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This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >     
Dual Boot Windows Versus Running In Virtual Machine

 6:43 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Anyone have opinions on dual boot versus running windows in a virtual machine under Linux Mint 13?

I have Mint 13 installed right now. My copy of windows 7 is supposed to be arriving later today.

My first thought is to run as a dual boot with win 7 and mint.

I am concerned that running under virtual machine might make it slower or increase complexity / increase chances of incompatibility.

My life is already complex enough as it is...

Dell Optiplex 780
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz
4 gigs ram
IntelĀ® Q45 Express Chipset w/ICH10DO

Thanks in advance.



 6:56 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I would say keep it simple with a duel boot. Virtual machine will always loose you some performance as opposed to a "native" OS.



 7:48 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thank you, Mack:

Since I already have Mint 13 installed, is there a preferred method to install Win 7 alongside as a dual boot?

Meaning, do I need to go into Mint and use some app to install windows so that I don't end up writing over my installation of Linux Mint?


 8:16 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Not sure about later versions of Windows, and I have no actual experience at this point, but I believe Windows had in the past to be installed first, otherwise it corrupted linux.

Remember, also, that dual boot means just that: you have to reboot in order to get the secondary OS, whereas something like WINE allows access to both OS's without reboot.


 10:24 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the note, dstiles:

Right now I am just moving all my data to a back up disc and I am guessing that I will just do a clean install of Win 7 and then reinstall Linux Mint after that.

I think that is going to be the easiest way.


 10:59 pm on Mar 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

It is always easier to install linux after windows because the linux installer procedure allows you to set up linux as an OS that will co-exist with Windows. Windows on the other hand wants to be your only OS.

Check with your linux distro for their prefered way to install Windows along side Linux. I am a Ubuntu user, and I believe mint is Ubuntu based...

What I did was a clean install of Windows, but created a partition of 50% of the available disk. Once windows was installed you don't have the linux bootloader, so no way to choose what OS to boot. Put your mint install media (cd, dvd flash drive etc) in and do a repair install. This will detect the linux OS and windows OS and install grub to handle both partitions, allowing you to select what OS you want to use.

Its not bullet proof, and things can go wrong. Make sure you create a backup before you proceed.



 3:29 am on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

I run FreeBSD but I put Windows in a VM since I have no use for it except for testing web sites. On a Core2, it will run slower since Windows is such a resource hog. In my case, I have 32GB and Ivy Bridge so no problems.


 5:29 am on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the suggestions, all:

I ended up "writing over" my linux partitions (I backed up my data first on to a DVD) and tomorrow I will see if I can either a new install or a "repair" install of Linux Mint.

It uses the same gui install interface as Ubuntu.

Thanks everyone. I'm not really much of a windows fan, but sometimes you gotta' do what you gotta' do...


 6:28 am on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

A bit late with this, but VM vs dual boot depends what you use Windows for.

If you are just testing websites or running an application that you use occasionally then a VM is better. For one thing you avoid the need to reboot to use Windows. It is also much easier to set up.

If you are constantly running apps that use a lot of memory or you need to squeeze out every last bit of performance then dual boot. That is why gamers dual boot.

I have found running Windows in a VM to test sites very easy, and MS even provides free (as in beer) Virtualbox VM images for this [modern.ie ].


 11:14 am on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Thanks Graeme:

Following the criteria you gsve, it is good thay I opted for dual boot because I will be using memory intensive applications.

thanks again,.


 7:54 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

A final note for completion (I mentioned this in another thread somewhere)...

You can create a list of installed linux apps and then feed that list into dpkg on a new installation to rebuild the apps. You still have to restore any data the apps use. The method varies slightly depending on the actual OS and its app-installation methods (eg deb, rpm). I got the information from:


(remove brackets!)


 9:26 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

I ended up "writing over" my linux partitions (I backed up my data first on to a DVD)

this is a good time to make a third partition. one for windows, one for linux, and one for data. that would allow you to reinstall windows or linux without transferring your data. of course you should still have a backup.


 10:21 pm on Mar 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

"this is a good time to make a third partition. one for windows, one for linux, and one for data. "

yes, that is something I will likely look into. Thanks for the suggestion.


 6:16 pm on Mar 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

I always have two partitions - one for OS, one for use data (i.e. /home).

The problem with Windows and Linux and three partitions is what filesystem do you use on it? I do not think an NTFS filesystem will support Linux permissions properly. On the other hand I do not know how reliable software for accessing Linux filesystems from Windows is.


 7:01 pm on Mar 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

remember FAT ? :)


 11:15 pm on Mar 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just don't use Windows. There is no need. Dual booting just wastes your time. Use a VM if you really think Windows has something you need there (you don't. Unless you mean games. Then get yourself a XBox).

wa desert rat

 4:10 am on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

+1 on what he said. Windows is an insecure PITA. Run Linux, get used to using it, and be happy.



 8:57 pm on Mar 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

Sadly there are some applications that MUST have windows to run, either natively or via some kind of VM. Such software often cannot run in VM unless it is a complete MS-approved windows installation.

This is down to software developers only providing windows versions of their software (or, in a few cases, also Mac but seldom linux). This viewpoint is narrow, I agree, but if you need the software you have no alternative. Such software includes transcription apps, graphics, video/audio, financial packages etc as well as games.

Accepted Windows and Mac environments are less secure than linux by quite a way; nevertheless they are sometimes necessary.

With XP falling off the Update scheme next month I have advised several people who rely on XP software, often for their livelihood, to keep the XP (or other windows OS m/c for that matter) on the network but firewall it against all but absolutely necessary IPs, effectively taking it off the internet and away from danger. Add a linux machine, networked to the windows machine, to do everything except what windows is actually needed for.

Aside from other issues, this sidesteps the debate of dual-boot / VM, and means the software is always available and need not worry about whether VM can emulate windows properly.

Alternatively: I am currently looking to upgrade from windows 2003 (online web server), which is also about to become unsupported, to windows 2012. I am stuck with windows due to adopting it as a web server in my more naive days: there is no way now I can convert all my ASP code to PHP. However, I see no reason not to switch mail from windows to a linux machine; I would gain not only on reliability and security but on features. The company I usually rent from have suggested a VPS (Windows Hyper-V) running under windows 2008 or 2012 would mean I do not have to shell out extra for a second machine rental.

My suggestion here is: instead of VM or dual boot, why not look into VPS, which can run several (very) different OS's on a single machine? Don't ask me about all the details yet, I'm still looking into it myself. :)


 4:12 am on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

VPS = virtual private server = server OS running in a VM. I am not sure I understand what distinction you are trying to make here. Between running in a VM on another (possibly dedicated) machine on your LAN and running one on your desktop?

The other possibility is WINE, but not all software works with it.

@dstiles, I assume you mean classic asp? asp.net can work on Linux with Mono, as you probably know.

wa desert rat

 4:21 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Give some thought to simply installing Linux on a second computer and using a KVM (Keyboard, Video, Mouse) switch to move between them. Using the Linux machine for all the network jobs and the Windows box for the stuff that simply *has* to be done on Windows (less every year thanks to cloud apps).

Linux will probably perform faster on an old machine than Win7 will on the new one, anyway.



 5:04 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

good suggestion. i actually do have one if those kvm switches lying around somewhere.

i haven't tried win 7 on a P4 machine so I can't make a direct comparison, but Linux mint and Bodhi Linux both seem to work well on it.


 7:59 pm on Mar 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

Graeme - I'm not very familiar with VM - never actually used it as such but was confused by the terminolgo. I was actually thinking of WINE and similar and thought that was the discussion. Sorry.

Classic ASP, yes. Never got to grips with .NET, mainly because most of my web sites were designed before it became useful and the upgrade path was too great, as it is for ASP - PHP.

If it helps, the Windows 2012 spec I'm looking at now is: Intel i7 950 (4 cores | 2.66Ghz) with 8 GB RAM and 500 GB Hard Drive. This is a low-spec job, though, suitable mainly for simple web sites (it's a much higher spec than the 2003 server I currently use for the same purpose).

My Compaq GQ60 laptop, when I purchased it second-hand, had Windows 7 installed and I assume that would have worked in that situation had I not immediately wiped it to install linux. Sorry I can't recall the spec but there's a lot of info online.


 1:25 pm on Mar 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

Classic ASP, yes. Never got to grips with .NET, mainly because most of my web sites were designed before it became useful and the upgrade path was too great

And it's a good thing you didn't. I first got into the web business with .NET 1.5(?) cause my wife's brother-in-law ran a large Microsoft shop. We created a large scale online application without knowing Microsoft was making wholesale changes to .NET that, eventually, royally screwed us up. We lost a year's development time and about $50,000.

We switched everything over to FreeBSD and, within 3 months, got everything going. It's one of a multitude of reasons why I will never use Microsoft products again.


 6:12 pm on Mar 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

@drhowarddrfine, and I thought I was supposed to be the MS-hater around here.

@dstiles, Ah, yes. easy mistake to make when the terminology is still unfamiliar. I am not exactly an expert on VMs myself. but I am finding them very useful. Virtualbox is great for a Windows instance for browser testing, and a couple of VPSs I am just staring to do things with.

wa desert rat

 3:15 pm on Mar 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

It would be pretty hard to be more of a MS-hater than me. What surprises me is that, given the level of exploitation and the costs involved in mitigating that exploitation (unsuccessfully, for the most part), there are so few of us.

My discomfort with Windows has been growing since its beginning but I had an epiphany last year. We keep an old XP machine just for tax time. When I fired it up last year I decided to install Malwarebytes on it. I went to their site to download it.

Now Malwarebytes doesn't have a version for XP, Vista, Windows 2000, 7, 8 or 8.1; it's just Malwarebytes. I installed it and ran it and it discovered the usual crap.

Later that day I installed Malwarebytes from the same source on a client's new Win7 box. And it struck me.

If the same malware cleaner can be installed on every iteration of Windows from at least XP (I don't have a Win95 running) to the latest versions and find all the same malware, what does that say about how hard MS has worked to make its flagship OS secure?

But wait! If you order now you can get a free copy of MS's own anti-malware product. A product that is not shipped with the OS but available free as a download once you know about it and find it. And it works just like all the others; it scans your system for malware that has already exploited your system (or trying to) and compares that to a database of "fingerprints" of malware it knows about, and gets rid of anything that matches.

Why would Microsoft make an add-on security product for the operating system they allegedly have the source code for? Why wouldn't they just fix the holes?

I don't think they can. I think every iteration of Windows is insecure in exactly the same ways and MS (and all their customers) is stuck with it. If they fix it then their APIs no longer work and every developer will have to re-design their products.

And then I had another thought: How much malware is out there that has been designed so well that no databes has the fingerprints?



 9:36 pm on Mar 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

You need to review some threat web sites. MS do the best they can now, although it took them a while to get started on viruses and malware.

There are two answers to malwarebytes eclecticism: 1) they are not very good at what they do; or 2) they detect the OS and only apply tests for that. Having said which, a lot of malware can cover several OS's, even linux.

Personally, having seen people running anti-malware tools and having run such things myself in the long-distant past, I have my doubts about how accurate they are: I suspect a lot of false positives. This is also true of anti-virus software.

Every "patch Tuesday" MS includes in the update a Malicious Software tool update, so they should not need to add another malware tool. Their various OS's are very different in structure and security - read the reviews!

As to "linux does not get viruses" - that is not stricly true. Viruses are targetted at linux, though less often, and can be installed on the machine by an inattentive or dumb "user". As well as this, there was a bulletin today concerning linux web servers which are vulnerable because they haven't upgraded PHP (for example). About 16% of all web sites, in fact. This makes them vulnerable to PHP exploits and MySQL injections. Although most web sites run under linux, most of the infected ones also run under linux. No doubt all here install linux updates as soon as they appear but a lot of people linux and MS users, do not.

Yes, there is malware that has not yet been discovered. Some (probably not all) has been designed and installed by NSA aided no doubt by GCHQ. This includes BIOS malware, which is apparently almost impossible to detect and even more difficult to eradicate.

And, of course, there is always Android, one of the most exploit-riddled devices out there! I wonder what OS that uses?

Quite apart from that, I have run MS software, desktop and online servers, for decades and have had neither virus nor malware. Nor have I on linux, of course. It's really a case of being careful.

wa desert rat

 11:46 pm on Mar 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

Attacks on Android are social attacks in which the user explicitly gives permission for the exploiting app to load. One can hardly blame that on Android.



 12:18 am on Mar 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

The safety aspect has common basis across all platforms. The key is to only use root or an administrator when it is completely necessary. By limiting user privileges, you can limit the risk posted by "dumb" users.

The Windows vs Linux argument has two sides. By it's sheer popularity, Windows is a much greater target for people who want to exploit it. I would also argue that Linux users are perhaps more knowledgeable. This does not extend to all users, but users who have made a conscious choice to use a non mainstream system clearly have a clue.

Android does dispel some myths about Linux not getting viruses, there are plenty of instances of exploits out there.

Attacks on Android are social attacks in which the user explicitly gives permission for the exploiting app to load. One can hardly blame that on Android.

The same could be said about most environments, in many cases users open an email attachment or knowingly install software that has a hidden payload.


wa desert rat

 2:11 am on Mar 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

The same could be said about most environments, in many cases users open an email attachment or knowingly install software that has a hidden payload.

That is a particular exploit that is pretty much restricted to Windows unless you run Linux/Unix as root.

Opening email attachments in *nix seldom involves an exploit attempt because even if it's aimed at Linux all it will do is get itself into the user space.

As far as the "target" goes, I think that's an old wives' tale. I get tens of thousands attempts at cracking my Linux boxes (every single one of them with a static IP directly on the Internet). They never get cracked. Try that with any Windows OS and you'd be in serious trouble. Not because they target it... but because they are so terribly vulnerable.


wa desert rat

 2:15 am on Mar 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have an ex-partner (in our network engineering company) who went to work for a hospital. He's still at it but it's a nightmare. Most of their work is trying to deny Windows users from going to sites that would infect them, from opening email that will infect them. Add in hospital patients who want to get their email on laptops and tablets along with doctors (mostly not employees) who demand - DEMAND I TELL YOU... free access to the Internet regardless of risk. Then there is HIPAA. So he has had to implement VLANS. At first he did everything in Linux but he had to go to cisco because none of the techs could understand Linux and at least with Cisco he could get remote work done.

And then there are the botnets of infected Windows boxes....

It just goes on and on...


This 38 message thread spans 2 pages: 38 ( [1] 2 > >
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