I am currently on Windows 11 and would like to move to ElementaryOS due to it seeming more reliable and with nice style. But before I install, is it possible to install the OS without wiping the disk? I am unsure how to dual boot properly, as I have never done it before and heard that it removes a lot of storage off my disk.
I've done this several times. The following are starting points:
- It's not for the faint of heart, because you have to create two new partitions: one for linux and the other very small one for the boot system, which is called grub. You have to be okay with running disk management software. Linux partitions are not NTFS so you can't ride on an existing Windows partition.
- You can do that either by shrinking your existing windows partition (google will be your friend) or better still or if shrinkage is not an option then adding another small disk for linux. Linux doesn't take much space and disks are cheap. I would probably recommend using a second disk if you're cautious. Though having said that I've always done it by partitioning an SSD.
- You can probably do this using the Windows disk manager, but if you get stuck might need to revert to the old command line diskpart.exe.
- Once you have the partitions in place follow the standard instructions for eOS install from a USB. Linux installation will ignore and never touch the NTFS partitions.
- If all is well, when you reboot you will get a grub option list with eOS at the top and Windows Boot Manager probably second on the list. Choose which system you want to boot into.
- You MUST fix the Windows time vs Linux time problem. Do this by setting eOS to use local time. Again, the commands are easily googled.
- The age of your PC makes a difference. If the BIOS is UEFI then everything is more likely to go smoother.