Currently have Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon, dual booting using rEFInd as the boot manager. On windows VMWare workstation 12.5 is installed, which allows the virtualisation of the Linux Mint install. Linux Mint is installed a separate hard disk from windows. Everything works fine accept for the graphics driver. The graphics card is a NVidia GTx 980 ti. When dual booting into Linux it complains that the correct driver is not installed. But if I install the driver, when virtualising the Linux OS I get error messages about Cinnamin failing to start.

Is there a way of having two hardware configurations in Linux that can be choosen at boot time? Much like the old hardware profiles in Windows.

  • Are using the same physical instance to boot physically from dual boot as you are with the VM?
    – acejavelin
    Feb 15 '17 at 14:13
  • Yes. This is of course possible with VMWare Fusion on Mac virtualising a boot camp partition of windows. If the answer is that it can not be done, then so be it, but I would be surprised if that was the case.
    – mjb
    Feb 15 '17 at 14:42
  • I am well aware it is possible, but you are encountering exactly the issue you will have... the hardware, proprietary hardware that requires special drivers, is different. You might be able to use a different DE for each profile, for example Mint Mate in the physical and Cinnamon in the VM (or the reverse), I'm not even sure this will work to be honest. Linux doesn't support "hardware profiles" like you are referring to, everything is auto-detected by the kernel on each boot, which is why the OS is typically hardware independent and portable, except in the case of GPU's.
    – acejavelin
    Feb 15 '17 at 16:06
  • Thank you. From what little I have been able to find, and I may be wrong here. The graphics driver is compiled as part of the kernel. I did wonder if it would be possible to have a different kernel for each hardware configuration? Or am I just misunderstanding how the graphic card driver works?
    – mjb
    Feb 15 '17 at 16:14
  • The GPU drivers are more than just kernel modules, it also does stuff with Xorg configuration and libraries... Using a different kernel may work, just select a different one with GRUB, but then the Xorg configuration won't match the kernel most likely leading to Safe Mode in Cinnamon anyway. To be honest, I don't see how this can work seamlessly.
    – acejavelin
    Feb 15 '17 at 16:20

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