Is restarting the only way to change OS's?

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Is restarting the only way to change OS's?

Postby mastermind16X on Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:27 pm

I have my computer set to dual boot Mint 13 and Windows 7. It dual boots by partitions (meaning Mint is on one and Windows is on another, AKA it isn't set up as a VM or having Mint installed like a program) and every time I want to change OS's I have to restart my computer and choose the other OS from the boot menu. Is there any way to change this, or do I need to just keep rebooting and reselecting?
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Re: Is restarting the only way to change OS's?

Postby passerby on Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:36 pm

AFAIK, rebooting is indeed the only way.
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Re: Is restarting the only way to change OS's?

Postby eanfrid on Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:56 am

If you don't want to have to reboot, either OS or both must be running on a virtual machine run by the other one (or by an hypervisor).
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Re: Is restarting the only way to change OS's?

Postby mastermind16X on Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:47 pm

Is there a way to run the partition of Linux through a virtual machine? I've never dealt with virtual machines before and really have no idea how they work.
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Re: Is restarting the only way to change OS's?

Postby eanfrid on Thu Apr 11, 2013 5:06 pm

Short: Yes.

It is not the simplest way but it is possible to use raw disks/partitions containing a "real" OS under any virtualization software. At least for VirtualBox, KVM and VMWare and perhaps Xen (not sure, very probably like the others, but I don't use it).

A raw Windows system is probably the least compatible for this kind of use (plus: too many hardware changes usually require re-activation of the Windows license).

Linux distribs and BSD are the most versatile and should not complain much regarding hardware changes if they are used alternatively either as "real" OS or as virtual machines.
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