Dual Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu Clarifications


Just build a very cool computer and I am very satisfied with it. I only have one drive: a Samsung 250GB SSD. I have a Windows 7 installation CD. I really like the idea of a dual-boot system, and I've been referring to this article: for instructions. I have some questions that I could not really find and laymen's answers to. Let me ask a question based on the following scenario:

Say I reserve and partition 30GB for each operating system and leave the rest of the space on the SDD as the "Storage Drive."

1. I want to be able to use Chrome, Spotify, (whatever) on both OSes. Does that mean I have to download it twice? Once on the Windows 7 partition and once on the Ubuntu partition?

2. If I download the same program for both OSes, doesn't that take up space in the 30GB partition for each OS? Is 30GB really enough if I want to install many programs?

3. How can both OSes access files (music, documents, etc.) from the "Storage" partition? Don't the storage files have to exist in filesystems specifically for each OS? Do they have a common file system that they can both use?

4. Somewhat related to 3. and 1.... Can I put applications in this storage partition to then be used in both OSes?

5. Is this method of dual-booting in any way similar to the idea of running a virtual machine with another OS?

Feel free to answer one or all four questions. And any other methods of how to get a dual-boot going would be appreciated. In the end, I really want to run Ubuntu and Windows 7, no matter how.

Or should I just ditch this whole idea and only install Ubuntu and use Wine whenever I need to run an application that is for Windows? I'm pretty much a total beginner (this is my first build) and came from Mac, so I would prefer Ubuntu to be my main operating system, but I would also like to have the option to play games or install applications designed for Windows.
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    1. Yes you will have to download it twice, there are separate versions of programs for different operating systems. Each program will have to be downloaded to the partition that the OS is installed on.

    2. Kinda answered this in 1. however, I seriously don't think that 30GB will be enough, especially for the Windows partition. Windows 7 needs at least 15GB. (i'm not sure on ubuntu but i think its considerably less). For program space, take a look at another household computer, look in your C:\ drive at how big the "Program Files" folder is for a rough idea.

    3. Basically imagine your on windows ( I'm assuming thats the OS your most familiar with) and you go to My Computer, Lets say you have 1 partition on your SSD for windows, and a second for other stuff ( 2 partitions total ) your my computer would see your C:\ drive ( the partition your OS is installed to as the primary partition, and it would see the second partition as a second SSD.

    4. No. As i said in 1. Ubuntu and Windows are different OS's so they use difference versions of the program.

    5. In a virtual machine you can run both OS's at the same time, but you will have limited speed on the VM, it's not that limited but don't plan on gaming on it. Also with a dual boot you have to restart your PC to get to the other OS.

    Personally I'd choose whichever OS you'll be using most and split the SSD into 3rds giving the OS you use most 2/3rds of the storage. And invest in a HDD for your media (and games if you're planning on gaming) needs.
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