By TechThop Team
Posted on: 28 Jul, 2022
Installing multiple operating systems on the same computer is possible through dual-booting. Windows makes this practice more difficult than ever. The process of dual-booting involves splitting a storage drive into multiple partitions, placing an operating system on each partition, and allowing the user to choose between the operating systems upon startup.
Some operating systems require at least one or two other smaller partitions. Some people use this method when they want to use Linux, but still need Windows for software or other tasks that are incompatible with Linux.
Dual-booting has never worked well with Windows - it can sometimes overwrite a custom bootloader with its own when updating, or cause other issues. BitLocker disk encryption in Windows has made dual-booting difficult lately because encrypted disks cannot be accessed without a backup key or Windows.
'Modern Windows devices increasingly come with BitLocker Device Encryption out of the box,' according to Microsoft. Some PCs even store BitLocker keys in the TPM module. According to Fedora Linux developers, 'the Bitlocker encryption key will only be unsealed if the boot chain measurement by the TPM matches what is expected in a TPM PCR.
When shim+GRUB are in the boot chain, as in the default dual boot installation, the measurements are incorrect, so the GRUB menu entry to boot Windows won't work. The user is taken to the Windows Bitlocker recovery page.'
BitLocker disk encryption has also been noted as a problem with Ubuntu, another popular Linux distribution. According to a support article, BitLocker prevents access to your hard drive contents, which appear as random noise. As a result, the Ubuntu installer cannot map data correctly, and the additional installation cannot be performed safely.'
While BitLocker is a great security feature, Microsoft doesn't make it easy for other operating systems to exist on the same drive. To avoid dual-booting altogether, consider adding a new drive to your PC and sticking to one operating system per drive. In many laptops, an extra drive isn't an option, but it's worth considering whenever possible.
A fast external SSD could even be used to install operating systems. You shouldn't notice much of a difference in speed with a USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt connection.
It shouldn't be necessary to buy more hardware to resolve conflicting software - you own your computer, so you should be able to use whatever operating system you want. It's becoming harder for Linux to coexist with Windows without more cooperation between Microsoft, PC manufacturers, and Linux developers. In the meantime, Apple's new ARM-based Mac computers do not yet support Linux.
One of the best Linux laptops might be worth considering if you plan on using Linux on your PC all the time rather than switching between Windows constantly. Windows can also be removed from a PC that came with Windows, but computers built for Linux often have fewer driver problems.
The Dell XPS 13 Plus is now certified for Ubuntu 22.04, and HP just released the ‘Dev One’ in partnership with System76, the developer of Pop!_OS Linux.
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