Guide for installing dual boot Win11&Linux on 250 GB expansion card?

Hey peepz,

Newbie and soon to be Framework 13 AMD Ryzen7 DIY owner here. Since I’m in batch 3, I thought I’d start preparing for my OS installation in advance.
As the title pretty much says it, what I’d like to know is: is there already a guide on how to install Win11 on my SSD and additionally a Linux distro (haven’t decided which one yet) on the 250GB expansion card I ordered with my laptop? Is this even a good idea? I want to use Win mainly for gaming and Linux for work.

I would like to be able to choose which OS to boot when I turn the laptop on.

Thanks for your advice and time, and sorry if I missed an existing guide on this.


What you have described is pretty much how I set up my 11th Gen batch 1 FL13.

I got a DIY and paid for the Pro license when I purchased it.

Installed the memory, ssd, and network adapter.

On another computer, prepared a Windows installation flash drive using the Media Creation Tool.

Others have used Rufus.

Inserted the flash drive into an appropriate expansion card (USB-A) and booted right into the Windows installation process.

I wouldn’t have the 250 expansion card installed while you are setting up Windows.

Once done, used that for a day or so.

Then prepared a Ubuntu flash drive using their tools.

I also went into the BIOS and set a 10 second delay while booting.

This makes it easy to press F2 to go to BIOS, or press F12 to get to the boot menu.

Shut down the Laptop.

Insert the empty expansion card, and the Ubuntu flash drive.

Boot into the BIOS and confirm that the system sees all of the drives.

Reboot and press F12 to get to the boot menu. The flash drive should be shown, along with the Windows drive.

Let it boot from the Ubuntu flash drive and that will allow you to install Ubuntu on the expansion card.

I also have a runnable copy of Fedora on a different Flash drive.

Be careful and pay attention to the drive specifications to make sure you are installing to the correct drive. Go slow and double check!

There are knowledge base and tutorials on the Framework site

Look under the support tab, after all of the hardware guides.

I currently have mine set to default to Ubuntu, and have to choose Windows, either from the F12 boot menu, or the grub boot menu.


Thx Ed! I’ll try it this way and check the hardware guides you mentioned. :slight_smile:

I was thinking of installing dual boot windows and Ubuntu on the main SSD. What’s the advantage (if any) of using expansion storage instead?

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For me, it keeps the environments separated in my mind. I know it’s not strictly necessary.
The Linux environment can see the windows drives.
I have a 1 TB expansion drive that I use with both environments.
I generally don’t ask Linux to write anything to the master HD for windows, nor Windows to the Linux expansion card.
Caution in my part

Install Windows first, then, if I remember correctly, Linux install tools will allow you to resize partitions to make space for Linux files stems. Preserving the ability to run Windows.

I didn’t want to spare space on the main drive for Linux, so, an expansion card is useful to me.

Linux is not my primary usage, it’s more for learning, even though I have it set as the default environment in this PC.

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As a heads up, there are issues involving OS use stemming from the external drives. Here is one of the threads that discuss this, and Framework’s stance that they are not meant to be used as an OS boot device.


Another reason the Ubuntu Linux is for fun and learning!

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Thanks @Edward_Gray and @Allenx51. I use Windows for MS Office stuff and Linux for development stuff. I find WSL pretty good, but sometimes I just get sick of being in Windows, hence being able to dual boot is an objective. I’ve bought a 2TB main drive for when my Framework arrives, so I will probably set that up (carefully!) for dual boot. But since it will be the minority of time, I like the concept of using the expansion port and understand why people like to do that.