Installing Clear Linux with dual boot along side Windows 7 on legacy bios


I have an old thinkpad with 3rd gen i5 processor and recently upgraded my RAM to 8gb from 4gb. I want to install clear linux along side Windows 7, I previously ran clearlinux on 4gb RAM using a live usb and found it very fast and snappy but I am a little skeptical installing it on hard drive as I don’t want to loose mys Windows 7 installation and data. I read much in the forums about dual booting Clearlinux and found that its not like anyother linux installation and that it only support EFI boot. Please suugest if there is anyway to install clearlinux with Windows 7 on a legacy bios.

Thanks in advance.

You can work around the UEFI limitation by building your own installer image (some of our cloud images require Legacy BIOS so the tools are there), however it will not handle a multi-boot setup in Legacy mode gracefully.

I’d also be considering that Windows 7 is going to be end of support very soon, meaning no security updates.

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Thanks for your reply, building my own installer image seems to be a hefty task for me. If I install clear linux on a separate drive or ssd in legacy mode and try to boot between Linux and windows from bios boot menu, do you think I will be able to use clear linux without removing the windows 7 installation?

I know Windows 7 will no longer be supported by Microsoft, but for me its kind of a necessary evil as there are certain software which I can use only on Windows 7, that is why I want to keep the windows 7.

Building the installer image isn’t too bad actually. There is documentation and example YAML here: If you go down this path you can reference the aws yaml file for how to set the legacy boot switch.

If you’re using a second drive, personally I’d recommend installing Clear Linux with UEFI and switch back and to Legacy boot in your firmware when you need to boot back to Windows. That way Clear Linux is booting as intended with the resilience of UEFI.

You might try running your Windows7-bound application with Wine on Clear Linux to see if it works. Of course, if your application is licensed make sure you’re not violating any terms of use by doing that :slight_smile:

Thanks again for your reply, I think for now I may try the second option suggested by you as my system support both UEFI and Legacy mode.

As for running windows 7 application on wine, I tried running those apps in Fedora, Ubuntu and Elementary os but failed, the applications require 64 bit ODBC drivers but Wine seems to currently support 32 bit drivers only.

One more question, Is there any plan in future to develop dual boot mode for clear linux just like anyother linux distribution ?


Clear Linux does support multi-boot scenarios for systems with both OS booting with UEFI right now. It leverages the robustness of the UEFI standard and GPT partitioning to do so.

I know there are some enhancements planned for non-EFI booting but that assumes GPT partition scheme. So you’d have to convert W7 to use GPT at which point you may as well use UEFI for both anyway.

But I had read in the forum that dual booting even in UEFI is a bit tricky in Cear Linux and not as straightforward as other distributions.

The advanced partitioning and multi-booting have improved recently. It won’t cover all weird scenarios but it’s less blocking than before.