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So I have dual boot machine with windows 7 and ubuntu 11. I would like to, at times, run a vm from one partition to another. For example sometimes I would like to do certain things in windows while still using ubuntu. At other times, perhaps the opposite would be more effective. Why? Well running a vm is fairly resource intensive, and depending on what I am doing primarily I would rather be in one operating system vs the other, or perhaps it is just convenient.

An important consideration is that you should NOT need to "copy" or "duplicate" the partition in any way. The VM should just read the partition as if it were a standard image.

Any ideas? I am using virtual box currently. I have also used virtual pc. I could probably get a copy of vmware workstation if needed.

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It seems to be possible according to this answer, but it requires some command-line tools. – Ryan Nov 28 '11 at 8:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I had this on my previous box, so yes it's possible, and yes it ran without any problems, and it was not even that hard. The link in Ryan's answer should do the trick, or search google for "virtual box raw disk linux" should give enough info. See here for example

I remember I had two seperate boot configurations for linux to differentiate between running in a VM and running 'real', as some hardware differs. I only tried running linux in a VM in windows though, the other way around might be harder. However when I had a Mac I did use the other way around with Parallels instead of VirtualBox so Windows does work in raw disk VM modes. Basically there was a dual-boot config with Windows and Os-X. Under OsX I let Parallels access the Windows partition in raw mode and that was just fine. Again, it did need a different hardware profile as well.

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The VM should just read the partition as if it were a standard image.

Should but pretty sure they don't, not without breaking your dual boot anyway.

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