Virtual Machine Or Dual Boot?

Hey guys,

I talked to a few professors at college and 2 of the 3 I talked to suggested me to have Windows in some way. Asked about VM or dual boot they both said I would need to research that for myself.

They were both pretty adamant in that I would need MS office for papers due to some issues with Libre office not being 100% compatible and I may need window only IDE’s for a few programming classes.

I can use Office 365 if I need to no big deal, but would a VM be good enough for programming? Also would a VM kill my battery if say I needed to use the vm for a few hours 2 or 3 for a project? Thanks for your any information I have only use VM’s very rarely.


Would a VM kill battery life?

Is a VM suitable for programming?

THIS NI :b: :b: A

jk lolz

What kind of laptop? What are the specs?

i7-7500u 12 GB RAM

Good specs

You should be fine with running a VM. Though keep in mind, at that point you’re basically running 2 OSes at once. So if you’re concerned about power consumption, dual booting might be worth looking in to.

The nice thing about VMs is that you can switch much faster between OSes. However with dual booting, you have to take the time to reboot and close applications.

I would definitely say that 12 GB of RAM is more than enough, so you should be fine there. If it had been a lower amount, like 4 GB, then at that point I’d say you wouldn’t have too much of an option except to dual boot. But again, you should be fine.

Alright thanks for the information. In that case I will just try the VM and test battery life myself.

you can et free vms ere leally but tey are limited so confiure tem ow you want ten make a imae to refres to.

Virtual machine, hands down.

Since the Core2 era of processors, both AMD and Intel have supported virtualization instruction sets which minimize performance overhead. (Note: This feature might be disabled by default in your BIOS, just enable it.) This means you don’t take a huge performance hit.

Windows also has a nasty habit of clobbering the bootloader during updates, leaving the possibility that updates to Windows hose both Windows and Linux.

You can also game using virtual machines, with the right hardware setup. PCI passthrough allows you to hand a GPU to the Windows VM, use the native Windows drives, and go to town.

Tons of benefits going the VM route.

VM, assuming you have enough RAM.

You can snapshot/roll-back, performance is good enough usually, etc.

Just be aware that you need RAM for both the host and the guest, so if your windows applications need say 4-8 GB of RAM you’ll need say 12-16 in the host to maintain anywhere near the same performance.

But yes, virtualising is far and away the better option than dual boot (snapshots, cloning, copy/paste between host and guest, etc.), unless there’s some sort of deal breaker reason you can’t do it.

Your hypervisor software will have some bearing on battery life impact. Be SURE to install the guest OS VM tools to help this. But i’d suggest that the benefits far outweigh any battery life penalty.

That is good to know. non related to the laptop, but would a Ryzen 1600, b350, 580 and 8GB of RAM work ? (looking to make that 16GB of RAM soon)

I am okay with dropping an hour or so of battery life, I get 5-6 doing light programming and web browsing. I assume it wouldn’t drop to say 1 or 2 hours.

I vote for dual boot. Keep things totally separate. Keep things simple.

Dual boot is more complicated to manage than virtual machines…

Every time you want to exchange data between them (and you will), you’re needing to try and write to a non-native filesystem. Instead of just using the host clipboard.

Windows will continually clobber your boot loader.
You get no rollback ability…

PCI passthrough is a nightmare on laptops, but it does work. You’ll want to check out the Looking Glass work that’s being done.

Ryzen and amdgpu is still in kind of a rough state right now. There have been a lot of improvements lately, but not all of those changes are in distros yet. When it works, it works beautifully, but there be dragons still. It’s not an easy process yet. If you want a weekend project, that’s a good candidate, but if you want simplicity you might have to wait for things to filter down.

The idea I thought was he would be using them for separate things and so dual boot would be just fine. You partition the drive or use a second drive preferably and everything is simple. I have dual booted before with multiple OSes and had no issues whatsoever and I am a no tech genius.

Depends. The VM will use more CPU, on top of running Linux. Yes, it will use more battery life. If it will kill your battery life is another question. I’d say no, with the condition that the battery will probably last 15-20% shorter than if you’d been running windows natively, in dual boot.

It really depends on the language, the work you’re doing and your preferences. I’d say yes, but it won’t be as comfortable as native.

If battery life is a big concern, I’d recommend dual booting. Additionally, if you’re concerned about getting top performance, dual booting will also work.

If you’re okay with cutting down up to 25% of your battery life to have both Windows and Linux running at the same time and having a bit of a performance hit in Windows, go for the VM.

8GB is not enough ram for passthrough, because the act of passing through a GPU could use up to 3GB (I’ve only seen 2GB, but results may vary) of RAM itself, without even touching the VM’s allocated RAM. I’d say that 16GB of ram is my minimum recommendation for Passthrough gaming.

Additionally, B350 typically has weird IOMMU groupings, that make it difficult to do passthrough without using the ACS override patch.

Regarding the 580, I’ve used one in the past. It works fine.

On the 1600, hell yeah, it’s a great CPU and will do just fine!

Should be doable, but it’s not ideal.

In my experience, any seldom-used copy of Windows is going to be bad for battery life in general regardless of whether it is dual-boot or VM. If you only boot it occasionally then every time it is going to try to catch up on all of the scheduled tasks it missed while it was not running (update, virus scan, recompile updated .NET libraries, etc.).

I would install as a VM to take advantage of associated conveniences with running as a VM. An IDE or office suite does not need a real GPU.

If you know in advance (as you usually will in an academic setting) that you need to spend some time working in Windows, then you solve the battery problem 100% by choosing to do the work at a time and place where you can plug in your laptop.

I just switched from a hard disk to a SATA SSD and I get why Windows was so crappy. My guess is nobody on the Windows team is using Windows on a 5400? rpm laptop hard disk any more. Even with a SATA SSD (860 EVO 500 GB), I get boot times at under 20 seconds. With the new NVMe drives, I would imagine you can do much better. I say if performance starts to become a problem, try dual booting.

  1. i7U processor is garbage for Virtualization. you only have 2 cores… (my laptop), esp. when you need to run a larger monitor for more complex tasks.

  2. unless your professors know anything about linux personally, they should know using just linux is perfectly fine for school work. libreoffice, openoffice, google docs, 365. perfectly works in the professional world.

  3. YOU have to learn the platform you want to use and make sure you know the in and outs on how to make it compatible for other’s format. under libredocs under save/export there is an option to output for word format.

  4. these days some colleges have 365 included, under chrome there is a 365 extension that makes things easier, but excel is garbage on that.(again… i have to use excel so that old people can keep up)

not many people understand linux unless they use it esp professors. in software, they are behind in most colleges… reasons why they are teachers… not trying to put down teachers but they are out of the loop

^^^ i7 2 cores 4 logical

also before you even try it… unless you use constant ethernet*, kvm doesnt work w/ laptops due to having to pass through wifi. wifi isnt playing well right now

Still thinking about it. I am personalty more comfortable with dual booting. but the vm advantages are nice.

I have seen this lots and what scares me. If you use different
drives I have seen people say it is not an issue, but only one drive sadly.

I will just keep the windows partition on the gaming rig for now then.

I am in the same boat with dual booting personalty, but i feel like it maybe anecdotal in that I have seen soo many people complain about windows making Linux unbootable after an update.

Testing seems to be the only way that I can get the answer for my laptop, looking it up online everyone seems to say different things from 10% to 70% of battery life.


I have a month before school starts going to test VM battery life and look into dual booting as far as work flow.

Understood, for now going to keep windows for gaming, i dual boot that, but I almost never use windows only for games like once a month. and in that system I have 2 drives.

That I did not think about. thanks for that.

That is what I am leaning too, since the classes are the first programming classes I assume they will not be massive programs.

The issue I have is that one wants us to use visual studio IDE and from what he explained wanted the file structure that Visual Studio IDE makes turned in.

…except when it doesn’t.

if you are relying on this for your studies, just run the software suggested or risk all manner of issues. OOo or libreoffice is far from perfect in terms of office document compatibility.

it’s ok for simple stuff but that’s it.