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I have Windows 7 and Ubuntu installed on my local PC.

They're both installed on separate partitions on the same machine, and when the computer boots up the user is given the option to choose which one they want to boot use as the OS.

This all works fine, but I want to use Windows 7 instead of Ubuntu, I am required to restart the computer and boot up the other OS.

Is is possible to use an "inline" tool that will allow to change between both OSs as if they were windows in Windows 7? Which tool would that be? Does anyone know of anything else than Parallels? Also are there any free tools that would do this?.

Many Thanks.

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migrated from Jun 15 '10 at 0:33

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

I have used both windows and linux for many years. Although I do love having two systems, one for windows and one for linux this often isn't possible for people. On systems that i need to have windows on such as my gaming pc i use either VMWare or Sun VirtualBox to run a Linux virtual machine.

I keep the host system on these machines as windows so that I'm always ready to fire up my game/windows only applications.

This could be a good solution it's quick and easy, allowing you to start up Linux like any other application on your system without needing a reboot.

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VirtualBox is awesome. – nathanvda Jun 14 '10 at 18:37
Plus, Linux in general requires less resources than Windows and therefore should be the VM (rather than vice versa). – Sam Pearson Jun 14 '10 at 18:38
I long for the day of real linux gaming :) – gruntled Jun 14 '10 at 18:39

Use VMWare as a solution for this. Select your primary OS and then load secondary OS as virtual image.

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Besides virtualization, you might want to look into the more exotic Cooperative Linux. This allows you to essentially run Linux as a privileged Windows application. See Colinux and Ubuntu Linux in particular.

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