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Old 06-11-2013, 11:51 PM   #1
spinnerette
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Ubuntu Linux & Windows 7 - Dual Boot or just use Windows in a Virtual Machine?


I'm looking at making the switch from a laptop with Windows 7 to one with Ubuntu Linux (my HP Pavilion is dying a slow but unrepairable hardware death) but I have a couple programs I'm probably going to have to run with Windows. A few games I'd like to keep but mostly my Scrivener novel writing program that only has a glitchy beta version for Linux, plus I already own the Windows version and can put it on a second machine. Disclaimer: I've never actually used Linux. At all. But because I frequently have to live off public WiFi due to travel, I'd rather have something more secure, and nothing makes a writer swear more than having to do a hard restart in the middle of a chain of thought because of a freeze.

I'm looking at a System 76 Pangolin Performance laptop which comes with Ubuntu installed. I can get a legit copy of Windows 7 relatively inexpensively. So my questions are: 1) Do I need dual boot? Or will most things run ok in a virtual machine? Since my writing program integrates with media and research I would end up using the Windows side a LOT in a dual boot, and have to do my research-related web surfing there in order to save things to that program, probably enough that it would kind of defeat the purpose of getting Linux in the first place. I don't completely understand how the dual boot and virtual machine work and what it takes to switch between Linux and Windows. Complete newbie here, and I'm not a techie though I have a decent learning curve.

My other question is, if I did partition the HD for dual boot, how much hard drive space I need. I was only looking at the 500GB because that's what I have now and it's been plenty. Do I need more than that if I'm installing both OS?

I hope my questions were clear but I'm just learning the lingo, so please ask (kindly) if you need clarification or more info.
 
Old 06-11-2013, 11:59 PM   #2
yancek
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A Virtual install will be more convenient as you won't need to reboot to switch systems.
Running in a virtual machine on another OS will be slower but if you don't have a need for speed it should not be a problem.
10-20GB should be enough for a Linux filesystem. You can create a separate data partition or partitions to share between Linux/windows if you do a full install, dual-booting. You can read/write from Linux to a windows partition but the reverse is not true as windows won't even recognize a Linux filesystem.

There are numerous tutorials available online on installing Ubuntu and it also has very good support as it is about the most widely used version of Linux for home users.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerette View Post
A few games I'd like to keep
Gaming in a virtual machine is mostly a no-go, when these are 3D games newer than 7-8 years, the virtual 3D cards lack many features and the performance for that.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 01:16 AM   #4
spinnerette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Gaming in a virtual machine is mostly a no-go, when these are 3D games newer than 7-8 years, the virtual 3D cards lack many features and the performance for that.
So basically I'd need to do dual boot in order to play any of my existing Windows-based games?

So I guess that begs another question (probably a stupid question, but I'm completely green on this), can you set up a dual boot system AND boot Ubuntu and use a virtual machine for other non-game Windows programs? For example, can I set it up for dual boot with a partitioned HD for Windows gaming but boot Ubuntu and use my Windows-based writing program in a virtual machine?

Last edited by spinnerette; 06-12-2013 at 01:20 AM.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 01:28 AM   #5
Firerat
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@Yancek, it is possible to read/write ext2,3,4 fs with third party drivers for windows
http://www.ext2fsd.com
It has been a while since I used it myself, was a bit slow but worked.

@spinnerette
As previously mentioned a VM is certainly more convenient but you may have issues with the games.

An option which may give you the best of both worlds is Dual Boot for your games and Wine for Scrivener.
You may even be able to get away with Wine for the games.

Here is a link to WineHQ's app database for Scrivener

http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManage...tion&iId=12274


Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerette View Post
So basically I'd need to do dual boot in order to play any of my existing Windows-based games?

So I guess that begs another question (probably a stupid question, but I'm completely green on this), can you set up a dual boot system AND boot Ubuntu and use a virtual machine for other non-game Windows programs? For example, can I set it up for dual boot with a partitioned HD for Windows gaming but boot Ubuntu and use my Windows-based writing program in a virtual machine?
missed your post..
Ref bold
I think you would need to buy two copies of windows.

if Wine works well for Scrivener , one Copy
if your games also work well with Wine, no Copies

Last edited by Firerat; 06-12-2013 at 01:34 AM.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 01:30 AM   #6
TobiSGD
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Quote:
So I guess that begs another question (probably a stupid question, but I'm completely green on this), can you set up a dual boot system AND boot Ubuntu and use a virtual machine for other non-game Windows programs? For example, can I set it up for dual boot with a partitioned HD for Windows gaming but boot Ubuntu and use my Windows-based writing program in a virtual machine?
Yes, that is no problem. Of course you will have two Windows installations, one native (for dual booting), one virtual. That may be a license issue with Windows, but that depends on your Windows version, IIRC.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 01:37 AM   #7
EDDY1
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Wins 7 should need only about 80 Gigs if you remove wins.old & others. Befiore removing wins.old you have to be sure you have a good working virus free environment.
Wins.old takes up quite a bit of space. To be safe I would allocate 150G that way you have room for atleast 1 wins.old
 
Old 06-12-2013, 03:56 PM   #8
jefro
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You should try a virtual machine first. If it works well for you then leave it alone. It is one of the most easy and safe ways to test and use linux.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
TroN-0074
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System76 comes with Ubuntu already in it. I like dualboot but in your case the scenario is different. When installing Windows it will take over the entire hard drive, from there you will need to go and resize your partitions.
100GB for windows will be plenty in a 500GB hard drive, leave another 100GB to store data files you wish to share among the two OSs. The rest for Ubuntu or any other Linux base OS. Then you can set up a virtual machine in Ubuntu and give it access to your shared partition. You will be all set for some serious writing.

Good luck to you, hopefuly you enjoy your new machine
 
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:38 PM   #10
273
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If you're paying for Windows anyhow it may make more sense to buy a machine with windows installed and use Linux in a VM.
That way you can play your games OK and fire up a Linux VM for anything it's better suited for.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
TroN-0074
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
If you're paying for Windows anyhow it may make more sense to buy a machine with windows installed and use Linux in a VM.
That way you can play your games OK and fire up a Linux VM for anything it's better suited for.
He already owns the install windows cd.for what I understand. So buying a computer with Linux is a good idea. Then installing windows using the CD he already owns.
Unless I miss understood something from the original post.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 05:59 PM   #12
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TroN-0074 View Post
He already owns the install windows cd.for what I understand. So buying a computer with Linux is a good idea. Then installing windows using the CD he already owns.
Unless I miss understood something from the original post.
I take your point about already owning Windows but in buying a computer with Linux and dual booting chances are he will get very fed up of having to constantly reboot. If Windows needs hardware acceleration but Linux doesn't I see no advantage using Linux dual boot.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 06:04 PM   #13
Firerat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
If you're paying for Windows anyhow it may make more sense to buy a machine with windows installed and use Linux in a VM.
That way you can play your games OK and fire up a Linux VM for anything it's better suited for.
Please re-read the OP
 
Old 06-12-2013, 06:23 PM   #14
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Firerat View Post
Please re-read the OP
You re-read it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerette View Post
... I already own the Windows version and can put it on a second machine.... I can get a legit copy of Windows 7 relatively inexpensively.
I read it as the OP probably has a windows install disk they can use that's not necessarily fully licensed but can obtain a license if needs be.
Not my fault the post is contradictory.
 
Old 06-12-2013, 06:38 PM   #15
Firerat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
You re-read it...
I read it as the OP probably has a windows install disk they can use that's not necessarily fully licensed but can obtain a license if needs be.

No, spinnerette
has a copy of Scrivener
can get Windows 7 at a good price
often uses public wifi and has security concerns
Quote:
Originally Posted by 273 View Post
Not my fault the post is contradictory.
It isn't, you just didn't read it correctly which is why I asked you to re-read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spinnerette View Post
I'm looking at making the switch from a laptop with Windows 7 to one with Ubuntu Linux (my HP Pavilion is dying a slow but unrepairable hardware death) but I have a couple programs I'm probably going to have to run with Windows. A few games I'd like to keep but mostly my Scrivener novel writing program that only has a glitchy beta version for Linux, plus I already own the Windows version and can put it on a second machine. Disclaimer: I've never actually used Linux. At all. But because I frequently have to live off public WiFi due to travel, I'd rather have something more secure, and nothing makes a writer swear more than having to do a hard restart in the middle of a chain of thought because of a freeze.

I'm looking at a System 76 Pangolin Performance laptop which comes with Ubuntu installed. I can get a legit copy of Windows 7 relatively inexpensively. So my questions are: 1) Do I need dual boot? Or will most things run ok in a virtual machine? Since my writing program integrates with media and research I would end up using the Windows side a LOT in a dual boot, and have to do my research-related web surfing there in order to save things to that program, probably enough that it would kind of defeat the purpose of getting Linux in the first place. I don't completely understand how the dual boot and virtual machine work and what it takes to switch between Linux and Windows. Complete newbie here, and I'm not a techie though I have a decent learning curve.

My other question is, if I did partition the HD for dual boot, how much hard drive space I need. I was only looking at the 500GB because that's what I have now and it's been plenty. Do I need more than that if I'm installing both OS?

I hope my questions were clear but I'm just learning the lingo, so please ask (kindly) if you need clarification or more info.
 
  


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