How to Keep Your Linux Always-On In A Dual-Boot System
posted on: 2/4/2012, 8:10:00 AM
last updated: 9/1/2020, 1:29:00 AM
During my move from Greensboro, NC to Baltimore, MD, I accidentally threw away my home server (case of mistaken identity), so I needed to build a new one. This was more fortuitous than not, as it gave me the opportunity to build a system which I could use for another decade. I always insist on older hardware, with the most options for upgrade. So I bought a pretty sweet setup that I can upgrade a little at a time until socket LGA1155 goes out of style. As of now, that means a quad-core i7 will run on my machine - not too bad for the next decade! Here are the complete specs for my machine:
- Motherboard: ECS P67H2-A2 Motherboard
- CPU: Intel G620 2.6GHz
- Memory:8Gb G.Skill Ripjaw
- Graphics: 2x nVidia 9500 1Gb PCIe, in a (software) SLI configuration
- Power Supply: Apevia Java 650W
- Hard Drive: [Seagate Barracuda 2Tb SATA 6Gb/s](Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal)
- Display: ViewSonic 24” Widescreen LCD
- Total Cost to Me: ~650.00usd
- Total Cost Premade: ~1,400
- Savings: ~ 100%
So my next task, once getting all the required parts and assembling them, was to create a dual-boot system with Fedora 16 and Windows 7. I wanted to use my new graphics goodness for CUDA application design and, of course, games. I installed Windows 7, then Fedora 16 for a normal dual-boot configuration. Then came the hard part: how to make Fedora switch video drivers based on whther it boots in VirtualBox or not.
This article was never really finished. Basically, I used an init script to detect the presence of the virtualbox virtual instructionset, then loaded the nvidia driver when it wasn’t present. In modern linux distros, like Fedora, there is no need for any of this. Just install the drivers, and the system will take care of the rest.