If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

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1984
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If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

Post by 1984 »

I realize that if you're using Linux the chance that you will get a virus drops to near 0%. But if I still have windows on my system am I no safer than before?

I am so sick and tired of constantly being infected using windows. My strategy is to download linux, operate a duel boot system with mint and windows xp. That way I figure that I can use xp for all my gaming needs and for whenever I HAVE to use Windows, and whenever I use the internet I will do so operating under linux. Would that work?

From what I have been reading I'm concerned that when browsing the web using linux that the virus will download anyway and screw me when I open windows. Is this the case? Or is it that so long as I only access the internet using Linux I'm safe?
Gweilo

Re: If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

Post by Gweilo »

From what I understand, you can still get viruses in linux, however windows viruses don't effect it...but could be passed through a mounted drive(or network) to a windows partition/computer.


there is AV software in the repo's to keep yourself protected.


side note: I've been dual booting for a couple months and haven't had any spyware/malware/viruses hit my windows partition
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shane
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Re: If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

Post by shane »

Linux is safe from viruses because they cannot be run unless you specifically allow the to run or run them your self. Even then, almost all viruses are written for Windows. While in Windows you will still have to keep your antivirus and other security software running and up to date. Also, run regular scans on all partitions that Windows can access. By doing all your online activity on Linux you will reduce the risk of infecting your Windows installation, but the risk is still there. So take appropriate measures when in Windows.

To add on to what Gweilo said... You can install an antivirus in Linux to protect Windows from viruses, but personally I do not do that. Linux doesn't need the overhead of an antivirus so why slow it down? I rather keep Windows secured while running it.
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mathazar102
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Re: If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

Post by mathazar102 »

I don't know how this would affect your gaming needs...but maybe you could just have Linux on your PC and then have a Windows XP virtual box to do all of your gaming on. Then, if you get a Windows virus it will be "trapped in the box" so to speak. (Although, I still would suggest running an anti-virus in VirtualBox just for safe measure). It also may be more convenient because then you can have Mint and XP running at the same time without having to switch in between operating systems.
vincent
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Re: If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

Post by vincent »

As long as your Windows and Mint OS'es are on two different partitions, you should be fine. Well, your Linux partition should be fine; your Windows partition is still as vulnerable to getting infected by malware as it was before you installed Linux. Windows can't read or write to Linux filesystems (ext2/3/4, ReiserFS, XFS, etc.) by default; it can't even recognize Linux on your hard drive without some extra utilities to help it out, so there's no way viruses can get from your Windows partition to your Linux partition. Linux can recongize FAT and NFTS Windows partitions, and can also write to them, but accessing your WIndows partition from Linux requires a password, so unless you deliberately download a virus and transfer it to your Windows partition, you can't really infect your Windows partition by using Linux.

Also, virtualization works fairly well but is also fairly resource-intensive, since you are running 2 OS'es at once. If you're running a game on top of that...well, your performance is going to suffer compared to running the game on a native Windows installation.
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1984
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Re: If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

Post by 1984 »

Are you saying that having a duel boot system would hurt my preformance? I would'nt be running them at the SAME time, I don't even know how that would be possible. I mean having both windows and linux on my system and choosing between them when I start up my computer.

If I understand what you're saying, since linux and windows don't communicate with each other what ever I do on Linux won't affect windows. So as long as I don't access the internet with windows I stay virus free.
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Re: If I have duel boot setup am I no safer than before?

Post by vincent »

No, having a dual-boot system won't hurt your performance (it'll take up more hard drive space, but that's a totally different issue). Running a virtualized OS (e.g. with Virtualbox or VMware), so that you have two or more OS'es (host OS + 1 or more guest OS'es) will have a performance hit, so virtualization is only suitable if you're sure your hardware can handle it (but most modern computers are perfectly capable of doing so...it's just that running a demanding game on top of a virtualized OS on top of a host OS is bound to have some performance cost, the severity of the cost determined by how capable your hardware is). Having a dual boot system means that your two OSes are separate, and you can only use one at a time.

And yes, if you use Linux for your online activities, your Windows partition shouldn't be affected. Of course, if you have root privileges, you can do anything to your Linux partition and your entire hard drive. Say you want to repartition stuff, and open up GParted (which needs root privileges). Make one mistake and Windows can go poof. That's why you need to be careful with root privileges, and assign it only to programs you trust. Other than that, as long as you don't play with root privileges, your Windows partition should remain safe.
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