Which is a better decision - >Nuking Windows 10 install on the new laptop and using Centos 7 or installing a virtual machine and leaving it

Hi everyone,

Apologies for the long title.

I purchased a new Gigabyte laptop and as these things do now, it has a pre-installed windows 10 OS which I was hoping to avoid. The OS also is not a complete licenced copy, so If I lost it I am not totally sure I could recover it.

This is important because I was tempted to finally dump Windows as I find windows 10 increasingly irritating as I am increasingly using PCs for more semi-professional activities such as setting up for full stack web development tasks.

Should i

A) Just put up with it, customise Win 10 to hopefully be more passive and do the tasks I need to within Centos 7 within VirtualBox (which is how my PC is set up).

B) Write over the hard drive and have Centos 7 with a virtualbox running Windows.

I wanted to hold onto the Windows 10 install though…it’s backup size is reported at 29GB. This is on a new OS that I have done sfa with yet. I would have to buy a backup hd or blow my internet quota to back it up…which would work out the same as just buying a copy of Windows 10.


Hi Mrewan79, you can also choose dual boot, which means that both OS will be installed on your laptop. With dual boot you will have the best from the two worlds and every time that your laptop will boot you will have to choose in which OS you want to boot.


Windows has a subsystem for linux that will give you a reasonable linux terminal. Might be worth checking out and see if it can do all you need it to. I originally tried running linux in a dual boot, but I ended up having to constantly reboot to play games, so I gave that idea up. I then tried running a vm, but even with 16GB of Ram it was somewhat sluggish. I then tried the WSL and it has worked fine so far. I can run all the ubuntu commands I’m familiar with (cURL, vim, apt-get, ssh, etc.) and powershell isn’t that bad either.

If you’re hesitant to completely remove Windows, I would suggest either trying a dual-boot or running Linux off of external hardware. (You can create a bootable USB stick that has your Linux OS on it.) The added benefit of either of those options is that it makes it easier to test out different flavors of Linux.

Whenever this question gets asked most of the suggestions are really conservative or suggest to stick to Windows/use WSL, not sure why. If “worst comes to worst” you can just reinstall W10, it’s not a difficult process. You don’t even need a license key for W10, it’s not locked down in any way.

We’re not you so we don’t know what you’d even miss by giving up windows and going full linux with a Windows VM. Is there anything there you need full performance of that doesn’t have a Linux replacement?

Personally I went full Linux years ago and never looked back or regretted it, but at the time Windows for me was just for gaming. If there’s work concerns for which having native Windows would benefit you, then that’s something you need to figure out, whether or not that results in you dual-booting or experimenting with VM performance.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that no matter which option you choose, it’s not irreversable, and you shouldn’t worry about it.

Doesn’t W10 Home have issues with VMs? I tried to get a vagrant VM up with filesharing up on W10 Home and couldn’t for the life of me get it working.

How big is the HD? If it’s big enough I’d say just set up dual boot.

It appears the OP hasn’t been here in a while. So whatever decision was made, has most likely been made. But for the benefit of those who are browsing and reading this:

Like @gebulmer was saying, there is nothing stopping you from wiping the hard drive and installing anything you want on it. Your Windows 10 key is “digital” and is tied to your machine. If at any time in the future you decide to reinstall W10, you will be able to without a problem. So you aren’t “losing” anything by starting from a clean hard drive. Amazing how Microsoft has managed to convince people that uninstalling windows is like losing a limb, but I digress.

The real questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is there a legacy program that I have to use for work or school that simply won’t work on Linux??
  2. Am I open minded and willing to learn new ways (perhaps better ways) of doing things??
  3. Will it bother me to constantly field questions (and get looked at with a third eye) about why I use Linux??
  4. If I’m forced to because of compatibility reasons (resumes etc) is using Office 365 online ok with me?

Microsoft did a great job with Microsoft 365 BTW, and 99% of the functions you would need (at least with Word) are there. If worse comes to worse, running a VM inside Linux is much easier than the restrictions W10 puts on you. Good luck!

I ended up going with dual-booting. As it turns out, I ended up needing it for a few things anyway. I put Linux Mint 18 on a partition and it’s fine for most things.