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Should I use dual boot or use a virtual machine?

I am building a PC for myself and I was wondering if I should dual boot Windows and Ubuntu or use Windows as my primary os and have an Ubuntu virtual machine ?

 

PS: I am not going to be playing any games soon but I like coding and programming so keep that in mind.

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Just now, geobasinas said:

I am building a PC for myself and I was wondering if I should dual boot Windows and Ubuntu or use Windows as my primary os and have an Ubuntu virtual machine ?

 

PS: I am not going to be playing any games soon but I like coding and programming so keep that in mind.

Dual boot should be just fine.

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They have pros and cons. A dual boot will have more performance available to Ubuntu, the VM will be a lot more convenient, more reliable, and be more storage efficient. If you can do what you need to do within the constraints of a VM (no GPU acceleration or compute, limited memory and CPU access, etc.) I would aim for the VM. I'd only do a dual boot if you need to.

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If you dont know have a reason to use duel boot or dont know a specific reason why you would need duel boot and just want to experiment with coding/playing around with linux I'd suggest a VM. Its much easier to set up and it affords you the opportunity to switch distros very quickly if you find you want to try linux Mint for example or something similar. It's also lets you not really care about fucking around with certain files because you can just delete the VM and spin up a new one if you break something which is a bit more of a hassle if you're running duel boot. 

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Dual boot. VM performance sucks and the setup is complicated. You're not really escaping the grasp of Microsoft if you're using Ubuntu in a VM anyway.

Since you're building the PC, I highly recommend having each OS on its own drive because it'll make things 10x easier since your BIOS controls which OS to boot into, no fooling around with configuring boot loaders. 

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41 minutes ago, geobasinas said:

I am building a PC for myself and I was wondering if I should dual boot Windows and Ubuntu or use Windows as my primary os and have an Ubuntu virtual machine ?

 

PS: I am not going to be playing any games soon but I like coding and programming so keep that in mind.

Depends on your specs. If you have the means to do so, I'd virtualize Windows personally, but that's just me. It's more convenient not having to deal with bootloaders and partitioning, you control every aspect of Windows and can nuke it easily if something goes wrong, the privacy perks are there, and it's a good learning experience. 

 

However on weaker hardware, dual booting is more practical because since you're just booting into Windows bare metal it can take full advantage of the weaker hardware you might have. One thing to add is if you want to mess around with GPU passthrough tools and creating a VM for productivity or gaming, you're gonna need an IGPU for Linux. 

 

Let me know what your system looks like and I can tell you if you should do either, I did a similar setup myself recently.

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1 hour ago, geobasinas said:

I am building a PC for myself and I was wondering if I should dual boot Windows and Ubuntu or use Windows as my primary os and have an Ubuntu virtual machine ?

 

PS: I am not going to be playing any games soon but I like coding and programming so keep that in mind.

I'll bring another idea. WSL2

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows you to install with a mouse click Ubuntu, and other distros. 

And you are ready to install your development tools and get started with your software development. Many popular IDEs also integrated with WSL, allowing you to run them natively on your OS, and interact with your projects stored in the WSL environment. With WSLg of Windows 11, you can even install your IDE in your Linux environment and run it from there ("g" in WSLg, stands for GUI support (this includes audio, and GPU acceleration (special WSL GPU drivers needs to be installed, see Nvidia/AMD/Intel website for the latest drivers. Yes, it does support TensorFlow and CUDA (in the case of Nvidia).

 

In the workspace, I see an increase in developers choosing that path over VM. Native installation of a Linux distro is less of an option as IT companies can't support this system properly. 

 

I invite you to read on WSL, it is cool technology that Microsoft has developed. It kick-ass, and Microsoft is actively improving it, and it is joy to use via Microsoft open sourced, new WIndows Terminal (included in Windows 11).

 

But essentially, just in the case you read things online)

  • WSL1: This is Windows doing a translation between Windows and Linux. It has limitations (can't do Docker, for example), but less demand on system resources. Great for those who mostly use Windows but want to toy with Linux.
  • WSL2 (default since recent Windows 10 versions and newer): Runs the Linux kernel and environment in Hyper-V and has out of the box integration with Windows. Can run Windows applications from, say, Ubuntu, and have ease of access of files, and networking.
  • WSLg is an extension to WSL2 adding, as mentioned: GUI support, audio support and GPU acceleration.

 

Typically, when "WSL" is referred, you can assume WSL2 on recent articles.

 

The cool thing with WSL is that you don't need to switch between environments, and you don't need to deal with a VM stuck in a VM world and break your head with folder sharing to pass data between OSs. In addition, running on Hyper-V, a Type 1 hypervisor, means you have far better performance running your Linux based programs. Virtual Box or VMWare are Type 2 hypervisors, and so sits on top of your current OS, and so is far away from the hardware, preventing in accessing most of hardware performance.

 

Have a look and try it out, is all I can say. You lose nothing.

 

  1. Install instructions (assuming Win11):
    Check those boxes, hit OK (components will be installed, system would need to restart to finish install):
    1906565904_Screenshot2022-07-03143141.png.8233188f17072642ecf2143f40e4acf5.png
     
  2. Update the kernel: Open Windows Terminal, (Commands Prompt or PowerShell environment, it doesn't matter for this), type and execute:
    😕> wsl --update
     
  3. Open Store, look for Ubuntu, pick it (you can pick the latest version as it comes out, or specific version, like 22.04 LTS), install it, and run it:
    image.thumb.png.1028c6d15a289a9f492fde0f788a073c.png
     
  4. Follow Ubuntu wizard and enjoy!

 

I can assure you it runs fine on a Core i7 930 with 6GB of RAM (personally tested it), so despite the CPU massive age and limited RAM, you can quickly see how it is less demanding on system resources over a VM.

 

Hope this helps.

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8 minutes ago, GoodBytes said:

I'll bring another idea. WSL2

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows you to install with a mouse click Ubuntu, and other distros. 

And you are ready to install your development tools and get started with your software development. Many popular IDEs also integrated with WSL, allowing you to run them natively on your OS, and interact with your projects stored in the WSL environment. With WSLg of Windows 11, you can even install your IDE in your Linux environment and run it from there ("g" in WSLg, stands for GUI support (this includes audio, and GPU acceleration (special WSL GPU drivers needs to be installed, see Nvidia/AMD/Intel website for the latest drivers. Yes, it does support TensorFlow and CUDA (in the case of Nvidia).

 

In the workspace, I see an increase in developers choosing that path over VM. Native installation of a Linux distro is less of an option as IT companies can't support this system properly. 

 

I invite you to read on WSL, it is cool technology that Microsoft has developed. It kick-ass, and Microsoft is actively improving it, and it is joy to use via Microsoft open sourced, new WIndows Terminal (included in Windows 11).

 

But essentially:

  • WSL1: This is Windows doing a translation. It has limitations on costs (can't do Docker, for example), but less demand on system resources. Great for those who mostly use Windows but want to toy with Linux.
  • WSL2 (default since recent Windows 10 versions and newer): Runs the Linux kernel and environment in Hyper-V and has out of the box integration with Windows. Can run Windows applications from, say, Ubuntu, and have ease of access of files, and networking.
  • WSLg is an extension to WSL2 adding, as mentioned: GUI support, audio support and GPU acceleration.

 

The cool thing with WSL is that you need to switch between environments, and you don't need to deal with a VM stuck in a VM world and break your head with folder sharing to pass data between OSs. In addition, running on Hyper-V, a Type 1 hypervisor, means you have far better performance running your Linux based programs. Virtual Box or VMWare are Type 2 hypervisors, and so sits on top of your current OS, and so is far away from the hardware, preventing in accessing most of hardware performance.

 

Have a look and try it out, is all I can say. You lose nothing.

 

  1. Install instructions (assuming Win11):
    Check those boxes, hit OK (components will be installed, system would need to restart to finish install):
    1906565904_Screenshot2022-07-03143141.png.8233188f17072642ecf2143f40e4acf5.png
     
  2. Update the kernel: Open Windows Terminal, under Commands Prompt or PowerShell (doesn't natter for this), type and execute:
    > wsl --update
     
  3. Open Store, look for Ubuntu, pick it (you can pick the latest version as it comes out, or specific version, like 22.04 LTS), install it, and run it:
    image.thumb.png.1028c6d15a289a9f492fde0f788a073c.png
     
  4. Follow Ubuntu wizard and enjoy!

 

I can assure you it runs fine on a Core i7 930 with 6GB of RAM (personally tested it), so despite the CPU massive age, and limited RAM, you can quickly see how it is less demanding on system resources over a VM.

 

Hope this helps.

Beat me to it, and I’m MUCH more detail then I was planning to provide. 

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13 minutes ago, bluesummer said:

Depends on your specs. If you have the means to do so, I'd virtualize Windows personally, but that's just me. It's more convenient not having to deal with bootloaders and partitioning, you control every aspect of Windows and can nuke it easily if something goes wrong, the privacy perks are there, and it's a good learning experience. 

 

However on weaker hardware, dual booting is more practical because since you're just booting into Windows bare metal it can take full advantage of the weaker hardware you might have. One thing to add is if you want to mess around with GPU passthrough tools and creating a VM for productivity or gaming, you're gonna need an IGPU for Linux. 

 

Let me know what your system looks like and I can tell you if you should do either, I did a similar setup myself recently.

My machine has the following:

Asus ROG strix x570-e gaming

Ryzen 7 3700x

16gb ram

500gb mw nvme and 1tb normal  hdd

rtx 3060ti

 

 

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Just now, geobasinas said:

My machine has the following:

Asus ROG strix x570-e gaming

Ryzen 7 3700x

16gb ram

500gb mw nvme and 1tb normal  hdd

rtx 3060ti

 

 

I'd say virtualize, should work pretty well based on your specs. 

 

Just make sure you give it the specs it needs, Ubuntu is pretty lightweight so don't be afraid to give the VM some extra power, Windows 10 is very resource hungry.

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