Uses of VM with apps


Thread Starter
Feb 6, 2021
Objective: Improve privacy, security, and user functionality of laptop PC

  • backup current windows 10 on usb, move apps and files to usb
  • Switch primary OS from windows 10 to linux distro such as linux mint or zorin, tor browser, thoughtful selection of apps meeting the objective, keepass password storage, bookmarks on file
  • download hypervisor and run windows 10 to support the windows exclusive apps on usb
  • is this possible, is it worthwhile? (subjective certainly but I'd like to know yall's thoughts)
  • will the usb need to be configured to hold apps or to be bootable, perhaps a usb for the backup that's bootable and a usb for the files and apps that will be configured like system storage?
  • will I need a program to move apps over to a usb properly?
  • will I need to purchase windows 10 again to run in the VM, or can I use my current subscription somehow?
  • how can I improve this plan?
*edit: am I misunderstanding virtual machines in general? perhaps the apps will be redownloaded in the virtual machine and reside there permanenetly?
Last edited:
Sep 21, 2007
Here is how you would run a virtual machine.

Install virtualbox on the host machine.
Run virtualbox and setup a vm, selecting the size of the vm 'hard drive', select which virtual network card to use' , setup a virtual CD rom to point to guest OS ISO ( which is a Windows setup ISO).
Using virtualbox, start the vm configured above
The guest OS runs, the Windows setup runs, you go thru picking language, keyboard etc the usual way you setup Windows. The setup continues, and writes to the vm 'hard drive'.
Windows setup finishes. You can shutdown, startup Windows guest thru virtualbox. When you start the vm, Windows runs. You can download apps onto the vm hard drive and run it like normal windows apps. In effect, you have a miniture Windows stored within the virtualbox vm.
Feb 25, 2020
Is there any reason you don't create a dual-boot with both Windows and Linux on your computer?


Trusted Advisor
Spam Fighter
Mar 30, 2008
Because doing a dual boot just complicates the setup. You can but why would you? The idea behind running virtual machines is for hardware resources efficiencies. When physical servers were monitored, it was found that much of the hardware resources were going to waste supporting just one app or service. Even when the server was set up to run multiple services under the same OS, there were still under utilized hardware resources. So the idea behind virtual machines is to have multiple virtual instances running under a single hardware host that they all share the same hardware resources. Many times when one virtual machine is idle or is not pulling as much hardware resource, other virtual machines can utilize what is left over. In a data center when space, power, and cooling are major factors in overall cost, being able to shrink your server foot print brings about significant cost savings.

As virtual machines matured, the idea of better security and redundancy entered into the picture. On the security aspect, you can run a virtual machine and make a copy of the virtual machine files. And if the virtual machine gets compromised, you can be up and running with the backup copy of the virtual machine files in minutes. It's also useful for testing purposes when you don't want to impact a production environment nor do you want to pull hardware resources to do a test.

While everything seems great with a virtual machine setup, there are problems and complications. Some of these is direct hardware access as the hypervisor insulates the virtual machine from direct access to hardware. There are methods to allow a virtual machine to gain access to say a GPU with direct hardware configuration within the virtual machine setup. But this may or may nor work well depending the environment or application. Certainly, you're not going to run a gaming VM that needs direct access to a GPU and expect this work well. Other issues are if things go wrong such as corruption in the virtual machine files.

There are two ways to get running with virtual machines. One way is to run a hypervisor which is the OS for the physical host machine. The big options out there are VMware, Citrix, and RedHat. I personally run VMware Vsphere which is the enterprise offering. VMware does offer the free ESXi option. The other method is to run a virtual machine application which runs on top of an OS such as Linux and Windows. An example of these are VMware Workstation and Virtualbox as mentioned above by Lunarlander. Running a virtual machine application isn't a clean as having a hypervisor but certainly doable for many people especially for home users looking to dabble in the world of virtualization. Many IT professionals will run these virtual machine applications on their work laptops so they can take with them different instances of applications or do testing without needing a dedicated server.
Feb 21, 2021
One thing. From what I've read, to run an OS like this, your going to need something much faster than a memory stick. I just ordered an ext ssd drive to do something similar.

One thing the other person who replied apparantly doesn't understand is that with a virtual machine set up, You can play around and do anything without actually making a change and screwing up your actual OS.

One thing I plan to do with mine, is practice with the registry keys. Create folders and such.
To do this on my actual OS can be deadly if I make even the slightest mistake.
I run win 10 and my vm is also going to be win 10.
Partly for the reason I mentioned, partly for security, and also, I dont want to over load my machines SSD with space consuming software such as games and visual code editor. Not many people want to put a windows vm on windows, so I'm not finding instructions for this. 😢

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