Weekly Poll: Do You Dual Boot?

Although OS X is (at least in my humble opinion!) the best operating system on the market, most people have a need to boot into Windows, Linux, or another OS from time to time. Apple made this easier with the release of Boot Camp a few years ago, and dual booting your Mac is now a pretty simple process.

There are, of course, several other ways to run multiple operating systems within OS X itself (we’ve written about the process a few times), using applications such as Parallels Desktop.

Various advantages exist for each method. Using Boot Camp gives better performance in your alternative OS, making it a great option if you want to run processor-intensive applications such as the latest games. Running both operating systems side-by-side is more practical for simpler tasks, such as testing a website in multiple browsers.

So my question for you today is, do you dual boot?


  • Ignignokt

    The only reason I have a Windows partition (actually its own HDD) is I converted my Dell tower to a hackintosh and felt too nostalgic to reformat the perfectly serviceable 640GB drive.

    I probably rebooted into Windows a total of three times this last year, and only for 15ish minutes each time (although it took about 4 minutes to boot). It’s not even plugged in.

  • Nachox

    The only reason i rarely choose to boot on my windows 7 bootcamp partition is to play games….. no more… but that’s already evolving… more and more games are officially ported to OSX every day… then i wont have to boot anymore :)

  • http://www.pcweenies.com Krishna

    I rarely, if ever, dual boot – especially now that I have all my applications working on the Mac side. I still keep the Windows 7 partition, just for giggles.

  • Terence

    I run windows 7 as a virtual system using parallels about 75% of the time with OSX. I do this for a few work programs (primarily AutoCAD). The win 7 is a little slower than a stand alone PC, but it works well for me. The vast majority of the programs I use are on the Mac side however.

  • http://developerpanda.com/ Deb

    VirtualBox in iMac for the WIN!!

    Also got an old laptop with Ubuntu linux on it.

  • Jacob

    I dual boot Windows 7 (64-bit) and use VirtualBox to run Windows XP (and sometimes a distro of Linux).

    Windows 7 is primarily for games, while Windows XP is mostly for browser testing (primarily IE 6-8), and rarely dealing with files which I can only use in Windows (like old publisher files and strange zip alternatives).

  • Aquaman_Tom

    I actually have a Windows machine and a Macbook Pro. I don’t need Windows except for gaming. I love all the OS’s equally… :P

  • http://butenas.com Ignas

    To tell a true – never used dual boot after I bought MacBook Pro. In work I have machine with Linux (now Ubuntu is installed there), but I don’t even remember wallpaper of it, because I only use ssh to ssh into the machine. So Mac OS X for me is enough for my type of work (web developer and sometimes sysadmin) and my freetime – web, basic games, music, video.

  • Jon

    I tripple boot every day.. Snow Leopard, Windows 7 and Ubuntu.

  • david

    I am tethered to a win dependent proprietary term emulator for work and I dual boot several times a week for testing purposes into my win7 64bit partition on my macbook pro…everything else i need to do i prefer to do in the mac os

  • http://http//www.twitter.com/rikvandoorn Rik

    No I don’t
    I don’t like Windows

  • http://www.cmnddsgn.com L1

    There is no ‘best’ operating system, there are ones that suit the job, and that’s what a well informed person will use.

    I boot into Windows when I need to, primarily when dealing with exchange, troubleshooting Office problems etc (although lately I’ve just been VPN’ing in), I boot into Linux or SSH in when I need to.

  • http://jasmu.com jasmu

    i do, into w7, just for games.
    hopefully valve together w/ apple will fix the performance issues for the source engine, then i wouldn’t have to restart anymore.

  • dixhuit

    As a web designer, I need to dual boot so that I can test sites in IE (6, 7 and 8):

    http://finalbuilds.edskes.net/iecollection.htm

    I also boot into Win7 to play certain games but thanks to Steam and more games being developed for Mac this is becoming less and less of a requirment (great stuff).

  • http://www.perfectronics.co.uk g

    I use VM Ware fusion to test things on different OS’s but OSX is my main OS.

  • Csongor Kiss

    I do triple boot to both linux and windows.

  • Lucien

    Yep, dual boot via Bootcamp to play FPS games on Windows occasionally. Apart from that, nah, Mac it is. :)

  • http://YouMeUs.in linusr

    dual booth to Ubuntu.. linux nvidia driver eats up the battery though..

    mostly into OS X

  • Mike

    I actually keep a desktop machine around with Windows 7 on it so that I can boot Windows, Ubuntu or another build of Linux, and keep my Mac laptop just for mac things.

  • Jack

    I have multiple computers…
    1 High end desktop for gaming, coding (multimonitor), vm work
    1 low end desktop for exploration (hackintosh, linux, servers, etc. changes weekly it seems)
    1 fijitsu tablet from my college (had to use, wiped win 7 off and installed ubuntu)
    1 black macbook (my main machine… love it)
    1 toshiba laptop (my alternative to dual booting… )

    I actually purchased my mac for an IOS class… only reason, but I’ve grown to love development on it… I just need to find a replace ment for the asp.net development stuff on windows (school makes you use frontpage extensions…) and a replacement for notepad ++

  • Ashley

    Just chiming in to say: Ever heard of Parallels 7 for Mac? It runs Windows on your Mac. It’s a must-have software, in my opinion. Want a free copy?

    http://www.nightlion.net/reviews/osx/2011/parallels-desktop-7-for-mac-free-giveaway-contest-4-copies-available/

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