How to Set Up Windows 11 for Dual Boot with Linux

Dual-booting allows a system to run two operating systems independently. Setting up a dual boot between Windows 11 and a Linux distribution can offer flexibility in software choices and the exploration of both operating systems. This article outlines how to set up such an environment.

Understanding Key Terms

  • Dual Boot: The ability to start a computer using one of two operating systems stored on the same machine.
  • Partition: A division of a hard drive that can function as if it were a separate drive.
  • GRUB: The default bootloader for most Linux distributions, allowing the selection of the desired operating system at startup.
  • UEFI: The modern replacement for BIOS, handling the computer's boot process and loading the operating system.

Why Dual Boot?

Setting up a dual-boot system offers:

  • Versatility in running applications exclusive to each OS.
  • A risk-free environment to experiment with or migrate to a new OS.
  • A backup OS in case issues arise with the primary OS.

Setting Up Windows 11 and Linux: Step-by-step Guide

  1. Ensure that a backup of important data is taken, as partitioning can lead to data loss.
  2. Boot into Windows 11, search for Disk Management, and open the utility.
  3. Right-click on the main partition and choose Shrink Volume to create unallocated space for Linux.
  4. Determine the amount of space to allocate to Linux and proceed with the operation.
  5. With unallocated space ready, boot the computer using a Linux installation USB or DVD.
  6. Follow the Linux installation steps, ensuring to choose the Install alongside Windows or a similar option.
  7. During the installation, Linux will use the unallocated space, setting up its partitions and installing the GRUB bootloader.
  8. Upon completion, restart the computer. GRUB will present options to boot into either Linux or Windows 11.


Dual-booting Windows 11 with Linux provides a powerful computing environment that capitalizes on the strengths of both operating systems. It offers versatility and serves as a bridge for those considering a transition between the two platforms.


Always back up important data before making changes to partitions or installing new operating systems. The steps and information provided are based on standard features and behaviors of Windows 11 and popular Linux distributions as of the time of this article (2023). Variations might exist based on the specific Linux distribution or updates to Windows.

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