What type of installation should I do? (Dual Boot / Live CD / Fresh Install / Virtual Installation)

Discussion in 'Beginner Tutorials' started by Rob, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Rob

    Rob Administrator Staff Member

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    One of the things that makes Linux special is that it can play nice with other operating systems. You can run Linux alongside of other operating systems quite easily. The most popular installation process for installing Linux is to install a Fresh Installation of Linux with no other operating system in place. This allows the computer to dedicated 100% of its resources to running Linux. However, it is quite easy to install Linux as a one of a series of operating systems that a computer has available to it.

    Here are the most popular ways to install/run Linux on your computer

    Dual Booting - If you want to keep an existing operating system, and install Linux as well, you will have what is known as a "dual-boot" system. That means that you have a PC that can use two different operating systems, and during the boot process you will need to decide which one you would like to boot into.

    Author's Note: Dual Booting between Windows and Linux is becoming somewhat less popular due to the rise of Virtual Machines. If you like the idea of running two operating systems, then you may want to consider running Linux as a VM inside of another operating system instead.

    Live CD/DVD Booting Linux
    If you are just looking to try Linux out to see if you like it, but don't want to commit to wiping out your main operating system, you may want to consider trying Linux from a \"Live CD/DVD\". Many Linux installations provide the option of downloading and running Linux as a \"Live CD\", which means that Linux runs as a completely bootable operating system from the CD/DVD. The files are loaded into your computer's memory, rather than being run for a hard disk drive. In layman's terms, this means that you can run Linux from a CD/DVD, and then when you reboot your PC, and remove the CD/DVD, it will boot back into its old operating system without any difference to your PC. This gives you an easy way to try out several distributions of Linux until you find the one that you like!

    Using a "Live CD/DVD" is also a popular method of rescuing files from a corrupted operating system, more on this later...


    Linux as a VM inside another Operating System
    If you like your current (non-linux) desktop operating system, but would like an easy way to access a Linux desktop or run your favorite open source software, you may want to consider running Linux as a VM inside another operating system. There are a number of ways to do this, but one simple one would be to download and install a Virtual Server application, and then install your Linux distribution under that host software. This topic is covered in the more advanced tutorials on this website I think that I should pause here and say that everything that you can do with your other operating system, you can do with Linux. That means word processing, databases, spreadsheets, Internet browsers, e-mail, photo touch-ups, MP3, CD Players, cameras and then there are a lot of things that Linux has to offer on top of all that that other operating systems don't.



    Fresh Install of Linux
    This method is by far the most popular installation method available. In this approach, you take the plunge and format your computer's hard drive and install Linux from a CD/DVD. Linux then runs as your computers only operating system.
    sudlin, MES3OUD and markit98 like this.
  2. MES3OUD

    MES3OUD New Member

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    Thanks man for this topic! For me it's better to make a DUAL BOOT..
  3. nachiketa

    nachiketa New Member

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    i will try fresh installation
  4. grim76

    grim76 Active Member Staff Writer

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    It is worth noting. Some places of employment frown on reloading the OS on your machine and violating company policies. That is when VMs can be really handy. The company that I work for has a policy of Windows on the machines unless it is a MAC.

    Just something to think about if you are in a corporate environment that has a computer policy.
  5. Kovax

    Kovax Member

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    I prefer the fresh installations. Like you mentioned about victuals.... Its always good to start with a clean slate
    I use VMware quite often to experiment with other installation configurations.
  6. B4RTZ4K

    B4RTZ4K New Member

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    Nice and goot to the point explenation. I always install my operating systems in a virtual machine and get to know them first. I havent got to doing a dual boot yet, because i am not sure if the wifi wil work on it out of the box.(i can look for model and forums for this but still waiting and learning to install them manually) I am still looking for the best suited Os for me and wil do a dual boot and want to later on switch over to a linux Os and dual boot windows. ;)
  7. LovesBlues

    LovesBlues New Member

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    I also want to do a clean install, formating my hdd and all but one thing is my pc has genuine vista sp2 32 bit os, but it did not come with a windows disk it came with a 10g partition for restoring.
    I have 2 questions about this,

    1) will that partition get erased by the install process?
    2) how can I get a windows bootable disk from that partition to run in linix in case i need to access something from my windows? I mean to access it under windows you use sys restore or change the drive letter at start up...
  8. jnybob11

    jnybob11 New Member

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    I am replacing xp, so it's a clean install for me.
  9. sudlin

    sudlin New Member

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    Thanks Rob... Nice explanation to get clarified. I prefer fresh installation so that my resources won't get distributed.
  10. cuellarsd

    cuellarsd New Member

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    thanks for the tip, dual booting is an excellent option for a lot of people and you explained
    the advantages for each option clearly. Once a user becomes more familiar with their favourite flavor of Linux it becomes a matter of deciding how much of a geek you want to be.
    And how the machine will be used
  11. Taahirah

    Taahirah New Member

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    I don't have a CD/DVD of Linux. Is there a way to do a fresh install without one?

  12. arochester

    arochester Super Moderator Staff Member

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  13. Taahirah

    Taahirah New Member

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    I'm sorry but I am very illiterate when it comes to some of this stuff. What's USB stick. I tried to download ubuntu onto two of my old computers off the website and once the download was completed before it was time to install it just directs me to open it from a list of options that I can choose from instead of just downloading on its. I have no idea what I am doing and I need help.
  14. arochester

    arochester Super Moderator Staff Member

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  15. Taahirah

    Taahirah New Member

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  16. KHLVH1

    KHLVH1 New Member

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    New to Linux entirely, but would like to do a dual install, but have no idea which one I should start out with? Any suggestions for a complete noob to programming?
  17. lishelin

    lishelin New Member

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    Let me make a summary as follow:
    1. do a fresh install
    2.install a virtual machine applicatioin (like vmware),and install your linux operating system to the virual machine.
    3. Dual Booting,install your system(windows,linux,and so on) in your hard disk,and your can install more than two system
    4.install your operating system in CD/DVD ,usb stick and other storage ,when you want to use your operating system you just need to select how to boot from system before loading your operating system.

    And all the way I have been tried...
  18. GildeNam

    GildeNam New Member

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    As stated in the opening text, you can install Linux as a virtual machine. That means that you can run Linux even under your Windows system. You will need to install an application that enables virtualization, such as VMware Player or Oracle VirtualBox, both are free. Then you need to download an ISO image of a Linux distribution. ISO images are just images of the optical disc. For example, for Ubuntu, go to this link: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop


    After you've downloaded the ISO image, you need to install it into a virtual machine. For VMware Player, here are the instructions:

    http://vmware-player.com/install-a-guest-operating-system-manually/

    Hope this helps.
  19. Jimichan

    Jimichan New Member

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    I am building a new box using an ASRock D1800M motherboard that has a J1800 processor ($50). I'll be using it as a web browser in my exercise room and as a backup for my other machines, all Windoze boxes, so it will have 4 x 2TB HDD's attached.

    My question is, should I run Linux from one of the drives, or from a 64 GB USB 3.0 flash drive I have?
  20. ChristiW

    ChristiW Active Member

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    @Jimichan - your processor supports virtualization, so you can load Linux into a VM.

    What version of Windows are you using?

    Do you need Windows to be running at all times for your back-up of the Windows machines? If no, then you can create a dual boot. If yes, then I would suggest virtualization.

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