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I've started some development that requires Linux (I'm currently on Ubuntu, but I may switch to Debian), but I still use Windows 7 for my day-to-day computing.

I have already tried a dual-boot setup, but I've found that it is too cumbersome to switch between Linux and Windows.

I'm wondering if it's possible to setup an installation of Linux (again, Ubuntu or Debian) on a partition of my hard drive that I can run in dual boot, but also that I can run from Windows in a virtualized environment.

Edit: If possible, I would like to be able to run the Linux installation either natively on my hardware, and also virtualized in Windows 7 (VMWare is fine).

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I think it would be possible in Vmware Workstation but this solution is not free.

Other solution is using VirtualBox which was covered in this question on serverfault

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I would suggest trying to set up a VM using VMware player and VMware converter, create a VM with your existing image. Then run in unity mode. The individual windows will appear as though they are native on your windows system. This would negate the need to dual boot, which just gets in the way of your workflow.

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