User-Mode Linux is a safe, secure way of running Linux versions and Linux processes in the 2.6 kernel. User-Mode Linux gives you a virtual machine that may have more hardware and software virtual resources than your actual physical computer. Disk storage for the virtual machine is entirely contained inside a single file on your physical machine. You can assign your virtual machine the hardware access you want it to have. With properly limited access, nothing you do on the virtual machine can change or damage your real computer or its software. Using VMWare will give you the ability to boot another operating environment like Windows. You should also look at using VMWare as a migration tool as it will help you smooth your transition.
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