Having never installed Linux next to Windows 8, I thought this would be a train wreck. I was pleasantly surprised to find it worked on the first try.
This guide written by Gary Newell gives you just about everything you would need. Gary’s Guide Here
A bit of clarity: once you have your bootable USB Ubuntu you’ll need to tell your computer to boot from that USB. I found the easiest way to do this was hold the Shift-key while telling your (Windows 8) computer to restart, which will boot in a safe mode. From there you should see an option to initiate a different drive, such as USB. Select that and you’ll boot up on your USB instantly.
Also, the less you muck with the BIOS, the better off you’ll be.
It is extremely important that you follow his instructions very carefully about correctly partitioning the spaces required. I did exactly as he said and had zero issues.
The reason for my particular installation was for my new ham radio SDR (Software Defined Radio) experiment. I also didn’t want to lose my Windows 8 installation if I didn’t have to. Many SDR applications are available on the Windows OS. This did the trick.