Windows 7 refugee needing advice/sanity check

Hi All,
So I am one of “those people” that still run Windows 7 and know the clock is running out. I would like to present my mitigation strategy and for the community to let me know what they think. What did I miss, or no sorry it does not work that way …

In my imagined setup I would have Linux as my main/host OS and have Windows 7 still round in a sand box (VM). I hope that there is a way to have Linux shield/protect the vm due to no new security updates. Can linux shield the vm from most things (I know nothing can fully protect from dumb users)?

Why not just move to windows 10? I want more control over my OS and I don’t really like my OS becoming a subscription. Over time it seems like I have less control over my PC. Also the wife said “windows 10 over your dead body”. :roll_eyes:

When I started this post I was going to ask about hardware and VMs and tons of stuff but I guess I really need to know if linux as a host and windows 7 vm is a option. Why windows at all? Visual Studio (work) and Games + (unreal/unity dev for fun). Duel boot is not an option. No protection and I know myself I will never boot into linux … :cry:

Thanks all!

edit ------------------------

I wanted to specifically ask “can/will linux protect/isolate a vm?” Once there are no security updates are there ways to keep the VMs safe as long as I don’t use a browser or download from that vm?

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Switch to Linux comments:
in 3 2 1… :slight_smile:

Frankly if you don’t use torrent of watch porn of click on advertisements or attachments you should be fine.

One of the most famous hacks happened not because the peson hacked used windows 7, it was because his password was “password”.

Another person got hacked because because he was famous and the name of his first dog and what elementary school he went two was in news articles

More importantly, running W7 in a VM will protect Linux, your hardware, your data and you from W7!

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As far as ive been able to tell, windows 10 actually gives you more control over the system than 7. What exactly do you believe you’ll lose control over from switching? If you need more control you can use the pro version for example.

the subscription statement also isnt really a thing. i’m not aware of any part of windows 10 being a subscription. In fact Microsoft’s model seems to have moved in a direction that will see Windows 10 having a longer life than any of their previous OS’. It’s here to stay for some significant time.

As your also needing visual studio for work, i would have presumed windows 10 would be a no brainier. I’m not sure how difficult it would be to develop modern code in windows 7 especially with the new windows frameworks which don’t exist in 7.

It would be good to understand more clearly about why you cant use Windows 10…

But using windows 10 and Linux is also a good option if there are things in Linux which you think you might benefit from.

I do practice internet safety and strong passwords so it “should” not be an issue.

That was my hope as well.

I will admit much of my anti windows 10 is must likely FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) or just pure ignorance.

Some of the wording when windows 10 came out really made it sound like it would move to subscription only. Now yes that has not happened “yet” but I still think they want it. Time will tell and I could just be off base.

So work wise, our client still is on windows 7 and they have paid Microsoft for 5 more years of support. So I want to keep my dev environment the same as that. As for me I am just tired of paying more money to Micro$oft. Also, with linux I had hoped to learn a little something new.

Thanks all for your time.

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In this particular case then i would just throw Windows 7 on a Vm for a dev testing environment, but i would probably avoid it for much else.

Don’t put off Windows 10 if your a developer though, it will eventually be something you need, and it has some really nice Linux integrations with WSL. It’s a pretty decent OS these days and i wouldn’t fall trap to the screaming from the corner of the internet.

If you do need a windows environment for day to day then i very honestly suggest putting windows 10 as your main OS, and virtualise windows 7. You can run WSL, w7 in a vm, and dedicated linux in a vm as well if you like.

If that’s not an issue, you can always run Linux as your main OS and virtualise W7 for your dev testing. It should work fine, but id just go for one of the main OS’ like Ubuntu, CentOS, or Fedora, dont go into niche systems for your production machine.


If you make snapshots of your VM and keep good backups then it won’t matter so much if the VM gets borked.

I must admit, this is not what I was expecting. I thought everyone would be yes, welcome to the linux revolution, down with the evil empire. (yada yada yada)

You have given me food for thought and I will give it more time but right now I am thinking of having Linux Mint as my host and then having Win 7 VMs and maybe Win 10 VMs. This way the wife and I can get see if win 10 is an option. My hope is to fall in love with Linux and only spin up the VMs when necessary.

I have wondered, If my Win VM has a maped drive to a NAS and something does “bork” the VM can it kill the NAS as well?

Maybe im a bit more pragmatic. I use Linux a lot, my entire work like is basically all CentOS. But I also have Windows 10 and OSX at home.

I encourage you to use Linux, but not because Widnows is bad, but for honing a new skill and understanding of a new OS. If Windows is the right solution for your work then you should keep looking at using it (albeit W10) for that work. But a mix of both might work as well, it depends on your needs. No point in making your life harder for no real reason, that would be bad advice for people here to give.

I would imagine if a VM got infected and had access to a drive that the drive could be infected/compromised. It’s also possible to grab a file with a Windows targeted virus on a Linux machine/VM and pass it to a Windows machine/VM. It might be a good idea to scan files as you feel appropriate.

I agree with Eden that if you need Windows then Win10 (bare metal) will give you the least amount of grief in the long run for those tasks you need it for. Using Linux (bare metal, second physical drive) for everything else except those things you simply cannot do on Linux will minimize your time in Windows 10, and as such means you wont have as many Windows 10 issues (security, updates, machine taking itself over for said updates, whatever else you have issues with). Not that there is anything wrong with VM,s but if you are learning an OS or need one for work, it is more likely to run consistently well on a dedicated drive.

Much like XP before it, Win7 must eventually be put to rest. Sure, people still run XP but extremely few at this point. Whether you choose to leave it now or 10 years from now is up to you, but eventually you will probably need an exit plan.

Edit - It would have been nice to notify and leave a link to your new thread if you were going to abandon this one. Link:

I was not sure if we were abandoning this thread but yes, thank you for the link. At some point I will know enough and have the vocabulary to ask the questions that are stuck in my head. They just seem to come out all wrong today.

W7 will work just fine after 2020. I use bone stock w7/sp2 for games. No problems. Personally I only update the GPU driver.

If security updates are important to you, look elsewhere.

Closing to keep things tidy.

OP’s new thread. Continue discussion here.

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