This page contains several tips on how to install GNU/Linux on your machine.
In all cases we assume you would be installing to a reasonably new laptop with Intel/AMD processor and at least 50 GB free space on your hard-drive. We also assume that the distribution of choice is Fedora. Note that Linux can be installed with much less free space if needed (and on different architectures as well) but it requires a bit more experience to do so. We also assume that you are installing Linux as your second operating system and want to keep both (so called dual-boot).
There are plenty of tutorials about installing a dual-boot. Following ones are reasonably recent and with the information on this page they should provide plenty of information for a successful install. And by the way, you will also understand your computer much better and that is the purpose why you are here, right?
Please note that there are many tutorials etc. on the internet about Linux installation that are more than 10 years old. They often mention issues that are simply non-existent today: installers today are much more user friendly and are much more capable and installation is really just three clicks away.
Playing it safe
Installing Linux is really not difficult but one still has to be careful. We highly recommend to check things twice before confirming any destructive action. Seriously: the installer will not destroy your data unless you give approval. A simple measure is to use different sizes for each of your partition and always check that the size is what you expect, for example.
You can always install Linux first in a virtual environment (such as VirtualBox) to see individual steps before installing on physical hardware.
Getting the installation image
To begin the installation, you need to prepare a bootable flash disk with the installer (burning it to CD works as well). We highly recommend to use the Fedora Media Writer that is able to prepare the bootable flash disk for you. You will need at least 2GB flash drive for this.
Preparing your hard-drive
Your hard-drive is divided into so-called partitions. Typically, there will be a special (and small) partition with UEFI that you rarely need to touch (definitely not now!). Next to it will probably be one or two partitions with your existing operating system. You need to shrink one of them to make space for Linux. The shrinking can be done either from the installer or beforehand in Windows.
Shrinking partitions in Windows can be done easily via the Disk management program. Following mini-tutorials might help you: How to Shrink a Volume or Partition in Windows 10 (TenForums) and Windows 10 Tutorial: Shrink, Partition, Extend Disk Volumes (YouTube).
Booting the installer
Once you have prepared the bootable disk, plug it inside your computer and
boot from it (usually hitting
F12 during boot will bring a
simple menu where you can choose whether to boot from your internal hard-drive
or the attached USB drive).
The actual installation
After that you only need to go through several steps inside the installer. Selecting the right language, keyboard and time-zone is easy. The only difficult part is preparing the hard-drive but you have already done that, right? It is necessary to select Custom when preparing the disk drive (as you do not want to erase the existing partitions). Once inside the disk editor, select the unallocated space and continue with automated partitioning.
And that is really all. The installer will ask for confirmation about the changes to your hard-drive. Double check that you are not erasing any existing partition.
When in doubt, you can always exit the installer without making any changes and restart the whole installation.
After the disk preparation is complete, you can start the installation process. That may take some time. When the installation completes, you will be asked to reboot your computer that should boot into a simple boot-menu where you select which operating system to boot. First check that your previous system can still be booted and then reboot again and start your freshly installed Linux system.
Several notes on partition sizes
There are several approaches how to partition your hard-drive and about million of opinions of what is the right way :-).
For beginners, we recommend to stick with the defaults from the installer.
If you want to be able to hibernate your disk, we recommend to have the swap partition at least as big as your RAM. If you do not know what this means, that don’t worry about it. You can always power-off your computer or suspend it only.
There are also different opinions whether
/home needs a special
Again, use the defaults, they are the sane option.
Generally, installation on single user machine (such as your personal
laptop) does not require any special setup and one partition for everything
Note that you will be able to mount your Windows partition in Linux (the opposite direction is possible too) and thus you can keep your multimedia etc. where they are without losing access to them.