Two Linux questions - dualboot and which USB drive to buy for installation

I have 2 questions about Linux for the new laptop I'm planning to buy.

1. Which would be best - dualboot with Windows, run Windows in a virtual machine, or just run Linux alone on the laptop?

2. What USB drive would you recommend for installing Linux? The reviews on Amazon UK don't seem very good. I should mention I don't have any USB-C ports on my laptop due to its age.

Thank you in advance.
 

SpyderTracks

We love you Ukraine
Moderator
I have 2 questions about Linux for the new laptop I'm planning to buy.

1. Which would be best - dualboot with Windows, run Windows in a virtual machine, or just run Linux alone on the laptop?

2. What USB drive would you recommend for installing Linux? The reviews on Amazon UK don't seem very good. I should mention I don't have any USB-C ports on my laptop due to its age.

Thank you in advance.
Hiya

Are you buying a PCS laptop?

How you boot is entirely dependent on your needs, it's not something we can comment on, we have no idea what your requirements are.

Just be aware that Linux isn't supported on PCS laptops.

For USBs personally I've found the Samsung Fit's to be excellent and good value:


You don't need to have USB C, again it's entirely based on your requirements.
 
Yes, I'm probably going to buy a PCS laptop. My current laptop is an Optimus II which is over 10 years old (you can see why I want to replace it!). I haven't decided which model to buy yet.

I'll think about your recommendation for a flash drive.
 

abssorb

Member
I've just installed dual-boot windows 11 and Ubuntu 21.10 on a Lafite Pro from PCS. All working fine except a minor issue with the keyboard backlight not being controllable on Ubuntu.

Personally I've always prefered dual-boot over VM. I have a NTFS partition both OSs can share. Booting is so fast with M2 ssd, you can swap OS in about 20 seconds. I do actually have a windows VM available as well, but TBH every time I open the snapshot I feel it's just quicker to reboot, especially if the windows VM needs updates.

The USB for install - Anything will do. It's only necessary for the first install. I used an old 4Gb USB2 flash drive.

Presumably you already do dual-boots, but just copy/pasting my procedure here in case it's useful (which I've used for 50+ builds).
  • I make sure secure boot is disabled in BIOS. My Lafite Pro was disabled from the factory.
  • Wipe the disk (I use a linux liveusb + gparted to do this)
  • Install windows first.
  • re-boot into a liveUSB of linux. Made using a dd-based script from here. Which I find far more more reliable than creation apps.
  • Trial the linux distro. Check the basics are working.
  • Open gparted on the liveusb and manually reduce the size of the windows install*. Just resize the biggest partition, the other windows partitions can remain where they are. I use 150Gb as a nominal size for ubuntu. Perhaps stating the obvious but never split it 50/50, it makes it harder to identify partitions later on. *The linux install can do this for you, but I find that it makes a small partition which I always end up having to resize later on.
  • Have a think about your main user, as they will receive the UID 1000 and it's very hard to change this later. For years I've always installed the OS with user "test" who is always UID 1000, and then my actual username can have a custom UID. Makes it easier to use on LAN / copy over data from other distros.
  • Run the install Ubuntu script. Choose the default "alongside windows". Let it complete. Reboot.
  • Optional - Update grub to always boot the last used OS. Edit /etc/default/grub to contain GRUB_SAVEDEFAULT=true
There are other ways to do it, but I find this the most reliable.
 
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