I have a lenovo laptop with 5th gen Intel i5 and 4gb RAM. Its running on Windows 10. Being tech savvy I couldn't resist myself from using Linux based OS. With all the research I did I finally came down to Ubuntu and mint. But I am confused between this 2 so I decided to install both and check them out for a few days before finalising on 1. So my question is with the specs of my laptop can I run all 3 OS side by side without any lag or overburdening my laptop? If not will it work if I upgrade my RAM to 8gb or more and can I at least install 2 OS side by side with 4gb RAM?

Thanks in advance.

  • Yes , you should be fine ....are you going to partition your disk ... or will you use something like virtualbox ? – zee Oct 19 '15 at 18:14
  • @NullSoulException Partition. Is virtualbox more advantageous then partitioning? – devansh Oct 19 '15 at 18:16
  • yes , its way better and easier to get rid of any of the OS. – zee Oct 19 '15 at 18:18
  • I will write steps on how to do this as an answer, so stay tuned . – zee Oct 19 '15 at 18:19
  • virtualization is better. But for learning purpose you can first try installing them in different partitions, and try to choose among one of them during boot. Once you know how to do this, you can choose one OS, and run other two in vrtualbox. – sps Oct 19 '15 at 18:19

I'm not quite sure if you know that there can only be 1 operating system on a machine at at time (except for virtualization, but that's not important). The image of the operating system can be written to the hard disk so that it's loaded onto the CPU at boot, but that doesn't mean that multiple OS's can occupy the same CPU simultaneously. That would cause chaos.

That being said, it is possible for one to install three different OS's onto the disk, but you'll basically have to boot up each one separately each time.

If you're looking to test-drive Mint, you can go to the download page, get the '.iso' file, and burn it to a flash drive to test it out. If your computer doesn't automatically boot from the flash drive at startup, you may need to change the boot order in your computer's BIOS temporarily.

The reason that I suggest this method is that Linux Mint provides a test-drive version of itself with no permanent change to the disk; everything is lost from RAM when you shut the computer down again. Ubuntu provides a disk image, too, but I'm not sure if you will be able to burn this image to a flash drive as with Linux Mint, since I know that Mint uses a special cross-medium image.

If you're thinking of dual- or triple-booting your computer, just forget it ever existed now. This breaks stuff. If you must, put the Linux distro in a virtual machine or on another computer, since Windows and Linux are at each other's throats even being on the same hard drive.

  • That helps a lot. I guess I'll first try both Ubuntu and mint on bootable USB and then after deciding 1 between them I'll install that with Windows 10 using partitions – devansh Oct 19 '15 at 18:22
  • I will respect your choice no matter what you decide; however, I warn you that dual partitioning is a bad idea. You basically have to booby-trap some BIOS functions in order to make this work correctly. Also, you must be careful to avoid data loss if you can. Finally, Mint is a fork of Ubuntu that I run since it is more widely supported, has far fewer security holes, and isn't partially focused on business like Ubuntu is. – Mr. Minty Fresh Oct 19 '15 at 18:28
  • The problem I have is I am new to Linux and am not sure how quickly I can adopt to Linux so I have to keep Windows running for at least a few months before going full Linux. Still virtualbox idea others gave seems tempting so I'll check that out before going ahead with partitions – devansh Oct 19 '15 at 18:36
  • 1
    If you'll be focusing on the terminal then I suggest this resource which is cloud-based virtualization: c9.io – Mr. Minty Fresh Oct 19 '15 at 18:38
  • You can do all this from within Windows , the virtual box will just be another ICON on your desktop. :) – zee Oct 19 '15 at 18:49

To asnwer your question , the specs of your Machine are more than OKAY to run multiple OSes

.. the best way is it do it the vm way.

First , Install virtual box . That is where the new OS(es) are going to be available for you to use.


Second , install Vagrnat ... read more about it .


then , once you have both installed ,

Go here : https://atlas.hashicorp.com/boxes/search

and search for the box you want to install. e.g, centos , ubuntu , mint..

then ,

Create direcotry called 'Vargrant'

go inside the newly created directory and let see you choose the ubuntu box below :


Finally , from within the Vagrant directory , start running the vagrant commans to create , destroy , ..etc

vagrant init ubuntu/trusty64; vagrant up --provider virtualbox

  • Will I be able to use full functionality of OS with this? Because as far as I read using bootable USB all the setting and other things I save are deleted once I turn of the system will it be same here? And will I get direct updates or will I have to go to Ubuntu or mint everytime and download new updates? – devansh Oct 19 '15 at 18:39
  • It is 20 times easier , all you need to do is run one command to destroy an OS like this ... Vagrant destory and the OS is gone for good – zee Oct 19 '15 at 18:42
  • No I don't want them deleted. Will I be able to use it just like normal OS installed on my PC that means no data loss once I turn of the laptop? – devansh Oct 19 '15 at 18:44
  • yes , you will be able to use the full funcs of the OS..... One more thing doing the dual-boot way is a pain the neck . For example reclaiming partitions and deleting is a nightmare . I have done it all . For example , I at one point was running dual and it was a night mare to delete the ubuntu and reclaim the partition... Long story short, I was not able to get back my windows OS either ... it was grub loader issue . – zee Oct 19 '15 at 18:46
  • NO data lose. This is the future . We use it all the time – zee Oct 19 '15 at 18:46

I think yes. But it depends on which version of Ubuntu (or any other distribution) you are trying to use.

Latest version maybe a bit heavy, so if that does not work, you can try an older version. You should be able to check the requirements in distribution's web site.

Also, at one moment only one OS will be running, so if at all you are thinking that running two OS will require double memory then that is not the case.

4GB, i5 should be good enough, if not try older versions.

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