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First time use of linux on laptop without OS


I am a windows user for all my life now and just bought a lenovo thinkpad x230 without any OS pre-installed. I´m curious for linux and would like to try it.

I have some questions:

the thinkpad comes with intel core i5, 500GB ROM and 2x 4GB RAM. So i think i can use 64 bit versions of OS. I would like to use windows and linux.

Do i create partitions and what size before installing any OS (i plan to install windows 7 pro and maybe for starters ubuntu)? Or is it best to install e.g. linux beforehand and run windows from there in a virtual box?

I haven´t tried any of these options - please tell me about pro´s and con´s and how it would work in practice..

2) there is literally nothing pre-installed - even BOOTMGR-which is apparently necessary for installing an image isn´t installed. How can i install a linux version best, then?!


  • Hey Izzy,

    Thanks for your answer!

    About the partition: until now i worked with windows - partitioning the hard drive into one smaller one, on which there would be the OS, a second partition for programs, a third for storing e.g. backups and data.

    With the "dual boot system" i would have to choose between windows and linux at the booting process? meaning i could not switch between OS while working on a dokument e.g.
    is there a major advantage to "dual booting"?!

    if i installed linux in a virtual box - it would need some memory space - would it be clever to create a separate partition (like above) for the virtual box?


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    I guess I can add some input ;)

    The decision to use virtualbox from within windows or have a dual boot system comes with a few item to question.

    1. Any Os in virtualbox will have limited performance compared to a native dual boot installation. The processes will be slower and applications that require 3d acceleration may not work properly, so for gaming that would kill the potential. What is more important to you, being able to quickly switch between OSs or have proper performance without the potential of a window error taking out both OSs?

    2. With a virtual installation you can open the same file on both operating systems if the file is being shared through a network file share, local access is restricted to a single OS at a time.

    3. You will want to install windows first, but with limited space. This is because windows will always overwrite any bootloader on the system and because resizing a partition can lead to lost data or limitations on the minimized size. Starting windows with the correct smaller partition will help you to avoid those problems.

    Also, on the recommendation of using a liveCD to play, it works well in theory but the performance loss is substantial, a native or virtual installation would deliver a much better experience.

    Please report back with any additional questions.


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