I have a new laptop (Dell XPS15) with no OS installed (actually I had Windows 10 installed but I accidentally wiped out my SSD while trying to install Ubuntu last week).

My laptop specifications: Corei7 6700HQ - 16GB DDR4 - 512 SSD - GTX 960m - ..

I have Win 10 iso + Ubuntu iso.

1- Which OS should be installed first for easier installation?

2- Should I dual boot or use VMWare?

3- How much space do I need for Ubuntu as a new user trying to learn about linux?

4- Is there is anything I need to know before proceeding? Do you have any advice for me?

Thank you!

1 Answer 1


1. You should install Windows first for an easier install. Windows does not account for other Operating Systems when installed, and while it won't delete the other system, it will overwrite the bootloader. Ubuntu will install grub, which will allow for a dual-boot into whichever system you want at startup time.

2. Depends on what you want to do. If you want to do anything graphics heavy on the Windows system, like gaming, I suggest a dual-boot system. If you just have a few apps like MS-Office that you want to use, you can maybe get away with a virtual machine.

3. From personal experience, I've found that a 30 Gb partition is more than enough for the entire Ubuntu system, including all applications I install, and full graphical environment (even KDE), and a little data. That won't leave a lot of room for user data, though (maybe 10 Gb or so will be left for user data), but that may be fine for you.

4. Related to point 3 above, if you intend to share data between the two systems, it may be worth making a separate partition (NTFS-formatted) for data, so that both operating systems should be able to access the data.

Edit: On point 2 above, I assumed you were asking about putting Windows on the virtual machine, but I have re-read the question and realize you may be asking about either. In the case of Ubuntu, it would be relatively trivial to put Ubuntu on a Virtual Machine with the Windows system as a host. In fact, if this is really your first time using a Linux System, or you are planning on doing a lot of experimentation to get yourself familiar with Linux, I would even recommend it. I remember going the hard route of making Ubuntu my only system when I first started experimenting, and I probably destroyed my system 10 times or more in the first month alone because I had no clue what I was messing with. Always remember to back up your data!

  • Thank you for your clear answers. just to make things clear, You recommend to use Windows 10 as main OS and Ubuntu as a VM for new Linux users? I'm a network administrator and I'm planing to study more about networks security and penetrations testings, so I think I will be moving from Ubuntu to Kali when I feel comfortable enough with Linux. That maybe happen in months or more than a year. Do you have any recommendations or advices?
    – Ramez Dous
    Mar 14, 2017 at 4:41
  • @RamezDous Absolutely. If you're new to linux, unless you really want to go the hardcore immersion route, then I recommend using a VM for the linux system until you get comfortable, to minimize any risk to your system. Virtualbox is free and will provide you all the tools you need to work with Linux Networking until you get comfortable, especially with its ability to change its network configuration and run multiple machines (so you can simulate a network). Eventually, of course, you will move on to using real hardware. I unfortunately do not have much advice for pentesting, though.
    – Aargonian
    Mar 14, 2017 at 4:58
  • 1
    I'd recommend the dual-boot way. The delay of any input in the VM kills the experience (at least for me) while a natively installed Ubuntu runs fast (and feels faster than windows) and just makes more fun. Also with the VM you get even more driver issues.. Dual boot is fine. You can "escape" using Windows whenever you need it. 30 GB are enough, until you install Steam games and stuff. Just wanted to mention that. With the basic tools, browser, maybe Gimp etc. 30 GB are fine. But games that need 8 GB space on Windows will need them on Ubuntu too!
    – ecth
    Mar 14, 2017 at 5:38
  • @ecth While I'd agree with you on a system that is going to be general/everyday use, I got the impression that Ramez mostly wanted to play with the linux system to learn about it and (based on his comment) learn about networking in linux. While the system will indeed run slightly slower in a VM (although I find that subjective, since it largely depends on your computing power), it's also much safer from an experimentation standpoint. No chance of screwing up the Windows system on accident. Although if I'm wrong, and he does want general use, you are 100% correct about the speed/space issue.
    – Aargonian
    Mar 14, 2017 at 5:42
  • @Aargonian It was just from my personal experience. I tried different systems in different VMs. And what all had in common: new problems due to the VM (passing networking drivers, trying to use GPU...) and the small lag. It is small, but it annoyed me :D I am trying to set up a "perfect" OS for myself and I am glad to have Windows and Ubuntu in dual-boot, because Ubuntu is not ready yet and Windows has all my programs, settings etc. But you are right, dual boot is easily screwed up. So OP must be careful with it.
    – ecth
    Mar 14, 2017 at 9:50

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