Jump to content
Scot's Newsletter Forums
saturnian

distrowatch poll -- dual booting versus virtual machines

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.net/joomla/technology-science/microsoft/67-microsoft-windows-iso-download-tool

Edited by raymac46

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...