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Dual Boot or Virtual OS?

Is it better to have a dual boot system - i.e. Win XP and Linux.

Or running Linux virtually on Windows XP, as in using 'Virtual PC for Windows' from Connectix?

I mainly used windows for both software development work and personal stuff. I am starting to use Linux and will eventually have a database running together with Eclipse.

Ram Dass
Sunday, September 21, 2003

All together now:  "It depends!"

Do you want free?  Go dual-boot.  Do you want to be able to access one system from the other without having to close everything down and reboot, possibly forgetting to select the OS you meant to boot into?  Assuming you've got a beefy enough PC, buy VMWare.  (=

Sam Livingston-Gray
Sunday, September 21, 2003

Third solution - buy a computer to run Linux on. Either get a used one or one of the cheap one that are out there (like at

With two computers you'll always have instant and complete access to both environments and, with a network, have access to files from both systems.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

While I love VMware, I also see the logic in getting one of those $200 PCs with Lindows pre-loaded on it.

The score changes for MSDN users, since Virtual PC is now an MSDN Universal download.

Brad Wilson (
Sunday, September 21, 2003

I prefer 2(three.. no, five, five!..:)) OS..

Essentually, it's just a question of time, when you reboot from one to another. But, if i test some code under Win2k & WinNT, for example,  i want  to be sure does it works under real OS, not some smart application

Monday, September 22, 2003

Buy another computer (even a $200 one from Walmart, or find a Pentium-200 no one has any more use for). Install Debian, Red-Hat, Mandrake or FreeBSD on it (yes, FreeBSD is not linux, but it should be the same if not better for you unless you need the latest-and-greatest hardware support).

On your XP box, download and install Cygwin from [ ]. Make sure you get openssh and the X packages installed. You can use the Linux desktop remotely through X.

Or, if you can afford it, treat the linux to a full-fledged workstation. It's just that a properly configured Linux/FreeBSD box requires much less resources than a properly configured WinXP box.

Ori Berger
Monday, September 22, 2003

There are people who strong back the idea of multiple boxes with a kb/mouse/monitor switch helping the whole arrangement share a single control station. And there are people who are crazy in love that you can drag and drop a virtual PC by just moving a VMWare file. You'll probably use a combination of both depending on your needs.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, September 24, 2003

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