Dual Booting Windows 8.1/Linux

Hi guys, I am thinking of dual booting my system with Windows 8.1 and a Linux based operating system.
I want to use Windows for gaming and normal day to day use and the Linux based OS to complete my uni assignments from home, mostly programming.

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of having a dual boot system and which Linux based Os would you recommend?
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More about dual booting windows linux
  1. just put linux on one drive and windows ons another drive boot to the windows drive when you want to use windows and boot to the linux drive when you want to use it thats how i do it i use a smaller 80gb drive for the linux being that is not bloted as windows wants to be...
  2. Another option is to run Linux in a virtual machine. I run Windows 8.1 Pro on my main system and have Windows 7 and Ubuntu 13.10 both installed on virtual machines. If your machine has enough CPU muscle and RAM virtual machines are a great way to go. I can run all three operating systems at the same time if I want to. Believe it or not, that has come in handy on a few occasions.

    The disadvantage of dual-booting is that you can only run one OS at a time and have to re-boot the machine to switch back and forth. The advantage of a virtual machine is that you can start it up and shut it down without affecting your main system. My main system has a bunch of TV tuners and hard drives in it and serves as my DVR, so I leave it on all the time which means dual-booting isn't really an option for my usage. VMware Player is free and seems to run Ubuntu very well.

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