Okay so I am new to Linux, I recently tried dual booting my laptop (with 1 TB hard-disk and 4 GB RAM which can upgrade upto 16 GB which I am planning to do) with windows 10 and Ubuntu but after reading tons of articles, formatting and reinstalling for like 5 times I finally gave up. I am an engineering student and most of my work involves Matlab, MS office, keil, and watching movies and tv shows and now programming in different languages and exploring linux.

So here's what I want to do -

  • clean install and dual boot Windows and Linux.
  • Make sure that if in future I need to multi boot with Kali as well I can do that without formatting.
  • make sure if I want to remove Windows or Ubuntu in future I can do that without reinstalling other OS. And be able to use that empty space to extend other partitions. And upgrade any of this OS without affecting others.
  • Have a different partition for my media and other personal files which I can access from all OSs.

Here's what I know/can do/have done

  • I have ISO files and can make bootable pendrive for all 3 OS.
  • I know how to install them so I don't need step wise installation guide.
  • I am not sure if my laptop is Legacy or UEFI as I have option to choose from both in BIOS settings, my laptop is lenovo g50-80 with AMD R5 and free DOS, there was no pre installed OS. I was currently using Windows 10 in legacy as it kept giving me errors while trying to install windows in UEFI until Ubuntu installation messed up with everything including Windows 10.

Here are my questions -

  1. How do I start, I know first I have to install windows and then others but I still can't figure out the whole partition thing as there are too many partitions to be made in different format and type at different places?
  2. as far as I know we can make only 4 primary partitions so how do I make enough partitions to fit all 3 OSs plus a partition for my personal files as Windows makes 1 extra unaccessible primary partition other than the one in which OS is installed and Ubuntu also needs different partitions like swap, boot, etc and I don't even know how many more will I need for Kali if I choose to install that as well in future.
  3. what are the recommended sizes for each partitions including for Windows OS, Ubuntu OS, swap for ubuntu, and number of others Ubuntu needs like boot and others and Kali might need in future knowing that I need minimum 500 GB for my personal files which should be accessible from all OSs.
  4. How do I make all this partitions and in what format, which are supposed to be primary only and which can be extended and how do I make them? Also in what order while installing am I supposed to make all this partitions?

PS - I was told best way to go is to first create all the partitions using gparted live CD/DVD/pendrive and then install everything one by one in all the partitions.

I know the question is too long and answer can be too long but after a long research I couldn't find a single solution, most solutions solved one problem creating 2 more.

I am not sure if this question is supposed to be in Linux or ask Ubuntu, feel free suggest any changes in question or tags.

  • Why do you want to dual boot, why don't you create a VM.
    – AReddy
    May 6, 2016 at 10:44
  • @AvinashRedy I was using VM until now but there are lot of restrictions so now I want to go completely into Linux though I still need windows for some softwares like Matlab. And using VM is also slower than dual booting.
    – devansh
    May 6, 2016 at 10:54

1 Answer 1


You have a huge list Devansh. but here is what is understood.

Which Linux Distro you want to install.
You need at least 100 GB of partition per Linux Distro system its totally depends on your package selection.
If you leave space unattended in the disk management then it can be detected by the Linux OS while installation. you don't need to create a file system type before installation
You need to create logical drive under extended partition on your remaining 500GB drive

for any Linux system there are 2 partition required /boot 512 MB, swap 2xRAM & / were the whole Linux is installed which is the remaining size.

You don't need to create the partition before installation.

  • Does /boot swap and / all need to be primary? Or can I create extended partition and then create 3 logical partitions under it for boot swap and Linux? Also which format do I use for 500gb logical? Earlier Ubuntu couldn't read my ntsf partition from Windows? As far as I know I can create only 4 primary and windows takes 2 of them so I have only 2 more in which case 1 will be used for 500gb and other for Linux, right?
    – devansh
    May 6, 2016 at 11:18
  • And btw my back story is long to make you understand my needs, what I actually need here is only how many partitions, what type and format of partitions and how to make them.
    – devansh
    May 6, 2016 at 11:22
  • /boot is ok for primary, if you 500 GB is your personal files which should be accessible from all OSs then it should be NTFS. yes there are some package which can read your data in Linux.
    – AReddy
    May 6, 2016 at 11:22
  • while installing Linux you can create ext4 partition which is the latest.
    – AReddy
    May 6, 2016 at 11:24
  • The problem is the fact that I can create only 4 primary partitions from which 2 are taken by Windows and one goes to 500gb so how do I create all 3 partitions for Linux now? Specifically for Ubuntu, and what if I want to multiboot with Kali Linux as well in future, will it be possible? Or will I have to delete one of the OS?
    – devansh
    May 6, 2016 at 11:26

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