Putting Fedora 39 on Win10 machine (newbie)

I have a Win10 desktop that I rarely use.
Intel i5-9400 6core CPU, 32GB RAM and NVidia P620.
I want to put Linux on it - and thought about current Fedora 39.
This is the first time for me to put Linux on Win10 machine.
Are there any things I should consider - or it will be sufficient amount of h/w?
Would older version be a safer choice?

Welcome to the Fedora community!
I believe it would be more interesting for you to create a Virtual Machine first.
If you like, you just have to use Windows to create an installation space.

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I would start from Virtual Machine first and after that if still like dual boot that way you have always backup solution and on Virtual Machine if something goes wrong it won’t kill system only your current VM after that when have some knowledge go for dual boot so you still have backup solution and get more hands on non VM Linux

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Thanks a lot - I might have misspoken. I am not new to Linux - in fact my first distro was Slackware installed bravely from few dozen floppies :wink: And yes I run various flavors of Linux on VMWare.
What is new is converting Win10 machine to Fedora - or perhaps dual boot.
Thanks again for response - is there a good resource for step by step dual boot?

this seems to be pretty good guide and not too old one

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remember to take Windows Recovery key next to you you will need it if you go Dual boot after installing Fedora and first time to boot windows it will ask that

Thank you! That looks very good.

wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

is that it?

mostly if you have signed in to microsoft account you will see there all, but if not find bitlocker options and there save etc recovery key

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You will likely find computing on this relatively slow (by 2024 standards) machine to be a much better experience using Fedora. I dual boot Windows 10 and Fedora 39 on my T520 and almost never use Windows. I do use Win 11 on my dual-boot desktop for my livestreaming/podcasting because the Windows version of OBS-Studio has needed features that are not available on Linux.

If/when you decide to install Fedora on the bare metal - rather than virtually - you may want to put it on a separate drive (SSD is strongly recommended) rather than attempt to partition the main Win 10 drive. Partitioning isn’t that challenging but the OSes will have to share limited space on one drive and there is always the possibility that something might go wrong during the partitioning process. It certainly has for me.

After installing Fedora onto the second drive that is connected to the motherboard, Grub should automatically detect the Windows partition and allow you to choose which OS to boot into each time you fire up the old unit.

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With years of experience in installing fedora dual boot with windows I have never experienced this type of problem. Fedora does not alter the windows boot loader in any way. In fact I just converted a new windows 11 laptop to dual boot with no issues at all.

However, having the recovery key available is always a good idea, especially with the enhanced security of Windows 11 booting.


You can find out what problems others have had with linux on your desktop model using the Linux Hardware Database (note that this site is heavily used so you may need a couple attempts to get a response). Intel i5-9400 was launched in 2019. Depending on the hardware vendors, it can take a couple years for linux to fully support new hardware. There are sometimes issues where changes inadvertently break support as hardware approaches 10 years old, but in most cases the issues are fixed once an affected user provides a proper bug report.

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Thanks for the warning - that is a very reasonable idea. Found 1TB SSD compatible with my system (at least on paper) and will follow your advice once it is here. I hope that accessing Win drive from Fedora will not be a hassle.

Linux support for NTFS seems OK if you only need read access, but it is based on reverse engineering and Microsoft can add new “features” at any time. There are fundamental differences in the way permissions are handled between NTFS and linux. A more “future-proof” technique is to create a partition using an older filesystem: Filesystem to use when using both Winows and Linux.

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I use the LHDB to check that the Windows hardware will work with linux, and have USB wifi, sound, and bluetooth options as those are often problematic with new linux installs. Generally, “enterprise” level hardware more than 2-years old works
I’ve added Linux to a Windows many times. I use Windows tools to shrink the Windows partition to make space for linux, disable “fastboot” in Windows, then boot a “Live Linux” installer from USB and install to the free space. With my most recent instance (Dell desktop system with Windows 11) there have been Dell firmware changes that prevent booting from USB if “secure boot” is enabled, and a race problem where the grub2 menu times out before the monitor wakes up.

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Thanks - I ran probe on Fedora 39 VM it came OK.
then I found SSD in compatibility matrix from Lenovo grabbed one from Amazon (not sure why be Lenovo OEM was 5-6 more expensive), installed then booted Fedora from USB drive and ran lsblk --nvme and it detected new SSD so it seems like I am ready to install Fedora on the new SSD then I will set boot sequence to SSD first. I understand that GRUB still gives you a Win10 boot as one of the options.

Not sure if that is correct but I am told to use exFAT to format SSD onto which I will install Fedora. Same for any additional data SSD to be shared between Win 10 and Fedora (this one will have to go onto riser card so might be slower)

I followed your advice and grabbed compatible SSD (M.2 2280) , installed it into slot on motherboard then booted Fedora from USB drive and verified the new SSD is recognized (lsblk --nvme got it listed) . So I guess all is ready to install onto that news SSD. I still want to check Lenovo docs on dual - although it is mostly on repartitioning the Win10 drive which we just avoided. So I will finish the job tomorrow. Btw - I am told to use exFAT for formatting that SSD - hope that is correct.

The Fedora install procedure then needs to remove that exFAT file system before creating the partition tables and file systems.

Thanks I guess I misunderstood - I thought exFAT was onne of the options that one can choose when installing Fedora on unformatted drive. But I guess I was wrong - thanks for corretion: