Dual Boot: Multiple Operating Systems
Some operating systems, including MS/Windows, provide limited and
sometimes inflexible support for multiple choices at boot time.
GNU/Linux, on the other-hand, is well-equipped for booting multiple
operating systems as is its philosophy of not restricting what one can
do and encouraging choice and freedom.
If you want to include MS/Windows on your system it is generally best
to install it first. MS/Windows/NT, for example, has a boot loader
that likes to be in control and MS/Windows/98 is not so clever with
multiple operating systems. Installing them first allows them to have
the control they sometimes demand.
GNU/Linux provides a variety of tools for maintaining multiple
operating systems on your one computer. There are plenty of options.
In particular you can keep MS/Windows and install GNU/Linux as well.
This will give you some sense of security in case GNU/Linux does not
meet your needs. If GNU/Linux becomes your choice you can later
remove MS/Windows and use the recovered disk space for GNU/Linux.
Dual boot is a little misleading since
there's really no inherent limit (except for available resources) to
the number of operating systems you might install on your PC.
Generally it's two or sometimes three, but could be four or more!
These might include MS/Windows/2000, MS/Windows/XP, and one or two
versions of GNU/Linux!
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