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Thread: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

  1. #11
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesemill View Post
    I would go for VirtualBox.

    However, one thing to think about is if you have a legal way to install Windows as a guest OS or not.
    The recovery disks that you receive with a new laptop (or the recovery disks that you create from your first Windows boot) will almost definitely not work for installing Windows as a VM as they are linked to the physical hardware of your laptop, a VM presents different virtual hardware to the OS so the installation will usually not work.

    Even if you do download a Windows install CD that works, the serial number that is printed on your Laptop usually isn't legally usable for a VM, you will probably have to purchase a new copy of Windows to get a legal VM installation.
    You can remove all occurrences of "usually" from this post and it will be more accurate.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    I only put the 'usually' in there because some laptops I work with are supplied by schools or businesses and are covered by the Microsoft Software Assurance program and therefore the OS is legally allowed to be run as a VM.

    I do agree with you that any PC bought from a normal retailer has a version of Windows that isn't legally allowed to be transfered to a VM (I believe the license conditions have been changed for Windows 8 though).
    Cheesemill

  3. #13
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    > Hello,

    Hi.

    > 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.)

    Same over here. Office is a must. LibreOffice is fine in and of itself, but it is in most cases not worth the trouble to troubleshoot and solve compatibility issues -- the best method being installing Office.

    > 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?

    Absolutely. Including "safest." I would recommend downloading from their website (latest version; upgradable at wish), then installing Windows, and installing the guest additions (host-key + d).

    After that, shut the VM off, set up a permanent shared folder, and perhaps untick "show toolbar in fullscreen" from the advanced settings, and consider entering the full-screen mode for more comfort.

    From there, you would be a winner. ;)

  4. #14
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesemill View Post
    I would go for VirtualBox.

    However, one thing to think about is if you have a legal way to install Windows as a guest OS or not.
    The recovery disks that you receive with a new laptop (or the recovery disks that you create from your first Windows boot) will almost definitely not work for installing Windows as a VM as they are linked to the physical hardware of your laptop, a VM presents different virtual hardware to the OS so the installation will usually not work.

    Even if you do download a Windows install CD that works, the serial number that is printed on your Laptop usually isn't legally usable for a VM, you will probably have to purchase a new copy of Windows to get a legal VM installation.
    Hmmm, haven't read the MS license lately (Microsoft free since 2006!) , but it is quite ironic if it is illegal to install Windows in a VM in the same physical machine it was originally bought in. Just sayin'....
    System76 Serval Pro 7: Ubuntu 14.04; Dell Latitude D800: Lubuntu 14.04

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  5. #15
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    It's not really the VM part that is a problem, an OEM copy of Windows is only licensed to the first set of hardware it's installed on.

    Because the OEM version that comes with your machine has already been installed on your physical hardware, you can't then install it on a VM because this presents a different set of hardware to the OS.

    It is perfectly legal to purchase an OEM copy of Windows and install it only on a VM though.

    Also since when when have software licenses been common sense
    Cheesemill

  6. #16
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    I per-fer dual boot with Windows as stuff just works and if ubuntu goes down from an update you still have Windows. I use Windows about twice a year.
    UsingTheTerminal and PopularPages

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  7. #17
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    Quote Originally Posted by sammiev View Post
    I prefer dual boot with Windows as stuff just works
    Stuff "just works" too using VirtualBox -- plus there is an immense breach in terms of security that way. Suppose malware gets inside the Ubuntu system! Sandboxing, without shared clipboard, etc., is really the way to go if one should be using Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by sammiev View Post
    and if ubuntu goes down from an update you still have Windows.
    Getting an extra USB flash drive and leaving the LiveCD on is a better alternative.

    Not to sound like "mister who knows all," although I perceive your preference as quite an uninformed one.

  8. #18
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    Re: Is VirtualBox best solution for limited Windows needs?

    I personally can't stand having to reboot in order to use an app in another OS. First thing, the frequency with which I need some app in Windows is next to nothing.

    Frankly the Crossover Office license is cheaper than any full-blown Windows I know of, and you don't even have to start a VM.

    VirtualBox is great if you actually need a VM, but if you just need Office then there's not really any need for that.
    Help stamp out MBR partition tables. Use GPT instead!

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