I like Linux, but it has one inherent problem.
If you want to install Linux on a PC that already has Windows installed, there are two opions – you either have to install Virtual Machine software, or you have to partition the hard disk.
I have a natural fear od repartitioning a live hard disk. If it goes wrong at all with even the smallest error, you can end up losing your entire operating system and you end up with a dud machine.
Installing a Virtual Machine is a safe alternative and is very simple to install. However, the drawback to VMs is that unless you have a massive memory installed, they tend to be fairly slow. Also there can be difficulties in tying the VM to the master operating system, so your Linux install may not be able to access the Windows partitions.
I recently came across a new system of running Linux on a Windows machine, and it works extremely well.
A friend recommended Linux Mint so I went to their site and downloaded the latest ISO. I burned it to a DVD and inserted it in the drive. I was given three options. I could run Mint directly off the DVD, which isn’t much use as I wouldn’t be able to write any files, including settings. I could allow the DVD to repartition the hard drive and do a full install.
The third option intrigued me though. It offered the option of installing Linux as a virtual program within Windows. I chose this option and the only real decision I had to make was how much space to allocate. I chose 20Gb.
The installation was completely painless,
I ended up with a fully functional operational installation of Mint. It is a dual boot system, and by booting into Mint, the OS has full access to all the PC’s hardware, and the only drawback is a very slight degredation in speed, as all disk reads and writes have to be translated into NTFS.
For anyone interested in trying out Linux without compromising their current setup, I couldn’t recommend Mint highly enough.