Installation Guide II Dual Boot windows crunchbang

The intention of this guide is to explain how to set up a dual-boot-system the right way. Therefore we will attempt a rather complicate partition setup and boot the crunchbang-cd twice. First to partition our disk where windows already sits. Second we will boot into the installation to put crunchbang onto the disk.

The idea is to have a sophisticated system setup which will serve you for many years but not to go into too much command line magic. Rather work with graphical tools. (Except for the installation itself where I choose text install cause I always used this!).

With the first boot into the crunchbang live session I will show you how to use gparted, a graphical partition manager, to shrink your windows partition and divide the rest in useful parts.

Then we will reboot and go into the installation process which is a piece of cake then. The only demanding task is to decide whether grub, the Linux boot manager, is supposed to deal with both windows and Linux/crunchbang or is only to boot our crunchbang os.

I recommend the following:

If you have xp  - install grub into the main boot record and let it handle both os. There is the possibility to let the windows boot manager handle both windows and grub but I never did it and it seems pretty complicated. Some guides are around though.

When you have windows7 it is quite simple to realize two possibilities. Either grub boots windows and Linux. Or windows hands over to grub. The advantage of the second arrangement is you don't have to repair your windows boot in case you decide to erase Linux. We will have a look at easyBCD, a little program that configures windows boot to show grub.

Scroll down quickly to decide whether this guide is too long for you :-)

So here we go:

First boot from the crunchbang live cd.

From the boot menu choose live session

boot menu

and boot into crunchbang.

live session

Right click on the desktop to invoke the menu.

desktop menu

Start gparted.


In this case you have before you only one partition with windows on it. We want now to make room for our Linux installation.

Select the windows partition. It has then an ant-row inside the green.

select partition

Now click resize.

click resize

A windows pops up where you can drag and drop the borders of the partition or type in your preferred partition size. Just leave enough for windows. Linux will be contend with 20 or 30 GB or even less.

With altogether 100 GB of space I left 50 GB for windows and allocated 50 GB for Linux.

resize popup

Click on the Resize/Move button.

Next select the unallocated partition and click on New.

select unallocated

In the popup window on the right hand side of Create as: select Extended Partition. It is not necessarily needed to create an extended partition as we won't have more than four partitions altogether which is the maximum. But with an extended partition we are on the safe side when we want to add partitions later.

Tick Add.


Then again select the unallocated space.

select unallocated

Click New again.


We want to create a swap partition next. 1 GB is enough. (Depends on how much physical RAM you have. Swap should be the same but not more then 4 GB.) Click Add.


Looks good so far.

swapp is added

Again select the unallocated space.


Now we want to create the root partition. 15 GB is enough here. It's the system partition. File system is ext4. Most modern Linux distros are fine with that choice.

root 15 GB

A quick glance at what we have done so far.

root is added

Select the remaining space. It is for our home partition where all our data like music, documents and so on will normally be but also config files for your user.

remaining space


last time new


For the home partition ext4 is perfect as well.

home ext4

Click Add the last time.


Do you have the guts? Then lets tell gparted to do the job!


Really? Sure!


Gparted at work.


Still ...


Finally. Now we are good to go further. Try to keep the partition names in mind. Cause after a reboot into the installation we want to use those partitions to install our new crunchbang system.


This part is important!

drive names

Now lets do a reboot.


And go for text installation.

text install

Select your language.


Select your region.




I did the installation for this demonstration in Virtualbox and turned off internet. Normally your card should be detected just fine.

no ethernet

Type in the name of your computer.


Type in your full name.

full name

Choose a user name.

user name

Choose password.


Repeat password.

repeat password

We want to do a manual installation.

manual installation

And here are all the partitions we created before.


Scroll down to swap. And hit Enter.

select swap

Debian/crunchbang already proposes to use it as swap.

use as swap

Scroll down to done.

Go to number #6. Hit Enter.

Hit Enter again.

Ext4. Enter.

Next got to Mount point and hit Enter.

Just stay at the first entry. Enter.

Perfect. Scroll down. Enter.

Now to number #7.


As before.

Go to Mount point. Enter.

We want to use it as home.

Yes, we are done.

Now that everything looks OK we want to finish the partitioning and write the changes to disk.

Yes we really want it!

The system is being installed.

So now we are at a point were we have to decide whether we want grub as the main boot manager. In most cases its the most simple and straight forward way. Just hit Enter and grub will do its work.

-> For those who want windows (win7) have to manage the boot scroll
down three pics!

Hit Enter and let the system reboot. It should now boot into grub and your fresh system. The default system is crunchbang and grub will
automatically boot into it. Windows is still there and can be selected from the grub boot menu. (Sorry no pic.)


Second approach:

Again: I will only explain a dual boot with win7!

OK. If you do not want to install grub into the main boot record. Hit the right-arrow-key so <No> is marked. Enter.

As we have root on sda6
(remember?) and no boot partition grub must go to sda6. Write it down. Hit Enter.

Close to the end!


After the reboot your computer will launch into windows as before. It might be windows is a bit unsatisfied because we cheeked away some partition space and wants to check. Let it do its work.

Here again a warning: If you want to have xp manage your dual-boot you will have to manually edit your boot entries! There are some guides around but I wont cover this!

With win7 it is easier.

When it has finished booting download
easyBCD from a site you trust. Install and launch it.

Go to Add New Entry. Select Linux/BSD and click on Add Entry.

You should have something like this. (I changed "NeoSmart Linux" to "Grub")

It is also possible to specify the default system.

After a reboot win7 boot manager should pop up like this.

There you go. A lengthy yet hopefully useful guide to your successful dual-boot installation.

If not already done have a look here for a guide to single boot installation.

See ya!