Questions about installing Win10 alongside Tumbleweed vs. inside VM on MS SP3

Hey there,

About three months ago I ventured into the unknown, left Win10 behind with good reason and switched over to Linux.
I have tried Ubuntu, Fedora and some more distros and ended up pretty happy with Tumbleweed and the GNOME DE.

Due to the special hardware (MS SP3, i5-4300U, 8GB RAM, 256GB HDD) I had to deal with some problems setting it up and getting everything running smoothly.
Since it is still not supported by the kernel out-of-the-box you have to patch a kernel yourself to get rid of some of the following problems:

  • touchscreen multitouch works only now and then
  • touchpad gestures do not get recognised
  • pen buttons are useless
  • sleep and hibernation do not really work

But even with a nicely patched kernel you will not get the same user experience as you get when using Win10 at the moment.
At the moment none of these is a real problem for me because I use it as a desktop computer with my docking station, but in summer I will need it as a tablet again and will have to use some windows programs for work.

Since I am very happy with Tumbleweed I want to stick to it as my main OS but I am considering installing Win10 alongside.
I have a couple of programs I need for work and university, which are only available for Windows and at university I want to use the tablet with MS OneNote again, since there is no satisfying Open Source alternative.

As long as the hardware is not fully supported by Tumbleweed I guess the best solution is to use Win10 whenever I need it as a tablet to be able to use all the nice features like touchscreen, pen and the better power management and to stick to Tumbleweed whenever I want to use it at home with my docking station.

A dual-boot would only be an option if I did not have to setup everything again, because I am happy with my configured Tumbleweed and do not want to mess it up. If I do it, I will have to repartition my SSD of course and that is where I need help.

/dev/sda1       2048    321535    319488   156M EFI System (boot)
/dev/sda2     321536  17092607  16771072     8G Linux filesystem (swap)
/dev/sda3   17092608 142929919 125837312    60G Linux filesystem (btrfs)
/dev/sda4  142929920 500117503 357187584 170,3G Linux filesystem (home)

I read that you could use swap for both OS and I guess I could shrink btrfs to 40GB since I am just using about 30GB. The dual-boot would only be useful, if I used the home partition for both OS to access some folders from both OS and I have already read about it.

What do I have to keep in mind when doing so and installing Win10? Will I be able to choose between both OS in grub2, or will Win10 mess it up?

Could I eventually install Win10 in a VM and use it whenever I want to use it as a tablet or need a program which I do not have in Tumbleweed? Would everything (touchscreen and pen functions) work inside the VM or would you still miss the drivers? What about the performance of a 3D CAD program inside the VM?

Any help is greatly appreciated!


A lot of questions… here some basic answers as a starting point.

  1. Running W10 in a Virtual Machine is VERY unlikely to yield a working touchscreen, pen buttons etc.;
  2. Performance of 3D applications in VMs is generally poor, due to sw emulation of graphics HW; in special cases it can be done but is generally tricky;
  3. so the best option for your needs seems a full “dual boot” setup.
  4. Dual booting W10 and Linux must be planned and executed carefully; otherwise the chance of one OS "screwing up " the other is high. Please check one of many threads on this topic or open your own when ready.
  5. Tumbleweed is not recommended as a VM HOST, due to the frequent kernel changes; it works, but might be occasionally broken after any update.
  6. Anyway you can try for yourself, installing VirtualBox or KVM/QEMU and then installing W10 in a VM, without compromising yout TW setup.
  7. While a swap space can be “shared by two or more OSs”, AFAIK W10 doesn’t use swap spaces (“hibernate” files are a different beast).
  8. While /home can be shared by two or more Linuxes, AFAIK W10 cannot use or even read that and might require a separate area formatted with FAT or NTFS to exchange data (well, unless W10 has some “tricks” I am not aware of).

Anyway, here on the Forums you can get help for any of the above once you have a clear idea of what you plan to do.
Have fun with Tumbleweed, meanwhile…