it will require a /boot/efe partition, otherwise, the install cannot continue.

    Are you suggesting to use /dev/sda1 for a combined boot partition with EFI?

    Reply

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