Pure OS + Windows 10 dual boot tutorial?

Hi there,

For several months now I’m contemplating going Pure OS and replacing with Purism devices. Still using Windows 10 to be able to run specific programms like Foobar2000 (kernel streaming).

Where to find a simple tutorial on how to dual boot a Windows computer for Pure OS?

Additional information:
Next week I’m expecting to receive a LattePanda Delta with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed. I would like to have it run both Windows and Pure OS. Switching operating systems makes newbies like myself reluctant to simply replace Windows OS by Pure OS but I’m very eager to try. Setting up a dual boot seems to be the way to achieve just that however, like many potential Purism/Pure OS users I do not have the technical knowledge or programming skills like how to set up different partitions without the risk of ruining everything (general assumption browsing through all kind of Linux oriented tutorials).

For all people out there lurking at Pure as the ultimate OS: Is there an easy way to have both operating systems run on the same computer?
A simple plain english tutorial on how to do that would be very helpful.

By including a tutorial in the FAQ could persuade many people to lower the threshold to install Pure OS to give it a go - knowing they can always go back to Windows - and of course finally get rid of Windows when Pure OS meets their expectations.

Any help or pointing me in the right direction would be very much appreciated!



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The low risk way is to have two separate disks, one external if need be.

If you use an external disk, you can even keep Linux unplugged when running Windows so that Windows can’t mess everything up. :slight_smile:

This assumes that your laptop’s boot code gives you the option of a boot disk menu (typically when you press the correct Fn key while booting).

The only downside is that the fastest available internal disk will run faster than the fastest available external disk, so if you end up using an external disk then you are sacrificing a bit of speed (but with a USB 3.1 external SSD you can get pretty good performance if performance is king).


Foobar2000 is available on Linux as well…

Your best option would be a Windows VM, it will allow you to do almost everything except gaming.


Thank you for the quick replies! It’s good to see members of the community are willing to help out newcomers. It’s good to know there are options. I presume there’s no consensus on what option would be best for newcomers wanting to dual boot?

A Microsoft VM as @s3ns0r suggests would be a more viable option if that would not interfere between both operating systems. The SSD option sure looks like the bullet proof option for a non technical guy like me but it would require an extra investment. I assume a standard 3.1 with 256GB could do the trick so costs are relatively low (<$100)

The Microsoft VM would be a very convenient solution, will have to look into that option to learn about any downsides when using in conjunction with Pure OS. I don’t want any unforeseen trouble when Windows interacting with Pure OS on the same machine. As mentioned, I don’t know if I would be able to solve any damage done to partitions. Thank you for the Foobar2000 heads up, will definitely install that one and will find out whether or not the Linux version will support kernel streaming as I’m under the impression that is limited to Microsoft and WASAPI to third parties, I could be wrong though.

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Personally, I find one of the biggest benefits of PureOS to be the work done in mitigating attacks at boot time. The first powerful tool for that in the arsenal is ensuring that luks is used by default. The next item in the arsenal is the Pureboot work. This work, along with the Librem’s hardware switches, means that you can protect against a number of serious attacks with greater confidence. If you boot from another means than coreboot then you lose some of the security benefits. This is why if I were to run Windows (which I don’t need to do and won’t do), I would do it in a VM and not let it near my master boot record.

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Thank you for your input! Your comment makes sense and certainly makes me think twice about setting up my LattePanda Delta in dual boot. I guess I better make it a Pure OS dedicated device, fiddle around for a few weeks and if Pure OS meets my expectations (why wouldn’t it?) go full steam ahead and switch to Purism.

For a temporary solution, The LattePanda will come with Windows pre installed. There probably is a link to a clean setup sequence somewhere on the forum, now were at it I might as well ask you what in your opinion would be the best way to remove Windows from the and other crucial elements on the device before installing Pure OS?


@Edwin the kernel streaming part of Foobar2000 is just a workaround for the closed source MS sound subsystem (WASAPI) which may be limited further by proprietary drivers, and it’s not required on Linux where you have native access to layers like PulseAudio and alsamixer. All the sound stuff on Linux comes with “kernel streaming”.

When running Windows as a VM you benefit not only from the simplicity of using both systems at the same
time, but also from many security additions, such as less attack surface for malware (because you can keep
and revert snapshots), a real secure boot with full disk encryption, and zero chance of messing up partitions.
Unless you need DirectX with GPU access for gaming, there is really no real reason to keep Windows as a native OS. Most of apps these days have versions or alternatives for Linux, and the ones that don’t will also probably run well on Wine. So basically one can say it’s totally possible to be productive without using Windows
altogether, but that might be a learning curve and takes some time to adjust to.

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It is a non-trivial process that involves install coreboot on your machine. It is not super hard and can significantly improve the security of your laptop, but not all CPUs are supported so it’s good to investigate based on your particular CPU.

If you’re mostly interested in learning how to use PureOS then installing it on your machine might be the fastest way to do this. It will guide you through disk encryption and teach you a bit about using, updating, running PureOS. Then you can take the next step to coreboot and work on securing the boot process once you know exactly what CPU you have.

if it’s only for messing arround and learning then i think a 124gb ssd would do the trick well enough. got mine (WD green for 25$) but then you also need an usb 3.0 to sata 3 adapter to easily connect and detach.

a full gnu/linux/debian/pureOS install shouldn’t require more than 20 gb at most free on the os partition. you can have a <1GB swap and <500 MB efi/boot. yes even a 32 GB ssd would be more than enough.

you could do with 16gb also if you know what you are doing and how to trim the fat off.


I didn’t know what your budget is like.

If money is tight, a USB flash drive should work! A USB HDD (not SSD) should work.

I only suggested a USB SSD because that will give best performance.

Performance is a consideration because some people trying out Linux for the first time who put Linux on a slow external drive, while having Windows on a fast internal drive, then wonder why Linux is slower than Windows. But if you understand that and aren’t worried about that then try it out in the cheapest way possible and if you decide to commit to it, later on get a better disk.

NB: PureOS says that the minimum disk size requirement is 15GB but I’m not sure that I would push it and try a 16GB USB flash drive. So if you just want to try it with a USB flash drive as cheaply as possible, perhaps go for a 32GB (USB 3.0) flash drive.

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I chose not to mention VM as an option because the person asking the question expressed concern about having a separate partition, so VM might likewise be considered too technical !

If proposing a VM then supplying a tutorial to ‘get there from here’ would help.

Would Windows have to be reinstalled completely in order to change from Windows as the sole and native OS to Windows running on a VM?

I don’t run Windows at all any more so can’t help with a tutorial. (My Windows knowledge would be way out of date, nor would I be able to test a tutorial.)

if it’s just a question of money and nothing else then you could learn to setup a VM (guest) inside your windows (host) and other very interesting beginner-intermediate level stuff in gnu/linux for 11$ https://www.udemy.com/linux-mastery/ (or put your pirate hat on :wink: )

there’s nothing wrong with using a hypervisor (not all are created equal)

I am also interested in this, mostly for gaming. I have the stock 120 GB SSD that shipped with my Librem 13 but the OS resides on a 512 GB M-2 SSD. If I install Windows to the 120 GB drive, can’t I just update GRUB to point Windows to the other partition?

yes, that should suffice

As someone who uses Windows 10 for several work related things, I have often thought about just blanking PureOS and installing windows, and then running PureOS in a VM within Windows. (This is what I do on my main workstation, for example.)

However, because of Heads, Coreboot, the Libremkey, and the fact that I love the workflow within PureOS, I’ve gone with just using VMs. I have used VMs to make development VMs, etc. and so this works nicely. Plus, you get snapshots, and easy rollback protection out of the box.

The one reason why I’m still being tugged on to go to Windows is power management. Hibernation and deep sleep are things that are quite useful. As the PureOS only supports sleep and shutdown, hibernation would be a better way to converse power while maintaining your workspace between sessions. I’ve been lazy though and haven’t bothered to see if drivers for the internals are even available.

So to sum this long winded post up, the Librem runs best with PureOS. Using Windows within a VM is a good idea that has very few cons associated with it. It also makes your Windows VM portable which is a nice benefit.

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Okay I will try that today. I am curious if Windows 10 supports the hardware drivers I care about (USB, BT, Wifi, graphics, etc)… I would assume so.

everything will work OOTB, or at least after running Windows Update. I’ve tested here before

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Currently there are three methods of suspending available: suspend to RAM (usually called just suspend), suspend to disk (usually known as hibernate), and hybrid suspend (sometimes aptly called suspend to both)

systemctl suspend and hibernate should Just Work :tm: in PureOS

More here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Power_management#Power_management_with_systemd

Thanks for the welcome information. Reading briskly through the linked wiki, it says that hibernation is triggered only when a hibernation key is pushed. Does the Librem13/15 have a hibernation key?

Also several kernel parameters need to be defined, if I have reinstalled PureOS for whatever reason, does the intaller automatically establish the swap space and necessary parameter settings?

Hi again,

Having had problems with the power supply I haven’t been able to use my new Lattepanda device and have it set up in dual boot.

With the downloaded Pure OS .ISO file on a 16GB flash drive my device does not boot up from USB. Nor does the machine display a (Bios) window for me to select an alternative OS/disk.

The machine works fine with Windows, all I want is to try and see the Pure OS on my system and fiddle around to then maybe coreboot it or using a VM. No tech-savvy member here and not looking to mess up, instead I’m looking for a good way to have Pure OS booted from USB first - which apparently my system doesn’t. I read that there is a feature in Settings that should automatically detect a bootable USB drive when available, haven’t found that setting either. Alternatively I found this link https://community.spiceworks.com/how_to/1081-configure-a-usb-drive-to-be-bootable-useful-for-installing-the-os that could be useful, not sure if this is the way to do this for Linux based OS.

Your help and suggestions would be very welcomed