Since you need to use a software exclusively available for Windows on your Linux PC, you are looking on the Internet for a guide that explains specifically how to install Windows on Linux without too many concussions. In the next lines we will show you all the steps to carry out the procedure in a very simple way!
How to download Windows
Before getting to the heart of the new tutorial today, you need to get the ISO image of the Microsoft operating system to install on Linux. The Colossus of Redmond allows at this time to download the ISO of Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 (the latter can be downloaded only if you have a valid product key and only in non-OEM version – that is purchased separately and not pre-installed on the computer). Having said that, let’s see how to proceed with the Windows download.
To download the ISO image of Windows 10, carefully follow the steps that we propose below:
- Open the default browser on your computer, connect to the official website of Microsoft and press the button Download now the tool that you find under the section you want to install Windows 10 on your PC?.
- In the next step, the free Media Creation Tool software will be downloaded by Microsoft itself to download any version of Windows 10, install it on the computer, save it as an ISO image or copy it directly to the pendrive. If you use a PC with an operating system different from Windows, it will be proposed to directly download the Windows 10 ISO image (32 or 64 bit version via the dedicated drop-down menu).
- Once the download is complete, start the Media Creation Tool for Microsoft and click on Yes, Accept and update your PC now, or create an installation media to another PC. In the first case, the update procedure will start automatically to Windows 10 once the necessary files have been downloaded from the Web while in the second one it will be possible to download the ISO image of the OS to be burned onto a DVD or create a bootable USB stick containing Windows 10.
If you want to download Windows 8.1, then consider the steps that we list below:
- Connect to the download page of the operating system through a simple browser, select the edition you wish to download through the Select edition drop-down menu (eg Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 K ) and press the Confirm button.
- In the next step, select the language via the drop down menu Choose a language and press once again on Confirm.
- On the Web page that appears, you can download Windows 8.1 by clicking on the 32-bit Download button (for the 32-bit version) or 64-bit Download (for the 64-bit version).
As anticipated in the last few lines, in order to proceed with the download of Windows 7 you need a product key. That said, here are the steps:
- Connect to the download page of the Microsoft operating system, type the product key in the text box below under Enter Product Key and press the Verify button.
- At this point, the verification of the entered code will start and then the Windows 7 ISO download.
If you had a physical installation disk of Windows, you can use a completely free software compatible with all the most famous Linux distros on the market: its name is Brasero. Thanks to this program you will be able to transform the disk into an ISO image to be used for the subsequent steps.
Let’s see how to proceed:
- From your Linux PC, open the market where you can download the applications (eg Ubuntu Software Center on Ubuntu), search for Brasero using the search field and press the Install button to proceed with the installation.
- In the next step, start the free software and click on the Copy Disc button.
- Now, press on the drop-down menu Choose the disk to copy and select the disk containing the Windows operating system.
- After that, press on the drop-down menu Select a disk to write to and choose Image file.
- After pressing Properties, select the ISO9660 Image item from the Disk Image Type menu and choose the folder in which to save the image.
- Once the preferred name is assigned, first click on Save and then on Create Image.
For the uninitiated, Microsoft also offers the ISO images of Windows suitable for use with virtualization programs (eg. VirtualBox ). Put simply, these allow you to use the OS of the Redmond giant without having to perform any installation procedure.
Let’s see the steps to follow:
- Open the default browser on your Linux PC and connect to the download page of the Microsoft Developer site.
- At this point, press the drop-down menu below the Virtual Machine item and choose the version of Windows you prefer most (eg MSEdge on Win10 ).
- After that, through the drop-down menu Select platform you choose the program you are using virtualization (eg. VirtualBox ) and pressed the button Download zip that little appears below.
How to install Windows on Linux via virtualization
Once we have obtained the ISO image of the preferred Windows version, we can now see how to proceed with the installation of the Microsoft OS on your Linux computer.
Let’s find out the steps to follow:
- Log on to the official website of VirtualBox and, from the download page, pressed on the proper link based on the Linux distro in your possession (eg. Ubuntu ) in section Virtual box xxx for Linux. Be careful to choose i386 if you have a computer with 32-bit architecture or AMD64 for a 64-bit architecture.
- Once the download is complete, proceed with the VirtualBox installation by first opening the downloaded file by double-clicking and then pressing the Install button.
- Through the screen that opens, click on New in the upper left and proceed by filling in the Name field, choosing the type of operating system to be installed (eg Microsoft Windows ) and the version from the appropriate drop-down menu (eg Windows 10 64 -bit ).
- After clicking on Next, choose the amount of memory RAM to devote to the virtual machine and pressed on Next if you want to leave the default settings.
- In the next window, we advise you to leave the default options active. Create a new virtual hard disk immediately, VDI and dynamically Allocated. By doing so, you will get a hard disk in VirtualBox format ( VDI ) optimized for the operating system you wish to install on the Linux PC.
- In conclusion, indicate the maximum storage space that the virtual machine must occupy on the PC’s hard disk through the appropriate bar and click on Create to end the procedure.
- Once the Virtual Machine has been created, you need to install Windows using either the installation disk or the ISO image downloaded a little while ago. Start by double-clicking on the name of the virtual machine created a little while ago from the main VirtualBox screen.
- At this point, press on the yellow folder and select the ISO image to install or insert the DVD containing Windows in the appropriate computer reader select it from the appropriate drop-down menu.
- Once you click on the Start button, all you have to do is follow the classic wizard to correctly terminate the Windows installation as if it were on a real PC.
To make the virtual machine perform better, we suggest you install the Guest Additions. Let’s talk about additional drivers that allow you to better integrate Windows (in virtual operating system) and Linux (the main OS).
Here are the steps to follow:
- First of all, start the Virtual Machine and then go to the Devices menu at the top.
- From here, choose Insert the Guest Additions CD image and choose to launch the executable. If the warning to download Guest Additions from the Internet appears, click on the Download button.
- Once pressed on Next, wait for the end of the setup and restart the system.
If no automatic start window appears, open File Explorer, choose Computer/This PC from the left sidebar, press the Guest Additions virtual drive and start the installation manually.
If you have decided to download a Windows ISO image ready for use in a Virtual Machine, then take the steps listed below as a reference:
- Instead of creating a new virtual machine inside VirtualBox, choose Import virtual application that you find in the File menu at the top left.
- After that, click on the yellow folder, select the previously downloaded OVF file and then first click Next and then Import to complete the operation.
If you have an image in VDI, VHD or VMDK format, then you will have to choose the Use an existing virtual disk file option, using the yellow folder icon and then click on the Create button.
How to install Windows on Linux in dual boot
In addition to virtualization through Virtual Machine, you can install Windows in dual boot with Linux. In this way, it is possible to fully exploit the computer hardware and not a small part.
The first procedure to do is to partition the storage disk so as to create a partition reserved for Windows. After that, you need to proceed with installing the Microsoft operating system by copying the files to the previously created partition. In this case, we suggest you take our guides on how to install Windows 10 and how to partition hard drives as a reference.