My workplace allows for remote logins to the company network, with certain prerequisites for securing a computer before making the connection, one of which is that Windows must be used to make the connection, and that Bitlocker must be used to secure the physical hard drive on which Windows is installed.

I am not being asked to set up my home computer for this, but I thought it might be a good idea. I am planning to purchase a new computer which comes with Windows 7 pre-installed, to install Ubuntu Linux on a separate hard drive, and then to set that hard drive as the first to boot. That way GRUB2 will allow booting into either operating system, and each operating system is independent of the other, each ignoring the other's hard drive. This is how my current computer is set up.

My question is whether I can encrypt the Windows 7 hard drive with Bitlocker in such a setup, without interfering with Linux or with GRUB2, and if I can, how best to go about it.

  • Just encrypt the disk with Windows 7 on it.
    – fpmurphy
    May 22, 2011 at 15:48
  • You should be able to do that, but I'm not sure of the specifics. My preference nowadays is to use virtual machines if I need to run linux (with Windows as the host).
    – Spectre
    May 22, 2011 at 16:01
  • @fpmurphy, that seems like what should be the case. Have you tried that in practice? @Spectre, in my case at least, this is optional, and I do most of my work in Linux anyway, so I'd rather skip Bitlocker so that I could run Ubuntu on the bare metal, if it came to that.
    – bgvaughan
    May 22, 2011 at 16:44
  • You might check with your IT folks if a different disk encryption system would be acceptable, because I know you can do this fairly easily with TrueCrypt. Whether or not IT will be receptive to allowing that difference depends strongly on how large your company is, though. May 22, 2011 at 18:50
  • Bitlocker is definitely a requirement for their preferred system of remote access. There's a different system for remote access, but it's fussier and more limited, so I wanted to check on the issue with Bitlocker before I considered the alternative.
    – bgvaughan
    May 22, 2011 at 21:11

4 Answers 4


If the new computer does not have a Trusted Platform Module, it should work just fine without any special setup procedures. Get the new computer, get Linux installed and dual boot working, then enable Bitlocker and encrypt the Windows drive.

I've got a similar configuration that works just fine, but I have separate partitions for Windows and Linux on the same drive.

It's still doable with a TPM, but it's not as straightforward.


Despite Spiderlucci's somewhat final comments :P, I've just set up a dual boot system with windows 10 using bitlocker (password encryption rather than tpm).

The steps I followed were:

  • Remove bitlocker encryption via the bitlocker wizard
  • Resize this partition from a ubuntu live cd (windows disk partition tool does support resizing, but was refusing to shrink my mostly empty 250G partition to much less than 170G)
  • After this the bitlocker wizard/ GUI willfully claimed that it couldn't encrypt anything
  • I worked around this by using the bde-manage.exe (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/dd361745) from an adminstrative cmd shell.
  • Should I suspend the protection or turn it off and does it matter?
    – Kvothe
    Nov 11, 2020 at 18:38
  • Dead link to technet
    – Joshua
    Sep 2, 2021 at 20:33

This is how I installed and managed to set up a dual boot of Linux (arch) and Windows 11.

  1. In Windows:
  • backup BitLocker keys (important!) you will need them later
  • suspend BitLocker (it will stay off until next Windows boot)
  • reboot to bios (f whatever key need to do or use advanced reboot from Windows)
  1. In BIOS:
  • turn off the secure boot
  • boot from USB that you are going to install Linux from
  1. Linux (you should be able to boot now) from USB
  • install your distro on a separate partition and create a separate boot partition for it
  • once installation has finished just reboot
  1. Now you should see the grub menu and be able to boot Linux
  • if you want to boot Windows from it you will need to provide BitLocker key
  • you also should be able to boot Windows from BIOS boot menu (you still might need they BitLocker key)

Thats it!


Bitlocker doesn't support dual-boot systems, and although some people claim they have workarounds "They Are Not Guaranteed.

So, if you need to create a dual boot system, you will need to turn bitlocker off!

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