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I am looking for the best way to create a dual boot on my Red Hat system.

This is a Red Hat 5.3 System for scientific use, and we need to run some Windows software on it for visualization purposes.

What is the easiest way to implement dual boot if Linux is already installed; formatting the hard drive in not an option.

My thoughts were:

  1. Partition the HD and give Windows a 200GB logical drive
  2. Install Windows 7

I am probably missing the part where I config the boot loader.

What is the best way to do this?

As a side note, is there a way to virtualize (VMWARE like) Windows 7 on the Red hat machine and is that a BIG lose in performance (how much you think will it be)?

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If you want to install Windows in a VM, you need to install it install the VM, not on the bare metal. A Windows installed on the bare metal won't work in a VM and vice versa. Be sure to check your license, some Windows editions restrict or forbid installing in a VM. –  Gilles Jun 5 '11 at 23:09
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After installing Windows, you will need to boot of some linux recovery disk if you wish to re-install + configure grub for booting.
Otherwise, you could look into EasyBCD which edits the Windows boot system to enable you to boot Linux from windows's boot loader instead.

As far as virtualization is concerned, there are several options (depending on the CPU in the machine, and how serious you are about it) You could look into VMWare, VirtualBox, Xen or KVM which can all run Windows under linux. The last 2 require VT-x/AMD-V CPU extension support for Windows VMs, and all 4 will run smoother if the CPU has the virtualization extensions.

The only really loss under a virtual machine in graphics performance because none are capable of properly emulating a graphics card in realtime (Though Xen has made some progress on GPU passthrough).

So, it depends... :)

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Will the VMWARE be able to access the GPU of the Invidia card?, the visualization application may need to access the Hardware –  David MZ Jun 6 '11 at 8:09
    
Nope. This is still in a very early stage, and Xen can only do it with some cards and motherboards. –  Ali Lown Jun 6 '11 at 9:37
    
ON the same topica can you recommend of a partitioning tool for linux to split the harddrive to give windows a logical drive space. –  David MZ Jun 6 '11 at 12:38
    
For ease of use: gparted. For fine control: fdisk. –  Ali Lown Jun 6 '11 at 15:12
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