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After the Windows 10 Anniversary update I have problems with fatal blue screens.

I need primary Windows 10, but I need Linux at same time more and more often.

The original solution that worked well before the Anniversary update was VirtualBox (Win host, Linux guest), but when Win goes to blue screen, Linux is shut down too. (I already tried to reinstall Win, but Anniversary update was downloaded during installation from the year and half old flash disk.)

I need:

  1. HW access from Win (GPU CUDA)
  2. Shared disk space
  3. Dynamic resource allocation (CPU, RAM)
  4. "Easy" system switching

I have:

  1. Intel CPU with integrated GPU
  2. Nvidia GPU
  3. 32 GB of RAM (enough for 2 systems)
  4. 3 Physical disks (preferred as 1 for Win, 1 for Linux and 1 for Shared data space)

I probably should say it is Laptop: "Acer Aspire V3-772G-747a321.26TBDWamm", but Acer no longer have it on their web pages, DxDiag and CPU-Z system info.

I know it must be possible, but is it possible without big overhead?

My current ideas are:

1)

  • Linux with KVM as host for Win.
  • Linux use only Intel´s GPU and Win have full access to Nvidia.
  • When needed switch to Linux by "key-combination" and dynamically move resources from Win to Host and "startx".
  • When Linux no longer needed, reallocate resources back to Win.
  • When only Linux needed, reallocate all resources to Host.

2)

  • Similar to the above, but host Linux will work only as host.
  • When Linux needed, turn on second virtual machine with Linux and reallocate resources there.
  • When only Linux needed, reallocate all resources to Linux virtual machine.

What do you think about my ideas, which one is better? Can it work as I expect?

If you have better option for me, please post.

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  • KVM under Linux is the obvious solution as you can pass the raw video card to a Windows VM. Do you have a preferred Linux distro? Have you tried PCI-passthrough with your motherboard and do you know if it works? Sep 24, 2016 at 16:21
  • @TimFletcher I not try it yet. First I want to know best way, but I already try to install Linux(Debian), and open the other system in VirtualVox, It was easier than I expected and basic functionality work, but GPU was only in the Host system. 2 and 4 from my requirements work well, but Dynamic resource allocation is not supported, and static only to 75% of RAM (could be acceptable), but GPU-passtrough is not supported in VirtualBox. I have no preferred Linux distro. From linux I want only basic functionality running and compile some code, so distro probably does´t matter for me now.
    – Jakub
    Sep 25, 2016 at 5:54
  • virtualbox.org/manual/ch09.html#pcipassthrough not work/apply? Sep 25, 2016 at 8:13
  • @user1133275 it not work I try multiple versions. Nvidia GPU probably have no output, because after pciattach it show only black screens no mater how many monitors I connect all outputs are taken by host.
    – Jakub
    Sep 28, 2016 at 5:50

1 Answer 1

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I would like to add this as a comment, but I do not have enough reputation to do so, so here I am.

You might want to look into Qubes OS for what you want. It provides among other things the ability to have a seamless combination of Linux and Windows environments, functioning at the same time, so that you can switch between programs of one another as if it were the same system.

HOWEVER, you WILL have trouble getting the GPU to work with Windows. Although not impossible, the OS was not designed to easily integrate a secondary GPU, as its targeting philosophy was security-oriented, so you will have to dig deeply if you want to get it to work.

Moreover, the only Windows I know for sure you can use, and which is supposed to have full support so far, is Windows 7. You might also be able to put Windows 10, but I have not really searched of if and how it is done.

I have not installed Qubes OS myself yet, this is all from what I have read and what I've been told from a friend of mine who used them for a bit, but I thought it would be good to leave it here as an alternative.

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  • Shared disk space - probably OK | "Easy" system switching - probably | Dynamic resource allocation (CPU, RAM) - probably | HW access from Win (GPU CUDA) - I think this point is imposible from what I read on their web pages
    – Jakub
    Oct 7, 2016 at 16:35
  • Perhaps I went a bit overboard with Qubes. You might alternatively want to see what can be done using the Xen Hypervisor which the Qubes OS uses at its core, but without the Qubes' numerous limitations aimed at security.
    – Noob Doob
    Oct 13, 2016 at 19:56
  • virtualmin.com/documentation/cloudmin/windows based on this web is xen capable of accessing windows guest directly, or only by remote desktop? I think remote desktop is not a solution because windows disallow many thing on remote desktop, like GPU access. But thanks for answer anyway,
    – Jakub
    Oct 14, 2016 at 6:45
  • Unfortunately I do not have enough freedom of time to actually install and try these solutions myself right now, so that I have a clear image and be able to better judge what could work best. I am generally interested in what you want to do, so if I get something to work in a few months I will update my answer. Cheers.
    – Noob Doob
    Oct 14, 2016 at 8:43

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