How can I install Linux in a reversible way (to Windows)?


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Mar 10, 2023
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I'm getting quite interested in migrating to Linux, but I still have a bit of apprehension. However, I've heard there is a way to install Linux in a way, you can switch back to Windows without needing to reinstall it. If that is possible, how can I do it?

Use Virtualbox.
I run Windows as Guest not as Host, so I don't have the experience.
Hello @Evigno,
Welcome to forum.
Yes, you can do what is called dual boot install leaving windows installed. and installing Linux along side it. Then you just choose which one you want to boot to from the grub menu. You can also use a Virtual box session in Windows and install Linux inside that.
Here some info on dual booting.
There are other tutorials on the web if this one is confusing.
Good Luck.
Welcome, you can also run GNU-Linux from a persistent pen-drive
all three of these options allows you to keep your windows
option 1, you install a virtual machine inside your windows or you can use WSL [Windows subsystem for Linux]
option 2 gives you a full installation to your hard-drive, with the option to choose which system you wish to use at the boot stage
option 3 gives you a fully independent Linux machine,
option 1 is often favoured but is a little restrictive in the experience of using a Linux distribution, option 2 will give you the full-blown experience at whatever is the maximum speed of your machine, option 3 also will give you the full experience , but slower than duel-boot, It also has an additional advantage in you can carry it around and use it in any USB bootable machine, without damaging whatever system is already installed.

You pay your money and takes your choice [I see you are only 18, if your planning on running Kali don't untill you are fully linux experianced.then and only then use a VM or persistant pendrive or you could bulk your machine]]
I'm getting quite interested in migrating to Linux, but I still have a bit of apprehension. However, I've heard there is a way to install Linux in a way, you can switch back to Windows without needing to reinstall it. If that is possible, how can I do it?
You can run something called a "live distro" straight off a USB stick. Its as easy as creating a windows install drive, most distributions of Linux will have it automatically, no actions are necessary.

No switching involved, no installation required. The only price you pay is that you are limited to the speed of the USB stick. But before you do that, go online. Distributions are dime a dozen, you need to go look at whichever one would meet your requirements.
What the guy above said ^^^^^.....BigBadBeef.... You can run something called a "live distro" straight off a USB stick

In a nutshell......use Balena Etcher to attach/burn a Linux iso to a thumb drive

For simplicitie’s sake use Linux Mint looks a great deal like windows but that is where the likeness ends

Boot your PC to that usb

I WILL NOT harm your installs in does not affect the hard drive or ssd etc ect

The ONLY way it can get onto the hard drive /ssd is if you double click on install linux mint....which will be on the desktop

Just take it for a run....manouvere and close stuff if you want to.....HAVE A GOOD HARD LOOK....dont try to be gentle with it....give it hell.

When you decide you have seen enough....just click on menu, then on the red quit button...and choose to Reboot.

It will start to reboot,,,,and the pc screen will tell you to take the usb out, and then hit enter.

The pc will reboot and you will be back to windows.

Note:: What you have just done on the 'Live" version of Linux Mint WILL NOT be saved......everything that you installed or opened/changed etc etc etc ...will be GONE
If you boot to the usb will be like new...untouched.

Other people can tell you about dual booting and all that crap

I did not dual boot....ever. I would boot to the live usb (as above) and just go to town on it....I learned how to manoeuvre around it....where stuff is....what apps it has in the software manager (menu, type in software manager....there it is)...etc etc....I did this for a week or more.......Then

I double clicked on the "Install Linux Mint on the desktop and have never looked back. That was more than 7 years ago.

The people here are very, very good, You can ask any question and get a straight answer,

The above is an excellent way to start....the usb stick will be a bit slower than a full install, but still good enough to show you around

The thing about Linux never stop learning....but it is a comfortable learning process.

An example?......i started screwing with various bits and pieces on my Linux Mint 21.1 (Cinnamon)....and I managed to absolutely annihilated spades !!...wouldnot boot etc was screwed.

I had two Timeshift to restore it to a few days earlier....or Restore an image backup

I used Timeshift and was back uo and running in 20 minutes. No sweat. timeshift is included on almost ALL linux distros. It works.

Another time i managed to do was actually beyong I went to my external hard drive and Restored the image from there which I had taken a week or so prior.
No sweat.

Did i mention....that everything...EVERYTHING about Linux, and all its apps is FREE

Note to the wise:
if you have any apps you might use on windows, and perhaps you are unsure if there is a feasible alternative on Linux....just make a list of what you use here and I will comment on each and every one of them

personally, I would not use Wine.

Sorry to ramble on and on....did I tell you?....the people here talk a lot !

and BTW....Welcome to !!
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I run Linux on virtual machines. You can try Linux in a virtual machine while you run Windows. The catch is that virtual machines need RAM and drive space on your computer. Depending on your Windows computer, you may have enough RAM to try a few Linux distros for yourself in virtual machines for a test drive.

Here is an example of Fedora Linux running in a virtual machine in its own window on my Mac. I put the Fedora virtual machine in the front window with a Mac browser window showing this webpage behind it. I normally run virtual machines in full screen mode, flipping between the virtual machine and the computer operating system. You can do the same with virtual machines on Windows.

I use VMware, but many people use VirtualBox software, which is free. Give it a try.

Fedora Linux in Virtual Machine.jpeg

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