Ubuntu: Single-boot vs dual-boot


Will a single-boot install run any better than a dual-boot?

Running Ubuntu-mate (16.04 beta 64bit) alongside Vista. 2GB ram, Athlon 64 x2 5200+. Ubuntu is running fine. (Better than Vista, actually.) But only using a sliver of disk space thanks to years of running Vista.


A Single boot install is not going to affect the performance of the currently running instance of OS. While running your OS, the other partitions are read as storage like it would read a usb stick.

p.s. Vista is known for heavy RAM memory usage (1-1.5Gb OS alone) so you are right, you should be experiencing better performance on Ubuntu as it it less demanding.


The only thing that would change if you were to go to a single boot is that you would get to use the disk space that Vista is installed on.

It's not going to change the performance of Ubuntu to single boot.

Once the OS boots it is the king of the castle. All of the computers resources belong to it. You only share the storage space on your hard drive.


When you dual-boot, you have two operating systems, either on the same hard drive or on different hard drives. Either way, only one OS can be using CPU / memory resources at a time.

If you had an infinite amount of hard disk space, you could theoretically load up as many operating systems as they could hold, and none of them would affect the speed of any other.

The reason most people don't go above dual / triple booting is that it simply isn't necessary most of the time. Most users can accomplish everything they need to do on a given system with 2 or 3 OS choices.

As others have said, Vista is notoriously slow by itself. I recommend 8.1 or 10 if you don't mind the NSA looking over your shoulder, but as always when it comes to these decisions, it's up to you.


Short answer: No.

Accurate answer: Depends on your setup, and the circumstances at a given time. However even in the scenarios where there is a performance boost (eg: lower access times for harddrives if OS is nearer outside of drive, SSDs may see less write amplification in some scenarios, etc) you aren't going to notice, because the difference will be minute. You'd likely have to collect detailed stats just to prove there was a performance boost.

People don't single-boot for performance, it's usually a choice made about space.

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