I hope question fits in this section.

I am looking to buy a laptop. Going to use it for studies and work.
Specs I'm looking for are:

  • procesor: core 2 due up to cheapest i3
  • RAM: 3-4 GB DDR3
  • HDD: 320 GB or more
  • videocard: doesn't really play a role, can be a low-end integrated card. Not going to play games on it.
  • OS: Linux (because windows adds to much to the price, while Linux comes for free)

Obviously, most software I use is windows specific. As a University student I have access to a free copy of Windows 7, as well as some Adobe products. Not sure about versions, but I'd have a guess I can only get student's editions. Not completely sure.

Question is, what do I do with the laptop once I've bought it? Options I have:

  • uninstall Linux and installl Windows 7.
  • keep Linux, install Virtualbox. Then install Windows 7 on virtual drive. Then install software I need on this virtual OS. Would that work? If it works, how much slower would working be compared to a regular windows 7?
  • keep Linux and install Windows 7, have dual OS

Which one would you suggest? Which one would be the easiest to do? I think I could easily mess up if I tried to uninstall Linux myself. Or is this really easy nowadays?

I don't mind having both OSes on my laptop. I had to use Ubuntu before, and it was good experience. I simply don't want to break my neck while trying to configure my favorite software to work on Linux.

Some of what I've writen might be absolutely wrong. I'm not a hardware savvy, and not good with OS's either :)

Shed some light please, I thank you in advance.

Recommended Answers

All 6 Replies

I you want to use linux sometimes, and windows other times, then I think you should dual-boot.
If you want to use them both simultaneous, switching back and forth - then you should obviously run one of them in a virtual environment of some kind (I can't advise you on that since I only have experience with hyper-v /MS-server).

Removing an OS is very simple, just boot from a secondary media (dvd/usb) and format the disk where the OS is installed. Most OS installers also have an option to remove/create partitions on an early stage in the install process - just remove the partition where the unwanted OS is, and create a new partition for the installation of your favorite OS.

Best of luck

I currently dual boot with Ubuntu Linux and Window XP. When install OS just create a partition so that you can install the other OS on the 2nd. partition. In this way you can only use 1 OS at a time. But if you use Virtual machine than you can use both OS at the same time but with little features. It all depend what you want to use your laptop for.

yea really in the begging of installation you can create 2 or 3 different partition in the drives and install what ever you want OS like Linux or Window XP.

simpler is the 2 option, keep linux and install Windows on virtual box however I guess your windows will be 20% slower as its full potential.

Installing windows 7 in a virtual machine is not a good idea at all. Yes it might be useful because you can run windows-based programs on Linux platforms but this programs might be unstable and have poor performance because of its limited resources. I recommend that have a clean installation of windows and if you want too, you can dual-boot it on Linux....


On a laptop of that spec I wouldn't even try to run & on a VM. it will work
but i'll run like a dog.
the most effective option is to start with windows 7 as the main system then download and install UBuntu with windows installer and just install it from within windows like you would with any other piece of software. it'll set up the dual boot for you so you can select the os you want when you turn on, you can also uninstall it just from within windows if you want
Effectively speaking ubuntu will be running in a sort of vm of it's own
It's worth doing it like this cos its a really simple setup and ubuntu will run quite happily this way whereas W7 in a vm is just plain slow

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