Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm a developer who must rely on Windows for various programs that simply don't run in Linux. My first thought is to run Ubuntu within some sort of virtual machine, such as Vbox. However, my primary drive is an SSD (Samsung 470/256gb), and I've heard that it is a bad idea for your SSD to run VM's on it (I guess it decreases its longevity substantially, due to the nature of write methodology or something?). For what I want to do, dual boot would not be realistic, since I basically just want Ubuntu running in the background, mostly, and to shell into it when I need to do stuff.

I like Ubuntu specifically, because that's what we use on our production server; this would allow me a dev environment local to my machine (this probably . I realize this is probably a stupid question - after all, how could two OS's share the same physical resources? Googling wasn't very helpful, but maybe there is some sort of software or methodology I'm not thinking to search for. Thoughts? Suggestions? I suppose another take could be some solution that makes virtualization on SSD's safe?

share|improve this question
SSDs have come a long way with wear-leveling technology. Do you have any references for saying VMs on SSDs are a bad idea? – Kyle Jun 13 '12 at 16:06
you mention that your primary drive is SSD, what about your second drive? It sounds like you want to go the virtual machine route and you can put the VM ubuntu on a HDD. – amc Jun 13 '12 at 16:15

It is absolutely no issue to run Virtual Box with virtual disks, and machine folders located anywhere. This can perfectly be another hard drive or an external USB drive.

The only thing we have to do is to set this up in the Virtual Box preferences where we can define a path for the default machine folder. The virtual disks used by a given machine can even be stored anywhere else.

When starting a virtual machine we then only have to take care that all the locations we may have defined are accessible.

In case you need simultaneous access to both, Windows, and Ubuntu you have little choice other than running one of them in a virtual machine.

share|improve this answer

I think the easiest way to do something close to that, is to run Cygwin in windows.

Although I don't know if you will be able to get every thing you need to run in it, you may want to give it a shot. I have only ever use it for SSH access and GCC on a windows machine at work, and it works great for that.

share|improve this answer

Well, if you still wanting to run VM on your SSD, here's a little information that I have for you.

As I know, that VM is using a virtual hard drive, isn't it?
Last time I used VirtualBox, it was using 2 types of VHD.
A fixed size one, and another one that have it's size increasing as much as you use your VM.

In my opinion, it is safer for you to use a fixed VHD.
Because a fixed size VHD has it's file size fixed, it won't increase or decrease at any conditions.
In other words, there will be no such a massive read/write progress on your SSD as you use the VM.
If you know what I mean.

But still, it is possible that my research is not right by any circumstances.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.