How do I make a VM and which program should I use?

Basically the title. I want to install windows on my pc without dual booting, and I also wanna try other distros and play around with them. Tho zorin is still my main distro. Can a pc with i5 gen2 cpu, 8gb ddr3 ram, 1gb vram run games on a vm smoothly? How do I make it so that when I insert a flash drive on my pc it would only be read on the vm?

One option is to install VirtualBox, which also works on Windows (in case you need to create virtual machines from another Windows computer, you'll be familiar with the interface). However there's also KVM which is a Linux-native solution for creating virtual machines and runs much smoother.

It's hard to say whether or not games will run "smoothly". It depends on the game, and how much power from the host machine you decide to allocate to the guests. In addition, passing through graphical cards can be tricky and I have no experience with it.

For VirtualBox, you'll need something called Guest Additions to allow the guests to detect the USBs.


Thanks for the info! I'll check it out and get back here later

PenutMongler, VMs use your physical hardware, at a slightly smaller capacity, if you set it up that way. Because the limitation is your max (what the hardware is rated at ... in your case, 8gb of ram, 1gb vram and what your processor is capable of [cores and speed] ). Because of this, and what OSs use just for the graphics of the UI, you will experience slow operation in both if you do anything beyond streaming a video or web surfing on either while the VM runs.

Gnome, in Zorin, takes about 2gb of ram. Windows uses about the same for the desktop. The VM itself may take a gig. That leaves 3gb of ram for games.

If the processor is a dual core, that's one core for the host OS, one for the VM. Double that for a quad core.

Games utilize both CPU and GPU, so there is no way around this. The GPU will be halved (unless you use the integrated graphics, if your machine has this, for Zorin and the dedicated graphics for the VM) while running the VM. That means more system ram and cpu will be utilized.

Your best bet is to dual boot, so you can run games.

I do this, even though I have 32GB ram, 8 core cpu and 6GB vram on dedicated graphics, while my integrated handles minor tasks (windows does this, zorin doesn't unless you configure it... if you can).

The reasoning, why should I further limit my experience gaming (as I don't have the latest graphics card, so already have to reduce the games' graphics quality to get better performance). If I were doing this in a VM, I would have to use the lowest possible graphics settings in order to play, probably with stuttering and momentary freezes.

You will be hard pressed to get anything FPS, simulator, third person shooter or other graphic heavy newer games to perform at all in a VM with your hardware.

Dual boot or upgrade your PC. Those are the best two options.

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Also, don't overlook installing Steam, and running games via Proton. It's quite surprising how many will run without problems, and with a little TLC you can install other game stores via Proton; I run the GOG Galaxy, EPIC and Ubisoft stores this way, which is very handy with all the free titles from the Epic Games Store Fridays.

If you want to run more vintage games, DosBox runs fine in Linux in general.

Now, the reason I gave the above, is it is what moved me away from my Windows installation as a daily driver. It's only booted for specific VR helmet titles [rarely] and some specialist tax-based systems [approximately a week a year], but I plan to move those to a VM later.