Install multiple operating systems on single computer

Install multiple operating systems on single computer

Install multiple operating systems on single computer

How to install multiple operating systems on single computer ?

The VirtualBox – Have you ever thought of running multiple operating systems inside a single computer? If yes, you probably know this is not an easy task especially for someone who is not a techie. So while finding the solution for this problem you might have come across a solution called dual booting. But believe me it’s not as simple as it may seem. One single mistake can run you into lots of trouble. And the biggest problem is risk of losing sensitive data during this process which is extremely high. So that what should I do; is there any way that I can run multiple OS on my computer and still do not lose any data. And the answer to this question is yes; with an approach called as virtual machine.

What is a Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine (VM) is software that creates such an environment inside your operating system (OS) that you can install multiple OS within your existing OS. The current OS is called as “host OS” and the OS which are installed inside it are called “guest OS”.

The guest operating systems run normally on the host operating system, just like any other program running on it. The end user has the same experience on a virtual machine as they would have on dedicated hardware. Simply you can say that a guest OS running on a virtual machine feels like it’s running on a real, physical computer.

Virtual machines provide their own virtual hardware, including a virtual CPU, memory, hard drive, network interface, and other devices. This is done by using specialized software which enables the virtual machines to share the hardware resources. There are plenty of virtual machine software’s you will find in market; few of them are VMware Workstation, Parallels, Microsoft Virtual Server, my personal favorite Oracle VirtualBox and many more. You can have several virtual machines installed on your system; you’re only limited by the amount of storage you have available for them.

Advantages of using virtual machines

Run multiple OS on single machine

If you are a kind of person that loves to experiment with variety of different operating system the virtual machine is best solution. Virtual machines can be used to run multiple virtual hardware platforms that are isolated from each other, allowing running Linux and Windows operating systems on the same physical host machine. E.g.  By using VirtualBox you can create a virtual machine that is running a Linux OS and another virtual machine which is running Windows OS.

Testing new software and operating system

You can install new versions of operating systems and software’s on your virtual machine in order to test then before you decide to finally migrate to the newer version of the software or OS. E.g. you are using Windows 7 as your current OS and you want to move on to Windows 10 but still have some doubt in your mind. Then you can create a virtual machine install Windows 10 inside that use it and then finally decide to move on.

Time Saving

As virtual machines can run a variety of OS so it can be easily utilized to check whether a software application can be used on different operating systems or not. You need not to prepare an entire new physical machine in order to perform such kind of testing. Hence saving lots of time. E.g. you have media player software and that works fine on windows OS. But you want to check it for Linux OS then you can simply use virtual machine to do this task on same physical hardware i.e. the same computer.

Cost Saving

For organizations running multiple servers, existing servers can be put into virtual machines and keep running on a single PC. Each virtual machine is a confined compartment, so this doesn’t present the security migraines required with running distinctive servers on the same OS. Further virtual server can be created for experimental purposes also.

Drawbacks of Virtual Machines

Requirement of Top Class Hardware

Virtualization does, however, require more bandwidth, storage and processing capacity than a traditional server or desktop if the physical hardware is going to host multiple running virtual machines. So you will need a computer with good RAM, multi core CPU and high storage capacity.

Risk of losing data

It is possible to place hundreds of virtual machines on the same hardware, but if the hardware platform fails, it could take out dozens or hundreds of virtual machines. Hence causing huge amounts of data loss.

Recommended Virtual Machine Software

VirtualBox

VirtualBox is an open-source cross platform application i.e. it can run on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. As I have already stated that it’s my personal favorite virtual machine software is and the reason for that is it’s extremely easy to operate even for a complete beginner. Moreover it’s free of cost and you can download it for free.

VMware Player

VMware Player is another amazing virtual machine program for Windows and Linux. It is the free partner to VMware Workstation, a business application, so you don’t get all the propelled highlights you would with VirtualBox.

VirtualBox Installation And Use

Here a small video demo on how to download and install VitualBox

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