Here is how to try out different OS(es) without purchasing a new machine

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Want to try out a new OS without touching your current OS? Then read this guide.

This guide is for users who have grown tired (and perhaps even sick) of their current desktop or laptop operating system.

Or maybe you aren’t sick and tired of your current operating system but just have this desire to try something new and/or different.

There is also a chance that you are one of those users who needs to have a multiple number of operating systems on his/her machine for work and play.

In any case, the fact that you want to try out a new operating system in no way means that you must purchase an entirely new computer machine.

There are actually several number of ways in which you can easily run new/different operating systems without actually having to go out in the market and then purchasing a completely new computer machine.

What we have done here is that we have gather the best options for users who want to go this route.

Along with each option we have also tried to  list its legitimate cons and pros.

Perhaps this is also a good time to mention that while it has become fairly straightforward even for beginner users to get the latest version of the Linux operating system up and running on a given machine running Windows and/or vice versa, one still has to work a ton before installing a macOS on a machine that does not come from Apple.

In other words, the process is difficult.

Don’t get the wrong idea though, it is perfectly possible for you to have Linux and Windows running on a Mac machine while also having the macOS operating system on the same machine.

But you will find it impossible to run a mac OS operating system on a machine that was built for Linux and/or Windows.

Of course, if you are willing to invest a ton of effort and time into it then anything and everything is possible.

Some have called the process of installing macOS on a machine that is considered as non-Mac, as Hackintosh.

Just to be sure, Apple does not support such a procedure.

The company would rather want you to actually go out in the market and purchase a Mac machine.

In order to get macOS on a non-Mac machine, you will first have to rely on various quality but third-party application developers.

They will help you to get a working digital copy of Apple’s mac OS operating system.

It is also true that in some countries that may be completely illegal to do.

So you have to take care of that as well.

If you are one of those users who have finally managed to figure out that it is perfectly legal in their country to put mac OS on a non-Mac machine and you still have a need of going through the process of installing macOS on your computer machine, click here and check out the linked guide.

It is pretty interesting.

Perhaps we should also mention here that you should take care and never attempt any kind of such procedures where you have to change your operating systems without first going through the appropriate process of making sure that each and every piece of your valuable apps and files are completely and comprehensively and safely back up.

Of course, a lot of online consumers do not in any case (make back ups) these days because of the chaotic nature of the internet.

And we know that you are one of those users.

Aren’t you?

Let’s move ahead.

Dual-boot systems

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Our research shows that the safest and, sort of, classic method of installing and running two different or same operating systems on a single machine so that they work alongside each other is the dual boot method.

What happens in such a method?

Well, you fundamentally have to split your machine’s hard drive into a total of two parts.

This is a process that is generally called partitioning.

After that, you basically treat the two newly created drives for each given operating system.

In such a setting, one part of the drive has the responsibility of running one operating system while another part has to turn the second operating system.

Every time the computer boots, you must select which of the two operating systems you want to run.

As mentioned before, you can easily install Linux on a computer that is running Windows.

Similarly, you can definitely add Windows or Linux to a machine that is running macOS.

The only thing that you need to remember here is that, for installing Windows on another system you will have to purchase and then download Microsoft Windows first from Microsoft.

You can do that right now by clicking here.

This step is especially important for those of you who are extra careful in staying on the friendly and/or right side of their country’s law.

Our research shows that for a good period of time, download and installing a new operating system on one’s computer machine was pretty risky and difficult.

However, as alluded to before, there is a lot of good news now in the sense that if you have a modern-ish computer operating system then it should offer you anything and everything that you might need to get the job done quickly and easily.

For example, if we are talking about macOS at the moment, it offers all users a tool which it calls as the Boot Camp tool.

You have the option of launching this tool directly from the macOS Utilities area/folder.

This is usually present inside macOS Applications option.

Boot Camp helps you out by taking care of all the processes which one has to go through in order to create a new partition.

Now only that, it also helps in readying everything else either for Linux or for Microsoft Windows.

To view the full and complete guide that Apple has put it on its official website click here.

On the other hand, if you happen to have Windows on your current machine and want to add Linux as the second operating system and also want to dual-boot both of them, there is the Linux installer which should provide you with anything and everything that you may need to partition your primary machine hard drive.

ALl that you have to make sure is that you select to install the new Linux system alongside your current Windows installation rather than over it.

Moreover, if you want to install Linux alongside WIndows you will also have to create an official Linux installer on a USB drive, DVD or CD first.

After that, you will have to boot from the Linux installer.

Don’t worry about the process though.

Linux provides you with an official guide for doing just that.

Click here for the guide which deals with Ubuntu (just as an example, you can find similar guides for other Linux distributions as well).

If you are one of those users who has this need of another installation tool, then simply go to the menu from WIndows Start and then click on the utility that is named Disk Management.

From there you should have no problems in viewing, editing and managing hard disk drive partitions.

Before you go ahead though we would like to mention on disadvantage with such an approach.

The main disadvantage of the method that we have mentioned just now is that the partitioning process is a lot more complicated to actually reverse for those users who end up changing their mind after they have instructed the Disk Management tool to partition their hard disk drive.

Alternatively, you also have the option of skipping the hard disk drive partition step altogether and simply install a smaller/cheaper/different/second hard drive on your machine.

Or rather inside your computer machine.

Of course, we are assuming here that you are actually currently running a modern desktop computer rather than a laptop.

We’re also assuming here that you have the required free space for dong so.

Now, the process of doing that is somewhat reasonable in the sense that it is not difficult as there are no many tutorials on YouTube that you can follow right now by clicking here.

However, even with the tutorials in place, the actual process is definitely a more serious undertaking when compared to simply splitting up one’s existing hard drive (a process that only takes a couple of mouse clicks or slightly more).

With the process of installing a second hard drive, you have no other choice but to crack open your machine after which you have to install the second/extra hard drive.

Not only that, once you have done that, you also must make some effort to spend a bit of time in the BIOS menu that is associated with your current motherboard in order to confirm that the new drive that you have installed is indeed correctly installed and read to function in its new role as a proper boot drive.

However, you do not have to worry if all of that sounds a bit too daunting.

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As is the case with almost everything on the internet, there is more than just one way to get different operating systems on one’s machine while not even touching topics such as partitioning drives.

The disadvantage with the approach of partition drives is that users always run the very real risk of losing their data.

The same is true for the second method which involves you buying and then installing entirely new hard disk drives.

Pros

  • Top performance when compared to all other methods
  • Very few hiccups as far as software applications as concerned and everything more or less runs natively

Cons

  • For the inexperienced users, the process of dual booting can present itself as a difficult process to follow and set up.
  • Has the potential of destroying the user’s data on the current computer machine.
    Hence we advise you to back up each and everything that you care about before even attempting to dual-boot systems.

Virtual machines.

This is also another very interesting option.

Our research shows that the route of having a virtual machine on one’s system is perhaps the most simple and straightforward route for users who want to install a new operating system.

In the case of installing a new operating system with the help of virtual machines, what you are really doing is that you are actually running a second different operating system from within the first, already present, operating system.

The great thing about this method is that you can potentially set this up inside a couple of minutes.

You do not need the help of any kind of disk management tool or anything else.

Furthermore, one you have had enough of the new operating system, it is very easy to remove it from your computer machine.

The only somewhat of a downside of this method is that you would require a fairly powerful computer machine that has the capability to handle tasks such as running a total of two operating systems at any given moment.

This also means that the virtual machine method is not suitable for those of you who have low-powered computers or old computers.

So what kind of a machine do you really need in order to get going with this virtual machines method?

Our research shows that the exact specification that you would need in order to run virtual machines and run one operating system from within the operating system already present on the system actually depends on the type of operating system that you want to make use of.

 

We recommend that users should go for a system that has, at a minimum, 8GB of installed high-quality RAM.

The great thing about virtual machine tools is that they always provide you with the option of testing them out to observe if they provide an acceptable level of performance.

Once you have spent some time studying these the pros and cons of virtual machine methods and have settled on this option, the net challenge is to select which of the many available virtual machine software applications you actually want to install on your machine.

There is this tool called Parallels which makes it very straightforward to run the Windows operating system on a machine that is running macOS.

If you can’t find that then there is also VirtualBox.

We believe that this tool is also a good choice for you.

The reason why we say that is because it is free (at least free to use) and open source.

Moreover, it does a pretty smooth job of installing Linux and adding it to a machine that is running Windows.

It can do the same to a machine that is running macOS by helping you to install Windows and/or Linux on it by adding to it rather than installing over it.

With that out of way, we should perhaps also mention that VirtualBox does actually lack a few of the most advanced and polished features that you are likely to get with some of the best paid-for and commercial software applications.

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Hence, we believe that it is more than worth it to start thinking about all the alternatives that are available in the market today.

As mentioned at the top as well, perhaps the best alternative to VirtualBox for the macOS platform is Parallels.

You can make it yours by paying a minimum of $80.

Now, we’re assuming here that you have a machine that has the specs to run a tool like Parallels fairly comfortably.

If you can ensure that then we are here to tell you that you will make the task of adding Microsoft Windows or Linux operating system to your Mac machine very easy.

Parallels is so comprehensive that it even points users in the direction of the right kind of downloads for the job.

Of course, it is true that eventually, you will have no choice but to pay for the Windows that you will use but till then you can easily test out the product and Windows for free.

In order to switch to a different OS, all that you have to do is perform a single click.

Parallels even allows you to run individual Windows and/or Linux apps from inside the environment that comes with macOS.

If Parallels does not look like the thing that you want to commit to then there is also Vmware Fusion.

It also costs $80 and then moves up from there.

Our research shows that Vmware also has the ability to offer users who are actually developers, some advanced tools.

It is also suitable for power users and IT administrators.

We would like to mention here again that, Vmware makes it comfortably straightforward for you to add Windows and/or Linux to a machine running macOS.

Our research shows that the software application actually has the ability to guide you through the entire installation process in a step-by-step manner.

We are actually not quite sure how should you go about choosing between Parallels and Vmware Fusion.

They are both good.

Both of them offer similar starting prices.

And both of them have a similar set of feature.

Vmware Fusion also has the ability to run individual instances of the Windows application.

In other words, you would feel like these applications are actually running on a machine with macOS.

Windows users who have this want of trying out another product other than VirtualBox, there is also Vmware Workstation Player.

There is free edition and a paid-for Pro edition.

The product itself is powerful and reasonably simple to use.

Just like Parallels it too offers a step-by-step guide on how to add a virtual machine to your Windows machine.

Pros

  • Beginner friendly
  • easy to install and use
  • has very little potential to actually harm any kind of data on your system

Cons

  • Any type of virtualization software has the potential of becoming very expensive.
  • We do not recommend this method for those of you who have lower-end computers.
  • Best performance requires a powerful computer machine.

 

Zohair

Zohair

Zohair is currently a content crafter at Security Gladiators and has been involved in the technology industry for more than a decade. He is an engineer by training and, naturally, likes to help people solve their tech related problems. When he is not writing, he can usually be found practicing his free-kicks in the ground beside his house.

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