How do I run two (or more) operating systems on the same computer?Dual-booting (generally Multi-booting) is the common term for installing two (or more) operating systems on a computer. Each time the computer boots, the user selects one to run. Another way to install more than one operating system is to operate virtual machines within a "real" operating system installation. Examples of Dual-Booting are:
- Boot Camp for Apple computers, which allows users to have OS-X and Windows in separate disk partitions and boot either.
- Linux installations which install Linux in a separate partition to Windows and then configure a bootloader such as Grub to boot either. (Ubuntu Help page)
- Installing Ubuntu within a Windows partition. This is distinct from a virtual machine. The user still selects one operating system to run when the computer boots.
Why this is a bad ideaDual-boot systems are sometimes simple to set up and are, in some cases, useful things to have. However, the Computer Support Group at CSE do not setup or support dual-boot environments on self-administered machines for a number of reasons:
- The actions of one operating system (Windows) may not account for the presence of another and some actions can make one or both operating systems unbootable.
- Setup, Booting and Partitioning are time-consuming and more likely to be problematic for the end-user, especially if they are unfamiliar with dual-boot environments.
- Managing two operating systems on one computer, keeping them both backed-up, well patched and in good order is often not practical.
- Sharing one set of files across operating systems can be difficult.
- Recovery of corrupt dual-boot environments and/or user-data is time-consuming and usually requires specialist knowledge.
- CSG do-not support multiple copies of the same software on the same machine in different environments. Common packages, like Microsoft Office and Mathworks Matlab, are natively available under macOS and Windows.
- macOS maintains certain authority over the second OS and 'some' traditionally legitimate second-OS activities can corrupt both environments.
I setup up dual-booting, but now it does not work.The Computer Support Group will not put your system back together for you. CSG can assist by saving partitions to a backup drive so you can access your data. After that you might install a fresh copy of one operating system.
Alternatives to dual-boot
Ubuntu-Linux inside WindowsFrom the FAQ:
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a new Windows 10 feature that enables you to run native Linux command-line tools directly on Windows, alongside your traditional Windows desktop and modern store apps. … When WSL is enabled (it’s an optional feature), we download a genuine Ubuntu user-mode image, created by Canonical. Our Bash.exe application, when started, then loads and runs the native Bash shell and Linux command-line tools from the Ubuntu image.
- Access Windows computers at CSE using Remote Terminal Services.
- Go to a CSE lab computer and log into a Windows virtual machine.
- Login and run linux software on one of our many login and cluster servers.
- Go to a CSE lab computer and login.
- Boot a Live CD - such as Ubuntu CDs from our mirror