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Thread: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Beans
    10

    Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    Hello,

    I have had an Ubuntu-only laptop for the last four years and I am now at the point of needing to replace it. I have found that, as much as I would prefer to have nothing to do with Windows, I still need MS Office. (LibreOffice is fine but not truly compatible with Office, which the rest of the world uses. I have learned this the hard way over and over.)

    Therefore I have decided I need some access to Windows on the new laptop. Here is my question:

    For my limited need for Windows, is the best, safest, and most problem-free solution to install Ubuntu as a replacement for the pre-installed Windows (NOT alongside it as a dual-bootable partition)--and then to download VirtualBox and install Windows within VirtualBox and run it there virtually?

    Or...is the best, safest, and most problem-free solution to set up an Ubuntu partition alongside the pre-installed Windows, and then dual-boot between Windows and Ubuntu?

    I would appreciate any advice on which approach would be best. And also suggestion for where I can find clear and current installation instructions for either approach.

    (Searching the forums suggests there are problems in either approach, but doesn't tell me whether these problems are rare or frequent, so I am unclear which approach is more likely to be trouble-free for me.)

    Thanks very much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Arizona USA
    Beans
    251
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    Depends on what you want to do. I have a mid range box, dual core, 4g ram. I found VB 4.2 easy to install and set up. I have tried XP SP1 (the disc that I have), 8 preview, android-x86. It seems to work well except for 3D apps like games.

    I am impatient when it comes to booting and VB seems a quicker way to get to Windows for a once in a while thing. You can do something else while waiting for windows to get started.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    The only need I have for a Windows system is to upgrade my GPS software.

    I set up the computer with the Windows system, updated everything, then removed that hard drive and set it aside.

    I bought another hard drive for installing and using Ubuntu/linux. If I have a need to use Windows (very seldom) I will install the original hard drive, update (takes hours), complete my tasks then reinstall the Linux drive.

    For someone needing more frequent access to Windows this is probably not the best solution, but it has worked well for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    I multi-boot and have vBox installed. They are both good. Don't think you can go wrong with either way.

    About VM's; they will help make testing out things; packages; systems easier. You have snapshots to work with and its like having a reset button that lets you step back in time quite easily (a few clicks) if things get screwed up. But there is a learning curve. And your machine should be atleast dual core with a couple of gig of ram, minimum. More depending on what your doing.

    https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Italy
    Beans
    67
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    I've only tried virtual box, but it works very well and I can swap files with Ubuntu in real time with a shared folder! joy!
    My site - for my role-playing games, spaceships and stuff like that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Beans
    1,333

    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    A few years back I needed Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel on my work system. I got Crossover Office which is the commercial version of Wine. It worked perfectly, and I wound up getting Internet Explorer too because of the updates. That turned out to be handy for testing.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

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