Can i run my current W10 install in Linux?

Ok that might be a bit of a strange topic name, anyway what i want to do is switch over to Linux to escape Spyware10 for my day-to-day but not loose my current W10 install.

“Just dual boot!”
So i have to restart every time i want to run a game that dosnt run under Linux? Nah, no way. Even with SSDs for both OSs there is still BIOS load time and the time W10 needs to get itself together.

What i want is a Linux OS, probably Mint as that is what im the most used too(open for recomendations other than Ubuntu) and in that Linux OS i want a virtual machine(not sure if thats the right termenology) with my current W10 install that i can start.

I am really a hardware nerd way more than a software one, my Linux experience is quite limited too so be easy on me :laughing:

Thanks for any help with this, if anything is unclear please ask!

I think you are going to have to give a bit more info in what software you run, what you use the machine for and we can help from there.

Ok, my bad. Im guessing you want to know what i use Windows for?

Games mainly. I play quite a bit of games, MTGA is what im mainly on at the moment which im un sure as to if it runs on Linux or not.

Other than that its mostly Discord and browser stuff like forums and yt.

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You can’t expect the same performance running a VM of your current Windows installation in Linux because you’re sharing resources. The only way to game on Windows with 100% of your resources available for gaming is rebooting into a Windows installation.

On a side note: I was informing myself too about booting a VM using an installed OS as a VM but it’s really really complicated (for me at least) and not guaranteed to work 100%.

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I would be fine with a performance hit unless its disaster level. In the video Wendel did with Linus Tech Tips he had a Windows install within the Linux one that seemed to perform well, thats what i was aiming for i think

So what you’re looking for is doing an hardware passthrough on a Windows VM. Which means you need to have at least two GPUs in your system, 4C 8T, >8GB of RAM, direct I/O access for virtualization, IOMMU groups that allows you to pass through one GPU and a couple USB ports, two sets of peripherals (monitor, mouse and keyboard) or a KVM and a lot of time an patience on your hands.

Well i have the specs as long as the Intel intergrated GPU works, there was no KVM involved in what i was thinking though but i could get one, i dont think it would be too expensive for just keyboard/mouse.

Didnt realise that would be needed, i thought it would be just drag the moust over to the VM window like i have done running Linux in Windows?

I have plenty of screens, three right now, where my middle screen i could run two inputs too without any problem :slight_smile:

You could technically use just one screen with the looking glass software but I don’t know anymore than that since I’ve never tackled this challange myself. Sure, if you got the hardware hit the many posts and guides on the forum about GPU passthrough and virtualization!

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Ok, looking glass seems like what i was looking for, going to be sad to have to pass my 1080 to just windows though, maybe i should just dual boot :confused: it would be nice to have my 1080 in Linux too and not just my IGPU

If you go for dual booting, I would strongly recommend that you buy/use a second drive. One boot drive for Linux, one for Windows, plus whatever if any data drives.

Windows loves to overwrite grub, but if you put grub on the linux drive, then booting should work great. Set grub to boot, then if you want windows, grub can chainload the windows bootloader.

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What about setting up the rig as a hypervisor, using XCP-ng, then loading up a Linux distro and Windows? Would the gaming performance in Windows suffer from this type of setup?

Windows gaming VMs don’t suffer a particularly significant performance penalty, but can experience odd behavior every once in a while with certain games. It sounds like this user though would be better fit with running a dual boot environment. Just setup most games in Linux, and the few Windows only games in it’s own smaller SSD

2bit, that’s why I was thinking maybe a hypervisor might be a good answer. I just don’t know what the limitations are on Windows running inside one.

I setup and ran a Windows 10 gaming VM as my daily driver for the last 3 months and the only game I played that showed any odd behavior compared to bare metal was Slime Rancher. Not like I’ve ran every game ever, but in general, Windows 10 will behave like it would on bare metal, with about 3-8% performance reduction due to the hypervisor layer.


As a side note, there are also quite a few games available natively for Linux, or through Proton. Both are better options if you can get it to work.

Main hurdle with a VM is the DRM and Anti-cheat packages detecting you being in a VM, which limits a lot of online gaming. But for single player games a lot of 'em simply just works.


As a dual booter only heavily modded skyrim is left. Steam Proton, while still only beta has made a few games I like work.

It is worth a short to activate the steam beta and try proton.

I want to run as much as i can natively on Linux, DXVK, Proton and all that stuff should get a lot of what i need working just fine, but i want Windows around in some form untill i can make sure everything works.

I would get either a 256gb or 500gb SSD for Linux either way, as i dont want to mess up my curent windows install. Dual booting is honestly starting to look like the way to go, just seems like way less of a hassle even if its less cool :sweat_smile:


If you have the cash to have two gaming cards in your system and the PSU to feed them. Passthrough is awesome. I want to do it just for the sake of doing it. Nerd out on it.

I totally get it.

Having 2 or 3 like me boot SSD’s on your system is also cool. In linux my main OS I can boot the other 2 OS’s in VM’s. One is windows and one is another linux. They just dont have GPU’s when run in VM’s.

Check out our new Makulu Core Build and it does VM well ;

It is a Hybrid Base can use both Debian software and Ubuntu Software!!!

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