Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Is it possible to switch into a Windows environment from Ubuntu without rebooting the computer?

share|improve this question
5  
@dv3500ea Good edit. –  Oli Sep 20 '10 at 15:57

7 Answers 7

Not as I think you mean. The only way to go from a proper "bare metal" install of Ubuntu to a "bare metal" install of Windows is through BIOS.

However, virtualisation might be an option (it is for me). I only have a few Windows applications that I occasionally need for work (Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks) that don't work acceptably with with Wine. I use VirtualBox to boot a "virtual" install of Windows. Note this requires quite a powerful machine with plenty of RAM to run really well.

Wine is another option. Wine allows you to run some Windows applications on Ubuntu but the coverage is a lot lower for most applications than a virtualised environment.

If you explain what you're trying to do in Windows, perhaps we can explain the best of those solutions.

share|improve this answer
    
Virtualization can be a very useful tool, but unfortunately the only machine my family has that has the RAM to do it is my mom's laptop, which she is protective of. I wish my laptop could be expanded to more than a gigabyte. –  dgw Dec 16 '10 at 23:37

Using a "Bare Metal" hypervisor for virtual machines (such as VMware) may allow you to do this. There is a cost in resources of course. This is not the sort of VM where one OS is the host and another a guest ... both are equal, and run under a thin low-level hypervisor.

share|improve this answer
    
I had considered recommending this but I don't know how (or even if) they handle hardware like graphics cards or USB. AFAICS it's all very server-orientated. –  Oli Sep 20 '10 at 22:12
    
I'm not sure either. I had a friend who was/is attempting it, and he hasn't gotten far. Linux host with Windows guest using VirtualBox is probably his best bet at this point. –  Nerdfest Sep 20 '10 at 23:17

Run one operating system as a guest in a virtual machine, with the other system as a host. (You can also run both as guests inside a hypervisor.)

If you want good integration between Windows and Linux, and don't mind running Windows as the primary operating system, you can run coLinux, which is a virtualized Linux running on top of Windows. There is an Ubuntu-based distribution of coLinux: andLinux.

share|improve this answer
    
Upvote for mentioning coLinux. But first paragraph needs much more explanation. –  rjmunro Oct 11 '10 at 22:45

No, not with a dual boot setup. The only way to come close to this is to install Windows in a virtual machine using software such as Virtualbox. Virtualbox can be installed from the Ubuntu Software Centre (just search 'virtualbox').

share|improve this answer

If you just need to run some windows applications, you might try using wine. Just do

sudo apt-get install wine

and when install is finished, you just download some program for windows and go to file properties -> Permissions -> mark Allow executing this file as program.

Then you just normally double click on that exe file. Many programs work pretty good with wine.

share|improve this answer

You will need to go for the newest hybrid laptops.

....Lenovo's new dual CPU, dual-OS ThinkPad X1 Hybrid is perhaps the most fully realized attempt yet to give users Linux and Windows in a well-designed portable machine. Lenovo's laptop, which will be shown at the Consumer Electronic Show next week, can switch between Linux and Windows with one click, and runs Linux on a dual-core Qualcomm chip....

News source

share|improve this answer

No, because each operating system is different. If you needed to install inside of a Virtual Machine and run an operating system inside another.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

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.