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distrowatch poll -- dual booting versus virtual machines


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#1 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 12:29 AM

When I saw this week's poll at DistroWatch, I immediately thought of some of the discussions here. I put in a vote for "I dual boot," but now I'm not so sure what they were really asking with that poll question. I run only Linux, and I have some dual- or multi-boot setups.

Seems that there are far too many times when I pass on voting in those polls because either the questions are poorly worded or there's no voting option that seems to fit my situation.

Anyway, here's a link: https://www.distrowa...ue=current#poll

Some interesting posts in the comments section there, too.

#2 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 05:18 AM

Meh, I use virtual machines as my machines are powerful enough that there is no need to dual boot for anything. That and I haven't used window's applications outside of work in over a decade.
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#3 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 06:54 AM

I voted "dual boot".  :breakfast:
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#4 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 07:27 AM

I would have voted for VMs but in actual fact I have enough machines in the museum to just run Linux or Windows on each one. I have only one VM where I run Ubuntu as a guest on Windows 10. My Linux machines run Mint, Debian, MX Linux and Arch on the rails.
I have never been a fan of multibooting and VMs are okay for a trial but they can't give you the Full Monty. OK maybe KVM can do that but I mostly want VMs for Windows.
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#5 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 08:02 AM

View Postraymac46, on 23 April 2018 - 07:27 AM, said:

I would have voted for VMs but in actual fact I have enough machines in the museum to just run Linux or Windows on each one. I have only one VM where I run Ubuntu as a guest on Windows 10. My Linux machines run Mint, Debian, MX Linux and Arch on the rails.
I have never been a fan of multibooting and VMs are okay for a trial but they can't give you the Full Monty. OK maybe KVM can do that but I mostly want VMs for Windows.

You just have to give the machines enough cpu cores and ram, then they will run like on normal hardware. For instance, I will give a window's vm 8-16gb of ram and 4 cores while a linux distro generally only needs 4-8gb of ram and 2 cores.
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#6 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 09:46 AM

I'm a VMer too.  I typically provide 2 cores, and 4GB RAM, as this is a "typical" hardware arrangement for many/most consumer machines.  A dual core CPU with 4GB RAM...if a distro runs well on that config, it only gets better on a more powerful machine.

#7 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:30 AM

I still have three computers that have only 2GB RAM, and those are the ones that I'm dual- or multi-booting with. And, again, no Windows involved here. One of my main reasons for running Linux is to be able to get life out of machines like that, ones somebody else didn't want, used or maybe off the clearance shelf, very inexpensive or (in a couple of cases) free, that sort of thing.

So I think that "live" sessions and dual- or multi-booting are preferable to a VM in my case.

Years back, I did dual-boot Windows and Linux for awhile, though. However, then I decided to keep those on separate computers. Not long after that, I actually gave away my Windows computer, and that was the end of that.

Edited by saturnian, 23 April 2018 - 10:31 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 03:33 PM

Dual-Booter here. :)

#9 OFFLINE   sunrat

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 07:08 PM

"Dual boot"? Where's the option for "I boot 5 OS on my computer"? :)
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#10 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 07:36 PM

View Postsunrat, on 23 April 2018 - 07:08 PM, said:

"Dual boot"? Where's the option for "I boot 5 OS on my computer"? :)

Quadruple  boot
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#11 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:49 PM

With these DW polls, I generally don't pay much attention to the poll results -- especially because too often there's no voting choice that suits me -- but I like to check out the comments that the polls generate. Some interesting comments this week. Lots of different ways of doing things, and for lots of different reasons. While I sometimes run Linux "live" from flash drives, I hadn't thought much about installing to an SD card, or to microSD -- a few posters mentioned doing that. Might look into something like that for this one problematic notebook I have.

#12 OFFLINE   abarbarian

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 04:11 AM

View Postsunrat, on 23 April 2018 - 07:08 PM, said:

"Dual boot"? Where's the option for "I boot 5 OS on my computer"? :)

You reminded me that I have triple booted on my main pc. Albeeit with a Live usb os that was running REfind as its boot loader. :yes:
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#13 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 24 April 2018 - 07:21 PM

HA! I remember the days when I was booting 18 or so Linux operating systems and one Windows on my system. ;)

#14 OFFLINE   Dr. J

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 06:39 AM

I'm a VM guy too... My three laptops all have a single Linux distro installed on bare metal, while my main work laptop also has Windows 10 in Virtualbox since I do need it maybe twice a year... At least with a VM I can backup the entire virtual hard disk to an external drive, and just nuke the darn thing from orbit if it starts to misbehave.

Edited by Dr. J, 26 April 2018 - 06:40 AM.

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#15 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 07:56 AM

View PostDr. J, on 26 April 2018 - 06:39 AM, said:

I'm a VM guy too... My three laptops all have a single Linux distro installed on bare metal, while my main work laptop also has Windows 10 in Virtualbox since I do need it maybe twice a year... At least with a VM I can backup the entire virtual hard disk to an external drive, and just nuke the darn thing from orbit if it starts to misbehave.

I setup my daughter's college laptop this way, with Win7.  She's pretty tech-savvy, but something got corrupted during a required installation of Adobe CS during her freshman year; the Win7 VM would boot, but then just froze in place.  It would have been very frustrating to troubleshoot and/or repair.  Fortunately, we had a Win7 VM on her backup drive (yay, LuckyBackups!).  We nuked her corrupted VM, copied over the backup VM, and booted into her freshly re-installed Win7 VM in about 15 minutes...and about 13-14 of those minutes were just waiting for the computer to finish its copy/paste sequence.

How many troubleshooting/repairing hours did we save?  MANY!  The time spent on the initial setup of that VM, and creation of a backup VM, paid off many times over in that scenario!

#16 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 08:53 AM

View PostHedon James, on 26 April 2018 - 07:56 AM, said:

View PostDr. J, on 26 April 2018 - 06:39 AM, said:

I'm a VM guy too... My three laptops all have a single Linux distro installed on bare metal, while my main work laptop also has Windows 10 in Virtualbox since I do need it maybe twice a year... At least with a VM I can backup the entire virtual hard disk to an external drive, and just nuke the darn thing from orbit if it starts to misbehave.

I setup my daughter's college laptop this way, with Win7.  She's pretty tech-savvy, but something got corrupted during a required installation of Adobe CS during her freshman year; the Win7 VM would boot, but then just froze in place.  It would have been very frustrating to troubleshoot and/or repair.  Fortunately, we had a Win7 VM on her backup drive (yay, LuckyBackups!).  We nuked her corrupted VM, copied over the backup VM, and booted into her freshly re-installed Win7 VM in about 15 minutes...and about 13-14 of those minutes were just waiting for the computer to finish its copy/paste sequence.

How many troubleshooting/repairing hours did we save?  MANY!  The time spent on the initial setup of that VM, and creation of a backup VM, paid off many times over in that scenario!

Very nice :thumbsup:
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#17 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 09:04 AM

I wouldn't mind setting up a Windows VM but I don't have a freestanding Windows 10 license - not even Windows 7. All I have is the OEM versions running on a couple of machines.
Of course, I have some old ex-Windows machines which probably have Windows 7 OEM licenses but I don't want to set one of those up on a Linux VM that didn't run Windows originally. :pirate:
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#18 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 10:28 AM

View Postraymac46, on 26 April 2018 - 09:04 AM, said:

I wouldn't mind setting up a Windows VM but I don't have a freestanding Windows 10 license - not even Windows 7. All I have is the OEM versions running on a couple of machines.
Of course, I have some old ex-Windows machines which probably have Windows 7 OEM licenses but I don't want to set one of those up on a Linux VM that didn't run Windows originally. :pirate:

BTW, the windows 7 key will activate Windows 10 and you can get the Win10 ISO straight from microsoft.com for free.
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#19 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 12:21 PM

Wish I had a good Win 7 key. :(

#20 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 09:21 AM

OK I did try it. Downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, and the old Windows 7 key did work to activate it in VirtualBox. Adding in the Guest Additions was very easy so I have a full screen.
I doubt I will use it much though. You still have all the same security issues and I much prefer Linux on this machine. Proof of concept.
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#21 OFFLINE   securitybreach

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 11:02 AM

View Postraymac46, on 27 April 2018 - 09:21 AM, said:

OK I did try it. Downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, and the old Windows 7 key did work to activate it in VirtualBox. Adding in the Guest Additions was very easy so I have a full screen.
I doubt I will use it much though. You still have all the same security issues and I much prefer Linux on this machine. Proof of concept.

Which version of 10 did you download as it works fine with the Windows 10 Insider Previews: https://www.microsof...siderpreviewiso

You just need an account. It's free if you do not have one.
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"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain." -George Orwell, 1984

#22 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 02:49 PM

View Postraymac46, on 27 April 2018 - 09:21 AM, said:

OK I did try it. Downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, and the old Windows 7 key did work to activate it in VirtualBox. Adding in the Guest Additions was very easy so I have a full screen.
I doubt I will use it much though. You still have all the same security issues and I much prefer Linux on this machine. Proof of concept.

Agreed.  But backup that VM and if there's ever a corruption, you can restore the VM faster than you can troubleshoot and repair, FWIW.  I MUCH prefer Linux, but there are times when I simply must use a Windows program...I don't have a choice.  (for instance, Quickbooks Pro, at the insistence of my accountant).  It's kinda nice to click on a VM icon, just like any other software program, and have QB Pro pop open in seamless mode, as if it was a native program.  Best of both worlds, IMO, with very little additional downside.  FWIW...

#23 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 07:54 PM

View Postsecuritybreach, on 27 April 2018 - 11:02 AM, said:

View Postraymac46, on 27 April 2018 - 09:21 AM, said:

OK I did try it. Downloaded the Windows 10 ISO, and the old Windows 7 key did work to activate it in VirtualBox. Adding in the Guest Additions was very easy so I have a full screen.
I doubt I will use it much though. You still have all the same security issues and I much prefer Linux on this machine. Proof of concept.

Which version of 10 did you download as it works fine with the Windows 10 Insider Previews: https://www.microsof...siderpreviewiso

You just need an account. It's free if you do not have one.
I just downloaded Windows 10 Home from Microsoft servers. The old PC which had Windows 7 originally was the home edition.

This download tool works great.

https://www.heidoc.n...o-download-tool

Edited by raymac46, 27 April 2018 - 08:08 PM.

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#24 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 27 April 2018 - 07:59 PM

So many people in my neighborhood run Windows that I feel rather obligated to have a copy running on the rails. I only support Windows 10 now.
So now I have a Windows host with a Linux guest and a Linux host with a Windows guest. That covers most of the bases I suppose.
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#25 OFFLINE   saturnian

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Posted 30 April 2018 - 11:08 PM

Set up an all-Linux dual-boot on a UEFI/GPT system, my first time doing this instead of with MBR, adding Kubuntu 18.04 on a computer that was already running Stretch. I was able to install Kubuntu without installing grub by booting into the live session (clicking on the "Try Kubuntu" button), opening up a terminal, and running ubiquity --no-bootloader. With that option, the installer doesn't install the boot loader.

In Stretch, I created /etc/grub.d/11_kubuntu_sda5_custom:

#!/bin/sh -e
echo "Adding Kubuntu on sda5"
cat << EOF
menuentry "Kubuntu 18.04 (on /dev/sda5)" --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os {
	set root=(hd0,gpt5)
		linux /vmlinuz root=/dev/sda5 ro
		initrd /initrd.img
}
EOF

Made the file executable, made 30_os-prober non-executable, ran update-grub, rebooted. This actually worked (yes, I was kinda surprised that it worked!). Old dogs really can learn new tricks, sometimes.




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