Virtual Machine vs. Dual Boot

Randi Poling

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Feb 19, 2014
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Hello everyone! What is everyones opinion on using a Virtual machine vs dual booting? I am curious because I have a spare 120GB SSD laying around that I thought about putting Windows 7 and Ubuntu 17.04 on to play around with (Windows 7 for HALO 2). I will go ahead and give out my specs just incase someone is curious as to what I am working with.

EVGA P55SLI MoBo
Core i7 - 860 @ 2.8GHz
Corsair XMS3 DDR3 - 20GB
EVGA Gefroce 770GTX SC ACX Cooler
will be a 120GB ssd of some brand I forgot -_-
 
You only need to dual boot if you need maximum performance (e.g. 3D games), you have programs which need direct access to hardware (e.g. a USB dongle that contains a program license, though sometimes even those work in a VM), or you don't have enough RAM to rum VMs well (about 8GB minimum, 12GB is more comfortable).

For just about anything else, a VM is a better option. Mainly because you can create a snapshot and revert to it if something stops working or something goes wrong (e.g. you get a virus infection). VMs also allow you to keep info displayed on your computer between reboots. e.g. You're trying to follow some website instructions on configuring Linux and need to reboot. You can simply keep the website up in a browser on your host, while the VM reboots. Or even the other way - keep the website up in a browser in the VM, pause the VM, reboot the host, restart the VM and your VM desktop is back just like before the reboot.
 

Randi Poling

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Feb 19, 2014
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Do you guys have any input on which VMware is better than another? Haven't messed with VM software in a while... I have virtual box now but was looking at the VMware player?
 
I like VMWare Workstation best, but it's rather expensive. VMWare Player is their free product. While it's useful for compatibility with VMWare Workstation VMs, Virtualbox has more features than Player (e.g. multiple snapshots).

The issue I had with Virtualbox was that it was way too easy to lose synchronization between the GUI and files on disk if the host crashed. You could end up with ghost VM files in the GUI which you couldn't delete even though the VM had already been deleted. Or worse yet a VM which is missing from the GUI even though all the files are on disk. And you have to go through a painful process of figuring out virtual hard drive ID numbers and manually typing them into the GUI to get it back in sync. VMWare usually pops up a dialog asking if you copied or moved the VM, and does all that for you.

I haven't tried Microsoft Hyper-V.
 

captaincharisma

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Oct 13, 2004
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i have been using virtual machines for years and never ran into problems like those. although i have been using nothing but vmware player all this time

i haven't used virtual box so it may have more features then the free vmware player but vmware is a more mature product

 
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