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I'm a senior at high school. So I really only have 100 school days left. During the summer I'll be either building a computer for myself, or buying a premade on. I'm most likely not going to take the harddrive from my family's computer. At least one of them... I have two hds. 1 has Windows 2000, the other has Fedora Core 4 Linux and Debian dual boot.
BSD has interested me for some time now. Now that I have successfully dual booted an item on the same harddrive, I may keep doing this...
I know when I make my computer I'll have at least three OS on there (Debian, FC, Windows). I may have two hds to separate Windows from Linux... I really want to try out BSD, so there's a 95% chance I'll also have that. I might even get a different hd for BSD specifically. Whatever, I'll figure all that out later (or maybe you guys can give some advice on this subject).
Currently I have a hd with only 60 gigs of memory, and the hd speed is kinda aging. Not quite as fast as some of my friends. Got it way back in 2000, which is why Windows 2000 is on there.
First take into account these two factors:
1. There isn't much time before I get a new comp and have to redo this process
2. I only have 60 gigs on this hd.
Should I try a triple boot between FC4, Debian, and some BSD distro? The pro is I can absolutely know what I want on my new computer, and then figure out the hardware stuff for when I build or buy my computer. I also get a long time to get acquainted with BSD. The con is I'd split the hd up 3 ways evenly so each filesystem only has 20 gigs, but then you gotta minus some for the MBR, swap, etc. The thing is nobody else really uses the linux box. So I can use as much space I really want to use. Once in a while my brother uses it because he's kinda getting curious about an alternative to Windows.
If I do triple boot, I'd do it some time in February, after all the college application processes are complete. Which gives me more than enough time to do some more research on BSD, and pick out a distro that interests me.
I don't see an issue with setting this up. It is more of a question on how much time you have to make it happen versus the diskspace issue. You could also share some of the filesystems between operating systems. This would make it easy to share data and maximize the usefulness of your diskspace.
If you want to check out BSD in the meantime there is a LiveCD out there based on FreeBSD called FreeSBIE. I plan on trying this out myself as soon as I get the chance to download and burn. Enjoy!
"Should I try a triple boot between FC4, Debian, and some BSD distro?
Is that your question? That's up to you what you want to do. With your "may", "most likely" etc, it's kinda hard what to advise here. If you want to learn BSD, install it and go forth.
I'll give some pre-install info on BSD, mainly FreeBSD so maybe that'll give you some insight.
1. FreeBSD has to be installed on a primary partition. Period. No extended partition.
2. What you know as partitions in Windows/Linux are called slices in BSD. With in the slice you have partitions. Meaning that a so-called Linux partition (BSD slice) is then broken down into partitions, as many as you need for / /usr /var /usr/local swap. Yeah, gets confusing, but works wonderful.
3. Haven't tried recently, but getting FreeBSD to boot from a second drive was, well.... not in the cards. The boot loader is different than anything you've seen.
4. Package system is A+
5. Documentation is A+
Since you know Linux, pick a computer, harddrive, install (Free)BSD on it, get The Complete FreeBSD 4th, and drive on 'til summer.