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Duel or Multi-boot Operating Systems - Windows OS


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#1 3Ddreamer   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3165

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:23 AM

Hi,

 

How practical in general is it to use duel or mult-boot operating systems for development and testing instead of dedicated hardware with OS for the job? What are the challenges and advantages, especially for doing this with a native Windows 7 OS as I have? How would you rate duel or multi-boot for video game development which targets computers cross-platform?  Is there a big difference in quality or efficiency compared with using native hardware and their OSs (such as Macs and OS X)?


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#2 ProtectedMode   Members   -  Reputation: 1283

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:35 AM

Dual boot is very practical, you just have multiple different operating systems installed on the same machine. But I don't really understand what you're asking... Do you think that the operating system the hardware came with works better? This is mostly only true for Apple since they all have similar hardware and optimize the software for the hardware. But I don't think this will be large problem. For other operating systems like Linux, this is usually not the case. The operating system wasn't made for some specific hardware and is made to work fine on most computers.

 

Are you asking what the challenges are regarding testing and compiling using dual boot? For compiling there is ovbiously some overhead because you need to reboot, but you could also use a virtual machine for that. For just testing if your game works, I don't see any problems.



#3 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4756

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:36 AM


How practical in general is it to use duel or mult-boot operating systems for development and testing instead of dedicated hardware with OS for the job?
Exactly as practical as using multi boot for anything else really. It needs a reboot. You can weigh if that's bad enough for you to not to do it.

 

On the other hand, multi boot systems can get complex, had a Windows 7 install, installed Linux and now want a Windows 8 partition? You might fck up everything you have. So always have a separate "Data" or whatever partition to store what you want to keep around.

 


Is there a big difference in quality or efficiency compared with using native hardware and their OSs (such as Macs and OS X)?

We are seriously missing some software/hardware concepts here it seems if you're asking such questions : / Just think about it, if I dual boot Windows 7 on a Mac Pro (or whatever), what could be the difference for the CPU (say, a i5 4570)? What could make OSX "native" to that i5 4570 that is different from Windows 8?

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#4 RobTheBloke   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2341

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:39 AM

I tend to use virtual box as a way to ensure that code compiles, and the unit tests run on other OS's. Periodically I'll boot into another OS for testing (virtualised installs can only get you so far). For other devices (e.g. smartphones/tablets), the best option is still to deploy onto the devices (the emulators tend to be a little flaky, and and a very poor substitute for the real thing). For mac os development, it's likely that a hackintosh would be absolutely fine for debugging and testing, although I'd still want to run some last minute QA on the real thing before releasing a game (mainly looking at Intel v.s. ATI v.s. Nvidia). Using a hackintosh for iOS development would be fine imho. 



#5 SeanMiddleditch   Members   -  Reputation: 7161

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 10:18 AM

Your best bet is most definitely to focus on VirtualBox or another VM technology for basic development/testing work. You'd want a reboot at best to test native graphics drivers, but even then you usually want to test all the different native graphics drivers (NVIDIA, AMD, Intel, and on Linux both the proprietary and Free versions of the first two) which means you'll need multiple machines anyway before dual-booting even should be considered.

You can pick whichever OS you prefer as your host. I ran Linux as my host and XP in a VM for many years before switching to using Win7 (now Win8.1) as my main OS and keeping a couple small/cheap machines laying around for Linux and OSX stuff (which I boot up maybe 3 times/year). If OSX is a serious OS you're considering, you might want to pick a MacBook or iMac as your main dev machine, otherwise you can buy a used Mac Mini.

#6 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5439

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 01:21 PM

It is my experience that multi-boot is a cheap solution, and that getting dedicated hardware for the job is better if you can afford it.  If you're doing this professionally, don't waste time with multi-boot systems.

 

Multiboot systems work.  Dedicated systems work better.


Stephen M. Webb
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#7 Kaptein   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 2179

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:13 PM

| How would you rate duel or multi-boot for video game development which targets computers cross-platform?

You don't need, and you don't want dedicated, if you are thinking about Linux. For OS X you probably want a genuine Mac computer, of some kind.

For Linux you want to just be able reboot into another OS and do your things, unless you need both up at the same time. That's of course a different thing altogether.

 

Some Linux things:

1. On Linux you are less tempted to waste your time doing nothing. I rate this the highest. I actually do things now. It's not that there aren't games on Linux. Just not that many.

2. It's alot more pleasant to program just about anything on Linux, imo. Just downloading libraries and get going, if you know your way around. On Windows I would prefer to write in a #.NET based language, rather than MS VC++. But that option isn't multiplatform for now. I don't know much about Mono project. Some say it's buggy, some use it either way, and it probably works well.

3. Your Linux system may be unstable, and if it is, prepare to be googling like no tomorrow. And it can sometimes be a hassle to install proprietary drivers, especially when your kernel is updated. Or even worse, everytime you update (which is what happened to me). I ended up just using ubuntu x-swat nvidia drivers, as they are semi-new and work well.

4. Static on Linux is a myth. Unless you want to replace the gnu clib with someone elses.

(I believe Valve has something they made for this purpose along steam, 32-bit? If so, that would relieve #4 somewhat.. although 32-bit in 2014 is NOPE)

 

For Linux I would look into Qt5 for any GUI applications, as that is multiplatform, and actually very reliable and fully documented.

For game creation, I honestly don't know, as I write my own stuff, from bottom up.


Edited by Kaptein, 07 April 2014 - 02:17 PM.


#8 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7587

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 02:36 PM

I'm in the virtual machine camp. The only downside is graphics performance tends to be quite poor in the VMs, although I think the latest generation of VMWare is supposed to be quite good. It's unfortunate that Mac isn't especially VM friendly without a lot of hacking, but basically I'm running Windows, Linux, and Mac OS all now across a couple machines.






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