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I have a Lenovo Y510p having 8GB of Ram, 4th Generation Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GeForce GT755M GDDR5 2GB, and 1TB of HDD. It has Win8 on it. I need to use Ubuntu also. So i am thinking of dual booting this system. I will use Windows for all Game Playing (Not a big fan of Wine), and C++ and C# Visual Studio Development, and Ubuntu for all other stuff, mostly pyhton scripting. However i stumbled upon this Is it better to dual-boot or run a VM? and am now confused. Should i install VM on windows and run Ubuntu on it whenever needed. I have given all my uses cases and the system specifications...I am not sure about performance of Win 8 on either of the cases...Both the use cases (games, Visual Studio on Windows 8, and Python on Ubuntu will be intensive)

Any Suggestions

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Or if you don't use Ubuntu fully as an OS but simply for programming, you could always use Cygwin –  Darius Oct 24 '13 at 12:34

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

To some extent, this is a matter of personal preference. Yet, on the objective side, you should consider the following points in favor of a VM solution:

  1. The machines can be working simultaneously, no need to shut down one in order to start up the other one;
  2. Access times much shorter: even if you have your VM off, turning it on inside host is much faster than shutting down/booting up;
  3. Ease of data sharing. Folder sharing is trivial in, for instance, VirtualBox, so that all of your data can be made simultaneously available to both systems, running concurrently. No need to worry about different filesystems;
  4. Ease of re-sizing of guest machine. If, after the initial installation, you should decide that you need more disk space, the task of re-sizing your virtual disk is trivial, as compared with the real task of re-sizing a non-empty partition;
  5. Circumvention of access restrictions in LANs where, for instance, MAC filtering is enabled; in this case, rather than registering a new pc (the solution for the dual boot) all you have to do is enable connection of the virtual machine via NAT;
  6. ease of VM control through the CLI. Basically, the whole process can be easily scripted, and even executed from remote. Try that with a dual boot.
  7. Ease of relocation. With the ova format, your VM can be easily transferre to a completely different pc, running both a different OS and a different hypervisor.

Cheers.

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@kewal lol, what did I do wrong to lose your selection? –  MariusMatutiae Oct 24 '13 at 8:35
    
haha...nothing mate...was just giving myself some time to see if i get any other answers...actually was waiting for someone to speak in favour of dual boot as thats what i had been doing for the past years...never knew that i could have done better via vm –  kewal Oct 24 '13 at 12:54
    
and yes i do accept your answers as the best one here...thanks a lot for the laid out points –  kewal Oct 24 '13 at 12:55
1  
thanks to you, any time. –  MariusMatutiae Oct 24 '13 at 12:59

You'll need to try it out, I guess. :)

Your machine seems to have quite some potential for running a VM but no one except you will be able to say whether it's enough for your "intensive use cases".

Be aware of possible complications when using Win8 "hybrid mode" and dual-booting! Always use "restart" instead of "shutdown" or even better, turn the feature off for security. There are some hints for improving VM performance, eg http://www.howtogeek.com/124796/the-htg-guide-to-speeding-up-your-virtual-machines/

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With the VM you can run both systems at the same time. Where as with dual booting you will need to create separate partitions on the HDD, and you will only be using one OS at a time. If it was me I will go with the VM.

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