Time to get a little fancy here on the ol’ blog. Today, I am going to tell you how to run Lunixas a secondary operating system so that you don’t have to stop using your proprietary operating system. The concept isn’t new, and for some of you serious techies out there this is probably old information, so just bear with me here while everyone else catches up:
It’s called a dual-boot system. This sounds exactly like what you think it is: your system can run on Windows/Chrome/Mac or Lunix, depending on what you want to do during that session. All you have to do to run the other system is switch over, and that process will depend on which OS you are switching from.
Sounds great, right? You get the best of both worlds that way.
My computer runs on Windows, so I’m going to walk you through that process and maybe talk about the others once I’ve actually gone through the process. I’ll add a little bit at the end about what I’ve heard about those installs for all you Windows haters out there, though.
The first step depends on whether you are starting with a completely blank hard drive or not. If you have a fresh drive, Windows is the one who doesn’t play well with others so it has to go first. Choose the custom install and make sure you tell Windows that it can’t partition the majority of the drive. It has to share. If Windows is already installed on your machine then you need to be sure to make room for it on the drive, which you can do from the Disk Management Utility. Or give Lunix its own separate drive. Depends on how much money/know-how/energy you feel like putting into this project. Resize the Windows partition so that you have enough room for Lunix, because Windows is greedy.
Once Windows is in and you have the room, burn your Linux installer to a DVD or put it on a flash drive, then boot from that drive. Install Linux, being sure to select the option where you install it along with Windows. Otherwise, it will wipe your hard drive and undo everything you just did. If there is a custom install option instead, choose that one and you should be able to resize the partitions yourself. Linux will put in a nice menu when you boot up to ask you which operating system you want to go with at any given startup. Ta-done!
Promised paragraph for the rest of you: I’ve heard that it isn’t as easy on a Mac, but if you burn a live version of Linux to a CD, you can always run it from there. Maybe by the time you get tired of that, someone will have made it an easier process. A Chromebook, on the other hand, is already a Linux machine. So I’d imagine it’s not as difficult. You just have to find a program that is made specifically for Chromebooks and be in developer mode. Because, you know, you’re developing. Once you’ve got it in, it’s a simple keyboard shortcut to switch from one OS to the other.