If you’ve ever set up a machine to dual-boot Windows and Ubuntu, you know that up until recent changes process hasn’t been too hard. You used to be able to insert your Ubuntu live media, boot from it, click install alongside Windows, set how big you want each partition to be and hit go.

Of course it was just too easy to continue, because along came UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface)

Now, as there doesn’t seem to be a complete guide which covered every step necessary, what follows are instructions compiled from several different sources (mixed with hours of trial and error) in the combination that works correctly for the Lenovo Ideapad Y580. (And as you’re reading this, hopefully for your machine as well.)

If Windows isn’t already installed, you’ll need to start by installing Windows. I recommend a “clean OS install” if it’s offered on your Windows repair disc, it takes up much less hard drive space because it doesn’t include the manufacturer bloatware and as a result, only takes a third the amount of time to complete as a full manufacturer restore.

After installing Windows, you’ll want to boot and run through the setup as quickly as possible, don’t worry about drivers or unnecessary setup this time, because if you mess something up, it’ll likely mean starting over from scratch.

If you didn’t just install Windows, make sure you do have the restore discs and everything important backed up somewhere safe. I used a Kingston KC300 SSD upgrade kit, it comes with a mount for your old HDD, so you’ll still have easy access to your files and you can start from scratch with a clean drive.

  • Boot Windows, enter the the device manager, right click on the largest volume, and shrink it by the size you want to allot to your Ubuntu partition.
  • Reboot and hold F2 to enter BIOS settings, and enable booting from installation media (USB/DVD, etc…) if needed.
  • Save and exit, booting from installation media.
  • Click through installation menus until you find “Installation type” and select “Something else.”
  • This will open the advanced partitioning tool. Select “free space” from the list of available partitions and then the plus button to add your first partition.

 

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  • When formatting the /boot partition, the guide I originally used suggested 250 MB, but in my experience that didn’t turn out to be quite enough and I began receiving “Not enough space in boot partition” error message when the computer attempted to install updates.
  • So, for the sake of not having to wipe the computer again in this guide we’re going to triple it, 750 MB. You’ll want to switch the “Type” from logical to primary, make sure location is set to “Beginning of this space” set “Use as” to Ext2 file system” and the select /boot from the drop down menu. If your window looks like this one, hit “OK.”
  • Now create the root partition. Select the free space once again and hit “+”
  • The original tutorial I followed suggested a size of 15,000 MB, which seems to be fine. This time you’ll select “Logical,” “Beginning” and use as “Ext4 journaling file system” with a mount point of root ( / in the drop down)

 

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  • Creating the home partition requires some math, because you won’t want to have any un-partitioned space afterwards, but you still have one partition to create after this one, a 4000 MB swap area so you’re going to hit free space and + again, this time you’re just going to subtract 4000 from the existing number, in my case I had 150563 MB left in free space, so I set the home partition to 110563 MB, Logical, Beginning, Ext4 journaling system with a mount point of /home.
  • Finally, we’re going to allot the remaining space as the swap area, because this partitioning tool only reads whole megabytes, the remaining space might read as 3999 or 4001, don’t worry about that, just designate the remainder: Logical, Beginning, swap area.

 

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  • Now all that’s left is to choose a partition to install the boot loader. Use the drop down box to designate the partition where you created the /boot partition, in my case it was /dev/sda3. Select that from the “Device for boot loader installation:” menu and click install now.

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After the normal install and reboot, your system might still boot directly into Windows, simply download and install EasyBCD and under “Edit Boot Menu” select “Wait for user selection” and save settings.

I’ve tried adding linux to the selection menu, but it’s never successfully booted for me.

When rebooting after editing the boot loader, you should be presented with the black and grey Windows boot loader, just hit escape, this should bring up the BIOS boot device selection menu, switch to the partition with “Ubuntu” in the name, hit enter and you should be presented with GRUB2, from which you’ll be able to boot Ubuntu.

If you have any questions, please tweet me @AnthonyMcAfee

About the author

Tony McAfee

  • Sahil Tiwari

    Thanks for this useful article. I am running Ubuntu along with Windows 8.1 x64 in UEFI on my dell Inspiron 5520

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    right here on this post. I will be returning to your site for more soon.

  • sue

    Thanks a lot! It worked for my Lenovo flex alongside windows 8.1.

  • Joe B.

    Thank you, Tony. I installed LinuxMint 17.2 x64 alongside Windows 8.1 x64 on a Lenovo H5s desktop. It’s a friend’s computer and I didn’t know whether I’d succeed before she got back from her vacation. Her husband uses Windows 7 on his laptop and she is getting pretty fed up using Windows. The only step that it doesn’t go through is when I hit escape on the Windows boot loader, it goes directly to GRUB2, instead of the BIOS boot device selection menu. I tried doing this from other tutorials without success. I did have to download the EasyBCD, though. Again, thank you very much and you saved the day!!!

  • George

    Thanks a lot !!! Worked on the Lenovo C440 except the “EasyBCD” part (no black and grey Windows boot loader had appeared). Spammed the F12 button while powering the computer and selected “Ubuntu” option which brings up GRUB 🙂

  • Elan Plisick

    It doesn’t work.Lenovo includes too many files on the partition to make it work.You can’t delete sys_drv, and you can only have 4 partitions, windows would be one, then you need root,home and swap.

  • Lalit Saraswat

    would like to add two point which worked for me…1) after installing window 7, ubuntu it did not worked for me. my laptop was showing only window. i installed EasyBCD, added new entry of linux boot loader(add mount partition of /boot i.e. /dev/sda6 in my case) in boot configuration 2) added use seleciton time of 10 sec…after that i can see ubuntu along with window7 in window boot manager…

  • Edii

    It doesn’t work with the new Lenovo with Windows 10.

  • nilesh

    I am not able to succeed with this on lenovo E470. Disabled secure boot, enabled legacy first mode in bios. Installed linux and edited boot menu in easy bcd to select “Wait for user selection”. PC boots directly in windows