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I've downloaded Kubuntu 13.04 .iso from their site. Unfortunately this version doesn't provide auto installation as Install Kubuntu alongside existing OSes. They either take all you disk of force you to manually partition your disk (see my question http://askubuntu.com/questions/319389/where-to-find-the-latest-kubuntu-13-04-with-autoinstaller).

I choose 'manual' option. And I don't understand where do I need to place boot loader.

I have such a picture of my disk as Kubuntu shows. I want to install Kubuntu in a free space sector (it is 65 Gb):

/dev/sda
  /dev/sda1 ntfs
  /dev/sda2 ntfs
  /dev/sda5 ntfs
  /dev/sda6 fat32
  /free space

Three ntfs sections (/dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, /dev/sda5) are Windows OSes:

/dev/sda1 is C:/, this one is considered as a main I think and it is Win XP
/dev/sda2 is D:/
/dev/sda5 is F:/

/dev/sda6 is just an empty shared partition formatted as FAT32.

So:

1) where do I need to place a boot loader to have a dual-boot system? Kubuntu offers me all my those /dev/sdas without any help, without any hint.

2) Do I need to install and set up GRUB manually or Kubuntu will do it itself?

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2 Answers

After selecting the partition that should be used (and usually at the end of the installation), the installer will ask you were to install the bootloader. You should place the bootloader on the disk that your bios is booting from. In your case, this should be /dev/sda. /dev/sda is the whole disk and not a specific partition, so selecting /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 etc will not work. (Don't worry, this will not erase your whole disk just to install the bootloader, as it's meant to be installed on the first 512 bytes of the disk.)

So you don't have to install the bootloader manually, usually OS installers will ask you.

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In general you install the boot loader into the master boot record (MBR) of your drive. So you'd specify it as /dev/sda. There are other methods where you can install your boot loader into a partition as well, and then "chain" them together so that one boot loader (MBR) will run another boot loader (partition).

So historically when I've setup a dual boot I've installed grub into /dev/sda, and then manually specified one of the entries, for windows, so that it chain loads like this:

title Windows
    rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    chainloader +1

Or like this: title Windows chainloader (hd0,3)+1

The 1st rule above says to not verify the mounting of drive #0, partition #0, and chainload it. The 2nd rule says to chainload drive #0, partition #3.

Remember that drive #0 + partition #0, is /dev/sda1.

Things change when you're using grub2. The above is how it was done with grub.

A rule like this is how to mount Windows 7 under grub2:

menuentry "Windows 7 (loader) (on /dev/sda1)" --class windows --class os {
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod ntfs
    insmod ntldr
    set root='(hd0,msdos1)'
    search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 1EA0019AA0017A13
    ntldr ($root)/bootmgr
}

References

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