Dual Boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.10 using VirtualBox

Have you ever thought about dual booting a Windows 8 machine with Ubuntu on a VirtualBox. Some may think its impossible but I can assure you that I have tried it and can confirm it works perfectly well without any issues. Below is the version of each components I used. Note that this is solely for testing and should not be used for LIVE environment.

Step 1: Component Versions

– VirtualBox 4.3.6
– Windows 8 (64bit)
– Ubuntu 13.10 (64bit)

Step 2: Install Windows 8 on VirtualBox

– Create a New virtual machine with required settings as shown below. Note you need to allocate enough disk size for the 2 OSes

win8ubuntu-01 win8ubuntu-02

– Start the vm, select Windows 8 ISO file and click Start. On the Setup screen, select language; Time format; Keyboard layout and continue


– Click Install and then Accept license terms


– Under Installation type, click on Custom option


– Click Drive options (advanced) > New, enter disk size for Windows 8 and click Apply. Now you should have 2 Partitions. Select the one allocated for Windows 8 and click Next to begin installation

win8ubuntu-07 win8ubuntu-08

– After installation is completed, wait for the machine to reboot. Then go through the Personalise settings


– After the system finally completes all configurations, you should now have your Windows 8 desktop showing


Step 3: Install Ubuntu 13.10 next

– First shutdown the Windows 8 machine. Go to Settings property > Storage, click the disk icon and select the ISO file for Ubuntu installation. this would replace your Windows 8 ISO file


– Start up the vm. On the Welcome screen, click on Install Ubuntu


– Ensure all checks pass and also select “Download updates while installing“. Click Continue


– The installer will notify you that it detected a Windows 8 OS and if you wish to install alongside it. Since we want to have Ubuntu on a separate partition, select “Something else


– Now select “free space” disk available, click on the plus sign (+), now we create a swap area by allocating about 10% of the free space. Leave other selections as default and click OK


– Next select the remaining Free space, click the + sign, select partition type as Primary, select slash (/) as mount point, leave others as default and click OK


– Now make sure you select the newly created primary partition disk and click Install Now


– At this stage, you should be familiar with the rest of the install selections (Location; Keyboard Layout; Account creation e.t.c) and continue with installation


Note: Before rebooting the machine, go back to the vm settings and remove the ISO file

– After machine comes back online, you will be presented with boot options “Ubuntu” & “Windows 8 (loader)


Ubuntu Boot:


Windows 8 Boot:


After logging into the 2 separate OSes, you need to run updates to bring the systems to date.

Please feel free to share your install experience 🙂

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