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swapping linux flavors?

(5 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by beyondhuman
  • Latest reply from whs
  • Topic Viewed 1095 times

beyondhuman
Posts: 12

I have decided to take vista off my laptop and dual boot xp and linux. Mostly to get some experience with linux as i have been noticing 9 out of 10 times the non-microsoft version of something is better.

Question is:

How difficult is it to uninstall one type of linux and reinstall another so that I am able to fully experience several types?
I would like to keep my xp on one parition and swap around linux flavors on the other.
is this reasonable or would it be messy having problems with not fully uninstalling or needing to also remove xp for the reinstall or messing up xp?

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Why don't you make life easy for yourself. Install Virtual Box in Vista (XP as host is also possible) where you can run as many operating systems as you want - always 1 in parallel to the host with very little performance impact. It is the ultimate. Right now I am answering you with my Windows7 virtual machine, but with 1 click I can operate in my Vista host machine. Any other solution is a lot more complex and will give you a lot of headaches. Installing Virtual Box and defining a virtual partition takes 15 minutes. Installing e.g. Windows7 took 35 minutes and I was up and operational. You could install 3 different operating system each day - lol. If you need more details, let me know.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
ScottW
Posts: 6609

beyondhuman, the Virtual Machine (VM) scenario that whs outlines is certainly very compelling for what you describe. You could install every flavor of Linux that you want to sample among and switch among them (one running at a time). That would certainly be useful for comparing application performance. Boot the Fedora VM and run, e.g., Firefox. Then close Fedora and boot the Ubuntu VM, run Firefox again to the same sites and see which Linux gives you better performance.

Dual booting XP and various Linux flavors would be difficult. To dual boot, you need a bootloader that can handle multiple OSes. The XP bootloader can't and while GRUB can dual boot, not every distro uses the same GRUB and some don't use GRUB at all. It could get very messy.

Posted 5 years ago
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beyondhuman
Posts: 12

Thanks for your help

Do you know what sort of impact would this set-up have on resource use and performance?

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
whs
Posts: 17584

Very little performance impact once superfetch has been able to make it's setup - especially for the host after you started the virtual partition. That is one reason I leave the virtual partition up all day because once it settled down (10 to 15 minutes), everything runs as normally. And the more RAM you have, the better. I am running on 3GB of RAM. Allocate your RAM 50/50 between the host and the virtual partition - you'll see, it's easy. Disk space is allocated on an "as required" basis. I would give each virtual partition 10 to 20GBs - as upper limit (depending what you intend to run). But this will only be mapped to your real disk as you start populating it. E.g. before I installed Windows7, the disk usage of the virtual partition was quasi null. But once I installed it, it grabbed, of course, the 6GBs it needed for W7.

Posted 5 years ago
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