Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Discuss] How do Linux guys back up Windows?

On 12/27/2012 04:24 PM, Jerry Feldman wrote:
> Looking more at Dave's situation, IMHO, Dave might be better off running
> Windows in a virtual machine. The advantages are:
> 1. The VM can  be backed up during normal Linux backups and easily
> restored.
> 2. You can take snapshots to reduce boot time.
> 3. VMs are portable. You can stick a VM on a USB drive and run it from
> another computer. You can take a Virtualbox and move it to VMWare and
> vice-versa with a bit of effort.
> 4. As in Mark's #1, since the physical system is the virtual container,
> it does not care about the physical world.
> 5. VMWare and VirtualBox provide methods to convert an existing physical
> machine to virtual. (PtoV). This way you can take your physically
> installed Windows and convert them to a virtual container. VMWare has a
> free tool you can use for this.
> There are some disadvantages of virtual machines.
> 1. Graphics is limited, so if you are using Windows for a high
> performance graphical system, then VM is not for you
> 2. Performance of a VM is going to be less than that if it is native.
> With today's multi-core processors this is not muc of an issue.
> But this makes a much better backup solution

Up until recently, that's exactly what I was doing.  My *only* uses for
Windows were to back up/sync my iPhone and remote desktop into work. 
Syncing with iTunes running in a VM often went badly, but not often
enough to stop me from doing it.

What has changed is that
- My main laptop died [1] and I replaced it with a much beefier one that
can do real work, so now  I have a dual boot powerful laptop.  I
wouldn't have replaced the laptop right away, but I wanted to get one
before they even started thinking about shipping them with Windows 8.

- I'm now gaming [2] every month or so with my coworkers, and sometimes
on my own.  I built a powerful gaming rig that is dual boot, and I
decided to use the Linux side of it as my main machine instead of a
laptop.  I'm VERY happy with that decision.

So using Windows in a VM *may* work for *some* games, but it's not
really the way to go.

After seeing everyone's great comments (including "install Linux"), I've
come to the realization that I'm probably best off doing a very
occasional mirror image of Windows, and use Unison to copy off my
documents that change.  Maybe I'll have to reinstall windows, maybe the
image will restore.  The only for-pay applications installed on either
Windows box is MS Office, and my Steam games which will reinstall
themselves with no problems.

Thanks for all the great advice.

[1] The screen backlight died, but the rest of the laptop works.  It's 5
years old though, so I'm not going to replace the backlight. I'll
probably hook it up to a TV as a MythTV client.

[2] Halo, Counter Strike, Torchlight II, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and a few
others.  dj_segfault on Steam.

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /