[RESPONDED] What is the best way to dual boot Linux (Fedora or Pop OS) with Windows?

I will be buying a Framework soon but want to ensure that a dual boot will work.

What is the best way to ensure dual-boot success? I want to run Linux daily but boot Windows occasionally for certain software.

How stable is dual booting? I have heard second-hand that Windows can mess with dual boots.

Can fingerprint scanning work on both OSes?

Thanks for the help.

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If I’m not mistaken, you may need to enroll different fingers for each OS, since that database is not shared.

install windows first

To be fair, that advice was more relevant in the days of BIOS and bootloaders, where each OS would try to overwrite the other. Nowadays, you could just rely on your UEFI to select the OS and use a shared EFI partition (the only contention here may be over the ‘failsafe’ bootloader, but under normal circumstances that shouldn’t matter at all).

@Peter_Schofield I had always seen the advice to install Linux first then Windows? What do you guys think?

@Chiraag_Nataraj I have seen reports of only one OS being able to utilize the fingerprint. Has this not been your experience?

always windows first because it writes its boot sector directly, indiscriminately wiping out anything that already exists. Grub (linux bootloader) will detect the presence of windows and will account for it. If you install linux first then when you install windows it will obliterate grub. microsoft don’t want their os dual booted with anything else.

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@David5 you got an expansion card? For your usecase putting Windows on an extension card could make sense because as mentiones windows doesnt leave bootstuff alone. seperating it saves trouble in the future. You can find the guides here in the community

Well, for a given fingerprint, only one OS can utilize it. That’s why I said you might be able to register different fingers for different OSs.

That being said, I can’t test this because I’ve been using only Linux for the last 14 years xD

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@DIWalter Is it possible to transfer my OEM license that comes with the FW laptop to the expansion card if I choose to go that route?

Not sure, i do not really use windows anymore. do you still have a key on the laptop like in the old days? then it should be no problem to just reinstall with the iso you get from microsoft and reenter the key. for the windows version i use right now i just took a key from an old thinkpad i bought.

It’s not really a big deal. My solution one the one machine I have with Windows on it was:

  1. Install Windows, leaving enough space for second OS. (Or shrinking it later within windows).
  2. Install your Linux on the space that remains.
  3. In your UEFI, set Linux’s boot partition etc to be your boot target.

Now, GRUB will be the first thing to load, and as long as your distro includes (or you added) os-prober GRUB will know about your windows install and let you boot happily. Bonus points: Since the windows boot stuff is still there, Windows can tinker with it as much as it likes. Won’t do anything to your GRUB.

Chad points: you can then use any other space to install a THIRD operating system (in my case, FreeBSD), and just add that to GRUB too (this one requires adding it manually, since os-prober doesn’t find it). Now you are happily triplebooting and never a problem.

Basically, the idea is to chain-load off of GRUB as opposed to trying to make everything play nice with each other. So GRUB lives in a “Linux-only” land, but has directives for how to chain-load the Windows or FreeBSD bootloaders, which get to live separately with no risk of messing each other up. But windows getting to go first is often seen as a good safety measure since Windows seems to assume the “booty bits” will always be at the “start” of the disk, and especially during big updates I’ve seen it get cranky if that is not the case.


You can run a command to extract the key.

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I want to run Linux daily but boot Windows occasionally for certain software.

If windows is anyway your secondary os for doing something that’s not possible in linux atm, then probably check out GitHub - quickemu-project/quickemu: Quickly create and run optimised Windows, macOS and Linux desktop virtual machines. It contains a list of VMs preoptimized to gain almost hardware-level performance using kvm. You can forward usb devices including fingerprint readers into it easily.


To be precise: you would not be even be “transferring” the OEM license. It’s still the same computer, so all checksums on mobo and CPU and such will still return the same even if the install is on a different storage device.

So in short: no problem at all.

So it isn’t truly portable?

Is it possible to transfer my OEM license into this VM?

I think this is one of those “depends what you mean”.

OEM licenses are technically meant to only ever be used on THAT computer. How a given company defines what defines THAT computer though… this can get weird. The way it used to be done by Microsoft (if I remember right from when I bought OEM licenses for my homebuilds) is that it would have a sort of “points” system based on the components where a swapped component would add a certain amount of points, and if the points reach a given total then you are no longer “the same computer”. I don’t remember the details, but motherboard and CPU was the important ones. I don’t think it mentioned storage at all.

So, basically, the only way to invalidate your license on a framework - since CPU is soldered to the mobo - is to replace the mobo.

Even then though, if such a replacement is performed for reasons of repair, your license is still valid but you need a ticket with Microsoft to sort it out.

But installing it on a different drive - for example one of the expansion cards - isn’t even considered having moved it. So “portability” doesn’t apply, since it’s still the same computer. (Now, if you were to have it installed on one of the expansion cards, and then boot that expansion card on a DIFFERENT computer…)

All of this said: the only thing that happens when you have an invalid license is that you are no longer able to change the desktop wallpaper, and there will be a little nag text in the bottom right after a while.

Try this up!

I’m sorry I am not quite sure how this works.

Does it (and QuickGUI) run on Fedora?