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Mint Vs Ubuntu Vs Fedora Vs Debian Vs Opensuse Vs Others


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I am kinda ashamed to ask such a noob question, but here goes:

 

How do I protect a Linux installation (more specifically, the boot sector) when playing Windows 10 onto the same HD in the same box? How do I prevent Windows from shooting my boot sector to shit? Windows always thinks it is all that and the user won't need anything else and you cannot boot Linux after playing Windows onto a Linux box...

I always did it the way around and saw that Linux preserves the box' ability to launch Windows, but now I have no choice but to put Windows onto a Linux machine for my wife.

 

Keep in mind that dual-booting is now a fallback choice for most folks wanting to run two OSes on one box. The preferred choice, IMHO, is to run the secondary OS as a virtual machine. To wit:

 

1> do a clean install of Win10 onto the system drive;

2> install the WinXX version of the Oracle Virtualbox application;

3> download your preferred Linux installation ISO file to your Windows box;

4> create a Linux VM using VirtualBox.

 

Your wife can boot up into Win10 and be happy (after the day's 200MB update downloads and installs). You can boot up into Win10, launch VirtualBox, start your Linux VM, go full screen, and be happy.

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I go the other way, linux as the host OS and windows as the Guest. Except that I hardly ever fire up my windows VM anymore.

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It only wants to install the 32 bit versions.... I can't handle running 32 bit on my 64 bit machine. So far it seems that on the Oracle forums the answer is "look for it, RTFM, and play around to see if you can get it to work". Not helpful.

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For virtualization I use VMWare. It costs a noticeable amount, but they are an order of magnitude more complete a solution than any of their competitors. Of course, I also work with VMWare professionally and at great scale, so using it at home is the obvious choice for me.

 

 

Free means you pay for it with time. I would prefer to throw $200 at VMWare Workstation and be done.

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How much is the performance loss when running a VM compared to a "native" boot? (Just in case I decide to play some hardware-hungry games...)

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It only wants to install the 32 bit versions.... I can't handle running 32 bit on my 64 bit machine. So far it seems that on the Oracle forums the answer is "look for it, RTFM, and play around to see if you can get it to work". Not helpful.

 

That usually means that virtualization is disabled in the BIOS. Boot into the BIOS setup program, look under one of the tabs like "Advanced", and look for virtualization. Enable, reboot, and you probably will be able to create a VM with a 64-bit OS.

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For virtualization I use VMWare. It costs a noticeable amount, but they are an order of magnitude more complete a solution than any of their competitors. Of course, I also work with VMWare professionally and at great scale, so using it at home is the obvious choice for me.

 

 

Free means you pay for it with time. I would prefer to throw $200 at VMWare Workstation and be done.

 

VirtualBox is pretty good for amateur/lab use. I guess my license for Workstation 10 is still valid, but I haven't messed with it for several years. I was gonna take an online VMware ICM class to renew my VCP, but having enrollment issues. I'm hoping that VMware Academy students still get a WS license.

 

Hyper-V, now that is a horse apple of a different color...

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How much is the performance loss when running a VM compared to a "native" boot? (Just in case I decide to play some hardware-hungry games...)

 

Can't speak to gaming, but for regular number-crunching desktop virtualization is pretty smooth. I'm skeptical that the video pass-through will make you happy, though.

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Gaming on a VM is very iffy. Depends highly on the game. I mostly play games that also have linux editions. I probably am going to build a Windows Gaming PC in the not too distant future (hahahaha, yeah, right, not with an infant sucking up all my free time and resources) so I can play the windows games too. But then my home computer setup is more complex than some workplace computer setups (how many homes are running rack-mounted ESX servers and network storage arrays, have DMZs, Jira, Confluence, and LDAP/AD domains?).

 

I am *not* normal when it comes to computer use. Never have been.

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Ok, I managed to get Virtual box to see Linux Mint 64. I am attempting to get things up and running. I am so glad I installed 32 gb of Ram in the machine. I gave it 12 gb of RAM, so let's see how it works.

 

Works fine, it just cannot see any USB drives.

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Works fine, it just cannot see any USB drives.

 

There's a pulldown menu item for connecting a physical USB drive to the VM, IIRC in the VM's window you would hit the Devices pulldown and select the appropriate choice.

 

No guarantee that a particular device or driver will work in pass-thru.

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Thanks for the tips everyone. I went the old school dual boot way, started my Xubuntu live disk and the boot repair tool easily to find in the link RickardN posted (with GUI, so a real breeze). Went totally smooth.

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I am tempted to do that, it works ok in Virtual box, but it just does not feel the same. But this build was so painful, I am going to stay with VB for now.

Thanks for the tips everyone. I went the old school dual boot way, started my Xubuntu live disk and the boot repair tool easily to find in the link RickardN posted (with GUI, so a real breeze). Went totally smooth.

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Well, back in the day of the boot diskettes I used to put a partition manager on one, and kept the partition I wanted to protect hidden and made the one to be active...active. Dunno if it would work today, surely the boot sector doesn't work like that anymore?..

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Well, back in the day of the boot diskettes I used to put a partition manager on one, and kept the partition I wanted to protect hidden and made the one to be active...active. Dunno if it would work today, surely the boot sector doesn't work like that anymore?..

The boot sector has changed quite a bit with the advent of UEFI, but what you describe still works. Today you would use a USB thumbdrive rather than a floppy, but the principle is the same.

 

I don't know about other distributions, but during installation Slackware offers to make a thumbdrive "rescue boot drive" for you. In days of yore it would offer to make a "rescue boot floppy" and just slotted in the newer technology.

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Well, back in the day of the boot diskettes I used to put a partition manager on one, and kept the partition I wanted to protect hidden and made the one to be active...active. Dunno if it would work today, surely the boot sector doesn't work like that anymore?..

The boot sector has changed quite a bit with the advent of UEFI, but what you describe still works. Today you would use a USB thumbdrive rather than a floppy, but the principle is the same.

 

I don't know about other distributions, but during installation Slackware offers to make a thumbdrive "rescue boot drive" for you. In days of yore it would offer to make a "rescue boot floppy" and just slotted in the newer technology.

 

Thanks, cool to know. At least if one doesn't re-boot from one system to the other too often, this could also be a method.

 

Murph, read that above? :)

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  • 1 month later...

Man, I miss my linux laptop, I am using the Mac right now, and I really just do not like it. I think it is the o/s rather than the computer, I like the hardware of this laptop. Maybe I can install Mint 18.3 on the Mac in lieu of the Mac o/s!

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Cool, I am not sure how to do this, but it will be fun researching.

 

 

 

 

 

Well, back in the day of the boot diskettes I used to put a partition manager on one, and kept the partition I wanted to protect hidden and made the one to be active...active. Dunno if it would work today, surely the boot sector doesn't work like that anymore?..

 

The boot sector has changed quite a bit with the advent of UEFI, but what you describe still works. Today you would use a USB thumbdrive rather than a floppy, but the principle is the same.

I don't know about other distributions, but during installation Slackware offers to make a thumbdrive "rescue boot drive" for you. In days of yore it would offer to make a "rescue boot floppy" and just slotted in the newer technology.

Thanks, cool to know. At least if one doesn't re-boot from one system to the other too often, this could also be a method.

 

Murph, read that above? :)

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  • 1 month later...

I just wish certain apps worked in Mint. Games, mostly. It irks me that I have to boot into windows for one or two things every so often.

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I am loving this system. HTOP shows really good resource usage, and the battery life is great. Linux is just so efficient, my only little quibble is that the fonts are less polished than Winders or O/S X from Apple. I could use Linux as a main operating system on all my computers if I did not need certain programs such as photoshop. Boot times are fast, and things seem really stable. I have had not glitches. The main issue is the inability to turn off the track pad while typing which sometimes causes issues.

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I saw today that the newly released WINE 3.0 supposedly has Photoshop as a Gold Rated windows app... e.g. it should work just fine.

 

In general, WINE has been more miss than hit, but there are some things that it hits out of the park. May be worth a try to get away from the M$ stranglehold for good.

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