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Hello everyone, my hatred for Windows 7 has brought me to the point where no matter what I'm going to make Linux work for my business 1. Is it better ...
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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Brand new to Linux, 2 questions please :-)


    Hello everyone, my hatred for Windows 7 has brought me to the point where no matter what I'm going to make Linux work for my business

    1. Is it better to run Windows inside Linux or Linux inside Windows generally speaking? I must have a "windows capability" but I want to do everything possible (most especially web browsing) on Linux from now on. I run Microsoft Sql Server and Quickbooks, etc. My windows machine gets heavy use.

    2. Memory Access is my biggest concern right now. I am absolutely going back to XP 32bit with SP3 and dumping Win7. I know XP can only access 3 gb of ram, and I have 8 gb.

    My dilemma is will Linux inside VMware be able to find the other 5 unused GB that 32 bit windows can't use? Is there any setup where I could boot into windows and then start Linux inside windows and use memory which windows doesn't control?

    3. But let's say I start my hard drive with Ubuntu and then run windows inside that - when later I want to run other distributions it presents more potential issues:

    a. How many LInux distros can I add to my boot menu?
    b. If I boot into another Distro running Virtual Machine, would it be able to access the Windows which was setup in my main Distro? Will I have to go through this process of adding a virtual machine and installing Windows inside each and every distro?
    3. Is it possible or better to run Microsoft SQL, Quickbooks, and other windows applications in something like Wine instead?

    I was thinking about loading Ubuntu, then run Windows inside that so I have full 8gb of memory for sure and Windows can take its full 3gb in Vmware (or is it called Virtual Machine in Ub?) I just want to make absolutely sure that if I ever have to change Distros, or upgrade/downgrade Ubuntu, I wouldn't lose all the time it takes me to get Windows working the way I need for my business.

    My ideal setup would be to run the best and most stable version of Linux available, boot to it, and do everything possible from that desktop. Then when I need QB, or SQL, I start XP in a virtual machine and do that work.

    I am unfamiliar with Linux so I am sure I will hose it a few times before I learn all its limitations. I've had to re-install windows like 100 times because of how I do things. I would like to do my Windows portion only once and have free rein to play with Linux distros and versions at will.

    Is there any way possible to Add/remove/reinstall all kinds of Linux Distros on the same machine, boot to whatever one I want, and yet only have initially installed 1 Virtual Machine running XP that would be accessible to all the other distros?

    Thank you for all your help and support on this. It is my plan to become a very active member of the Linux Community and to put my financial support to the Developers. I am super thankful there is a viable alternative to the ridiculously bloated Microsoft!!

  2. #2
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    Ha Ha, I was just kidding about the 2 questions

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Roxoff's Avatar
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    It depends really whether you want to play the latest games on your Windwos install. If you're doing sql and other productivity stuff then I'd suggest you install a 64 bit Linux as your primary OS and then install Windows XP in a virtual machine.

    One thing you can do with your VM (if you use openbox or the commercial, paid-for version of VMWare) is take a snapshot of your Win system just after you get everything installed and how you like it, then if it breaks in the future, revert back to that safe snapshot. Also, your Win system will then just be a set of files on your hard disk that you can then back-up and save between re-installs if you're going to play with different Linux distributions too. You'd only need to allocate a coupel of gigs of memory to your XP system.

    If you want to play commercial Windwos games, then perhaps a dual-boot would suit you better, you can boot Win when you need to let off steam and use your Linux os (complete with a Win VM) for everything else.

    There are another couple of solutions you might want to consider:

    - Install a server-os like Debian or CentOS and just run all your other Linux distros and Windwos in virtual machines on that, then you can install and play with as many variants of Linux as you like.
    - Get a big vm server that just hosts virtual machines and run all your desktop os's as virtual machines. We use a VMWare solution for this at work but it's very expensive. I believe you can do similar things with XEN in the open source world.
    Linux user #126863 - see http://linuxcounter.net/

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  5. #4
    Just Joined! nomko's Avatar
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    1. Is it better to run Windows inside Linux or Linux inside Windows generally speaking? I must have a "windows capability" but I want to do everything possible (most especially web browsing) on Linux from now on. I run Microsoft Sql Server and Quickbooks, etc. My windows machine gets heavy use.
    The problem is that it doesn't matter. In both situation you will have to deal with the disadvantages of Windows. But just for webbrowsing i would recommend to use Linux since Linux is much secure than Windows. Linux is not susceptible for Windows virusses, trojans, malware and spyware.

    2. Memory Access is my biggest concern right now. I am absolutely going back to XP 32bit with SP3 and dumping Win7. I know XP can only access 3 gb of ram, and I have 8 gb.
    I'm not that familiar with Windows XP, but i know that the 32-bit version of Ubuntu will install the so called PAE kernel in order to access more than 3 gig memory. So, there's no disadvantage in using Ubuntu with 8 gig memory. The 64-bit version however has the full support for your 8 gig memory.

  6. #5
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Only 2?

    1. Run Windows inside Linux unless you want to run modern games that take a lot of CPU/Video resources. If that is the case, then run Linux inside of Windows. I do the former on my personal workstation, and the latter (not because of games, but because of company policy) on my work laptop.

    2. Because of this, run Linux 64-bit. If you want to run games in XP, then dual-boot the system. If that isn't too important, then run XP in a virtual machine on the 64-bit Linux host.

    3a. You can run any number of Linux distributions in virtual machines, though the number of concurrent ones (running at the same time) depends upon the number of CPU cores and amount of RAM you have. On my 8GB workstation I have run Windows (2GB/1core) and Solaris (1GB/1core) at the same time, and did not noticeably impact the normal Linux system operations. Also, using grub/grub2 you can boot as many operating systems as your hardware can handle if you need to run them natively.

    In any case, I recommend using VirtualBox (Oracle - open source) instead of VMware. Free is cheap enough for me, and it works very well. Go to www.virtualbox.org for more information.

    3b. Yes. You can either access the Windows file system(s) directly (mount them in Linux) or if you are running WIndows as the host OS you can access the Windows shares using Samba/CIFS (mount them in Linux using cifs).

    As for Linux distributions, which you should use depends a lot upon what you are doing with it. If you are into the latest in audio/video production, then the newer distributions (ubuntu, mint, et al) are good. If you want real stability, software development platform, some server usage, and the ability to run virtual machines as efficiently as possible, then I recommand a Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone (unless you want/need Red Hat support, in which case get RHEL and pay the support subscription fees). Myself, I run Scientific Linux 6.1 on my personal workstation and laptop, as well as in a virtual machine on my work Win7 laptop (needed to test server code that I work on). I have found that RHEL and clones are dead-bang reliable and only need to be rebooted when you update the kernel.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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