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Old 03-09-2014, 10:23 PM   #1
mangyone
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Question Linux install on machine loaded with XP currently


With the good folks at Microsoft quitting support of XP I am like a LOT of people wanting to switch to Linux so Uncle Bill won't have a stranglehold on me. However, my better half also has to do projects on this machine so it would be good to have the ability to use XP along with Linux.

Can I install Linux on this machine and access XP from Linux to have the security of Linux? My learning curve is steep so I would like to know from someone with more knowledge and expertice than mine. I repair cars, others work with computers and operating systems. Thanks!!

Mark from Iowa
 
Old 03-09-2014, 10:37 PM   #2
evo2
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangyone View Post
Can I install Linux on this machine and access XP from Linux to have the security of Linux?
Sort of. What you describe above could be achieved by installing linux on the machine, and then installing XP inside a virtual machine that linux is running. In this scenario you'd basically be loosing your current XP installation. You'd then give the virtual XP install either restricted, or even no network access.

Another alternative is to "dual boot" linux and XP. In this scenario you'd likely be able to keep your current XP installation and install linux alongside it (assuming you have sufficient free disk space). In this setup, you choose at boot time between linux and XP, and there is nothing linux can do to "protect" your XP install.

A third option is to install linux (as in option 1 above) and then use a compaibility layer called "wine" which will allow you to run *some* windows programs on linux. You would not actually have XP installed.

Quote:
My learning curve is steep so I would like to know from someone with more knowledge and expertice than mine. I repair cars, others work with computers and operating systems. Thanks!!
There are a number of factors that would go into choosing between the above options. To help you choose we need to know a bit more. For example, what hardware do you have, what exactly do you want to use XP for, etc

Evo2.
 
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:38 PM   #3
frankbell
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If you wish to install Linux and access XP from Linux, you will need to install your Windows as a virtual machine inside Linux using something like VirtualBox. For this, you will need an actual Windows installation CD, not a "restore" disk. I've done this; it can work quite nicely.

You can also go dual-boot. Most Linux installers are very good at setting up dual-boot, but, in my experience, Mint is one of easiest to use.

It is possible that Linux might have applications that your wife could use in place of the Windows applications she is now using. Could you give us a few examples of those projects?
 
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:40 PM   #4
redd9
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Hi Mark,
You could run a virtual machine in Linux using Virtualbox, and install Windows XP on it. If you have the install disks for Windows XP this is pretty easy to do legally. Whatever happens in a virtual machine won't affect the rest of the computer. Your virtual machine will still be vulnerable to viruses, so I recommend backing up your files regularly, and using antivirus software. One potential problem with a virtual machine is that RAM and hard drive spaace must be allocated to it, so if you are running an old machine with few resources, you may run into trouble. Ultimately there is no way to give Windows XP the security of Linux, but another thing you could do is a dual boot, or installing Linux and Windows on the same computer. This will of course not protect you from malware, but it would be convenient if you need to use Linux and Windows. Is there a specific reason your partner can't use Linux? I may be ableto suggestsoftware alternatives.
 
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:44 PM   #5
jailbait
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangyone View Post
With the good folks at Microsoft quitting support of XP I am like a LOT of people wanting to switch to Linux so Uncle Bill won't have a stranglehold on me. However, my better half also has to do projects on this machine so it would be good to have the ability to use XP along with Linux.

Can I install Linux on this machine and access XP from Linux to have the security of Linux? My learning curve is steep so I would like to know from someone with more knowledge and expertice than mine. I repair cars, others work with computers and operating systems. Thanks!!

Mark from Iowa
I think that you would be better off to install Linux beside XP and boot into whichever one you need to use. For the applications which can be done on either Linux or XP you would convert them to Linux. You would only use XP for specialized applications for which there is no Linux equivalent. When I converted from Windows to Linux in 2000 I dual booted for 2 months. During that time I converted my applications one by one until I had no further need for Windows. I haven't had a need for an application that only runs on Windows in 14 years.

Conversions tend to be a pain in the butt. However it is easier to convert your applications one by one at a leisurely pace than to try to run some sort of virtual machine. I learned that the expensive way during the 70s when I managed a data center.

---------------------
Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 03-09-2014 at 10:45 PM.
 
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:28 PM   #6
nickmh
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XP inside VirtualBox

mangyone, Do you have a copy of your XP install disc? If so, I'd suggest you wonder over YouTube and have a look at an install of the Linux Distribution you've decided to use, and then look at Install XP inside a VirtualBox Virtual Machine.

While you're using your new setup?... You may be able to work out replacement Linux software for your Wife's project needs, and ween yourself off XP altogether.

My experience went through about 10-12 Distributions before settling on Xubuntu. And I always have a VirtualBox install of Windows 7 for demo purposes, and "Just in case" This is on my laptopn only, though. All the other machines and installs are pure Linux! No Windows at all. And I've found no need to run Windows Software for general use. I consider my self "weened"
 
Old 03-14-2014, 12:12 AM   #7
d0gg1e
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Just to confuse matters a little - Do you really need Windows XP? If it is just surfing the web, office, and the usual stuff chances are you could do it all with just Linux. But that is taking a wild stab in the dark that you don't have any 'odd' or 'unique' software that really needs Windows.

Linux has alternatives for most of the software on Windows XP; such as LibreOffice in place of MS Office, VLC in place of Media Player and so forth.

The only reason I mention it is because there is a loss of performance when running a virtual machine - how much depends on your machine capabilities.
 
Old 03-14-2014, 09:50 AM   #8
TroN-0074
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Couple of things to keep in mind.
If OP has XP in his computer chances are that computer doesn't have the requirements to run a VirtualBox. Are we talking here about a Pentium 4 computer? Forget VirtualBox.

If you go with a Linux installation dualboot is good however look for a lightweight graphical interfaces if you install a distro with Gnome or KDE chances are the experience with Linux will be not very pleasant.

Personally I would suggest to go with the dualboot, download a distro like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or Linux Mint Xfce.

delete some unneeded user files from your computer to make room for Linux.
Good luck to you.
 
Old 03-14-2014, 03:31 PM   #9
Ser Olmy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
Couple of things to keep in mind.
If OP has XP in his computer chances are that computer doesn't have the requirements to run a VirtualBox. Are we talking here about a Pentium 4 computer? Forget VirtualBox.
VirtualBox runs fine on a P4. It runs (surprisingly well) on a PIII too.

VirtualBox is capable of creating a fully virtualized x86 (32-bit) environment on systems with no hardware-assisted virtualization support. VirtualBox will certainly take advantage of VT-X/SVM if the CPU supports it, but it's not a requirement.

The "Features Overview" page: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch...tures-overview

Further details: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch10.html#hwvirt
 
Old 03-14-2014, 04:06 PM   #10
brianL
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If you decide to try dual-booting, here are some notes I made ages ago when I did it:
Quote:
1: Disable page file. Right click My Computer => Properties => Advanced => Performance: Settings => Advanced => Virtual memory: Change => check No paging file => click Set => OK => OK => OK

2: Reboot.

3: Defragment.

4: Resize. Use partitioning software on any live Linux CD or DVD. Leave unallocated space.

5: Restore page file.

6: Restart with whatever distro. Use actual installation CD or DVD to create and format Linux partitions.
 
Old 03-14-2014, 04:52 PM   #11
jefro
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It may be simple and easy to run linux from a usb flash drive and keep xp intact.

I used to run virtualpc on some very old hardware when bochs was the other choice. I'll agree that the most modern mainstream distro's tend to need 1G ram to start. Some of the smallest one of a kind distro's could use way less but make learning harder.

Last edited by jefro; 03-14-2014 at 04:53 PM.
 
  


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