Thursday, 13 October 2011

Important Advantages of Virtualization Over Dual-boots

Have you heard about Virtualization and dual boot concepts? Some people confuse about what exactly is a dual boot? To be clear Booting is the process which loads operating system into the main memory (i.e. RAM). And Dual-boot or Multi-booting is installing multiple operating systems on a computer, and choosing which one to boot when starting the computer. If you have ever seen a screen like below while starting a computer, it means that the computer has multiple OS installed on it and it is asking the user to select one of the operating system to boot. But you have to know about the future technology of Virtualization and dual boot concepts.
Virtualization and dual boot concepts 

What are Virtualization and dual boot concepts ?

Virtualization is the creation of a virtual operating system, a server, a storage device (hard disk) or network resources. A software commonly called Virtual Machine can be used to create such virtualization. We shall discus more about virtualization and dual boot in the article below.

Virtual Machine vs Dual-boots.

We often get into situation when we have to use multiple operating systems. For example if you are a computer student who like to use windows & you get a project work or assignment to do on Unix/Linux or just you are tired of using windows and want to enter into the open source world. Most of the people use dual boots probably as they don’t know about Virtualization. Instead of using dual boots you can install OS like Linux in Windows using Virtual Machine.
Installing an operating system on a virtual machine inside of other operating system has a lot advantages over a dual-boot:
  1. You can switch between your host OS(your main OS) and the guest OS without rebooting the computer.
  2. You don’t need different hard disk or partitions for different operating system.
  3. The size of the installation doesn’t have to be predetermined. It can be a dynamically re-sized virtual hard drive.
  4. Uninstalling the guest OS becomes so easy and a matter of few seconds.
  5. You can save the Virtual Machine state and if your guest OS gets corrupted, you can get back to that state without re-installing the OS.
  6. You can even share files between Guest OS and Host OS using a shared folder.
  7. The virtual machine will set up its own video configuration, so you don’t have to worry about installing proprietary graphics drivers to get a reasonable screen resolution.
  8. You can install suspicious software in Virtual Machine and check it’s behavior and then install it in your main OS.

Virtualization also has some disadvantages or limitations:

  1. Virtual Machine runs little slowly than your host OS. This is because host OS has direct access to the physical hardware.
  2. In order to get any kind of good performance, you need at least 1 GB of RAM.
  3. If you are a gamer, virtualization may be disappointing for you.
  4. Every time you want to use Guest OS, you have to wait for two boot times (the time it takes to boot Host OS, and then the time it takes to boot Guest OS within Host OS).
I think by now you got some idea on Virtualization and dual boot concepts. And it is clearly seen that advantages of virtualization overrides it’s disadvantages. So I would recommend virtualization instead of dual boots unless the multiple operating systems you are going to use are equally important for you. If you are going to use an OS once in a while, it makes lot of sense to use that OS as a guest OS inside your main(host) OS. If you want a free Linux Ubuntu CD To Your Home, we can send you one. Just leave your address. Please let me know if you any queries on this above article on Virtualization and dual boot.



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