Possible Duplicate:
Theoretically possible to run two operating systems simultaneously?

Is it possible to run multiple operating systems at once, without using virtual machines like virtualbox, and without using dual boot? I want to be able to switch between linux and windows without having to reboot, and virtual machines don't use the system resources directly.

Also, I want this to run on a 64-bit machine.

  • 5
    Buy two computers.
    – Nick ODell
    Jun 7 '11 at 19:27
  • Try colinux. Then try the FAQ of this site.
    – cnicutar
    Jun 7 '11 at 19:29
  • @cnicutar I've found this before, and this is almost exactly what I want. It just has one problem: it's only 32-bit, and I want 64-bit.
    – Tiddo
    Jun 7 '11 at 19:48
  • Why are you trying to avoid using a virtual machine? Aug 8 '12 at 18:39

I know you are looking to avoid virtualization, so this is technically off-topic. It is the best solution I have found, however.

  1. Install favorite flavor of Linux on hardware
  2. Install favorite flavor of Windows in VirtualBox
  3. Install Guest Extensions in Windows
  4. Enable Seemless Mode

The result gives you two task bars (one for each operating system) and all windows appear with native decorations (i.e. blue title bars for XP). Screenshot and more information available here.

  • I've used VirtualBox before and also VMWare Player, but these programs really limit's the use of your gpu for the guest os.
    – Tiddo
    Jun 7 '11 at 19:55

Given the description you've provided, without any indication of hardware, and if I could truly answer in the number of characters I wanted without StackOverflow stopping me:



Use multiple computers, one for each operating system you need to run, and a KVM switch. Done


We, at our firm, have a Remote Desktop Server, which users log into, and run batch jobs in. It gives you direct use of system resources with the possibility of switching between the two, instantaneously. Hope this helps.


Not exactly what you're looking for probably, but I install cygwin and place its bin directory in the system path of my windows box. A lot of the linux commands work alongside with windows, but some need me to login to the bash shell (bash --login -i) from my windows prompt and then cd - to move to the previous directory

The command prompt here shell extension is also useful


All you need is:

  1. One hard drive for each OS
  2. Connect them to the motherboard
  3. Use your computer's BIOS to select the drive to boot
    (e.g. A: drive for Windows and B: drive for Linux)
  • The OP wants a solution that does not involve dual-booting. Jun 7 '11 at 19:43

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.