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How to Run Windows and Linux on a Single System

This Recipe will tell you how to install and optimize VMware Server, a software virtual machine emulator that lets you run Linux and one or more other operating systems at the same time, each in a separate window. In most cases this means Windows, though other OSes can be run as well.

Why do it? The disadvantages of Windows are well known. It's a malware magnet, and some reports say its instability has survived even into the recently-released Vista version. At the same time, Windows runs on the overwhelming majority of desktops and notebooks. It's a fact of life.

Recently, Apple Computer has started boasting of the Mac's ability to run Windows via dual boot. This capability is important, because many business programs and popular games alike are available only in Windows versions. Linux has the same problem. Many essential programs are simply unavailable in versions that will run on this open-source OS.

VMware Server makes it possible to not only run these programs, but also to run them from an open Linux session. So a user can work on a word-processor document in OpenOffice in Linux while they run a legacy Windows graphics application to create its images at the same time.

The Linux OS emulation described in this Recipe lets users run older legacy Windows applications within a virtual machine that's a lot more malware-resistant than a computer running Windows as its only OS. This emulation also lets users run the new Linux applications, many of which are as good or better than their Windows equivalents. Oh, and did I mention that they can run Windows and Linux applications at the same time?

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