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I know how to install two operating systems, but the problem is, I only know how to set it up in a way that requires me to reboot the machine, and selecting an OS to boot up. So pretty much only one operating system can be actively used at a time.

I would like to run Windows 7 as the primary operating system, with Ubuntu as the secondary operating system. Ubuntu and Windows 7 both need to be running 24/7 in parallel.

There's just no reason for me to run a web server on any other platform than Linux, however, I need to be able to use Windows 7 for work and other miscellaneous programs.

What is the best route for me to take so that I can install Ubuntu Linux, so that it's always running, while still allowing me to run Windows 7 simultaneously?

Oh, as a side note, I also occasionally play video games, so I would like it if Windows 7 ran smoothly. I've had a terrible experience with wine in the past, but if that's what's recommended, I guess I'll use that then.

I'm sure it's hard to formulate a real concrete answer, but any information to guide me in the right direction would be much appreciated.

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Have you heard of Virtualization. See this Wikipedia article for Virtualbox. Understand the concept and then come again to update the question. The problem is you want two very conflicting situations to be handled smoothly. – Aditya Mar 25 '13 at 18:45
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you are doing any higher end gaming, I would simply install Virtualbox inside of Windows 7, then Ubuntu inside of that. Trust me, it will save you all kinds of pain if you play higher end games. For things like windows games/photoshop/office/autocad there are workarounds, but you already have windows 7, so why waste the time.

I run Xubuntu as my primary OS with a VirtualBox XP installed in case I need it, but then again, I don't really game or use Photoshop.

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This sounds like you need a virtualization solution:

because of the safety and speed advantages of ubuntu i would recommend you to run virtual box on a ubuntu system. Alternatively VMWare.

VirtualBox simulates a pc that does actually not exist, that runs in a seperate window. The setup in virtual box is the same as the setup on a hardware-computer. You have several options to split the system performance between vitual system and host-OS, Networking an passing through internet connections is also easily possible.

For further information see Virtual Box official webpage Except for video ames with high system prequisites this should cover your needs. But keep in mind, that the performance will never be the same as in a dualboot system, because your machine has to run two OS at the same time.

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"What is the best route for me to take so that I can install Ubuntu Linux, so that it's always running, while still allowing me to run Windows 7 simultaneously?"

Another option maybe a full hd monitor with multiple ports. The monitor i use has a vga and a dvi connectors on back; connecting two pc's to them allows me to use a button on the monitor to switch system being used. i.e. no rebooting to choose which os - just like what is asked in question.

Annoying having two sets of keyboard and mice lying about.. sure a Keyboard Video Mouse (KVM) switch would sort that out though!

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