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Old 12-04-2014, 12:29 AM   #1
Gregg Bell
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does it make sense to dual boot?


My old Dell desktop only has 19GB of room left. I see all these refurbished machines with 500GB or a TB and I'm thinking of getting one. Lots of them come with Windows installed already. I'm not a Windows fan but now and then it is helpful to use it. If I buy one of these computers, does it make sense to dual boot? Do you give up capacity (and like CPU stuff) in Linux if you do? Thanks!
 
Old 12-04-2014, 03:02 AM   #2
qlue
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When you dual-boot, the two systems exist side by side on the hard drive. This affects storage capacity, but not other resources as you can only boot into one system at a time.
Note that Ubuntu has a Wubi install feature that runs Ubuntu from Windows. I'm not certain of the technical details, but as far as I can tell this is not a true dual-boot as it uses the Windows drivers.

High capacity hard drives are readily available at low prices these days and it is therefore quite easy to accommodate multi-boot setups.

With the exception of the latest crop of laptops that come with Windows 8 pre-installed and some Arm based devices like Chromebooks and tablets, most PCs can even be booted from an external, usb connected hard drive. With 1TB to 3TB usb hard drives being the standard today, this is highly worth considering. Remember that 2.5 inch drives can usually be powered directly from the usb port while 3.5 inch drive almost always require an additional power adaptor.
 
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:04 AM   #3
j-ray
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If you want to run both system at the same time so you can switch between them you have to create a virtual machine on your box. That would share resources with the base system. If you dual boot you run only 1 system at a time and have to reboot if you want to switch. I use the latter version for several years now as I need Windows for making music. With 2 systems you loose a few gig hard disk space. That's all.
 
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:12 AM   #4
timl
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Typically when I have bought a lappy it has windows installed and I almost always add, say, Fedora as well. I don't see much point removing windows even if I don't use it much.

So I would say, yes definitely.
 
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:38 AM   #5
jlinkels
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Usually I leave the Windows installation on in case I have to send it in for repair or I have to deal with really incompatible hardware. If you shrink the Windows partition during installation it doesn't do much harm.

But dual booting as a normal way of working I'd strongly discourage. Once you rebooted your machine 5 times on a single day you understand why. In that case a VM is a much better way to go.

jlinkels
 
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:48 AM   #6
pan64
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you can boot a linux from usb too (if the hardware allowed it).
 
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:16 AM   #7
vincix
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I use dual booting and it's just fine. I reboot whenever I want to use the other OS. Virtualization is much slower, as some people have already mentioned.

I really wouldn't recommend you boot from external usb devices. They're much slower than a sata connection. You can easily install linux from a usb stick, of course, but actually having a running linux installed on an external device is silly, if you don't have a real strong reason for it.
 
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:47 AM   #8
Ook
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In the end this is something you need to decide. I have dual booted my computer, and at one point I had four operating systems - Windows XP, Windows 7, and two version of Linux.

Eventually I realized that I did not need Windows any more. For those few Windows programs that just would not run on Linux, I use a VM (www.virtualbox.org). The games that won't run on Linux, and there are a few, I just don't play because there are so many that do. I still keep a Win2000 VM for some old folio reference software that I use, and I keep a few XP VMs hanging around, but 99% of what I do is on Linux.

I finally ran out reasons to keep Windows, and so I deleted it and now my boxes are Linux only. There is nothing I used to do with Windows that I can not now do on Linux.

Dual boot until you are comfortable with Linux to the point you don't need Windows anymore, and see if you can get your favorite Windows programs to run in a VM.
 
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Old 12-05-2014, 01:29 AM   #9
Gregg Bell
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Thanks everyone for the awesome feedback. I'm really a Linux fan. One of the things that would dissuade me from dual booting is the endless MS updates. Maybe with a VM I could avoid that. I too, like Ook, hardly have any use for Windows. But as a few of you have mentioned it doesn't hurt to have the option. Thanks again.
 
Old 12-05-2014, 02:38 AM   #10
qlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
One of the things that would dissuade me from dual booting is the endless MS updates.
LOL
I feel your pain! I only run updates for Windows once a year. I do this just before filing my tax returns. (Needs Adome Reader DRM) That's also just about the only time I ever boot into Windows.
 
Old 12-05-2014, 09:48 PM   #11
Fred Caro
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The only reason I would keep Windoze on a machine would be if I was considering the ease of reselling it after I had use of it.

Fred.
 
Old 12-06-2014, 05:58 PM   #12
EDDY1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Bell View Post
My old Dell desktop only has 19GB of room left. I see all these refurbished machines with 500GB or a TB and I'm thinking of getting one. Lots of them come with Windows installed already. I'm not a Windows fan but now and then it is helpful to use it. If I buy one of these computers, does it make sense to dual boot? Do you give up capacity (and like CPU stuff) in Linux if you do? Thanks!
What are the specs of your computer, if they are ok then I would say just get the hdd & later get the computer or laptop that you really want.
 
Old 12-07-2014, 03:18 PM   #13
rnturn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Usually I leave the Windows installation on in case I have to send it in for repair or I have to deal with really incompatible hardware. If you shrink the Windows partition during installation it doesn't do much harm.
Agreed. And nothing beats seeing the expression on the technician's face when you can simply reboot using the Windows partition and demonstrate that the problem also occurs while running Windows.

Quote:
But dual booting as a normal way of working I'd strongly discourage. Once you rebooted your machine 5 times on a single day you understand why. In that case a VM is a much better way to go.
I think this is beyond the scope of the OP's question -- and probably something not best discussed in the Newbie forum -- but is it possible to set up dual-boot, run Linux as the default boot, and set up a VM on Linux using the OS installed in the Windows partition as the guest? I've never seen anyone try this and, given that most people don't get Windows installation media any more, might be a great way to go.

Anyone seen a link to a page where someone describes how this can be done?

--
Rick
 
Old 12-07-2014, 05:34 PM   #14
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnturn View Post
and set up a VM on Linux using the OS installed in the Windows partition as the guest? I've never seen anyone try this and, given that most people don't get Windows installation media any more, might be a great way to go.
That would be nice, but it was not what I recommended. It seems that it is very hard to migrate the Windows partition to VB. Besides, Windows might not even run because it sees the VM as new hardware. However it seems that VMWare does have a tool to convert a real partition to a VM. https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

jlinkels
 
Old 12-08-2014, 01:02 AM   #15
rnturn
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Quote:
... Windows might not even run because it sees the VM as new hardware.
Heh heh... Good point. I'd almost forgotten about that little problem with Windows. (I once broke a perfectly good Windows setup by doing the unthinkable: I added a SCSI controller to run some extra disks. Had to grovel before MS to get permission to use my computer again.)

Is that conversion tool free of charge? I'm guessing "no" or MS would be a bit upset about people being able to move Windows from machine to machine at will without buying some sort of additional license.

--
Rick
 
  


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