Manjaro Linux is one of the fastest growing Linux distributions. It is based on Arch Linux. Arch Linux is known for its solid performance and superior light-weight handling features. However, Arch Linux is not a great distribution for beginners to Linux. One has to get into the command-line often to get things done. That’s where Manjaro Linux fills in.
Since it is a spin-off from Arch Linux, you will not only get all the trustworthy Arch Linux features, but also intuitive user interface which is beginner friendly. In this article, we will guide you on how to install Manjaro in a dual-boot configuration alongside Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.
1. Creating Manjaro Linux Installation Disc/USB drive
You need to have a blank USB flash drive of at least 2 GB capacity. I won’t recommend going over 8 GB as not many computers will be able to boot into it. Alternatively, you can still use DVD in place of USB flash drive, provided you have a built-in DVD player in your PC.
Step 1) Download Manjaro Linux ISO images from below link. You should see several editions of Manjaro including XFCE, GNOME, and KDE. Each is different flavors of Manjaro, and each has their own pros and cons. XFCE is lightest of the three, but GNOME is most user-friendliest, but slightly intensive in hardware resources. The choice is yours. In my case, I chose GNOME edition to illustrate in this article.Download Manjaro Linux
Head over to our step-by-step guide on how to create Manjaro Live USB Drive and return back with Live USB flash drive/DVD. This will also serve as installation media.
2. Creating Hard disk partitions in Windows
Note that if you have already created hard disk partitions for Manjaro you can skip this section.
In this section, we will create a partition in the existing Windows hard disk. You need to decide how much hard disk space you want to keep for your Windows and how much you want to allocate to Manjaro.
Step 1) Login into Windows and launch ‘Disk Management’ which is a built-in tool in Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. If you want to use some other programs, you are welcome to use it.
Step 2) Right-click on the hard disk which you want to partition and select “Shrink Volume”. By shrinking, you are actually reducing your Windows partition size and making space for Linux. My test PC has 49.5 GB hard disk capacity in which Windows 10 is installed. My plan is to create 28 GB partition for Manjaro installation and leave the remaining 21.5 GB for Windows.
After I shrink the size, Windows creates a new partition, but it is RAW format and won’t be recognized as a drive. This is OK and recommended to leave it like that so that you can easily recognize the partition while installing Manjaro.
3. Installing Manjaro Linux as a dual-boot with Windows
Step 1) Insert the Manjaro Live USB disk or the DVD and boot your PC into it. Note that the method of booting into the USB drive varies on the PC make and BIOS configuration. Most of the PCs boot into bootloader when the F12 key is pressed when the PC is powered ON. Make sure to enable boot in UEFI mode to run Linux alongside Windows.
Step 2) Set preferred language and click ‘Next’.
Step 4) Select Keyboard style.
Step 5) Manjaro installer gives you three options. For the dual boot with Windows or any other OS, you should select ‘Manual partitioning’ and click ‘Next’.
Step 6) In this step you will see the current hard disk partitions in your PC. Select ‘Free Space’ and click ‘Create’.
Step 7) This is the partition where the Manjaro system files will be installed. Reduce its size by the size more than that of your computer’s RAM. For example, if you have 4 GB RAM, you can reduce the size by at least 5 GB or in you have plenty of hard disk space, double the RAM. The reduced space will automatically create one more partition which will be used for SWAP. Linux uses SWAP when you Hibernate your computer. Make sure file system is ext4 and mount point is /. Then click ‘OK’.
Step 8) You will now see another ‘Free Space’ created. Let’s assign this as SWAP. To do that select ‘Free Space’ and click ‘Create’.
Step 9) Select ‘File System’ as ‘linuxswap’. Select ‘Flags’ as ‘swap’, and click ‘OK’.
Step 10) You will now see what’s the final hard disk partitions will look like. At this point, Manjaro is still showing preview and hard disk partitions are not modified yet. Feel free use ‘back’ button if you think you need edit somethings. Click ‘Next’.
Step 11) Enter User profile details like login name, PC name, and password. Optionally, you can select the option ‘Use the same password for the administrator account’ if you are the owner of the PC. Click ‘Next’.
Step 12) You will another overview of what will happen to your computer. Click ‘Next’.
Step 13) Yet another final confirmation. Once you click ‘Install now’ there is no going back.
Step 14) Manjaro will get installed on your PC. If everything went well, you should see ‘All done’ dialog box. Remove the USB flash drive/DVD from the system. Check ‘Restart now’, and click ‘Done’.
Step 15) You should now see Manjaro GRUB bootloader screen with several boot options. Use keyboard up and down arrow keys to select the OS you want to boot into and hit enter.
Enjoy Manjaro Linux!