General Question

erniefernandez's avatar

Why dual-boot Ubuntu or SuSe?

Asked by erniefernandez (539 points ) July 30th, 2009

I can set up a dual-boot with Ubuntu or SuSe… but why should I? What benefits, opportunities or meaningful experiences will this provide me with? Or are there none?

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16 Answers

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J0E's avatar

Because it’s a safe way to try Linux, and some people like Linux but they want to be able to run Windows on occasion too.

J0E's avatar

@qualitycontrol: “wtf is ubuntu?”

Ubuntu is one of the largest operating systems, second to Windows and Mac.

potrick's avatar

Sometimes you want different tools for different jobs. My wife and I keep a Windows partition around on our media center PC because it tends to work better for games. We don’t trust Windows as a system you keep online 24/7, though, because it slowly picks up viruses. So the more secure Ubuntu system does all online work, and the Windows partition plays games. Works perfectly.

erniefernandez's avatar

My question about dual-boot is not really the whether-or-not-to-dual-boot aspect, but the whether-Ubuntu-is-worth-getting-operational-and-using aspect.

Is Ubuntu worth having at-the-ready? Why?

Bri_L's avatar

@potrick – excellent example and welcome to fluther!!!

cwilbur's avatar

@erniefernandez: if you have a use for it, sure. Although the general case is usually that someone likes using Linux for most everyday tasks, but needs to boot into Windows for certain software, usually games or certain specialized proprietary software.

potrick's avatar

It depends what you use your computer for. If you spend most of your time online, Ubuntu can be a great tool to have around because, as I said earlier, it’s inherently more secure than Windows. Not only does it have a built in firewall that configures automatically when you install new software, but there’s just not that many viruses designed for it.

Also, there’s a lot of advanced scientific tools that only run on Unix-like systems. If you need that it’s good to have around.

But if you’re perfectly happy with your Windows set up, there’s no real need to dual-boot. It’s all about your preference. Though, having a Ubuntu partition might be a great failsafe backup if your Windows partition ever breaks…you can get at all your files in the other operating system.

doggywuv's avatar

For gaming use Windows, but use Ubuntu or another Linux distribution if you want good security.

patg7590's avatar

Linux is just plain cool- it will make you smarter haha
keep whatever you’re comfortable with also for days when you dont have patience, or screw up something on the linux side, so you can troubleshoot it. :D

Ubuntu FTW

itsjustmatt's avatar

Before jumping to into dual boot, I recommend you install Virtual Box and run Ubuntu on a virtual machine inside Windows. It works nearly flawlessly. Heck, you could install any flavor of linux for that matter to try them all out. I’ve got a testing install of Win XP, Ubuntu and Win 7 all installed in virtual machines. I’ve tried switching to linux half a dozen times and have failed to be able to use it exclusively. Its more secure than windows, but that’s about it. The disadvantage list is much, much longer.

YYAAPP's avatar

You could try installing WUBI
http://wubi-installer.org/

Wubi is a windows installer that creates a virtual Harddrive in which it installs Ubuntu.
After installation your Windows works exactly the same only offers a dualboot menu at startup. If you don’t like ubuntu you can just deinstall it in the software menu in windows.
So more than enough flexibility to test ubuntu and also your hardware without the fuzz of first installing a virtual machine environment.

Ivan's avatar

Yes, I would recommend trying it out with Wubi. Ubuntu is definitely worth it. Chances are, you will probably never look back.

Babbage's avatar

I’ve never really found any use for dual-booting. I usually use either the live CD of a distro, or installed it into VirtualBox (like itjustmatt said). I have also tried Wubi, but I hate having to restart my computer to keep doing things.

I suggest you dedicate a computer to your favorite Linux distro, and leave it at that. I have an installation of Fedora which has been the main foundation of my network at home, and I haven’t had any problems with it. Been using that as my main file server for years.

AskBlam's avatar

Ubuntu is light, and offers new things to learn.

They’re also great as general or server OS’es because they are very flexible and customisable(Open Source) and free!

If you want to just play around, then I agree with the above comments, Virtual Box would be a great way to go. There is a also a useful feature in VBox called seamless mode that is quite cool-try it out:) Once you’ve got the feel for it, move to a proper dual boot installation. Don’t bother with WUBI unless you’re very n00b.

Cheers
Blam

Vincentt's avatar

Just for the fun of it :)

And @potrick‘s both answers pretty much sum it up. If you’re not into trying new stuff just for the hell of it and are satisfied with your current system that do continue using that. You might one day, however, find that e.g. something isn’t supported anymore and you need to pay to upgrade or something, which can be a great time to give it a try.

Oh, as for Ubuntu saving your files: you can also just burn it to a CD and save your files running from that, no need to install. However, when my mother’s Windows installation crashed, she was happy that Ubuntu was installed because she could at least decently use her computer until it was fixed again.

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