Dual boot?

Normally a linux user, but I have to boot into Windoze occasionally for drudge tasks. Anybody set up a Framework as dual boot?

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I plan to, but not in the traditional sense. I like the idea of running an alternate OS off of the storage expansion card, so that’s my plan. Need to decide whether I will use Windows on the M.2 card and Linux on the SEC, or vice-versa. Probably vice-versa.

Also, I plan to run a VM or six on occasion (not simultaneously).

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I was planning to do the same or just use my Ventoy USB as the dual since ubuntu and others can be run off a USB.


I dual boot my Framework. Arch Linux on the internal SSD, and Windows 10 on a 1tb storage expansion card.

Other than the cost of Windows being a little much for the convenience of not having to make Ableton and Max work well with wine and jack, I would 100% recommend this setup.

The Windows bootloader is installed to a second ESP on the expansion card, so that the only evidence of Windows with the card removed is a useless GRUB menu entry. With the card installed, that entry chainloads Windows.

There are only a few tweaks to make Win 10 play nice:

  1. Add a registry key to make Windows use UTC hardware clock
  2. Turn off fast boot in Windows
  3. Turn off hibernation in Windows

EDIT: I used Rufus on an existing Win 10 installation to make the storage expansion card into a Windows To-Go drive rather than installing from removable media


I too want to dual boot mine. What I’ve come across first is that Win 10 is defaulting to BitLocker on the drive, at least the partition manager in Kubuntu reports it that way. I May need to buy & use the expansion card option to get dual booting.

Newbie here, I would really appreciate if there’s an official guide on how to dual boot with storage expansion card!!!


What I did was put the OS itself on the expansion card instead of on the nvme. I am using the nvme for data/work.

I put some notes about installing Ubuntu from a Ventoy-based USB here. I haven’t tried Windows yet, but there are some other pages here that give some instructions for doing that.

I had no trouble installing Windows on half of the NVME and then installing Pop!OS on the remainder. Pop’s default bootloader doesn’t really allow you to select Windows (I haven’t bothered trying to be honest, it may be possible) so I installed the Refind efi boot loader. I needed to enter my bitlocker recovery key for Windows after installing Refind, but it has worked without issue since.

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Brief summary of my dual boot installation. Got Framework naked. The target config was Windows10 and Kubuntu (KDE flavored Ubuntu). Windows would not install from a DVD using USB-A. I had to turn off secure boot and use Rufus to create a thumb drive of the Windows installation. Then fine.

I installed Kubuntu 20.04 (via DVD) only to learn that will not support Framework Wifi and Bluetooth. It appears there are actual problems with the Kubuntu 21.04 installer which are not caused by Framework. Eventually I had to use Windows/Rufus to create a thumb drive of the installer and then it worked.

Most of my frustration was due to DVDs not working as well for installation media plus the Kubuntu 21 issues in themselves made it take a lot longer.

I just followed this guide because I like to have LUKS encrypting stuff in ubuntu which is where I spend the majority of my time. So far so good, need to get a winblows activation key and then I’ll be good to go.

Same here. I installed them with separate EFI System Partitions (on the same disk) because this allows me to boot the Kubuntu partition in a VM in Windows. The computer boots to Kubuntu’s ESP because that one has a GRUB entry for Windows, which allows me to use the system like any other dual boot system.

Having separate ESPs also prevents Windows from mounting the GRUB-containing ESP and potentially ruining it during updates (as far as I can tell, this is a rare problem, but still).

I can explain how I got this to work if anybody is interested. There were just a couple hiccups.

Edit: apparently this has enabled me to boot my Windows partition in a VM in Kubuntu as well, just confirmed.


I’d be interested in the process used to get that configuration going.

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I have successfully installed dual boot on the NVME drive for Win10 Pro + Ubuntu 21.04. Works like a charm. Even had no need to disable secure boot. Really enjoy the GRUB tiny console window in the left top corner when I boot my laptop. :joy:

@suntoad thread created: https://community.frame.work/t/dual-booting-booting-one-os-in-a-vm-hosted-by-the-other-os

Side note, but I found Kubuntu to be fairly buggy, so I’m trying Fedora 34 now. Also buggy, but so far only superficially.

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Windows NVMe W/Plug & Play Linux OS's Expansion Cards


I plan using Windows 10 Pro installed on the 1TB NVMe SSD as my main OS on my batch 3 Professional specked DIY Edition FW laptop. I do however also spend time in Linux. I don't want to mess around with VM's in windows as I want to be able use all of the machines resources regardless of what OS I am in and don't want to have to go through an additional layer of software to access it. I also do not want to partition the NVMe SSD as I want that to be only for Windows.


Boot Windows 10 Pro from the 1TB NVMe SSD and then use storage expansion cards as boot devices for Linux OS's so that I can just swop out the expansion cards depending on what Linux OS I want to use. Almost like booting from a USB but fully installed.


I am still a amateur to Linux and am often on and off with it as a main OS, so I don't know too much about advanced technical stuff. I do have multiple OS's on Multiple HDD's and SSD's on my custom built PC, but I cant boot into Windows from the boot menu. I have to go into my BIOS and change the boot order any time I want to get into windows which is a pain especially with windows updates. I'm hoping that with this I can just plug in my Linux expansion card(s) and then boot and then pick Windows or Ubuntu/Mint/PopOS and then when I remove the card It will just boot right into windows. Is that easily possible? Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome.

I would recommend installing Windows first. It will be easier to install LInux if you have secure boot disabled and you cannot have your Window’s session from hibernation active.

Make sure you have a portion of your drive free (unformated unpartitioned) and then start up your distro’s live session. Viola. Business as usual.

Ubuntu 21.04 and 20.04.3 as well as Fedora 34 all work.

If you install Windows first and then install something like UBuntu next to it, GRUB will give you an option to start Windows before any OS starts to Boot. Using something like Grub Customizer on Linux to change the GRUB default boot option, etc.

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One of the weird things I noticed yesterday was that I can’t change boot order from the BIOS. I can disable a device to prevent it from booting, but I can’t change the boot order. There was options for First, Last, Auto. Auto seemed to disable my ability to make any selections. First and Last allowed me to uncheck an item. I didn’t see any way to change the order.

So with all of that being said, I’m not entirely clear which of your devices would end up being the primary choice - the nvme or the usb. Without being able to set a choice…

In my case I noticed it because I have the 250gb modules allocated to Ubuntu and Arch (depending on which one is plugged in) and had Ventoy plugged into USB-A. Sometimes the USB-A was the boot device and sometimes it wasn’t. But I couldn’t find any way to default it to being the boot device.


@malachid - I just rebooted into the bios and checked. You can reorder the entries using the + and - keys to move down or up while an entry is highlighted and auto-ordering is off. In my case, I have Pop!_OS set up on the internal drive, with windows on an expansion card. I installed refind and left only it enabled, so I can choose what to boot into from there.


I was able to confirm that worked! Thanks!


I installed Ubuntu first then Windows and have a hard time to get into Ubuntu again.