<operating system> Any system offering the user the choice of two
operation systems (OSes) under which to start a computer. A dual boot system
allows the user to run programs for both operating systems on a single computer
(though not simultaneously). The term "multiple boot" or "multiboot" extends the
idea to more than two OSes.
The OSes are generally unaware of each other's existence. They are installed on
separate hard disk partitions or on separate disks. They may be able to access
each other's files, possibly via some extra driver software if they use
different file systems.
The OSes need not be completely different - they might be different versions of
Microsoft Windows (e.g. Windows XP and Windows NT) or Linux (e.g. Debian and
A dual boot system differs from an emulator such as vmware, which runs one or
more OSes "on top" of the primary OS, using its resources.
dual « DUAL-607 « dual-attached « dual boot »
dual-homed » Dual In-Line » Dual In-line Memory