CLIFFORD ILKAY clifford_ilkay at dinamis.com
Wed Jan 14 17:47:04 UTC 2009

Keith wrote:
> Hopefully I will become a newcomer to the world of Linux,namely, Ubuntu 8.11

That isn't a currently-shipping version of Ubuntu. You'd be well-advised
to stick with something stable, like 8.04.1 and if you're a bit more
adventurous, 8.10 seeing as you're new.

> I have downloaded the software to a CD ( I think you call this an ISO).
> I booted from the CD, no problem....great. I like what I saw.
> Rather than partition my harddrive ( I'm using XP Professional) I would
> like to install a programme called VirtualBox, why I'm not sure.
> This where I need some Advice:
> 1. Dual boot , does this mean I can flip between Windows and Linux at
> will without rebooting my computer.... or am I being very naive.

Dual boot is typically when you have to reboot to switch from one OS to
another. What you're doing is called "virtualization" and it enables you
to run XP and Linux simultaneously. Linux would be running in a virtual
environment created by VirtualBox.

I would suggest you modify your plan somewhat but this is a bit more

1. Make a good backup of your existing Windows installation.

2. Defragment your drive using the utility in XP.

3. Boot from a Linux live CD and shrink the partition containing Windows
to provide enough free disk space to install Linux. Alternately, you can
just install Linux on another hard disk altogether and eliminate the
need for resizing the Windows partition.

4. Install Linux on the free space you just created or on the other hard
disk drive. Be careful not to clobber your Windows partition.

5. Install the VirtualBox package(s) in Linux.

6. Using this <http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=769883> as a
guide, boot the existing XP installed on your system with VirtualBox.

This will also enable you to run both operating systems simultaneously
but the difference will be that VirtualBox will be hosted on the more
stable of the two. Unless you wanted to reclaim the disk space or never
use XP again, there would be no need to ever remove XP. Despite the fact
that I use Linux everywhere, on servers, firewalls, and my desktops, I
still have Windows for testing software we write and for the occasional
application for which I don't have a replacement on Linux.

Clifford Ilkay
1419-3266 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON
Canada  M4N 3P6

+1 416-410-3326
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