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How To Dual Boot Ubuntu on Microsoft Surface Pro

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The Microsoft Surface Pro is a versatile device that runs Windows 10, offering the capabilities of both a laptop and a tablet. But what if you want to explore the world of Linux on your Surface Pro? This article will guide you through the process of setting up a dual boot system with Ubuntu and Windows 10 on your Microsoft Surface Pro.

Quick Answer

Yes, it is possible to dual boot Ubuntu on a Microsoft Surface Pro. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to create a partition, download Ubuntu, and install it alongside Windows 10 on your Surface Pro.

Preparing Your Surface Pro

Before starting the dual boot installation, make sure to back up any important data. The process involves partitioning your hard drive, which can potentially erase your data if not done correctly.

Step 1: Creating a Partitioned Drive

The first step in setting up a dual boot system is to create a partition on your hard drive for the Ubuntu installation. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Press the search button on your keyboard and type ‘Disk Management’.
  2. Select ‘Create and format disk partitions’.
  3. Right-click on the C drive and select ‘Shrink Volume’.
  4. Shrink the volume by approximately 29.3 GB (30,000 MB). This will create a new unallocated space on your hard drive.

Step 2: Downloading Ubuntu

Next, you need to download the Ubuntu operating system. Make sure to download the correct version (AMD64) to avoid any booting issues. You can download Ubuntu from the official Ubuntu website here.

Installing Ubuntu

After creating a partition and downloading Ubuntu, you’re ready to install Ubuntu on your Surface Pro.

Step 1: Booting from USB

To install Ubuntu, you’ll need to boot your Surface Pro from a USB drive.

  1. Restart your Surface Pro and hold down the volume-down button as it boots up.
  2. When the Surface logo appears, release the volume-down button.
  3. Your Surface Pro should now boot from the USB drive.

Step 2: Installing Ubuntu

During the installation process, choose the ‘Something Else’ option when asked about installation type. This will allow you to manually allocate the partition you created earlier for the Ubuntu installation.

  1. Select the free space you created earlier and click on the ‘+’ button.
  2. Create a swap partition by selecting ‘swap’ from the drop-down list, choose the ‘logical’ radio button, and allocate 400 to 600 MB.
  3. Create the root partition by selecting the remaining free space and clicking the ‘Change’ button. Choose ‘Ext4’ from the drop-down list, select the ‘primary’ radio button, and allocate the remaining space.

Post-Installation Setup

After successfully installing Ubuntu, there are a few additional steps to ensure everything runs smoothly on your Surface Pro.

Step 1: Updating the Fan Sensor

The fan sensor for the Intel CPU in your Surface Pro might need an update to function properly with Ubuntu. You can do this by running the following commands in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install lm-sensors
sudo sensors-detect

The sudo apt-get install lm-sensors command installs the lm-sensors package, which is used for monitoring temperatures, voltages, and fans.

The sudo sensors-detect command detects which hardware monitoring chips your system has and suggests appropriate kernel modules for those.

Follow the instructions and select ‘YES’ to everything. After the detection process is complete, run the suggested sudo commands.

Step 2: Installing a Custom Boot Loader (Optional)

For a better user experience, you might want to install a custom boot loader. You can download the boot loader from this GitHub link. Follow the README instructions to set it up.

Conclusion

Setting up a dual boot system with Ubuntu and Windows 10 on your Microsoft Surface Pro might seem daunting, but with careful preparation and following the steps outlined in this guide, you should be able to successfully install Ubuntu alongside Windows 10. Remember to always back up your data before making any changes to your system. Happy exploring!

Is it safe to dual boot Ubuntu on my Microsoft Surface Pro?

Yes, it is safe to dual boot Ubuntu on your Microsoft Surface Pro as long as you follow the instructions carefully and back up your data before partitioning your hard drive.

Will dual booting Ubuntu on my Surface Pro affect the performance of Windows 10?

Dual booting Ubuntu should not significantly affect the performance of Windows 10. However, it is always recommended to allocate enough resources (such as disk space and RAM) to each operating system to ensure smooth performance.

Can I uninstall Ubuntu and revert back to Windows 10?

Yes, you can uninstall Ubuntu and revert back to Windows 10 if you decide you no longer want to dual boot. You can do this by removing the Ubuntu partitions and extending your Windows 10 partition using the Disk Management tool in Windows.

Can I access files from my Windows partition while using Ubuntu?

Yes, you can access files from your Windows partition while using Ubuntu. Ubuntu has built-in support for reading and writing to NTFS partitions, which is the file system used by Windows.

Will I lose any data during the dual boot installation process?

There is a risk of losing data during the dual boot installation process if not done correctly. It is important to back up your data before partitioning your hard drive and follow the instructions carefully to avoid any data loss.

Can I update Ubuntu and Windows 10 independently in a dual boot system?

Yes, you can update Ubuntu and Windows 10 independently in a dual boot system. Each operating system has its own update mechanism, and you can choose to update them separately.

Can I use Ubuntu alongside Windows 10 without dual booting?

Yes, you can use Ubuntu alongside Windows 10 without dual booting by running Ubuntu in a virtual machine using software like VirtualBox or VMware. This allows you to run Ubuntu within Windows without the need to partition your hard drive.

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