Dual boot with Windows 10 and Ubuntu from USB (with shared partition)



Untill the day I wrote this tutorial i haven’t found another on the web that would address all the problems of dual boot and shared partition at once. I joined solutions from these links, so if you want to go to the source for each separate solution go ahead:

  • https://www.poweriso.com/tutorials/how-to-make-win7-bootable-usb-drive.htm    (how to make bootable USBs)
  • https://askubuntu.com/questions/343268/how-to-use-manual-partitioning-during-installation (how to make custom partitioning of Linux)

Shared partition will allow you to have a dedicated place for files which you can access with your Linux and Windows. It is of course optional and can be ignored in this tutorial.

This tutorial assumes you know how to install OS and know how to work your way around BIOS and Install processes. Also as a warning, in this tutorial we are using tools and processes that can delete your data. I do not hold the responsibility for that 🙂


After getting .iso files for both Windows and Linux I created two separate bootable USBs (Win USB and Ubuntu USB) with each OS with Power ISO. You can follow the steps with pictures on the link above, but in short you go to

Tools -> Create bootable USB drive… -> OK (administrative rights) -> select .iso image file -> select destination USB drive -> Write method: USB-HDD -> Start


First I installed Windows by plugging Win USB into my computer, configured my BIOS to boot from USB (different setup for different computers – search online) and rebooted. Windows then guides you thru the installation.

When asked after the type of the installation, I clicked the Custom one and reserved 90GB for Windows. This can vary according to your needs, but just be sure to leave at least 30 GB for Linux and (optional) something for shared partition.

Then I finished the installation.



Now install Linux from Linux USB. IF LINUX USB DOESN’T BOOT: Win 10 has some new magic with quick boot and it does not allow you to go to BIOS directly.

Here is the answer: https://www.asus.com/us/support/FAQ/1013015/

In short: you must pres shift while pressing the key for shutting down windows. Then press F2 and then boot button.

Installing linux with custom partitions. My setup was:

  • 20GB – logical – mount point: “/”
  • 1500MB – primary – swap
  • 512MB – primary – /boot
  • 40GB – primary – /home
  • I left 80GB of space allocated for shared partition – if you don’t want that assign all of it to /home partition
  • It’s always smart to leave 1-2GB allocated space

STEP 4 (only for shared partition)

Warning: In this step we are using Gparted tool which, if used improperly, can erase your data.

To enable both OSs to see the new partition I booted to Linux, installed Gparted with sudo apt-get install gparted. With Gparted I formated the allocated space (80GB in my case) with NTFS file system:

In Gparted click on allocated space with right click -> New -> select space that you want to occupy -> File System: ntfs -> Label: (anything you want, I called it “Shared”) -> Add -> Apply (green mark).

With this I formatted that empty space with NTFS, but I couldn’t see it in LINUX. To see it, boot into Windows and it should automatically show up as one of the local disks in “This PC” window. Now you can also see it in Linux.


Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *