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So I currently have dual boot Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.04 on a Dell XPS 13 laptop. Ubuntu has a major problem with display drivers (screen backlight) that I haven't been able to solve, so I'm looking for alternatives.

I would like to use some kind of virtual machine program on windows that will boot up my existing linux install into a fullscreen window. I am after one of two scenarios:

1) Something that would mount and boot my existing Linux install from where it is, so I can still dual-boot if required. This seems like the cleanest option, and would make life very simple indeed.

2) A way to make a copy of EVERYTHING from my existing ubuntu install onto a virtual machine, leaving me free to delete the linux partitions, and use ubuntu via vm only.

Scenario 1 is preferred.

Thanks for your help.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

For the first scenario:

You can try to start chrooted ubuntu. For this you should install any linux on your VM. Mount all your Ubuntu partitions there.

Then mount your /proc /sys /dev and startx as it was answered here:

mount -t proc none path_to_chroot/proc/

mount -t sysfs none path_to_chroot/sys/

mount -o bind /dev path_to_chroot/dev/

Here is a bash script to run chrooted ubuntu, edit it for your needs:

mount --bind /dev /media/disk/dev
mount --bind /proc /media/disk/proc
mount --bind /sys /media/disk/sys
mount --bind /dev/pts /media/disk/dev/pts
cp /etc/resolv.conf /media/disk/etc/resolv.conf
chroot /media/disk

I hope you have enough skill for doing that by your self. If not i can write full manual later. Also read this


For the second scenario:

I have found more easy solution of your problem.

You can read this and this to understand what i mean.

Also using this tutorial you should do a remastersys backup, that means that you will do a full system backup including your home folder, all applications and all your data into .iso image. Put this image on usb hard drive, or just to Windows NTFS partition. Then you can install your ubuntu in VirtualBox using this .iso file.

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Thanks so much! Any chance of making this a little more step-by-step for a newbie? I've installed Ubuntu on a new VirtualBox machine. Do I need to do anything first before I start running the commands you listed above? – Christopher Gillis Oct 14 '13 at 1:28
I'm stuck on "Mount all your Ubuntu partitions there". I don't know how to access those partitions from VirtualBox running on Windows... – Christopher Gillis Oct 15 '13 at 0:15
I update answer providing more easy solution for you – c0rp Oct 15 '13 at 4:53
Thanks! Remastersys worked perfectly. I had to install using deb precise main even though I am running Raring. I also had to empty my trash, downloads folder, and a few other things to get my total filesize down small enough to fit on an iso. – Christopher Gillis Oct 16 '13 at 4:09
You are welcome! – c0rp Oct 16 '13 at 8:25

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