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I want to have several operating systems on one computer, but I want to do it in the most effective way.

So far, I have been using VirtualBox - host os + several virtual machines. But I want every os to be able to get the most from my hardware.

I thought about something like this:

  • during startup I am able to choose what system I want to run
  • when the system is loaded, I am able to run another system (and more) and I can switch between them with one click.
  • all systems are able to access all files on the disk.

Is it possible to achieve?

If not, what is the closest possible solution? If yes, where should I start?

EDIT :

And if that's possible, why is it so unpopular (for desktops)? What are disadvantages of such solution?

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Please have a read about virtualization technologies. You can have a look at Hyper-V, ESXi, Xen and similar stuff. But that's in case you have virtualization support on your hardware –  Ashtray Aug 6 '13 at 7:08
    
Anyway, keep on mind that you cannot change the main OS running on a computer without a reboot. –  Levans Aug 6 '13 at 7:09
    
@Alex Thanks, I'll check it out –  Testeross Aug 6 '13 at 7:10
    
@Levans I am aware of that, that's fine. –  Testeross Aug 6 '13 at 7:11
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Sounds like what you need is a hypervisor. The key difference from a regular VM tool (like VirtualBox) is that a hypervisor can run directly on the hardware, so you eliminate the "host OS", and can run the "guest OSes" directly on the hardware, which drastically improves performance. –  nhinkle Aug 6 '13 at 7:35

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