Posted in Opinion

The Dual Boot Deception

The Dual Boot Deception Posted on November 18, 20158 Comments

Joe Collins worked in radio and TV stations for over 20 years where he installed, maintained and programmed computer automation systems. Joe also worked for Gateway Computer for a short time as a Senior Technical Support Professional in the early 2000’s and has offered freelance home computer technical support and repair for over a decade.

Joe is a fan of Ubuntu Linux and Open Source software and recently started offering Ubuntu installation and support for those just starting out with Linux through EzeeLinux.com. The goal of EzeeLinux is to make Linux easy and start them on the right foot so they can have the best experience possible.

Joe lives in historic Portsmouth, VA in a hundred year old house with three cats, three kids and a network of computers built from scrounged parts, all happily running Linux.

(Last Updated On: February 20, 2017)

Traditionally, Linux developers have had a major obstacle to overcome to get folks to try Linux – the fact that the prospective user will have to install it.

These days, most computers come pre-loaded with an operating system like Windows or Apple’s OS X. All you have to do is take the computer out of the box, plug a few things in and boot it up to get started. While nerds may enjoy the challenge of installing and setting up a new OS, the vast majority of users don’t and would only do so if they absolutely had to. Linux developers have responded to this by streamlining the installation process.

The fact that you can boot a functioning Linux desktop from a DVD without installing anything is a good example of how ingenious the Linux folks have been in dealing with this issue. Another is the fact that most graphic installers will offer to configure a dual boot environment with your existing system, usually Microsoft Windows. Just select the “Install alongside” option and it’s automatic.

Cool, huh? Well, yes and no… I say that maybe this might be making things a bit too easy. Dual booting is a complex proposition with many perils. It is quite possible to trash both the existing OS and the one you’re trying to install; thusly, ending up with a big paperweight instead of a working computer.

In this video, I’ll go through many of the perils of dual booting and I’ll also explain why I don’t usually support systems that are configured in a dual boot environment. It’s not just Linux that has problems in a dual boot setup; Windows seems to come up with strange issues when paired with Linux as well. There is also a psychological factor to consider. Constantly comparing and keeping up with two operating systems on the same machine can trigger all kinds of OCD behavior.

I am not saying that dual booting should be outlawed, but I think it might be time to take a closer look at the consequences. It may be hurting Linux more than helping. What do you think?

More great Linux goodness!

Joe Collins

Joe Collins worked in radio and TV stations for over 20 years where he installed, maintained and programmed computer automation systems. Joe also worked for Gateway Computer for a short time as a Senior Technical Support Professional in the early 2000’s and has offered freelance home computer technical support and repair for over a decade.


Joe is a fan of Ubuntu Linux and Open Source software and recently started offering Ubuntu installation and support for those just starting out with Linux through EzeeLinux.com. The goal of EzeeLinux is to make Linux easy and start them on the right foot so they can have the best experience possible.


Joe lives in historic Portsmouth, VA in a hundred year old house with three cats, three kids and a network of computers built from scrounged parts, all happily running Linux.


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