I have a rhel6 machine in my office. I wanted to install windows 7 on that. My idea was to install a dual booting, however my system admin seems uncomfortable with that. He asked me to install a virtual box kind of software, on which he will install windows 7. I need to access my files from both windows and rhel6. In this scenario,I have two questions :

  1. In terms of system performance, is dual booting a better option than virtual box kind of softwares to host two operating systems on a system? (If that is the case, I will plead with my system admin a little more)

  2. If I go with virtual box softwares, which one will be best for rhel6?

My hardware specs are: i7 2 Ghz, 8 gb ram, 320 gb hard disk.

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YOu can use Oracle Virtual Box. It's free and it works for what you are asking. If you already have a license you can use VMware Workstation. That is not free.

Some people like VB other's like VMworkstation. I would go the route of a virtual machine before dual booting. That way you can see if it fits your needs with minimal impact.

I currenlty have two laptops, one with linux as the Host OS and Windows as a VM through Virtual Box. The other laptop has Win7 as the Host OS and about 6 linux VMs through VMWorkstation. They both do the job that I need.

You will get access to your files with either solution.

The virtual route is essentially sharing your computer's resources e.g. memory, proc, HD with another computer, but in a separate environment. It's like running two computers at once on the same hardware.

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