Best way to dual boot Linux?


I am in the process of ordering parts and building a PC, having decided to comeback to a desktop PC after a few years of using MacBooks

I am getting a 2TB hard drive, and want to split it as follows

C: Running Pinguy Linux as default - this struck me as a good choice for a beginner, please let me know if I am making a big mistake! (500GB partition)

D: Running Windows 7. (500GB)

E: For my Media, and storage for files should I need to change either of the OS partitions (1TB)

What I want, is Linux as default running, with the option of booting to Windows natively. I know I can select it from the Bios menu, but something neater would be nice.

I also want to run the Windows Partition as a virtual Machine within Linux

Please can you let me know how best to go about this… Thanks

Pinguy is as good a choice as any … personally I’d go for Peppermint, but then I would :slight_smile:

Install Windows first …

Install win7 in a 500GB NTFS partition … leaving the rest unpartitioned.

Once installed boot into Windows, and create a second 1TB NTFS partition directly after the Windows partition … leaving 500GB(ish) unpartitioned at the end of the hard drive.

Boot the Linux LiveCD/LiveUSB, and install … it will offer to use the “free space”, accept that and it will also add Win7 to the GRUB bootloader … so you’ll be offered Win7 or Linux at boot time.

Thanks. Glad I asked as I’d never have thought of doing it this way

Just before I go ahead and do it that way… I have a perfectly running Windows 7 VM machine that took time to set up. I was planning on converting it to work with Virtual Box as detailed here Migrating from VMWARE to VirtualBox - Stack Overflow

Mainly because Microsoft Money is a faff to set up, I spent hours trying to get my Microsoft Money file to work as it’s no longer supported, and I have been using it since about 1999 to keep my finances in check. That and AutoRoute were the sole reasons for me shelling out £60 to support virtual machines

So in short, is there a way that I can install Linux first, then convert the virtual machine. But also use this virtual machine natively on a standalone partition?

ACTUALLY SCRATCH THE ABOVE. After seeing a video on YouTube, it makes perfect sense to start from scratch. One question though, is it possible to alter the grub boot loader so that it defaults to Linux if I don’t make a selection within a set number of seconds?

is it possible to alter the grub boot loader so that it defaults to Linux if I don't make a selection within a set number of seconds?

It will most likely do this anyway … but YES you can change the default OS and adjust the timeout before autobooting.