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I have been running Ubuntu inside a VM for the past 6 months or so, but I am struggling to get great performance out of it. My goal is to be able to setup a dual boot of Windows and Ubuntu, so that when I really need performance I can just boot into Ubuntu, but for other times when I need to use Windows, I can still pop open the boot instance of Ubuntu in a VM.

Is this possible? I have done this in Parallels for Mac, but I'm not aware of anything that will allow me to do this in Windows.

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Just to be clear, you want to use the same instance of Ubuntu in both the VM and dual boot methods, correct? This may be possible, I guess it depends on which VM software you're using. If it supports booting from a partition and not just a virtual drive, then you'd be good to go. You should include the software you're using, and someone that knows about it might be able to answer your question. –  Kris Harper Aug 16 '11 at 21:20
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@root45 - Yes, I want to boot the same instance. I don't care which software I use to accomplish the task, but currently I am using VirtualBox. I don't mind switching though, if there is something that supports this. –  skaz Aug 16 '11 at 21:53

2 Answers 2

I can't see why this should be impossible. Let's break down the steps:

  1. VirtualBox on Windows probably uses a file on the Windows filesystem to store the guest (Ubuntu) virtual HDD. Learn how to use a partition instead.

  2. Once, you have a real Ubuntu partition, set up a bootloader (grub) or modify the bootloader you already have.

  3. Now, boot into Ubuntu. Ubuntu should recognize your hardware (which is different from the emulated hardware when running inside VirtualBox). If your hardware is supported, see if VirtualBox guest additions (graphics, networking) cause any trouble. Check whether networking needs work.

  4. Go back to Windows and see if Ubuntu under VirtualBox still works.

  5. Be very careful with hibernating Ubuntu.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

It turns out that there was another post that has the exact answer to the question.

You can find it here.

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