Need Windows and Linux on the same box, and still want to DC. Suggestions?

Endgame124

Senior member
Feb 11, 2008
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The Fedora machine that I've dedicated to F@H and Rosetta since the start of the pandemic needs to be rebuild and I need to have windows on it. However, I'll only need it with windows a few days / week, so I'm thinking of keeping linux around in some form. Here are my thoughts, and I look for advice.

1) Dual boot it, and run Linux Mint and Windows. The general plan would be to leave it on Mint except when I need to run windows. This is probably the easiest decision, but will likely cost me points on DC projects, as I don't think it makes sense to put any DC applications on the windows install, as it will only be on during work hours a few days / week.

2) Run some kind of virtualization on the box with linux, and launch VMs for Windows and Linux as necessary. This is probably the cleaner solution, however I need direct access to storage and video card, so I'll need to do PICE express pass through to the windows box. In this case, what do I run as the host OS? I've heard proxmox is a good solution for this, but I've never used it. Additionally, I'm unclear if I can have a windows VM where I pass through the storage and video, and then assign the video to a different VM if the windows VM is stopped. Or would it maybe be best to run F@H on the windows VM and take the points loss for having it run on virtualized windows?

3) whatever solutions you guys may have that are superior to my 1 and 2?

Thanks for the thoughts
 

Markfw

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Well, I don't remember how I did it, but by accident a few years ago, I installed mint on a box that already had windows, and it put it alongside it, and dual-booted. The mint memnu came up, and I could choose windows or mint at boot up. @biodoc probably knows how to do that, as I don't remember.

I think I did windows first, and left half the disk unpartitioned, then did mint, and it asked if I wanted to install it beside, but I am not sure.
 
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crashtech

Lifer
Jan 4, 2013
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The way I like to do it is to use two drives. Install each OS with only its dedicated drive installed, then install both once the OSes are configured. That way neither OS interferes with the other. Select which OS by hitting the proper key upon power up (usually F11 or F12). It's like using a hardware switch to select your OS instead of sometimes problematic boot loaders.
 
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voodoo5_6k

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Jan 14, 2021
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Like @crashtech I prefer to use dedicated drives, one for each OS. I set the UEFI boot priority to the drive with the OS I use the most, so I only need to use the boot menu (F11 in my case) when I want to boot the other OS. If I don't invoke the boot menu, the UEFI just boots the "default" drive (Debian in my case).

If you want to dual boot without using this method, Windows should be installed first (otherwise, it is most likely that Windows will mess up the boot loader of the already installed Linux).

What do you need the graphics card for? Because if your use case is within the capabilities of e.g. VirtualBox (which has OK Direct3D support), you could run a Windows VM from within Linux via VirtualBox. That way, you could keep DC running all the time, just with reduced resources when the Windows VM needs some CPU time and the GPU while running.
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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I don't know if it counts as number 3) ... Offload DC to compute slaves?

(That's what fits my own requirements best, for several reasons, some of which might not apply to you. E.g., I don't own the desktop computer which I use at the day job. Furthermore, on my home desktop computer, light background CPU-only DC is OK for me, but GPGPU DC is not acceptable to me on that computer.)
 

damian101

Senior member
Aug 11, 2020
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If you want to multi-boot, make sure you stick with UEFI setup everywhere. Legacy BIOS is terrible for multi-boot. And install Windows first, since the EFI System Partition is wiped during Windows installation.

I did PCIe passthrough with QEMU/KVM once, was not that hard to set up actually, with virt-manager.
 

StefanR5R

Elite Member
Dec 10, 2016
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Anybody tried F@H on WSL in Windows?
The first released version of WSL was an API compatibility layer similar to what Wine on Linux does. Only command line utilities were supported. Therefore only CPU slots of Folding@Home should work.

The second version of WSL is using an entire Linux Kernel on top of MS HyperV. I don't know if PCIe passthrough is available in this version. If not, then the Linux subsystem certainly won't have CUDA access to the GPU, and either no OpenCL access or only slow OpenCL access.
 

crashtech

Lifer
Jan 4, 2013
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One of the recommended routes to deploy WSL is to join the Windows Insider program and use one of their builds. I had bad luck with this. Somehow the Windows version I ended up with absolutely destroyed the performance of a 5950X in Primegrid. Just a heads-up if OP or anyone else wants to give WSL a go. I won't be using it, for sure not with the Insider program.
 
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