Replacing Ubuntu with Parrot on duelboot


I am new to Parrot OS. I tried version 4.5, home edition on a persistant USB and I like it. Now I want to install it on my HD.

I currently have a duel-boot system with Win10 and Ubuntu. I want to replace Ubuntu with ParrotOS.

My issue: I am worried about how to manage the partitions and especially the boot process/menu.

Currently I have 4 partitions:
1: NTFS, ~400MB, Boot
2: NTFS, ~400GB, Windows10
3: Ext4, ~400GB, Ubuntu
4: NTFS, ~400MB, recovery

Currently, when I start my computer I get a boot menu that was set up automatically when I installed Ubuntu. Ubuntu, when installing, recognizes that Windows10 is already installed and it automatically sets up the duel-boot and the boot menu.

I was going to just delete Partition 3 and create new space for ParrotOS instead of Ubuntu, but I am worried about how to change the boot menu.
Will ParrotOS automatically recognize the current boot menu that was installed by Ubuntu and change it to include ParrotOS?

Thank you.

What version of Parrot are you running? (include version, edition, and architecture)

ParrotOS 4.5, Home edition

What method did you use to install Parrot? (Debian Standard / Debian GTK / parrot-experimental)

Currently just Live USB with persistance.

Right now im pretty certain you are using the windows bootloader instead of grub. Delete partition 3 and you will do a default install/partition within the parrot installer. Your boot screen should automatically include parrot i believe (i use grub tho) and if it doesnt under your advanced startup settimgs in wimdows you should be abke to update and change it. Domt select the whole disk tho when installimg otherwise windows will not be there afterwords

@Nico if I understand the other person correctly they are seeing an ubuntun grub2 bootmenu just as parrot’s boot menu will supercede the Windows one. If I recall correctly Windows won’t create one automatically and I’m not sure it can recognize the Linux filesystem to realize it’s an install but trivial matters…

The Parrot grub menu will overtake whatever is there on install, if it’s installed. Most likely the grub bootloader will want/need to install itself in the first partition of the drive which is already in use. You may have to overwrite that partition for parrot to install properly. This should not be a problem however since the debian installer is very good at detecting other installations present. Be warned that if that fails the system won’t be able to boot.

I would suggest finding out how many hdd (or sdd) and if you have one then its sda(#) 2 is sdb etc but look online for how the drives would be labeled by default (not titled like a tag but organized) and I advise having windows installed first then do parrot so boot into windows and do an mbr update (google if you dont know) then install with the parrot partition. This way is less messy typically with less errors and accidental stuff touching and weird stuff like that but you dont get as nice and customizable bootloader (not a big deal for %99.99) :smiley:

Thank you both for the help.

I do see the Grub menu that was installed by Ubuntu.
I originally had a Windows only machine, single HDD. I than added Ubuntu on the same HDD. (it is a single-HDD laptop). Ubuntu installer is really good at recognizing which other OS are installed and playing nice, adding them to the Grub menu.

Now I would like to replace Ubuntu with Parrot, but I don’t want to touch the Windows installation as it is already set up to my liking and I need it. I want to see the same Grub menu but just with Parrot instead of Ubuntu.

My worry/hesitation is whether Parrot, when installing, will recognize that Windows is also installed on the computer and configure a boot menu that will let me select Parrot or Windows.

I used an older laptop I had around to do some trial installations and the Parrot installer does not seem to be as idiot-proof as the Ubuntu one. :-). Took me a few tries and a couple of days just to do a clean install on the whole HDD of my second computer. It made me kind of worried to try and install it on my main laptop.

Hi, the grub of parrot is pretty much the same that Ubuntu grub, parrot has no issue ( i have never heard of any) recognizing Windows. Is your system installed in uefi or legacy ?
If it is uefi, you can remove Ubuntu grub entry in the bios, remove the Ubuntu install and install parrot aside Windows, without worrying.

If you have legacy, parrot will erase the mbr (where Ubuntu did setup the grub to boot first) and install it’s own grub, at the moment of installing the grub during parrot install, it will show you which OS are being detected, if you see windows being detected you can finish the installing process, if you dont see it well, it would be very weird and you would be very unlucky.
What you can do if you are afraid of losing your windows bootloader is to prepare a windows media usb key in advance so you can use it to repair the windows bootloader if parrot fail to detect it (VERY UNLIKELY).

Here is a link showing you how to repair windows bootloader:

PS: A backup of your data is always a good idea when doing this kind of operation.

Thank you so much for the detailed response. If anything, it helps to see such a helpful community which gives me confidence that I will get help troubleshooting if things go wrong.

I will give it a shot over the weekend.

The one thing I had a hard time with when installing Parrot on my older laptop was that the installer seems to disconnect the internet, then failed to update packages, and then in turn failed to download and install grub-installer, which in turn failed the whole installation. I ended up following some instructions from a thread (that I stupidly did not bookmark) in order to get past this point, but that took me two days. :-). That is what made me worried about how well Parrot will be at installed grub and recognizing my Windows.

I will try and find that thread and gave it ready when I try to install Parrot on my main laptop. For now I am just playing around with it on my secondary and seeing if I really should use it on my primary computer.

Thanks again for all the help!

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This is unlikely, parrot installer does not connect to internet(it doesnt needs to, everything is already in the iso), thats normal. You must have had a problem with your usb stick.

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I made a USB using Etcher and following the instructions, than made it persistent following instructions on Youtube (that worked well).
Just to be sure I also made a DVD, just in case the USB process wasn’t right.

The installer seems to always hang up in the same spot. It appears to me (and I am very new to this), that the grub-installer does not exist on the Parrot OS installation media. When I boot into the live CD (or live USB, it’s the same thing), it doesn’t have grub-install. I open Syanptic and search for grub and it is not there.

So, the installer does need to somehow connect to the internet in order to download and install the grub-install program before it can set up a new system.

I found many other users who ran into this issue in prior versions of Parrot OS. The solutions seem to be many. In any event, I am trying to install Parrot on my spare computers first and make sure I get the workaround figured out before I will feel comfortable enough to try it on my main laptop.

First dont delete the chart in your post that prompts you to enter your system specs. Second, refer to the parrot docs hosted here on the site by us rather than youtube. What exactly did you do to make it persistent that etcher did not? (Boot into the second partition to use persistence and choose persistence not boot otherwise use the gtk installer vs live. These are all things that are the root problem with most of the posts. Most people dont read the docs or for some reason think the random users on youtube know how to operate parrot better than those who wrote and designed and maintain it
Seems silly to me but :roll_eyes:

I couldn’t find instructions in the FAQ about making a persistent USB so I tried youtube. I prefer the docs and I try to search the forum, but I couldn’t find good instructions on how to make a persistent USB.

Following your recent reply I decided to try again to make a new persistent USB and see if it will work both as persistent system and will the installer work. Here are the steps I took and results:

  1. Downloaded the Parrot OS ISO again (version 4.5.1, home edition).
  2. Download and install BalendaEtcher again following the link in the FAQ.
  3. Start Balenda, select the Parrot OS ISO and click “burn”. There is no place to even select options in BalendaEtcher so I don’t think I can mess this step up. :slight_smile:

At this point I booted from USB and was shown the Parrot OS boot menu where I can chose “live mode”, “terminal mode”, “ram mode”, “persistent mode” etc.

In your recent comment you said “boot into the second partition to use persistence”. What do you mean by “second partition”? Do you mean boot into the USB instead of HD? When I chose to boot from the USB I don’t get a choice of partition, I just see the menu.

  1. In the Parrot OS boot menu I chose “Persistence”.
  2. System started and working. (by the way, it boots directly to the desktop and doesn’t ask for a password. Is this supposed to be like this?)

At this point, before connecting to internet, I checked a couple things.

  1. In GParted I wanted to see the partitions I have. The USB drive (/dev/sda) have only one partition of type iso9660 and it takes up the whole space in the USB drive. Is this the way it is supposed to be when using persistence?

  2. In Synaptic I looked to see if “grub” is installed on the system. It is not.

  3. In CLI I wanted to see if “grub-install” command exists. I assume that if I want to install Parrot than the installer will have to use “grub-install”. I got “command not found”.

  4. In order to check if persistence is working I tried to do the following:

  • install the grub tools using synaptic (and verified the grub tools do exist on the system now)
  • shut down
  • restart the computer from USB, selecting “persistence mode” again.
  • look to see if the grub tools exists. They do not. It seems persistence isn’t working well. (also, every time I boot into “persistence mode” I am asked again for keyboard layout, which also suggest my system is not working in persistent mode.)

OK, at this point I have two issues I don’t understand:

  1. How to make a persistent USB. I did try to look in the forum but all the threads I found were from older versions.
  2. Why my fresh Parrot OS live USB doesn’t have have grub tools? This seems to be the step that causes the installer to be stuck.

Sorry to be so slow, but I can’t see what I could have messed up. All I did was download the ISO, download BalendaEtcher and burn a USB. There isn’t much I can get wrong…

Here is the header for support requests that I didn’t have before:

What version of Parrot are you running? (include version, edition, and architecture)
4.5.1, Home edition. There was no choice of architecture when downloading the ISO.

What method did you use to install Parrot? (Debian Standard / Debian GTK / parrot-experimental)
Just used BalendaEtcher to make a bootable live USB. Didn’t install yet.

Configured to multiboot with other systems? (yes / no)
No, only the USB stick.

If there are any error messages or relevant logs, post them below:
No sure where to find them.