Switching between Ubuntu and Windows 7 while booted ?

Asked by Michael Jensen on 2012-02-17

Hi there,

I have a laptop with win 7(64-bit) installed, and i have installed Ubuntu onto it, using wubi,
now im wondering if there aint any way to change between thoose two without having to reboot all the time ?
So i can start Ubuntu and using that for surfing and doing school projects in its "word" "excel" etc. and then switch to win 7 to use autocad to make some drawings maybe, but i dont want to reboot every time..
Aint this possible in anyway, without having to delete both and reinstall in two seperate paritions ?

- Michael

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Answered
For:
Ubuntu virtualbox Edit question
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Last query:
2012-02-17
Last reply:
2012-02-17
Chris (fabricator4) said : #1

The best way to do this might be to install VirtualBox in Ubuntu. You could then install Windows in a VM (Virtual Machine) and run any Windows programs you wish.

If you didn't need to use USB devices with the VirtualBox VM then installing the Open Source version from the repository would work fine and be the easiest. If you really needed USB functionality then you would need to install the PUEL version (personal use evaluation License) and the extension pack available from oracle.

VirtualBox with the extension pack installed can run applications windowed on the Ubuntu desktop, so it's the best of both worlds. The success of this and the usability relies on having a reasonably fast multi-core processor and plenty of RAM.

Chris

Michael Jensen (blikkeren) said : #2

Is it possible to plugin a allready installed win 7 to the virtuel machine ??

- Michael

Michael Jensen (blikkeren) said : #3

Is it possible to plugin a allready installed win 7 to the virtuel machine ?

- Michael

You can access installed oSes via virtualbox but I've heard of data corruption. I suggest you reboot. If your use of Ubuntu is basic (web browsing and such), you cold always virtualize ubuntu under virtualbox under Windows and run it full screen. You will need a sufficiently decent system but WIndows 7 systems are usually OK as Windows needs the power due to it's bloated nature. You can then simply turn off the virtual system and use Windows. (Basic use is stuff like web browsing and chatting online via amsn etc).

Chris (fabricator4) said : #5

You _can_ create a virtual drive image from a windows installation but it's non trivial. Not only does windows record which physical drive it was originally installed on and refuse to boot off anything else, but is configured in a very hardware specific way at the time of installation. Since the virtual machine emulates the hardware rather than giving the virtual machine full control this can cause problems if you want to migrate a real windows install. There are ways around all of this:
https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows
but it's probably simpler to re-install. I suggest you take a backup of the VM as soon as you've installed and configured it because the simplest way of recovering or copying your Windows VM is simply to plug in a fresh copy.

There's a good reason to run Ubuntu as the main OS and that is security - Linux is by it's nature is more secure and should therefore be considered as the host OS rather than the guest VM. I have a friend who likes to run Windows VMs to observe attacks and how they work (to learn how to fix or avoid them) and this is safe because the VM has no connection to the physical machine except for what you allow in VirtualBox. You can even set up the windows firewall in completely paranoid mode to disallow all connections except for what you need - for example to keep a piece of hardware like a GPS updated. This is not really practical for the main OS as it prevents normal browsing.

Chris

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