Currently I have a laptop running Ubuntu 14.04 with a 256GB hard drive. I'm required to use a few Adobe programs so I fired up a VM (vmware workstation) and installed a Win7 in it. Unfortunately the performance is not as good, as it should be. I'm not sure if it's driver related or what ever. Anyway the easiest way for me would be to install Win7 back on the laptops hard disk (I anyway wanted to try Win10 ;)). Still I prefer Linux for development (and I'm required to use it for some stuff too). So much for the background.

I came up with a few solutions to install Win7 as main OS but be still able to use Ubuntu.

  1. Dual Boot: not really an option since 256GB for 2 OS (I'd like to sync my Dropbox with both, that would take like 90GB per OS...) -> not an option
  2. VM Host Win7, Guest Ubuntu: Should work but same issue as with Dual Boot.
  3. Moving Ubuntu to a USB3 stick or external SSD. I'm thinking about a HyperX Savage SSD with the usb3 casing.

Will I be able to boot Ubuntu from the external drive if I just copy the disk with CloneZilla? or are there better ways to copy the OS and all it's files? I'm guessing, that the MBR/Bootloader will be copied too, what happens if I wipe the internal disk and install Win7 on it, do I just have to choose witch OS to boot in BIOS (selecting the boot device USB or internal)? Or will this cause problems? Will I be able to boot my Ubuntu machine at any Computer with this set up or will it only work with my laptop (because of the hardware/drivers)?

One last thing, the disk is encrypted with the LUKS stuff, I selected full disk encryption during installation. In my opinion, CloneZilla should just clone every thing including the encryption. Am I wrong about this?

  • You know that when you dual boot, Ubuntu can access your Windows files? So you only need 10-20 gb for Ubuntu and just keep your data in the Windows partition instead of duplicating it. – psusi Nov 18 '15 at 23:50
  • True, but on the other hand I'd have to specify how much disk space witch OS will get. Let's say 200gb for win, since the installation till take up about 60gb, Dropbox 90gb, leaving roughly 50gb for programs on win and 50gb for Ubuntu. And I'll have to wipe the disk first and can't just continue using my Ubuntu system with all it's programs and settings. – wawa Nov 18 '15 at 23:56
  • You can use gparted to shrink your existing Ubuntu partition. You might need to delete your data files and restore them to the Windows partition after installing it to the free space. – psusi Nov 18 '15 at 23:58
  • Can I used gparted on an encrypted partition (LUKS)? I thought that would only work on not encrypted partitions... – wawa Nov 19 '15 at 0:00
  • Ahh, possibly not. In that case you might find this question helpful to reinstall all of the same programs after reinstalling Ubuntu in a smaller partition after reinstalling Windows: askubuntu.com/q/9135/8500 – psusi Nov 19 '15 at 0:06

I recommend you backup the list of installed applications, backup your config files in /etc, and your home directory, the just reinstall ( Windows first ). You only need 10-20 gb of space for Ubuntu, and you can keep your data files only on the Windows partition; there is no need to upload them to dropbox and download to the other OS too. Then restore your installed applications, config files, and home directory.

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