Should I Install Ubuntu on Windows 11?
Windows 11 is the latest major release of Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system, released on October 5, 2021. As of July 2023, Windows 11, at 24% worldwide is the 2nd most popular Windows version in use.
Ubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Debian and composed mostly of free and open-source software. It is the most popular Linux distro and many people like to use it to learn Linux and Unix or develop programs.
Some people may want to install Ubuntu on a Windows 11 PC to develop cross-platform applications without leaving Windows, or for other reasons. Then, they can use the following methods.
- Use Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).
- Use VM software like VMware.
- Dual boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu.
Which method should you use? You can decide after reading the pros and cons of these ways.
- WSL: WSL 2 also uses VM technology. Its advantages are lightweight, fast startup, easy installation, and close integration with Windows. Its disadvantage is that it doesn’t support GUI. If you just want to run Linux command-line tools, Bash shell scripts, and GNU/Linux command-line applications, WSL is recommended.
- VM: It offers the full Ubuntu experience and has a nice interactivity with Windows 11. In addition, it runs Ubuntu in an isolated environment. If there is something wrong with Ubuntu, Windows 11 won’t be affected. The defect is that running Ubuntu over Windows 11 may affect the PC’s performance.
- Dual Boot: It offers the best Ubuntu experience and performance. Its defects are low security, bad interactivity, and limited hard drive storage. As usage increases, Ubuntu may require more disk space. You may need to resize the partition.
How to Install Ubuntu on Windows 11? Keep reading to get the detailed guide.
Use WSL to Install Ubuntu on Windows 11
The Windows Subsystem for Linux lets developers run GNU/Linux tools – including most command-line tools, utilities, and applications – directly on Windows and without the overhead of a traditional virtual machine or dual-boot setup. The latest version is WSL 2.
How to install Ubuntu on Windows 11 using WSL 2? You can refer to the following guide.
Step 1: Install WSL.
- In the Windows Search bar, type “turn Windows features on or off” and then open the corresponding app.
- Scroll down to check the boxes in front of Virtual Machine Platform and Windows Subsystem for Linux. Then, click OK.
- Restart your computer when required.
Step 2: Download and install the Linux kernel update package.
- Download WSL2 Linux kernel update package for x64 machines. This download link is offered by Microsoft.
- Run this tool and complete the setup.
Step 3: Install Ubuntu.
- Open the Microsoft Store and search for Ubuntu.
- Select an Ubuntu version to get it. You can also launch Ubuntu here. Then, you can start to configure and use Ubuntu.
A few days ago, Microsoft said that it added a new feature in Windows 10 – WSL 2, which allows you to add a custom Linux kernel and enjoys localhost access.
Use VMware to Install Ubuntu on Windows 11
VMware is one of the most popular virtual machine programs. Using this software, you can install Ubuntu on a Windows 11 PC. How to install Ubuntu on Windows 11 using VMware? Here is the guide:
Step 1: Download and install VMware on your Windows 11 PC.
Step 2: Go to the Ubuntu official website to download the Ubuntu ISO. I recommend you download the LTS version because it is more stable.
Step 3: Install Ubuntu on VMware.
- Launch VMware and click File > New Virtual Machine.
- Select Custom (advanced) and keep going on.
- When it asks you where to install operating system from, select Use ISO image. Then, click the Browse button to select the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded just now.
- The Ubuntu system will use Easy Install, which will install the guest operating system and VMware Tools automatically after the virtual machine is created.
- On the Easy Install Information window, enter Full Name, User Name, and Password. User Name and Password are used to log in to Ubuntu. Full Name is the name of the Ubuntu computer (hostname).
- Name the Ubuntu VM and select the installation location of the VM.
- Configure the processor. Make sure the total processor cores are 2 or more because Ubuntu requires a 2GHz dual-core processor or better.
- Allocate the memory for the virtual machine. 2GB to 4GB is recommended.
- Keep going on until you are asked to Specify Disk Capacity. At least 25GB is required.
- Keep clicking the Next buttons and then Finish the Ubuntu VM creation.
- The Ubuntu VM will power on and go through the installation process automatically. All you need to do is wait until the installation process is completed.
Dual Boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu
Can I install Ubuntu on Windows 11? The answer is YES, but Secure Boot should be disabled first. Here is how to dual boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu.
#1. Create a Bootable USB Drive for Ubuntu
Step 1: Download the Ubuntu ISO file and then download a burning program like Rufus.
Step 2: Prepare a USB flash drive with at least 8 GB of storage capacity and then insert it into your computer.
Step 3: Launch Rufus. Under Device, select the USB drive. Under Boot selection, click SELECT and choose the Ubuntu ISO file you downloaded just now. Make sure the Partition scheme is GPT because Windows 11 only supports UEFI and the system disk must be a GPT disk.
Step 4: Keep other parameters as the default and click Start. Confirm the burning operation and wait until the burning process is completed. After that, close Rufus.
#2. Make Unallocated Space for Ubuntu Installation
To dual boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu, you need to create a separate unallocated space for the Ubuntu installation.
If your computer only has one partition and this partition has enough free space, you can use Disk Management to shrink the partition to get the unallocated space. Make sure the unallocated space is at least 25GB.
However, if your computer has multiple partitions, MiniTool Partition Wizard is better. This free disk partition software can get unallocated space from multiple partitions. In addition, it can convert MBR to GPT without data loss, clone hard drive, and recover hard drive data.
Here is how to get unallocated space using MiniTool Partition Wizard.
Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard. Right-click a partition and choose Move/Resize.
Step 2: On the pop-up window, under Size And Location, drag the arrow icons to shrink the partition. Drag the partition block to change the location of the partition. In this way, the location of the unallocated space is also changed. Then, click OK.
Step 3: Check the layout of the partition and then click Apply to execute the operation. Click Yes to confirm the operation. If you have moved/resized the C drive, a PC restart is needed.
#3. Install Ubuntu on Windows 11
Now, you need to follow the guide below to dual boot Windows 11 and Ubuntu.
Step 1: Shut down the Windows 11 computer and insert the bootable USB drive into your computer.
Step 2: Power on your computer. Press the BIOS key once the PC logo appears to enter the firmware. The BIOS key should appear at the bottom of the PC logo screen. If you don’t see it, you can also search for it online according to your PC model.
Step 3: In the firmware, go to the Boot or Security tab, find the Secure Boot option, and make sure it is Disabled, because this option will prevent Ubuntu from booting
Step 4: Go to the Boot tab to set the USB drive as the boot device. Then, press F10 to save changes and exit the firmware. Several options are offered to you and you need to choose Ubuntu. Ubuntu will check the disk. After the checking process is completed, you will come to the Ubuntu Install page. Click Install Ubuntu.
Step 5: Choose some installation options.
- Choose the Keyboard layout. English (US) is recommended.
- Choose Updates and other software. Keep the default options.
- Choose Installation type. Install Ubuntu alongside Windows Boot Manager is recommended. Then, click Install Now.
Step 6: Ubuntu will detect the unallocated space and partition it. Click Continue to confirm that you want to write changes to disks.
Step 7: Choose your zone. This is related to the time displayed by Ubuntu. Then, enter Your name and Your computer’s name. Pick a username and choose a password.
Step 8: The Ubuntu installation will begin. You just need to wait until the installation process is completed. Restart your computer when it asks. Then, you can remove the USB drive.
#4. Switch Between Windows 11 and Ubuntu
If you want to boot from Ubuntu, you should do as follows:
- Power on your computer and enter the firmware.
- Disable Secure Boot.
- Exit the firmware.
- Choose Ubuntu.
If you want to boot from Windows 11, you should do as follows:
- Power on your computer and enter the firmware.
- Enable Secure Boot. If you don’t do this, you will encounter errors when booting Windows 11.
- Exit the firmware.
- Choose Windows Boot Manager.
Is this post useful to you? Do you know other ways to install Ubuntu on Windows 11? Have you encountered issues when installing Ubuntu on Windows 11? Leave your comment in the following zone.
In addition, if you encounter problems when using MiniTool Partition Wizard, please feel free to contact us via [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as possible.