How to Install Ubuntu 20.04 Alongside With Windows

This tutorial describes the installation process of the latest release of Ubuntu Desktop 20.04, codename Focal Fossa, on a dedicated machine or a virtual machine alongside a pre-installed Windows 10 Operating System. The installation process can be done via the Ubuntu Desktop DVD ISO image or via a bootable Ubuntu USB drive.

The Ubuntu OS will be installed on a UEFI motherboard with Legacy Mode or CSM (Compatibility Support Module) option disabled.

Requirements

  1. Download Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 ISO image for x86_64bit architecture.
  2. A direct or a proxy internet connection.
  3. Rufus utility in order to create an Ubuntu Desktop bootable USB drive compatible with UEFI motherboards.

Create Free Space on Windows for Ubuntu Install

On a pre-installed machine with a single Windows 10 partition, you need to create some free space in Windows partition in order to install Ubuntu 20.04.

First login to the system using an account with administrator privileges, open a Command Prompt window with admin rights and execute diskmgmt.msc command to open Disk Management utility.

diskmgmt.msc

Select the Windows partition, usually C: volume, right-click on this partition and select Shrink Volume option in order to reduce the partition size.

Windows Disk Management Utility
Windows Disk Management Utility

Wait for the system to collect partition size data, add the desired amount of space you want to shrink, and hit in the Shrink button.

Shrink Windows Partition
Shrink Windows Partition

After the shrink process completes, a new unallocated space will be present in your drive. We’ll use this free space to install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10.

New Windows Partition for Ubuntu Install
New Windows Partition for Ubuntu Install

Install Ubuntu 20.04 Alongside with Windows

On the next step, place Ubuntu Desktop DVD ISO image or the bootable USB stick into the appropriate motherboard drive and, reboot the machine and hit the appropriate bootable key ((usually F12, F10 or F2) in order to boot the Ubuntu installer DVD or USB bootable image.

On the first installation, screen select Install Ubuntu and hit Enter key to start the installation process.

Install Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop
Install Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop

On the next screen, select the keyboard layout for your system and hit on the Continue button.

Choose Keyboard Layout
Choose Keyboard Layout

In the next installation screen, choose Normal installation and hit on the Continue button. In this screen, you also have the option to perform a Minimal installation of Ubuntu Desktop, which includes only some basic system utilities and a web browser.

You can also turn off Secure Boot option, if this option is enabled in motherboard UEFI settings in order to install third-party software for graphic card, Wi-Fi or additional media formats. Be aware that turning off Secure Boot option requires a password.

Select Ubuntu Installation Type
Select Ubuntu Installation Type

Next, In the Installation type menu, choose Something else option in order to manually partition the hard disk and hit on the Continue button.

Ubuntu Manual Partition
Ubuntu Manual Partition

In the hard disk partition table menu, select the hard drive free space and hit on + button in order to create the Ubuntu partition.

Choose Free Space Partition
Choose Free Space Partition

In the partition pop-up window, add the size of the partition in MB, choose the partition type as Primary, and the partition location at the beginning of this space.

Next, format this partition with ext4 filesystem and use / as a partition mount point. The /(root) partition summary is described below:

  • Size = minimum 20000 MB recommended
  • 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 Ubuntu Partition
Create Root Ubuntu Partition

After completing this step, hit on the OK button to return to disk utility. Other partitions, such as /home or Swap are optional in Ubuntu Desktop and should be created only for special purposes.

However, if you still want to add a home partition, select free space, hit on + button and use the below scheme to create the partition.

  • Size = size allocated as per your requirements, depending on the size of remaining disk free space
  • Type for the new partition = Primary
  • Location for the new partition = Beginning
  • Use as = EXT4 journaling file system
  • Mount point = /home

In this guide, we’ll install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10 with only the /(root) partition set. After you’ve created the required root partition on the disk, select Windows boot Manager as a device for the boot loader installation and hit on Install Now button.

Partition Table Summary
Partition Table Summary

In the pop-up window, hit on the Continue button in order to commit the changes that will be written to disk and start the installation.

Confirm Partition Changes
Confirm Partition Changes

On the next screen, select your location from the provided map and hit on the Continue button.

Choose Your Country Location
Choose Your Country Location

Next, insert your name, the name of your desktop, a username with a strong password, and choose the option with ‘Require my password to log in’. When you finish, hit on the Continue button and wait for the installation process to complete.

Create Ubuntu User
Create Ubuntu User

During the installation process, a series of screens that describe Ubuntu Desktop and the installation progress bar will be displayed on your screen. You cannot interfere with the installation process in this final stage.

Ubuntu Installation Progress
Ubuntu Installation Progress

After the installation completes, eject the installation medium and hit on Restart now button in order to reboot the machine.

Ubuntu Installation Finishes
Ubuntu Installation Finishes

After reboot, the system should boot into the GNU GRUB menu. In case the GRUB menu is not displayed, restart the machine, go to motherboard UEFI settings and change boot order or Boot Options -> BBS priority.

The settings to enable the GRUB menu highly depend on your machine motherboard UEFI settings. You should consult motherboard documentation in order to identify the settings that need to be changed in order to display the GRUB menu.

Ubuntu Boot Grub Menu
Ubuntu Boot Grub Menu

Finally, log in to Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop with the credentials configured while installing the system and follow the initial Ubuntu welcome screen in order to start using Ubuntu Desktop.

Ubuntu Login Screen
Ubuntu Login Screen
Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop
Ubuntu 20.04 Desktop

Congratulations! You have successfully installed Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa alongside Windows 10 on your machine.

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20 thoughts on “How to Install Ubuntu 20.04 Alongside With Windows”

  1. Hi, I’m getting some errors after the Ubuntu 18.04 installation, like No server is specified, you need to load the kernel first and also I’m getting extra free space during partition, please suggest something to clear these errors

    Thank you

    Reply
  2. Ok so I’m not really sure what went wrong here, I was following this tutorial everything was going smoothly until I reached the partition table menu in the Ubuntu installer (i installed using a live USB). In the screenshot from the tutorial there is a partition formatted in EFI and shows the system as Windows Boot Manager, this did not appear on my table.

    I continued to follow the instructions, selecting the partition I wanted to format for ubuntu, setting it as primary and set the mount point as root. From there when I went to select install I got a popup saying that there was no EFI partition detected and that the system would likely fail to boot.

    I selected to go back, and then stupidly I messed around with the other partitions thinking I just needed to change one of them to EFI. This is the point where I really have no clue what happened or what I did, I cannot progress any further in the Ubuntu installer and when I take out the live USB and try to boot windows it says that it cannot boot and be possibly damaged.

    I wish I could provide any sort of logs or documentation but I’m not sure where or how to get those. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I gave up on installing ubuntu and wiped the live USB, I just want to get my windows working again.

    Reply
  3. No grub is loaded, boots directly into Windows. Setting bcdedit /set {bootmgr} path \EFI\ubuntu\grubx64.efi then shows grub and I can boot into ubuntu. But I cannot then return to Windows.

    I just had to faff around for 2 hours trying to recover my system, get back into windows and change \EFI\ubuntu… to \EFI\Microsoft\Boot\bootmgfw.efi in order to get things back.

    This method is crap…

    Reply
  4. When I tried my install, it wasn’t able to find my Windows boot partition. I kept getting “Reboot and select proper Boot Device” when I installed. I had to go in with a Windows install image and mark my Windows volume as active again.

    Reply
  5. I have followed the steps but at the drives list window when we boot into Ubuntu for installation, my free space is showing as “unusable” and I am not able to create further partitions.

    Someone please respond.

    Reply

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