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How could I setup a dual boot for Ubuntu and Windows 8 on my Microsoft Surface Pro with 128 GB.

Note: My dual boot solution is below.

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1 Answer 1

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Video Demo

EDIT: July 11, 2014 @ 6:00PM PST

This has been updated to reflect changes in 14.10 AMD64. (14.04 LTS works fine but 14.10 works awesome out of the box.)

  • Removed boot repair process. ( This seems to be fine in this release. If you have issues you may want to make sure Grub2 is installed and to run the boot-repair process.)

  • Added bootloader section, again. (Note: Someone fixed the bootloader issue that was causing customized loaders not to work for GRUB2.)


Create a partitioned drive.

  • Press search button on your keyboard type 'boot'.
  • Select 'settings >> Create and format disk partitions'

enter image description here

  • Select C drive, right click and select 'shrink volume'.
  • This is your choice but I use appox. 29.3 Gigs(30,000 MB): Shrink respectively.

enter image description here


Follow the instructions on Geek.com.

  • Stop at prompt to delete disk or partition.
  • Return and follow instructions.

    note: I suggest using your SD drive as there seems to be USB compatibility issues in some cases. Also you can simply mount the ISO in Windows and copy the contents to the storage drive, SD or flash.


Prepare partitioned space for install.

  • Change the selection from 'Delete and Install' to 'Something Else' at the bottom.

enter image description here

  • It will ask if you want to unmount your installation device. Select 'No'.
  • Now select the free space and press the '+' button under the partitions.
  • Select from the drop list 'swap' and select the 'logical' radio button and 'insert at beginning' and finish. Select anywhere from 400 to 600 MB to be safe at least.

enter image description here

  • Now select the free space and press the 'change' button - again.
  • Select from the drop list 'Ext4' and select the 'primary' radio button, 'insert at beginning', 'format' button checked and '/' as root and finish. Use the remaining space you have reserved.

enter image description here

  • Finish install process on the Ext4 partition you created.

Now you can restart.


The Intel cpu needs a fan sensor update. I suggest doing this with lm-sensors.

sudo apt-get install lm-sensors
sudo sensors-detect
  • Select 'YES' to everything and follow the end instruct
  • It will ask you to run some sudo commands after it is done.


Not required but if you have made it this far you want a awesome beautiful device. That ugly boot loader didn't do it for me so I created a boot loader just for the surface.

  • Go Download from my github.
  • Follow README instructions to setup.

enter image description here

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Why are we formatting the partition as FAT32 only to format it as EXT4 later? Isn't that pointless? –  Nathan Osman Mar 9 '13 at 2:19
Your screenshot suggests that gparted is simply reformatting the partition as EXT4 instead of converting from FAT32 to EXT4 (which is impossible as far as I know). –  Nathan Osman Mar 9 '13 at 3:01
I didn't realize you could even get another OS to run at all on one of these new MS tablets. I thought uefi would stop you dead. This is really cool! I guess that has to do with the fact that it's an i5 and not an arm. –  Joe Mar 14 '13 at 5:01
After installing successfully, how do I boot into Ubuntu to continue with the process (what you've listed as the 'Fourth' step)? When the installer prompts a reboot after completion, my Surface restarts into Windows 8. I've tried reinstalling twice, each time changing the location of the boot loader from the default (dev/sda ATA c400-MTFDDAT128M (128.0 GB)) to /dev/sda2 (my efi partition) and /dev/sda7 (my ubuntu install partition). Apologies if this is a dumb question, and thanks for the work you've shared here. –  TX-NY-CA Jun 14 '13 at 22:09
@Mittenchops There is a bug currently that makes my system have the same issues but only from time to time. You may want to try and reboot a couple times or you may have had something go wrong in the installation process and may need to delete what you have done and try again. I will suggest downloading the daily image for 14.04 though as I seem to be having less bug issues. I will be adding an update soon to reflectt installation of 1.04 only. –  Brandon Clark Mar 17 at 20:53

protected by Community Jun 16 '13 at 3:37

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