Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

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broncito
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Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

Hi everyone;

This is my 1st post. I'm considering start using Linux because I want to explore that "new" (new for me of course ) realm. I know nothing about Linux world. I want to dual boot Windows 7/Linux. I will start with Linux Mint 13 (w/ Cinnamon). So far I was able to run it live via usb in an old desktop I have in my office.

Now the real question is: With dual boot, can I access and use the physically installed Windows (and its programs) while I'm on Linux Mint? Just like Parallels + Boot Camp works with Mac/Windows. I will like to be able to use some programs (Matlab, Adobe, Eng. software, etc) without the need to boot on Windows.

In other words. If I use VMware or VirtualBox, I can open Windows (virtually) from Linux and use Windows programs. Am I right? If so, is there any software that allows me to do this with the Windows partition? Like I said, Parallels + Boot Camp allow me to access Windows partition from the Mac OS and use Windows programs.

If this is possible my future plan is to do this with my Lenovo Y580 (see my signature).

Thanks in advance... Sorry if this has been asked already... I couldn't find any post/answer.

:)
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by Evil-K »

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Any Windows programs you have, whether they're on your Windows partition, or on disc, would have to be installed via WINE. Your Windows partition IS accessible via Linux, and you'll be able to get the files that are on there. But as it stands, you would not be able to run the programs on your Windows partition.
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broncito
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

Hi thanks for the response.

So even if I use a virtual windows on linux via VirtualBox or VMware, I will need WINE to run Windows programs?
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by Evil-K »

If you have Windows on a virtual machine, you can simply run the program through the virtual machine. However, if you want to run Windows programs without the virtual machine, you'll need WINE (I recommend PlayOnLinux).
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by HughT »

hi broncito, before even thinking about trying to use a Windows application in Linux using the methods mentioned above, you should first check if there's a suitable Linux application available. As a simplistic example, newcomers may want to open and edit an existing Microsoft Word document, so they think they need Microsoft Word. They don't. They want a word processor which will open and edit (and save) a Word doc. Well LibreOffice does that just fine. It's part of the Mint package. Post here which Windows applications you were thinking of, and we'll see if there are alternatives, regards

Edit - just realised that you did mention some Windows programs. A quick look in Synaptic Package Manager shows the following available: Matlab - try Qoctave, Freelab or Scilab. Adobe - are we talking PhotoShop? try Gimp. Engineering software (AutoCAD?) try freecad, librecad or qcad.
Please Edit your post title and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.
broncito
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

Hi HughT;

Yes, I know there are some equivalent programs than can do similar work on linux. I think I'm just to lazy to start learning new scripting codes (Matlab) for example. And since I've been using MS Office all my life, I have spent too much time yelling, banging the table with my fist and cursing trying to understand MS Word (specially the style formatting), that I don't know if I'm ready to move on after too many years. Although the truth is I was going to use LibreOffice. As for Adobe products, yes is mostly Photo Shop, but video editing as well, and PDF creator/editor. But I think I can give GIMP a try (my oldest brother uses it on his Mac Book). As for the engineering program... I don't use AutoCAD that much, so that's not a problem. I'm a geotechnical engineer and currently a PhD student, the software I use on a daily basis is hardware specific (Geocomp Systems). All my laboratory test is performed with their equipment, and their software (as far as I know) only runs on Windows.


____
Back to the original post, I asked this question in other forum and one of the answers gave me this link:
https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=1272

which led me to this other link;
http://www.vmware.com/support/ws45/doc/ ... ml#1046324

So, if I understand correctly (reading 2nd link) what I'm trying to do can be done, however that tech language at this time is too elevated for me :(. Can anyone tell me if it is possible based on the 2nd link? And care to explain it a little bit easier for me? The downsize is that VMware Workstation is not free :(

Thanks in advance and thanks for your time :)
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by LarryL1066 »

The vmware workstation may cost, but the vmware player does not:
http://www.vmware.com/products/player/faqs.html

with virtual box or vmware, you can run your linux programs as normal and .... when you feel
the need to use a program in windows, just start the vm (virtual machine) and you will be in
the windows enviroment. It is virtual, so no rebooting required.

Still, the windows os and programs must be installed first in the vm. vmplayer will talk you
through the steps. But as mentioned earlier, check on what Linux has to offer first to cover
your need.

ex: Argosy Univ. Critical Thinking course required Office 2003. Why buy it when OpenOffice
or Libre will work? I used only that in college and just saved as .doc .xls, etc...
Gimp was mentioned instead of Photoshop. Gimp is a very advanced, imho, graphic program.

And if you are not sure of a compatiable Linux program for your needs, post the issue, and I am
sure that someone knows, or uses one. :)

Good Luck

Larry
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by HughT »

Sorry I have no experience of virtual machines, but I have some observations - the link https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=1272 relates to installing a Linux virtual machine on a Win XP host and is five years old. The link http://www.vmware.com/support/ws45/doc/ ... ml#1046324 is un-dated but mentions Lilo and Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003, all ancient history. There must be more current info out there in web land. From a position of ignorance I'd guess it would generally be more useful to run Windows in Linux, rather than the other way round, so there must be tutorials about somewhere in the Linuxsphere.
VMware Player is free for personal non-commercial use
I guess that allows post-grads to use for free? Sorry I can't help further, but best of luck!
Please Edit your post title and add [SOLVED] once your question is resolved.
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by mintybits »

It might be possible to run VirtualBox and use it to boot your physical Windows disk. VirtualBox allows the mounting of real disks. For example, I have used VBox to run a virual linux installation iso and install linux to a physical disk.
You need to check out the VBox documentation: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#rawdisk

The license activation might be a problem. If you run the existing Windows in a virtual machine it may throw it's toys out of its pram and demand to be reactivated.
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

HughT wrote:Sorry I have no experience of virtual machines, but I have some observations - the link https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=1272 relates to installing a Linux virtual machine on a Win XP host and is five years old. The link http://www.vmware.com/support/ws45/doc/ ... ml#1046324 is un-dated but mentions Lilo and Windows 2000, XP and Server 2003, all ancient history. There must be more current info out there in web land. From a position of ignorance I'd guess it would generally be more useful to run Windows in Linux, rather than the other way round, so there must be tutorials about somewhere in the Linuxsphere.

Yes, that's exactly what I said in the post of the other forum. IT'S TOO OLD lol. Right now I'm trying to find something more recent so far they have the same info for VMware Workstation 5.5, still old. Latest version is 8.0.4. And yes, my intention is to run Linux as host, and Windows as guest. I will keep looking into this... Maybe I'll ask in their own forum.

Thanks for the help :)
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

mintybits wrote:It might be possible to run VirtualBox and use it to boot your physical Windows disk. VirtualBox allows the mounting of real disks. For example, I have used VBox to run a virual linux installation iso and install linux to a physical disk.
You need to check out the VBox documentation: https://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#rawdisk

The license activation might be a problem. If you run the existing Windows in a virtual machine it may throw it's toys out of its pram and demand to be reactivated.

Thanks for the link. I keep reading every link. Though this is harder than I thought, lol. Have to get use to this thing I guess. I don't want to abandon Windows completely, and I don't want to run Windows via virtualization 'cause for me is reducing the storage capacity if I have windows already installed physically.

_____
On a side note... My future plan is keeping the dual boot Win/Linux. But... from what I've been reading, I can have multiple desktop environments installed in Linux. I will like to have Linux Mint Maya 13, Cinnamon and KDE version. I read somewhere around here that combining Gnome (cinnamon) and KDE might not be a good idea...

What are your thoughts about that?
Is this easy to do?
Any chance of damaging Windows partition?
Do I need to create another partition for the second DE?

Oh and by the way... a very noob question... About less than a week ago I read Robin's post about the difference of DE and Windows Manager. For me was great explanation. If I'm right, Gnome and KDE are Desktop Environments. In what category does a "distro" fall in? Is it a combination (package) of DE and WM? Linux Mint and Ubuntu are what? Is cinnamon a DE or WM? What is the WM in the KDE version? I'm so confused I'm not sure if I'm asking the questions properly, lol.

I'll appreciate if anyone can answer this or post a link to the answer. :)
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by mintybits »

broncito wrote:Thanks for the link. I keep reading every link. Though this is harder than I thought, lol. Have to get use to this thing I guess. I don't want to abandon Windows completely, and I don't want to run Windows via virtualization 'cause for me is reducing the storage capacity if I have windows already installed physically.
You could tell VBox to keep its files on your disk where Windows used to be. I think running Windows as a virtual machine is less risky than running it as raw disk. And you get all sorts of advantages like being able to make snapshots. Some disdavantages are speed and some peripherals may not work properly - my iPad connects to virtual Win7 ok but my HTC phone software has difficulties.
_____
On a side note... My future plan is keeping the dual boot Win/Linux. But... from what I've been reading, I can have multiple desktop environments installed in Linux. I will like to have Linux Mint Maya 13, Cinnamon and KDE version. I read somewhere around here that combining Gnome (cinnamon) and KDE might not be a good idea...

What are your thoughts about that?
Is this easy to do?
Any chance of damaging Windows partition?
Do I need to create another partition for the second DE?

Oh and by the way... a very noob question... About less than a week ago I read Robin's post about the difference of DE and Windows Manager. For me was great explanation. If I'm right, Gnome and KDE are Desktop Environments. In what category does a "distro" fall in? Is it a combination (package) of DE and WM? Linux Mint and Ubuntu are what? Is cinnamon a DE or WM? What is the WM in the KDE version? I'm so confused I'm not sure if I'm asking the questions properly, lol.
I tell you what I think I know. :wink: linux is really the kernel and is pretty much common to most distros as far as I know. It is a rip-off of UNIX adapted for PCs. It is maintained by kernel.org which is financed by the IT industry and is of excellent quality. On top of this is usually Xorg which is an X Windows system for doing basic graphics stuff. Then on top of this are "desktop environments" which other groups, usually volunteers, have developed to it to make it more usable, like Gnome and KDE. Still more groups add a wide range of applications, of disparate styles and variable quality. A "distro" is someone's collection and packaging of a particular combination of this stuff. This is totally unlike Microsoft which maintains everything itself and calls the whole thing "Windows". The Windows kernel is, arguably, pants compared to the linux kernel. However, Windows seems to be much better for gaming.
I don't know what happens when you install multiple DEs. Cinnamon is an add-on to Gnome and that's what I use.
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by mewol »

mintybits wrote:The license activation might be a problem. If you run the existing Windows in a virtual machine it may throw it's toys out of its pram and demand to be reactivated.
Indeed it does.

A few years ago I did essentially what the OP is talking about and set up VMWare to access my Windows XP installation from within Linux. It worked reasonably, as far as it went. However, the virtual machine is seen (correctly) as being quite different from the physical machine, which made XP demand reactivation. If I only ever used VMWare to access the physical XP partition this wouldn't have been a huge deal, but any time I switched between accessing it from VMWare and booting it natively, a new reactivation demand would be triggered. Reactivation was fairly simple for awhile, but you only get so many attempts before Windows just refuses to reactivate and tells you to go buy a new copy.

So yeah, it is (or at least was) possible to access some other OSs on a dual-boot system via VMWare (and possibly others), but it's really not a great idea. You get all the drawbacks of a virtualized environment with almost none of the benefits, put yourself at increased risk for data corruption, and generally complicate matters, plus who knows if it's even possible with Windows 7. You'd be better off just creating a new virtual machine and installing whatever programs you need.

Also, there are Linux-native versions of Matlab (http://www.mathworks.com/products/availability/).

Also also, I don't know if there's some weirdness specific to Mint that I'm unfamiliar with, and I can certainly imagine MATE and Cinnamon conflicting with one another, but installing multiple DEs should generally be as simple as installing the desired "mint-meta-whatever" package (mint-meta-kde, mint-meta-cinnamon, mint-meta-xfce, etc.).
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

mewol wrote:A few years ago I did essentially what the OP is talking about and set up VMWare to access my Windows XP installation from within Linux. It worked reasonably, as far as it went. However, the virtual machine is seen (correctly) as being quite different from the physical machine, which made XP demand reactivation. If I only ever used VMWare to access the physical XP partition this wouldn't have been a huge deal, but any time I switched between accessing it from VMWare and booting it natively, a new reactivation demand would be triggered. Reactivation was fairly simple for awhile, but you only get so many attempts before Windows just refuses to reactivate and tells you to go buy a new copy.

So yeah, it is (or at least was) possible to access some other OSs on a dual-boot system via VMWare (and possibly others), but it's really not a great idea. You get all the drawbacks of a virtualized environment with almost none of the benefits, put yourself at increased risk for data corruption, and generally complicate matters, plus who knows if it's even possible with Windows 7. You'd be better off just creating a new virtual machine and installing whatever programs you need.

Also, there are Linux-native versions of Matlab (http://www.mathworks.com/products/availability/).

Also also, I don't know if there's some weirdness specific to Mint that I'm unfamiliar with, and I can certainly imagine MATE and Cinnamon conflicting with one another, but installing multiple DEs should generally be as simple as installing the desired "mint-meta-whatever" package (mint-meta-kde, mint-meta-cinnamon, mint-meta-xfce, etc.).
Thanks a lot for sharing your experience. :)

If I decided to go with running Windows virtually... do I have to share the RAM between the host (Linux) and the virtual OS (Windows)? If so, how should I divide my RAM... I have 8GB right now... Although in a future I'll bump it to 16GB. I know at 16GB 50/50 will do just fine. How good is the performance of a software when running virtually compared to running Windows natively?
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by mewol »

broncito wrote:do I have to share the RAM between the host (Linux) and the virtual OS (Windows)?
Yes.
If so, how should I divide my RAM... I have 8GB right now... Although in a future I'll bump it to 16GB. I know at 16GB 50/50 will do just fine.
You don't need to make a long-term decision on dividing your RAM, since you can change settings easily. I generally start with the guest OS at the minimum recommended RAM and just increase it as needed. But I'm stingy.
How good is the performance of a software when running virtually compared to running Windows natively?
Virtualized stuff will usually perform worse than native stuff, though not always. While not about Windows at all, there's an interesting and only somewhat outdated benchmarking of a couple kinds of virtualization vs host OS here: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=a ... box4&num=1 There may be some benchmarks specific to Windows 7 out there, but I couldn't find them.

The biggest difference in common use is that 3D acceleration, while present in newer versions of Virtualbox & VMWare, is still pretty crummy. If you intend to do anything that requires significant 3D acceleration, you're better off booting into Windows. This is why there are so many Linux users who dual-boot just for games, as most modern games would be unplayable in a virtualized environment.
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by black veils »

here is a good tutorial and general explanations http://lifehacker.com/5204434/the-begin ... virtualbox
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by mintybits »

Give Windows a couple of GB.
Download Vbox from the Oracle site.
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

Thanks everyone for your comments ans suggestions. I think I'll install Linux in my desktop at school and play with it and see which programs I can use for my daily tasks before I install it in my laptop (anyways for my laptop is in a very long future, when mSATA SSD are cheaper).

I have a couple of question off topic, I'll try to keep it simple and not go very off of the thread title.
I have 40 GB (empty NTFS) already partitioned in that desktop. Is that enough for Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon + KDE + additional software (no games)? Will Linux installation will format it to the correct format?
The desktop has 4 GB of RAM, so I guess the swap will have to be 4GB, correct?
I don't do hibernation, but it goes to sleep very often... Do I still the swap partition?
I already have my usb ready with cinnamon and I tested it and it works. Is it easier to let linux do all the partitions or should I do it my self? Any chances of losing Windows partition by letting linux doing it itself?
I've seen that many of the things we have to do in linux is with commands that reminds me of DOS. Is there any link to a list of the most common commands used in linux? I guess it depends on the distro (Cinnamon + KDE).
If I remember correctly I read two ways of having different distros installed (correct me if I'm wrong). But I read one method ask you which OS you want to use from boot (eg, Windows, Cinnamon, KDE). The second method is during boot you have Windows and Linux, when you choose linux, in the log in, you select which distro you want to use. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You can answer the question or post a link to the answer. Thanks a lot for your help and your time. :)
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by mewol »

broncito wrote:I have 40 GB (empty NTFS) already partitioned in that desktop. Is that enough for Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon + KDE + additional software (no games)?
It's more than enough, really. I run XFCE as my primary DE and on this system I'm using about 6.5 GB. If I were to add Cinnamon and KDE, that would go up to about 7 GB.
Will Linux installation will format it to the correct format?
I'm a little confused by the question, but think you're asking whether installing Mint will reformat the NTFS partition to a more useful filesystem. The answer is basically "yeah, if you tell it to".
The desktop has 4 GB of RAM, so I guess the swap will have to be 4GB, correct? I don't do hibernation, but it goes to sleep very often... Do I still the swap partition?
Technically, you don't need a swap partition. But you're usually better off with one. Here's an article on the topic, which may be a bit on the technical side: http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/10678
I already have my usb ready with cinnamon and I tested it and it works. Is it easier to let linux do all the partitions or should I do it my self? Any chances of losing Windows partition by letting linux doing it itself?
It's easier to let the installer take care of the partitions, but it gives you less control. There's a chance of wiping out your Windows partition either way. Back up ahead of time and make sure you know what you or the installer are doing before making any permanent changes.
I've seen that many of the things we have to do in linux is with commands that reminds me of DOS. Is there any link to a list of the most common commands used in linux?
First, I applaud you for trying to learn about the command-line. It intimidates a lot of people, but once you get the hang of it you'll find that it makes life vastly easier. Anyway, here's a very basic tutorial for some command-line stuff that should at least get you on the right path: http://www.tuxfiles.org/linuxhelp/cli.html
If I remember correctly I read two ways of having different distros installed (correct me if I'm wrong). But I read one method ask you which OS you want to use from boot (eg, Windows, Cinnamon, KDE). The second method is during boot you have Windows and Linux, when you choose linux, in the log in, you select which distro you want to use. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I think you may be mixing up distros with DEs again.

If you wanted to have Windows, Linux Mint (using Cinnamon) and Linux Mint (using KDE), you'd choose between Windows and Linux at boot time. When logging in you'd have a session manager (I think mdm is the default for Mint) which would allow you to choose between Cinnamon, KDE, and any other DEs you may have installed.

If you wanted to have Windows, Linux Mint (with whatever DEs you like) and another linux distro (Fedora, for instance) on the same computer, you'd choose one of those three at boot. Then you could still choose whatever DE you want once you're in. I don't think you're planning to install multiple distros, so this probably isn't what you need.

I think that got it all. Good luck.
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Re: Dual boot Win/Linux accessing one from the other?

Post by broncito »

WOW Thanks a lot mewol. That really helps :). I'll try to install both Cinnamon and KDE next week in my desktop at school. I already tried but then I saw different partitions on my disk and didn't know how to proceed so I stopped. Anyway I'll keep reading the threads and posts of this forum. And thanks for the links!
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