I am thinking to switch from OSX to Elementary but I'll do the installation on my workstation I would like to lose as less time as possible.

I am on an hackintosh and I know I could create a VM and try the installation there and when I am ready switch to a full installation but as far as I understand I'll lose all the customizations I've done in my VM and need to start fresh.

I have an SSD that I am not using and I would like to install in there the new Elementary OS, the base idea is to save as much time as possible. This would be the best scenario:

  1. Install Elementary OS on the free SSD while running my main OS
  2. Configure Elementary OS (still) while running my main OS, install apps etc
  3. Once ready shut down the computer
  4. Unplug the SSD where is OSX
  5. Run Elementary OS, hopefully for good :D

Does any of you knows a way to do this or ever tried something like it? I would like to install and configure Elementary with as mush downtime as possible and I started to think about this approach but I am not sure if it is possible.

Probably the live installation is the option to go?

Thank you all for the future answers.

1 Answer 1


As a general rule, it is not possible to have two operating systems running natively on the same physical piece of computer hardware simultaneously. You can install two operating systems, but you have to shut one down before you can boot up (or install) the other (AKA dual-booting).

So you have two options:

  • Run elementary OS in a VM and you can continue using your host OS while elementary is running inside the VM. This is possible because the VM is essentially virtual hardware and elementary OS isn't interacting directly with your real hardware. But, as you've described, there are limitations to running in a VM.
  • Shut down your current OS and install elementary instead/as-well. You could remove your existing SSD and install elementary as the only OS, or you could attempt dual-booting. Though I don't know how well that would work with "hackintosh", so do so at your own risk.
  • Thanks David for your answer, create a dual boot in an hackintosh involves a configuration of the bootloader already in use but it is not the solution I aim to. The last announcement of the use of new processors made me think about alternatives and this was my idea. Jul 8, 2020 at 10:23

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