Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 22:25 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes In this series of OS News articles, I've described how to refurbish mature computers. One useful technique is to run multiple operating systems on a single computer. This retains the benefits of the existing Windows install and couples it with the advantages of open source software. This article explores different techniques to run multiple operating systems on one computer and discusses their benefits and shortcomings.
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Comment by darai
by Darai on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 22:38 UTC
Darai
Member since:
2009-09-09

This has been one thing I've been doing for years. To me, it's always a good idea to have at least two OSes on machine, because you never know what might happen to cause an OS to go awry.

Also, good article, it was a very nice read. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by darai
by Laurence on Fri 4th Feb 2011 00:51 UTC in reply to "Comment by darai"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

This has been one thing I've been doing for years. To me, it's always a good idea to have at least two OSes on machine, because you never know what might happen to cause an OS to go awry.

I think that's a bit of a wasteful reason to dual boot as live CDs and bootable USB keys have been around for years.

Personally though, I dual boot my main laptop:
* Win7 for audio producing
* ArchLinux for everything else

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by darai
by jabbotts on Fri 4th Feb 2011 19:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by darai"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Similar hear

Desktop; 95% booted into Debian, haven't been gaming as much and nothing else Win needs that kind of direct hardware access for my needs.
- hostos Debian
- guestos WinXP Workstation
- guestos Debian Server
- guestos [various pentargets]
- guestos [various OS of interest]
- guestos [skeleton VM for booting liveCD]
- hostos WinXP
- guestos Debian

Notebook; 95% booted into Debian with Win7 for testing and exploration. Any real Win based work gets done in the winXP vm (running Outlook and connecting to the corp VPN).
- Win7 enc
- Debian enc
- WinXP enc
- Debian server development builds

Palmtop; 99% booted into Maemo4 tweaked with a factory fresh bootable partition and my older Maemo3 prior to upgrading the OS. Haven't played with Debian, ubuntu or other alternative OS on it yet.

- Maemo4 clean
- Maemo3 built out
- maemo4 built out

Actually, the one thing attractive about Apple hardware is the ability to legitimately run osX; my notebook would instantly become a triple boot; maybe even add a Backtrack bootable partition as number four.

Reply Score: 2

esata is the way
by TechGeek on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 22:39 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Personally, I use sata drive bays and esata drive bays. I have several of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817153071&cm_...

In my towers, I have usually two of these installed:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817994057

Then I kept the drives out of my old file server, since they were all sata. I can load anything on the drive I want and boot it on any machine I have. Works well for playing with different OS's. Virtualization works well also, however, I tend to be interested in the hypervisors as much as anything, so I kind of need to run a lot of things on the actual hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE: esata is the way
by bolomkxxviii on Fri 4th Feb 2011 16:40 UTC in reply to "esata is the way"
bolomkxxviii Member since:
2006-05-19

I have been using slide out drive bays for at least 10 years. I have a disk fixed in the case for my files and change out my oses (Windows/Linux/BSD/Open Solaris) as needed.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

VMs really killed that setup for me but I originally started with IDE drive boxes in the family shared computer; I was allowed to muck about provided I didn't break the family machine..

Fantastically handy to be able to just swap out a box like that though. Nice setup keeping the data drive in place also.

Reply Score: 2

Windows EXT 2/ 3 Issues.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 22:53 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

At one point I had a n issue with the windows programs that allow the reading of ext 2/3 because the ext 2/3 partitions were on LVM. That also needs to be understood by programs.

Reply Score: 2

e-co
Member since:
2006-01-03

For users of eComStation / IBM OS/2 Warp

here is the collection of reviews how to install eCS inside VMs, how to install other OSes to Virtual Machines available in eComStation -- http://en.ecomstation.ru/software/?action=vm

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

...you can install each OS on it's own disk and use your BIOS' boot menu to select what OS to boot. The upshot of this is that you don't have to worry about the different OS' clobbering each others partitions and you don't have to fiddle around with a boot manager. On the other hand, it probably doesn't look as fancy as a boot manager.

Reply Score: 2

coLinux
by Lennie on Thu 3rd Feb 2011 23:55 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Not sure if this fits the article where you mostly talk about refurbished PC's, but you can also run Linux as a Windows-process:

http://www.colinux.org/

There is also a packages version of Ubuntu where you can run the Ubuntu-desktop applications in a window on Windows:

http://www.andlinux.org/

Reply Score: 2

RE: coLinux
by Ventajou on Fri 4th Feb 2011 00:30 UTC in reply to "coLinux"
Ventajou Member since:
2006-10-31

Thanks for those links, I had never heard of those projects. Makes for something fun to play with!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: coLinux
by Lennie on Fri 4th Feb 2011 11:51 UTC in reply to "RE: coLinux"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The hardest part is setting up the networking. ;)

And some of the documentation shows the old methods and other documentation shows the new methods.

One has an XML-based configuration file to other is a much simpler and does not use XML.

Reply Score: 2

RE: coLinux
by joshv on Fri 4th Feb 2011 13:32 UTC in reply to "coLinux"
joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

Note that coLinux works with 32 bit Vista/XP/Win7 only. This shouldn't be an issue on older hardware, as there's no good reason to install a 64bit OS - but it's something to be aware of.

Apparently porting coLinux to 64bit is a non-trivial task. I've really missed coLinux the last few years.

Not sure if this fits the article where you mostly talk about refurbished PC's, but you can also run Linux as a Windows-process:

http://www.colinux.org/

There is also a packages version of Ubuntu where you can run the Ubuntu-desktop applications in a window on Windows:

http://www.andlinux.org/

Reply Score: 2

Not necessarily malware-free
by GeorgesBraque on Fri 4th Feb 2011 01:02 UTC
GeorgesBraque
Member since:
2005-07-07

"One big benefit to Live CDs is that you're guaranteed a malware-free OS."

Just for the record: If the Live CD or Live DVD image contains malware (e.g. by malicious design), then this is not the case.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not necessarily malware-free
by lemur2 on Fri 4th Feb 2011 02:28 UTC in reply to "Not necessarily malware-free"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"One big benefit to Live CDs is that you're guaranteed a malware-free OS." Just for the record: If the Live CD or Live DVD image contains malware (e.g. by malicious design), then this is not the case.


For the record: If the Live CD or Live DVD image is made from open source it can be verified. If it is verifiable by anyone and widely distributed then someone somewhere will verify it, and "blow the whistle" if they find it to contain malware (or indeed anything at all which it shouldn't).

Outcome: If the Live CD or Live DVD image is made from open source and it has been widely distributed for some time, there is a very high assurance that it does not contain malware.

Reply Score: 3

GeorgesBraque Member since:
2005-07-07

Outcome: If the Live CD or Live DVD image is made from open source and it has been widely distributed for some time, there is a very high assurance that it does not contain malware.


I whole-heartedly agree. However, "probable" and "possible" are not the same thing. Bad things happen when we assume we are safe, and malware creators bank on that.

Reply Score: 2

Don't Forget about VMware Player!
by Wemgadge on Fri 4th Feb 2011 02:24 UTC
Wemgadge
Member since:
2005-07-02

Don't forget that since Version 3 of Player, VMware Player has the same feature set as VMware Fusion and is able to create virtual machines, import Windows XP mode and more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware_Player

Disclosure: I work at VMware, but any opinions here are my own.

Reply Score: 1

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Don't forget that since Version 3 of Player, VMware Player has the same feature set as VMware Fusion and is able to create virtual machines, import Windows XP mode and more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VMware_Player

Disclosure: I work at VMware, but any opinions here are my own.


Indeed. I personally like VMware, it's pretty fast, it's got lots of usability-enchancing features, and it's stable. Not to mention that VMware Player is great for simply running another OS without all the bells and whistles of the full-blown interface of Workstation.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Make it work with Debian.

VMware really was my introduction to virtualization and is fantastic at what it does but not being able to install VMware Server 2 on Debian 5 or 6 was the deal breaker. I was on the verge of buying VM Workstation based on it shipping a working Linux native build but couldn't confirm that it would work any better with Debian. When Virtualbox delivered easy bridged network device setup the competition got me.

VMware (Server edition at least) still has the advantage of easy "boot at host startup" settings for VMs where Virtualbox prefers to run them inside a user session.

Debian is not obscure enough a distribution to not be supported though; especially if Ubuntu can be, according to the download site.

Reply Score: 2

USB thumb drives are very cheap
by unclefester on Fri 4th Feb 2011 02:49 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

USB thumb drives are now so cheap that it doesn't matter if they don't survive a huge number of write cycles.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

It depends on what data you store on them ;) Having backups for a liveUSB voids a bit the point of the whole thing, but storing a single copy of important data on flash memory is never a wise thing to do.

Edited 2011-02-04 07:06 UTC

Reply Score: 1

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

I meant they are great for cheap bootable drive. I would never use one as a critical backup drive.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You probably not. Having seen how flash memory can die after a short life without a single warning or sign of wear, I wouldn't either.

But as soon as other people start installing OSs on flash drives, using them regularily, and saving data on them, they are at risk of losing important data in a blink of the eye unless they think about backing up the thing. This is one of the reasons why I don't know how I feel about liveUSBs...

Reply Score: 1

paradigm change
by frajo on Fri 4th Feb 2011 08:27 UTC
frajo
Member since:
2007-06-29

One useful technique is to run multiple operating systems on a single computer. This retains the benefits of the existing Windows install

This should have been "of an existing Windows install".

Reply Score: 1

GRUB1 and GRUB2
by capricornus on Sat 5th Feb 2011 14:33 UTC
capricornus
Member since:
2007-11-17

menu.lst is part of GRUB1. Many OS'es have switched to GRUB2. If available, install GRUB CUNSTOMIZER. If you use Synaptic, here is what you have to do:
in terminal: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danielrichter2007/grub-customizer
then you can update using synaptic GUI or with the command: sudo apt-get-update and sudo apt-get install grub-customizer.
GOOD LUCK.

Reply Score: 1

Install on separate disk
by gbus58 on Tue 8th Feb 2011 01:25 UTC
gbus58
Member since:
2011-02-08

I too prefer to do my linux installs on a separate disk, then use the BIOS boot menu to choose the proper disk. Make sure to install the boot loader to the linux disk.
This keeps the main Windows disk un-touched.
I've had mixed success in the past modifying the windows partition and adding boot managers to the master boot record.

Reply Score: 1