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Dual Boot or Virtual Machine?

NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
I'm itching to try my hand at Ruby on Rails development. I also do a fair amount of PHP. To those ends, I'd like to have a linux environment I can have permanent access to. I actually successfully turned my laptop into a Win7/Mint machine about a year ago, but foolishly listened to Dell's recommendation to update my BIOS, which killed my bootloader. Oops. I haven't attempted to do it since, but my open source work is increasing, and I need an environment to call my own.

I'm comfortable in setting up a dual boot system, but I wonder if I should even bother when VirtualBox and VMWare are out there.

In lieu of a dedicated *nix machine, what do the rest of you do?

PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
Switch: SW-3515-0057-3813 FF XIV: Q'vehn Tia
Nightslyr on

Posts

  • punkpunk Registered User regular
    I'm in close to the same boat and plan to look at VMWare Player. Once I build my next machine, I plan to set up an Unbuntu VM and a Windows XP VM to run on top of Windows 7. I don't see the reason to set up a multi-boot system because I'll have enough resources to run them all at the same time if necessary. I want to pick up shell scripting so I can write some tools for work as well as Perl/LWP to build a couple of scrapers to pull data. The Windows VM would be a sandbox to VPN into work. I keep work and play separate, but I'm tired of shlepping downstairs to the laptop. I work better on a desktop, anyway.

    I'm in the opposite situation with my MacBook. It's an older 15" MBP (circa 2007), so it has a Core 2 Duo and 4GB of RAM. If I want to run another OS on top of OSX Lion, it becomes a little sluggish. I ran Windows XP with Parallels for a little while and I wasn't too impressed. In that situation, when I rebuild the machine with an SSD later, I'm going to go the Boot Camp route. I just don't have the horsepower to run both happily.

    I'm sure there are other considerations, but in my case it's just a matter of hardware resources. I'm also keen on avoiding the Pain in the Ass Factor (PITAF), and a multi-boot system would be higher on the scale than running VMWare on top of Windows.

    My $0.02!

  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    Use virtualization unless you absolutely need native performance. It's way more convienent.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    Virtualbox with bridged adapter and just keep it running as a linux machine on the local network.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Don't use vmware, virtualbox is far superior in terms of personal use.

    Ladies.
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    Another vote for vm. Dual booting is way more hassle than it's worth. I also like virtualbox better for small stuff on a personal computer.

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Virtualize for sure, especially if your CPU supports v-TX instructions. Grab VirtualBox, install Linux, go to town.

    (That being said, I do full RoR dev on my Windows box directly, just FYI. You don't need Linux for that).
    Use virtualization unless you absolutely need native performance. It's way more convienent.

    With v-TX on your CPU, and enabled in your BIOS, if you're willing to dedicate the system resources to the VM, you can get near-native performance out of a VM. My Linux environment is pretty full featured (KDE, high res x86, etc), and it runs pretty smooth with two cores, 2GB of RAM and video acceleration turned on in VirtualBox.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    I don't know if I have v-TX (or what it is), but I have a first gen i7 and 4GB of RAM, so I'm guessing that virtualization won't be a problem.

    PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
    Switch: SW-3515-0057-3813 FF XIV: Q'vehn Tia
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Yeah I'm pretty sure i7 cores had v-TX. My phenom core does I think.

    Ladies.
  • iTunesIsEviliTunesIsEvil Registered User regular
    I run an Ubuntu Server (11.10) install at work in VMware and I'm just running on a Core 2 Duo. I've had no performance issues whatsoever, so I'd say VMware/virtualbox, definitely. Besides, that way you can take "snapshots" of the box, and then if you goof up a config or just want to start over you can do it that way instead of reinstalling.

  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    The i5 has v-TX so the i7 almost certainly does.

  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Thanks, guys. Sometime in the next week or so I'll try my hand at VirtualBox and the latest Mint distro.

    PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
    Switch: SW-3515-0057-3813 FF XIV: Q'vehn Tia
  • punkpunk Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    You mean VT-x, right? :)

    Intel has a list of processors and whether or not they support it here. All 1st and 2nd generation Core processors do.

    punk on
  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    I'm installing Mint 12 right now. Holy shit, I'm surprised at how simple getting a VM up and running is. Now, I need to re-learn linux.

    PSN/XBL/Nintendo/Origin/Steam: Nightslyr 3DS: 1607-1682-2948
    Switch: SW-3515-0057-3813 FF XIV: Q'vehn Tia
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