How to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint [Easiest Method]

A dual boot installation for integrating Linux Mint alongside Windows 10 opens a gateway to a versatile computing environment. This process allows users to enjoy the best of both operating systems by harnessing the strengths of Windows’ widespread compatibility and Linux Mint’s robust customization and open-source power. In this tutorial, I will show you how to dual-boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint (Victoria) on your computer step by step.

Requirements to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint

The minimum requirements for installing Windows 10 and Linux Mint as dual boot are:

  • RAM: 4 GB.
  • Storage: 70 GB.
  • USB Drive: 4 GB.

11 Steps to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint

Follow the below steps one by one to dual-boot Windows 10 and Linux Mint in the easiest way:

1. Download the Linux Mint ISO File

After backing up data, the first step of installing Linx Mint is to download Linux Mint ISO. There are four types of Linux Mint available – Cinnamon, MATE, Xfce, and EDGE edition. Among them, Cinnamon is the most popular version of Linux Mint. It is slick, beautiful, and full of new features and primarily developed for beginners. So, click on the download button of Cinnamon.Linux mint cinnamon edition ISO download page

2. Create a Bootable USB Drive

To create a bootable USB drive of the ISO file, use “Etcher”. It is a free and open-source application. First, Install Etcher on Windows. After installing, follow the steps:

  1. Open Etcher and select “Flash from File”.Selecting "Flash from file" in etcher
  2. Select the ISO file from the location you’ve downloaded.Selecting the ISO file of linux mint
  3. Pug in a USB pen drive to the PC and click on “Select target”.Clicking on "Selecting target" in Etcher
  4. Select your USB drive from the list shown.Selecting the USB drive for flashing from the list
  5. Finally, click on “Flash” to start flashing the ISO file into the USB drive.Clicking on "Flash" in Etcher to start flashing the ISO into the USB

After that, Etcher will flash the ISO file into your USB drive and make it bootable.

3. Create Disk Partition

To create a disk partition on Windows 10, follow the below steps:

  1. Search for “disk management” on the start menu and open Disk Management.Windows disk manager
  2. Right-click on the (C:) drive and select “Shrink Volume”.Clicking on shrink volume
  3. Click on Shrink.

This will create a new partition from the available free space in C: drive.

Back up your important files to prevent data loss before proceeding to the installation steps.

4. Boot Linux Mint from USB Drive

To boot Linux Mint from the USB drive, first, plug the bootable USB drive into the PC where you want to install it. Then, Restart the PC. It will automatically launch the boot window like this.Selecting "Start Linux Mint 21.2 Cinnamon" for installation.Now, use the arrow keys to navigate the menu and select the first option “Start Linux Mint 21.2 Cinnamon 64-bit” and press ENTER.

To launch the setup window manually,  restart your PC and press the BIOS key according to your device. F12 is the most common BIOS key, but ESC, F2, and F10 are alternatives for some devices.

The Linux Mint live environment will appear after a while. There is an “Install Linux Mint” icon on the desktop. Double-click on it to start the installation procedure.Double-clicking "Install Linux Mint" icon

5. Select Language

Select a language for the system and click on Continue.Selecting system language English

6. Select Keyboard Layout

Select the keyboard layout from the Keyboard Layout window according to your preference. Then click on Continue.Selecting keyboard layout English(US)

7. Install Multimedia Codecs

Multimedia codecs are additional packages that handle different audio and video file formats. Users often need to install these codecs separately to enable playback of certain media formats. To install these, click on the checkbox “Install multimedia codecs” and click on Continue.Clicked the checkbox to install multimedia codecs

8. Choose Installation Type

Select  “Install Linux Mint alongside Windows 10” for a dual boot installation. This is the easiest installation method for a dual boot that automatically allocates disk for Linux Mint from the remaining free space.Selecting install Linux mint alongside windows 10Now, click on Continue to confirm installing Linux Mint on the partitioned disk.Confirming disk allocation for Linux mint

9. Select Location

Select your location from the drop-down menu on the map screen. However, this information will be detected automatically if the computer is connected to the internet. Then, click on Continue.Selecting location Dhaka

10. Set User Credentials

On this screen, type your name, computer name, and username. Then type and re-type a strong password. Finally, select “Require my password to log in”. Selecting this option will ask for the password every time you power on your PC. Click on Continue.Set user name, computer's name, username, password and checked "Require my password to log in"Now, installation will start. It may take a few minutes.dual boot installation of Linux mint is on progressAt the end of the installation, an “Installation Complete” prompt appears on the screen. Click on Restart Now in this prompt.Clicking on "Restart Now"

Note: Plug out the USB flash drive (installation media) from the computer now.

11. Log in to Linux Mint

You can see both operating systems and choose one every time you turn on the PC.Bootloader at startup screenType the password that was set during the installation and press ENTER.Logging in to Linux Mint by entering passwordNow, you will see a welcome screen. Uncheck the “Show this dialog at startup” to avoid this window from the next log-in. Then simply close the window by clicking the cross icon at the top right corner.
welcome screen of linux mint

That’s it. You’ve successfully installed Linux Mint as a dual boot with Windows 10 on your computer.

Conclusion

This dual boot configuration enables users to harness the stability and familiarity of Windows 10 alongside the flexibility and customization options of Linux Mint. By following the above steps carefully during installation, users can enjoy a seamless experience, leveraging each system’s diverse functionalities. Ultimately, the dual boot setup serves as a powerful tool for users seeking versatility, allowing them to switch between environments based on their specific needs.

People Also Ask

Can I dual boot Windows and Mint?

Yes, you can dual-boot Windows and Mint. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Download the Linux Mint ISO image from the official website.
  2. Create a bootable USB drive with the downloaded ISO image.
  3. Reserve a partition on your hard drive for Linux Mint.
  4. Boot from the USB drive and install Linux Mint on the reserved partition.

Is it safe to dual boot Windows 10 and Linux?

Yes, it is generally safe to dual-boot Windows 10 and Linux. However, there are some risks involved, such as reduced disk space, accidental overwriting of data or operating systems, and potential performance issues. If you follow the installation guide carefully, it is completely safe.

Which version of Linux Mint is best for dual boot?

Cinnamon is considered the default and most popular Linux Mint version for dual booting. However, if you prefer a lightweight operating system without compromising on important features, install the MATE edition. Although the best edition of Linux Mint specifically depends on your priorities, you should choose the Cinnamon version of Mint’s latest edition if you don’t have any major preference.

Is Linux Mint compatible with Windows 10?

Yes, Linux Mint is compatible with Windows 10 in the sense that both operating systems can coexist on the same computer. You can set up a dual-boot system, allowing you to choose which operating system to use when you start your computer. However, it’s important to note that while they can coexist, they are separate operating systems with different file systems (NTFS for Windows and typically EXT4 for Linux Mint). Linux Mint can read and access files on the Windows partition (usually the NTFS file system) but the reverse isn’t as straightforward.

How much SSD is enough for dual boot Windows and Linux Mint?

At least 20 GB of free space is required on your SSD for Linux Mint. However, this may not be sufficient if you plan to install additional software or store large files on your Linux partition. So, it is recommended to allocate 50 GB of free space for Linux Mint to ensure that you have enough space for your necessary files and basic applications.

Related Articles


<< Go Back to Dual Boot Installation | Linux OS Installation Guide | Learn Linux Basics

Rate this post
Ashikur Rahman

Hello, I’m Ashikur Rahman, currently working as a Linux Content Developer Executive at SOFTEKO. I have completed my graduation in Computer Science and Engineering from Khulna University of Engineering & Technology (KUET). Also, I’m pursuing my master’s in the same department at Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). I like to learn new technologies, contribute, and share those with others. Here my goal is to provide beneficial and user-friendly articles on Linux distribution for everyone. Read Full Bio

Leave a Comment