I am primarily a Linux user (Linux Mint). I am also a college student at an online school. My school requires that I install a remote access client (LogMeIn or GoToMeeting) so they can proctor me while I take exams.

Those programs don't run well under WINE, at least for me, so until now I've been using a virtual machine running Windows for my exams. But apparently the school now decided that's bad and students shouldn't be allowed to use VMs while taking exams. They literally started running a script before exams that detects if it's running in a VM.

Literally the only thing I ever use Windows for is taking exams, and I really don't have exams that often, so obviously I find the new policy a little (lot) frustrating. I approached the school about it, trying to see if they would let me use a different remote client that runs on Linux for the proctor to use. They gave me the bird and told me I have to use Windows or MacOS.

I really don't want to buy a new machine just for exams, nor do I want to have to repartiton my hard drives and set up a dual boot. Last time I used dual boot it was an unholy mess; Windows kept screwing things up every time I would use it, making my Linux system stop booting.

I'd like some way to be able to install and run windows on my machine, without touching my existing Linux system at all. I'm thinking maybe if there is some way I can install Windows (or MacOS, I really don't care, though Windows seems more likely to work and I actually have a licence for it) on a flash drive, or if I can somehow boot to a virtual hard drive without running it from within a VM, or something like that, so I can take the exam without the school yelling at me. Does anyone know how I might accomplish something like this?

  • What about just using rdp, or the GoToMeeting web client? – txtechhelp Feb 6 '19 at 1:47
  • I've already requested to use a different remote client that supports Linux, and was refused even after I suggested a valid option (The one I found was called Zoom). The school's reasons for not supporting Linux seem to be more about their own preferences than technical limitations. – DMJ Feb 6 '19 at 1:50
  • How about a way to block programs or windows from knowing it's running in a VM, or is that even possible – Xen2050 Feb 6 '19 at 6:57

Its difficult to boot Windows off a flash drive, but quite easy ti boot Linux - especially if you get an external SSD on a USB3 port.Depending on ownership and settings though, have you considered swapping the hard drives?

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  • My computer is a few years old and only has USB 2.0. I have an existing Linux install that is working very well and I am hoping not to touch it. Not sure what you mean by swapping the hard drives. – DMJ Feb 6 '19 at 1:05
  • By swapping hard drives I mean litterally that. Unplugging one and plugging in another. Depending on the system this ranges between trivial and hard - what system is it? USB2 will perform adequately for Linux but not as well as USB3. Do you have any esata or firewire ports? – davidgo Feb 6 '19 at 1:09
  • Depending on this "proctoring", have you raised the possibility of using Linux and Teamviewer with them? There is a teamviewer Linux client. – davidgo Feb 6 '19 at 1:11
  • Linux is my main OS so I'd prefer to have it on my SSD. I guess using two physical hard drives and swapping them around is an option, albeit not entirely convenient. I didn't ask about TeamViewer, but found another client called Zoom which runs on Linux, and asked them if they would use that, and they told me no. I guess they are married to LogMeIn or something... – DMJ Feb 6 '19 at 1:18
  • Teamviewer is a big name. Never.heard of Zoom. What make and model computer do you have? – davidgo Feb 6 '19 at 1:20

Building on davidgo's suggestion;

If you have space for two hard drives in your system, you could install windows on one, and keep your linux on the other. Then when you want to switch, you can change to which disk the system should boot, in your BIOS.

This would not be the same as dual-booting. Since the BIOS would be the place to switch, not a common disk that the BIOS points to, and boots from. The two disks and installs would be 100% separated. Potentially you could even disable the SATA Port for the disk that you are not using.

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