Should I transfer windows installation to VirtualBox

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I have a dual boot with Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 7. I use Windows 7 rarely and it consumes a lot of space (25 GB). I only use Office and IE (my dad uses it for accessing a bank website which supports IE only. What a shame)
So what is suggested? Should I –

  • Delete windows and start with a new VirtualBox windows install
  • Transfer windows install to VirtualBox?
  • Let it be as it is?

Will a VirtualBox installation take less space than a real install?


If you need to run Windows inside Ubuntu, consider raw partition access. It virtualizes Win without moving it to a virtual disk.

About Office, consider

  • Microsoft Office Web Apps
  • a standalone (LibreOffice, AbiWord) or web-based (Google Docs) compatible program
  • an online file converter.

I’ve never moved a Windows install into a virtual disk image, but I think that it would need reactivation, due to the hardware UUIDs being different.

If you do move to a virtual disk:

  • Having the virtual disk on a compressed or (block-level) deduplicated file system will reduce the size on the host.
  • a dynamically allocated disk image will only take space on the host when the guest OS writes to a free location in the virtual disk. However, locations that were written and then discarded in the guest (e.g. deleted files) will not be freed on the host.

A virtual installation will use less space practically but why not install IE on Wine within Ubunutu?

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