While Linux will be an easy install, reinstalling the OEM OS into a VM won't be, and I speak from first hand experience.
Tried it with both my HP & XPS 8700, and just wouldn't do it. You do have one option though, if the OS is Windows 10 Pro, then you can run Linux in a Hyper-V setup, which uses the full resources of your computer. Kind of complicated though & was never able to pull it off, mainly because Microsoft hasn't given clear cut instructions for the feature since introduced with the Windows 8 Pro $40 promo back in October 2012. They proclaimed it a feature & one reason 'why' to upgrade to W8, yet what good is that w/out instruction?
Being that you have a ton of space, you can also dual boot, really all W10 needs is a 120GB for the OS partition (beginning with W8 the size for the 'C' partition has shrank a lot), another for Windows Data, and use what you want left for Linux of your choice.
Yet before you do anything, and I mean anything, image the drive first, using your favorite imaging software. I highly recommend & use Macrium Reflect, because it allows for WinPE (outside of the Windows environment) backup, restore & cloning capabilities. Plus be sure to create a set of recovery discs, or on a large (16GiB) USB Flash drive that you'll never be using for any other purpose. I also recommend the USB 2.0 versions for this, I had a few bad experiences restoring from recovery media created on USB 3.0 Flash drives, one my own, a few more for others who followed all steps that I personally assisted. And be sure to order your no cost, one time limited offer for a Dell Recovery DVD, w/out bloatware, specifically made for those who has a large HDD & the recovery media won't restore to a SSD. Even if you don't use it, your computer will have more value if you decide to sell it later on.
I got a one year warranty on it. So I will call support, and ask for the disk.
I requested my DVD & it was in my hands the next day (Windows 8). Was looking for the link for email request & couldn't find it, though Dell will send you one on their dime by FedEx during the initial one year warranty period only. Plus I trust a DVD over a USB stick on any given day, even if slower. Don't let Dell shaft you over, that reinstall DVD will cost $60 after the purchase date.
That said, whomever stated that 'Linux wants to take one's entire drive' must have tried Debian or some other installer, the ones based upon Ubuntu are very easy with partitioning. And with UEFI/GPT partitioning, you have up to a 128 Primary limit to work with, so partitions are no worries for 99.999% of Home users.
One thing I'd like to ask. if this notebook was ordered from Dell, could have chosen a Ubuntu notebook ready to roll with 16.04 LTS pre-installed. If it was ordered elsewhere, that wouldn't had been an option. So if you ordered from Dell & want Ubuntu, don't open the package, you have the right to a 100% refund or exchange for a Ubuntu based computer. Windows 10 can then be found on promo on Newegg (OEM), I recommend Pro for more control & features. Just remember, once installed in a VM, that's where it's always going to be.
Those are your options as I see these at this time.