27 Jul 2012

Linux as my primary OS (laptop)

This summer holidays, I’m going to run an experiment. Could Linux, Ubuntu specifically, become my primary OS?

Currently my primary OS is Windows 7 and I run Linux as a virtual machine using Oracle’s Virtual Box. But, could it be the other way around?

In order to find out I’m going to install Linux on a notebook and force myself to work on it for a few weeks.

I’ve purchased a small (120GB) SSD disk for the notebook because once you have experienced one, a spinning hard drive feels like a 56K modem. Also the notebook is rather old (Dell XPS 1530), so this bump in speed is going to be a must if I want to work with Windows under Virtual Box.

Just to demonstrate than a SSD is the best upgrade you can do to your computer, this is the time it took Ubuntu to boot and let me type my password in both a regular hard disk and in the new SSD:

Seagate Momentus 7200K: 45 s.

OCZ Vertex3 120GB: 17 s.

Worth it!

Installing Ubuntu

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 on this laptop in less than 8 minutes. Awesome!

Then I installed Virtual Box and create a Windows 7 32 bit VM. I gave it 60 GB, half of the disk drive. It’s unlikely that I will need more than 40 GB on Linux, but Windows installs tends to get out of control.

Once I installed Visual Studio and finish configuring Windows to my needs I took a snapshot and put it in a safe place. This way I have a fresh install and I can avoid the tedious of installing everything and in the future.

I will be using this laptop for the most part of August, will see how it goes.