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Just posting this question to ask this: Which is better, dual booting a Macbook (mid 2007 2,1 model) with Ubuntu (latest supported release 12.04) or is it just as good using a Virtual Machine such as Virtual Box or Parallels?

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Questions of opinion are generally frowned-upon, but I think this will be OK. –  hexafraction Aug 4 '12 at 18:17
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Define "better." Dual boot is "better" in that Ubuntu will run faster and have direct access to the hardware, but a VM is "better" in that you don't have to reboot to switch OSs and you can use both at once. –  Kevin Aug 4 '12 at 18:19

3 Answers 3

If i were you i would dual boot. Running Ubuntu in a Virtual Machine won't give you the full experience and the full glamour of running Ubuntu in dual boot.

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I prefer VMs and use Mac/Parallels every day to run Windows and Linux on a Macbook Pro (2011).

VM gives you history snapshots (great for safeguarding your VM environments) and you can just close/reopen them quickly instead of shutting down/rebooting the OS. And Parallels lets you flick between the VM windows or even run them mixed in same window ('coherence').

I did try bootcamp but found no speed benefit (Windows running Visual Studio dev environment), VM feels just a quick.

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It depends on your your aim and what you value most.

VM (Virtual Machine) is much more convenient, since you have total access to MacOS, which in many circumstances is priceless. But since you are not running native, it is slower. So avoid if you need full speed and memory.

Dual boot, i.e. running via BootCamp, gives you native access to the hardware, and so will give you the most power. But you have to reboot the machine every time you want to switch OS, which is a hassle.

So basically, unless you will be playing games or something similarly process-intense, go with VM.

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