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I have a few inter-related ubuntu installation questions.

Note that I have read several forum posts, and installation articles but either they are several years old [and I am unclear if the steps are still accurate], they involve newer UEFI bios', or they describe details which differ from my own installation specifics. Any clarification or guidance on the questions below would be much appreciated.

Pre-installation:

[1] Although I would prefer installing what I read is 'long term release' ubuntu 18.04, it doesn't work as well with my convertible laptop, in tablet mode. 19.04 works better, as I have seen when I try out 19.04 off the USB installation medium.

My question is: is it advisable to use 19.04 as a new ubuntu user, who wants to minimize customizing 18.04 in an attempt to achieve a similar tablet mode performance, compared to what I have experienced with 19.04? Any pros and cons specific to this convertible laptop issue?

[2] I would like to dual boot ubuntu and windows 10 on one 256GB SSD. Via Windows 10, I have already 'shrank' the existing c: drive, to achieve 136GB of unallocated space for the ubuntu installation.

So right now I have the following: 101 GB - windows 10 549 MB - [I believe this is for the windows swap] 136GB - unallocated space for the ubuntu

I have confirmed my BIOS is: Legacy.

Question: I am unclear whether I should, prior to installation of ubuntu, allocate a swap for ubuntu, and also, what the swap size should be? Will the 19.04 ubuntu installation automatically create an appropriate size swap, and prompt me to create one, during the actual installation? I am unsure of what to expect and therefore don't know if I should take action on this ubuntu swap creation detail prior to installation.

I have read rather opposing directions on swap size as well. I have 8 GB of RAM, so doubling it would be 16 GB. Is this the accepted advise or are there various options depending on one's hardware and objectives? Then again, I am a little confused why my Windows 10 OS seems to only have 549MB.

[3] Disable Fast Startup and Secure Boot. Given that I have a legacy bios, would I turn either, or both, of these startup/ boot options off prior to installation?

What confuses me is, this laptop does boot Win10 quite fast [20 secs] but I thought I read the fast startup was specific to UEFI bios. Note that the laptop originally ran Win7pro, and it was updated to Win10pro if that helps. Ultimately, I would prefer to retain this seemly fast start up speed.

[4] Would virtualization of the Windows 10 OS, and running it within ubuntu, have advantages? I would consider this solution if there were no additional security disadvantages compared to a dual boot configuration, and, if this was relatively easy to achieve. Any advise on this or experiences to share?

Additionally, I believe there's an option to create a Windows 10 OS on a USB [like linux distributions], but I don't know if this would be difficult to achieve. I am sure others have encountered the same need for both linux and windows, and may be willing to share their experiences.

Thank-you.

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    New UEFI systems have fast boot which is an UEFI setting where UEFI/BIOS does not scan system for changes and write system data to hard drive for operating system. Saves time, but may be so quick you cannot press key to get into UEFI or one time boot key. And Windows has fast start up whether UEFI or BIOS which is really just hibernation and sets hibernation flag preventing Ubuntu from reading any NTFS partition or booting Windows from grub. Both are to make Windows seem like it boots quicker. But you have to do a full cold power off boot to get full reconfiguration if needed. – oldfred May 25 '19 at 16:24
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[1] Yes, using a LTS release is recommended, but there is also nothing wrong with using non LTS releases. If your laptop works best out of the box with Ubuntu 19.04, I'd say go with it. Take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the system and mess around without too much fear. Next year, use the knowledge you acquired with the 19.04 and personalize the experience to what you want with the LTS release 20.04.

[2] If you are installing the default Ubuntu flavor, it will default to using a swap file, so you don't really need to create a swap partition. Some other flavors, like xubuntu will usually create a swap partition by default. Unless you have specific goals in mind, there is no need to worry about it.

The 549MB windows partition you are seeing is probably the windows recovery partition or the boot partition created by windows, but I'm really not sure. The OS itself is in the main 101GB partition.

I personally believe Windows 10 is a bit of a glutton, so I would give it more than the 100GB you did. I installed Windows 10 for a few friends and within a week they seemed to be using 100GB of their ssd without downloading anything. Ubuntu usually works fine with less.

[3] Ubuntu works fine with EFI/Secure Boot. If your machine supports it, and you are using it with Windows, you can also use it with Ubuntu. On some occasions you might need to select something like "Other OS" in the UEFI section of your Motherboard/BIOS. If you would rather use Legacy mode, you can also do so. In this case, you should use legacy mode on both systems. You'll have the option to choose once you have to choose from which drive to boot from when installing. There will be both a "UEFI UBUNTU PEN DRIVE" and a "UBUNTU PEN DRIVE".

You should disable the Windows Fast Startup option (Fast Boot is a UEFI feature). Your computer will still boot at the same time, or something very close. The problem with this Windows option is that once you shut your laptop off, it isn't really shutting it down. It is sort of a semi-hibernation, so it doesn't need to reinitialize everything. I'm personally not a fan, and it might cause a few issues. I would also personally disable the Windows 10 options that sort of compress the system files (forgot what is called), otherwise you will still not be able to access and work with your Windows partition from within Ubuntu. Please note that you shouldn't make a habit of using them to share data. If you need to share files between OSes then it's preferable to have a distinct NTFS partition for this.

[4] It depends a lot on your case. How often are you going to use Windows or Ubuntu? For my friends that need Windows for gaming, I install as dual boot, since having a pass through is a bit more work, and might not work as well. If you are only going to use Windows for banking or something very seldom, I would personally be happy with virtualization. Restarting a computer to use a different OS is quite annoying, and if you have to do it often, you will probably just stick with whatever you need the most. Unless you have demanding programs, that require Windows and won't run well on a virtual machine, I wouldn't dual boot. If you are unsure you will like and get used to Ubuntu, and need the comfort of returning to Windows at any time, then dual boot might have it's value for you. It's ultimately a personal decision that depends on your use case.

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  • Thanks for your detailed response Podesta. This provides excellent clarification. – Frankooo May 25 '19 at 17:47
  • [1] I am going to go with 19.04, and wait for the 20.04 LTS release. [2] That's good feedback on the Win10 size requirements, I will consider increase the partition size above 100 GB. Although, my original thinking was to leave enough space on the ubuntu partition for both the ubuntu OS + my own files. [3] ok. and I didn't realize one could access the Win partition using ubuntu. [4] 95% of my use will be on ubuntu, to avoid Win10 where possible thanks to oldfred as well! – Frankooo May 25 '19 at 18:02
  • @Frankooo No problem. If you need any tips just let me know. A virtual windows 10 might be enough for your needs, specially if it won't be using a GPU. – Podesta May 26 '19 at 2:58

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