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Boot Ubuntu with Windows Bootloader: Is it Possible?

Ubuntu 18

Yes, it is indeed possible to boot Ubuntu using the Windows bootloader, and this article will guide you through the process. This can be particularly useful if you have a dual-boot setup and wish to streamline the boot process.

Quick Answer

Yes, it is possible to boot Ubuntu using the Windows bootloader. By installing Ubuntu on a separate partition and using EasyBCD software to configure the Windows bootloader, you can streamline the boot process for a dual-boot setup.

Prerequisites

Before we start, ensure that you have the following:

  • A computer with Windows already installed.
  • A separate partition where you will install Ubuntu.
  • A copy of Ubuntu 11.04 or later.
  • EasyBCD software, which can be downloaded from here.

Step 1: Install Ubuntu

First, install Ubuntu on the separate partition. During the installation process, you will be asked where to install the bootloader (Grub2). Ensure that you install it on the Ubuntu partition, not on the Master Boot Record (MBR).

Step 2: Install and Configure EasyBCD

Once Ubuntu is installed, boot into your Windows operating system. Download and install EasyBCD. This software allows you to control your system’s boot menu.

After installing EasyBCD, open it and navigate to the “Add New Entry” section. Here, you will add Ubuntu to the Windows bootloader.

Under the “Operating Systems” tab, select “Linux/BSD” from the drop-down menu in the “Type” section. In the “Name” field, you can name this entry as “Ubuntu”. In the “Drive” section, select the partition where you installed Ubuntu.

Click on the “Add Entry” button to add Ubuntu to the Windows bootloader.

Step 3: Reboot Your System

Save your changes in EasyBCD and reboot your computer. Upon reboot, you will see the Windows bootloader menu with two options: Windows and Ubuntu. You can select Ubuntu to boot into your Ubuntu system.

Step 4: Configure the Timeout Value (Optional)

If you wish to change the timeout value of the Grub menu, you can do so by modifying the “GRUB_TIMEOUT” value in the “/etc/default/grub” file in Ubuntu.

To do this, open a terminal in Ubuntu and type the following command:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

This command opens the grub file in a text editor called ‘nano’. The ‘sudo’ command is used to execute the command with root privileges.

Find the line that reads “GRUB_TIMEOUT” and change its value to the desired number of seconds. For example, “GRUB_TIMEOUT=10” will make the Grub menu wait for 10 seconds before it automatically boots the default operating system.

After making the changes, save the file and exit the editor. In ‘nano’, you can do this by pressing ‘Ctrl+X’, then ‘Y’ to confirm saving the changes, and finally ‘Enter’ to exit.

To apply the changes, you need to update the Grub configuration. This can be done by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo update-grub

The ‘update-grub’ command generates a new Grub configuration file based on the default settings and the changes you made.

Conclusion

In conclusion, booting Ubuntu using the Windows bootloader is not only possible but also relatively easy to set up. This setup can provide a more streamlined boot process for systems with a dual-boot setup. However, please note that this process involves changing system-level settings and should be performed with caution. Always ensure that you have a current backup of your data before making these changes.

Can I use this method to boot Ubuntu alongside Windows 10?

Yes, this method can be used to boot Ubuntu alongside Windows 10. The steps mentioned in the article are applicable to any version of Windows.

Is EasyBCD software free to use?

EasyBCD has both a free and a paid version. The free version should be sufficient for adding Ubuntu to the Windows bootloader.

Can I uninstall Ubuntu without affecting the Windows bootloader?

Yes, you can uninstall Ubuntu without affecting the Windows bootloader. Simply remove the Ubuntu partition through the Disk Management tool in Windows, and the Windows bootloader will continue to function as usual.

Can I use this method if I already have Grub installed as the bootloader?

Yes, you can use this method even if you already have Grub installed as the bootloader. During the installation process, make sure to install Grub on the Ubuntu partition and not on the MBR. Then, follow the steps in the article to add Ubuntu to the Windows bootloader using EasyBCD.

Will this method work if I have multiple Linux distributions installed alongside Windows?

Yes, this method can work if you have multiple Linux distributions installed alongside Windows. You will need to add each Linux distribution separately to the Windows bootloader using EasyBCD, following the same steps mentioned in the article.

Can I use this method to boot Windows from the Grub menu in Ubuntu?

No, this method is specifically for booting Ubuntu from the Windows bootloader. If you want to boot Windows from the Grub menu in Ubuntu, you will need to configure Grub accordingly.

Can I customize the appearance of the Windows bootloader menu?

Yes, you can customize the appearance of the Windows bootloader menu using third-party software like EasyBCD. EasyBCD allows you to change the default operating system, modify the timeout value, and customize the boot menu entries.

Is it possible to remove Ubuntu from the Windows bootloader if I decide to uninstall it?

Yes, if you decide to uninstall Ubuntu, you can remove it from the Windows bootloader using EasyBCD. Open EasyBCD, go to the "Edit Boot Menu" section, select the Ubuntu entry, and click on the "Delete" button. Then, save your changes and reboot your computer.

What should I do if I encounter any issues during the setup process?

If you encounter any issues during the setup process, it is recommended to seek assistance from online forums or communities dedicated to Ubuntu or Windows. Make sure to provide detailed information about the issue, including any error messages you receive, to receive accurate help and troubleshooting steps.

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