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I have almost convinced a family member to dual-boot with Ubuntu. I've showed him wubi, and he thinks that he's ready to give Ubuntu a try and dual boot. However, he thinks that overwriting the Windows bootloader is too risky and doesn't want to. I know you can restore the Windows bootloader after installation of Ubuntu, but that's not what I mean. Is there any option in the installer that I'm missing to skip installing GRUB? Thanks for any help in advance.

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Um... don't think you can have Windows bootloader know about Ubuntu. – James Jan 5 '12 at 3:18
Really? Googeling it turned up some results hinting it can be done. A step by step tutorial for Ubuntu 11.10 would be nice though. – William Jan 5 '12 at 3:25
I think you'll find that using GRUB will be easier. If he ever wants to revert it's merely one command from windows recovery to take over with its bootloader:… – user6658 Jan 5 '12 at 6:29
up vote 4 down vote accepted

As you install Ubuntu, watch where you are installing grub.

Install grub into the same partition you installed ubuntu. This will NOT install grub into the MBR.

The exact location varies with the version of Ubuntu you are installing, here are screenshots for 12.04

Install 1

Install 2

See also

From there you will then need to configure the windows boot loader to boot Ubuntu. This may be more or less difficult then using grub, depending on how well you know windows.

There is a tutorial here -

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This is only relevant to very old versions of Ubuntu – user6658 Jan 5 '12 at 6:26
No Chauncellor, it applies to all versions of Ubuntu , otherwise you would install grub to the MBR, which is what the OP does not want. The exact method will vary by version of Ubuntu and you can not call 10.04 a "very old versions of Ubuntu" – bodhi.zazen Jan 5 '12 at 7:04
Thanks @bodhi.zazen for your very complete answer. – William Jan 5 '12 at 12:49
Lucid isn't old, but Gutsy is. Way to ninja your screenshots and then accuse me. – user6658 Jan 5 '12 at 18:27
You post stands for itself. Feel free to add to the conversation / add screenshots next time, that way you come across as constructive or adding to the conversation. – bodhi.zazen Jan 5 '12 at 18:34

Here's a step by step guide to setting up the Windows bootloader to boot Ubuntu:

I believe the alternate installer has an option to skip the installation of a bootloader, however I haven't used it for a long time so am not 100% on that. The other way is to, as in the link above, choose to install GRUB to the partition that you're installing Ubuntu to so it won't overwrite any of the Windows files.

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