Tuesday, 16 June 2020

How I added a Xubuntu partition

Below are a set of notes I made while adding a Xubuntu partition to my Windows 7 machine.

They are my rough working notes - use with care!

How to add a Xubuntu partition to a Windows 7 machine

This is not a guide it's a note that I wrote as reminder to myself. 
It is not a definitive set of instructions. 
As always your mileage may vary.
Playing with partitions can be destructive and you may lose data or 
brick your machine if things go wrong. 

Think carefully before doing this and make sure you have a backup of your data

Assess your machine

I have only done this on machines with a traditional hard disk - 
this has not been tested on an SSD based machine
  • check the size of the existing hard disk
    • you will probably need between 75 and a 100GB to make a usable Xubuntu partition for useful work. If you just wish to use it to run a quick start web browser and a basic editor 50 to 75GB may be enough
    • check the amount of data currently used by windows. To give yourself adequate headroom double it for the partition size
    • thus if you have a windows machine with a 300GB disk, and you have used a 100GB, you would give 200GB to Windows and 100GB to Xubuntu
    • Do not reduce the size of the Windows partition below 75GB
  • check that you can boot your machine from a usb device and the bios is not locked in some way
    • Dell machines usually require you to press F12 when the Dell logo appears during startup
    • Lenovo thinkpads usually prompt you to press Enter during startup
    • use Rufus to make a bootable volume - Rufus can be downloaded from https://rufus.ie/
    • slightly outdated documentation on using Rufus https://linuxhint.com/rufus_bootable_usb_install_ubuntu_18-04_lts
    • download the Xubuntu 20.04 LTS iso file from Xubuntu.org
    • using a blank USB drive (minimum size 8GB) use Rufus to write a bootable USB stick
    • on the machine that you intend to install the partition, boot from the USB stick
    • verify the stick contents pass self test and the system boots into the Xubuntu environment
  • click on Try Xubuntu and check basic functionality
    • check the mouse works
    • check the keyboard works
    • check wi-fi works (you will need your wi-fi password)
      • performance may be slightly slow, especially program load as you are running off a usb stick
    • reboot the machine

Installing Xubuntu

  • power cycle and boot your machine from the USB stick
  • click on Install Xubuntu
  • answer the questions to specify keyboard etc
    • procedure detailed at

  • specify the partition table size by dragging the slider to adjust the sizes in line with what you originally decided
  • answer the scary questions about whether you really want to do this
  • wait while xubuntu resizes the partitions
  • continue the installation process
  • remove the boot media and reboot
  • Boot into Xubuntu and check everything works

    • check the mouse works
    • check the keyboard works
    • check wi-fi works (you will need your wi-fi password)
    • reboot the machine

    Boot into Windows and check everything works

    • run chkdsk when prompted
    • log into windows when prompted
    • check everything still works
    I found I had to reinstall OneDrive and do a resync - unsure if this was due to repartitioning the disk or if it was broken anyway
    • you’re now done - enjoy (remember you may need to install additional applications and configure printing on your Xubuntu install)

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