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Old 11-16-2006, 01:07 PM   #1
Zorko
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Registered: Aug 2006
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A whole bunch of kubuntu related questions, some regarding SATA


First of all let me say I am trying linux as an experiment, and have never used anything but windows before in my life. I have heard that the ubuntu kernel is the easiest to get to hands with, so a while back I ordered CDs for all the versions (ubuntu, kubuntu and xubuntu) (6.06LTS), and they arived a while back. However I did not have the drive space to try it then.

Recently I got myself a new 160gig SATA drive, and was thinking I might split some of it off for kubuntu, because from trying the live CDs I like that one the best. However, I would like it if someone could answer some questions.

1. Since I have 3 drives, C: with windows Xp on it (my primary hard drive, containing the boot sector), which is an IDE drive, and 2 SATA 160 gig drives, (containing games, and music mostly, so not essential data, but still I would like to keep it) being controlled by an Nforce SATA controler, would I be able to split the new SATA into a 60 gig portion for linux? I have heard people having problems getting SATA to work with ubuntu, but this seems to be for old versions. Is this fixed now. Also, would you recommend me using the kubuntu partitioner or doing it within windows using Partition magic, and making it ext2, as I don't think partition magic can do ext3. (Be aware I have no idea how the partition sizes are supposed to go. Apparently you need 3 partitions for linux?)

If I have to use the kubuntu one, or you recommend I do, can you point me at a tutorial on how it works?


2. Does kubuntu 6.06 support reading from, and writing to NTFS?

2. How does dual boot work? What happens if it messes up? Is there a way to repair it so I can get back into windows?

3. Not related to install, but how easy is it to get wireless networking working? I won't be able to use the windows drivers right?

Oh, specs: All this will run alright under linux right?
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3200+ 2.10 GHz
GPU: nVidia GeForce 7600 GS
RAM: 2 Gig DDR400mhz
Sound: SB Audigy 2 Audio
Connection: 802.11g Wireless PCI Card (Generic one it seems...)

Last edited by Zorko; 11-16-2006 at 01:25 PM.
 
Old 11-16-2006, 01:24 PM   #2
jonwatson
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Some of this I can help with, other parts someone else will have to answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorko
1. Since I have 3 drives, C: with windows Xp on it (my primary hard drive, containing the boot sector), which is an IDE drive, and 2 SATA 160 gig drives, (containing games, and music mostly, so not essential data, but still I would like to keep it) being controlled by an Nforce SATA controler, would I be able to split the new SATA into a 60 gig portion for linux? I have heard people having problems getting SATA to work with ubuntu, but this seems to be for old versions. Is this fixed now. Also, would you recommend me using the kubuntu partitioner or doing it within windows using Partition magic, and making it ext2, as I don't think partition magic can do ext3. (Be aware I have no idea how the partition sizes are supposed to go. Apparently you need 3 partitions for linux?)
I can confirm that there is no issue with SATA drives anymore. I have a 100GB SATA drive in my laptop and none of the *buntu strains (or any other distro, for that matter) have complained. One minor variant that you might want to be aware of is that normal IDE drives typically show up as HDA, HDB, etc and SATA drives typically show up as SDA, SDB, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorko
If I have to use the kubuntu one, or you recommend I do, can you point me at a tutorial on how it works?
Far and away your best option is to install Kubuntu onto the same drive as Windows. Kubuntu will detect that Windows is there, and offer to set up dual boot for you. I don't know if Kubuntu will behave in the same way if you're trying to install it on another drive that Windows is not resident on. I've never had a dual drive system.

If you can't install onto the Windows drive, and Kubuntu doesn't recognize Windows on the other drive and offer to set up dual-boot, then yes, the Kubuntu drive partitioner will work for you. I can't supply any other information than that right now because I am nowhere near my Linux box. This is one of those questions maybe someone else can answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorko
2. Does kubuntu 6.06 support reading from, and writing to NTFS?
Natively, I don't think so. There's an NTFS project out there somewhere, but I think it only reads and I don't know how stable it is. The preferred way to share data between Windows and Linux is to do so via a FAT32 formatted partition. There is a Windows/Linux file sharing technology out there named SAMBA, but it's designed to share data between two running computers. I doubt you could use it to share data from a Windows instance that isn't running.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorko
3. Not related to install, but how easy is it to get wireless networking working? I won't be able to use the windows drivers right?
Wireless is one of the tricky areas left in desktop Linux. True, you cannot use your Windows drivers directly, but you probably use them in conjunction with an application named NDISWrapper. It essentially 'wraps' your Windows drivers in a skin that Linux understands and can talk to. However, wireless has come along way and, being a laptop user, I can vouch for the Ubuntu prowess at supporting many wifi cards right out of the box. If you really need to know before installing, check out the Hardware Compatability List (http://www.linuxquestions.org/hcl/) and the Ubuntu forums.

Hope that helps. I'm sure many other people will be able to add more detail.
 
Old 11-16-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
Zorko
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Registered: Aug 2006
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Cheers for that! Anyone else offer any more tips? How big should my partitions be, I found I need a swap partition, should this be about the same size as my ram?
 
Old 11-16-2006, 01:41 PM   #4
jonwatson
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorko
Cheers for that! Anyone else offer any more tips? How big should my partitions be, I found I need a swap partition, should this be about the same size as my ram?
I actually ran a machine for about 4 months once without a swap partition. I must have just messed up the install and never noticed. So, if anyone tells you that you need a swap partition for Linux to function, they're wrong although I'm not advising it.

I think the general rule of thumb is that swap should be about 1.5 to 2 times the size of your physical RAM. If you plan to hibernate your machine, I'd recommend three times if you can afford it. I have 1GB of RAM in my laptop and a 3GB swap partition and every now and again I still can't hibernate because there's not enough space in the swap partition. Thankfully suspend works, so I don't really care, but it's food for thought.

I think the company line is that you need a minimum of two partitions: a root partition that you will mount as / and a swap partition that Linux will take care of.

Most people (myself included) will also recommend a third partition to mount as /home. This will enable you to keep all of your data and settings when and if you reinstall Linux onto the root partition. I've reinstalled my machine hundreds of times and am still running with the same settings and configuration because I never format my /home partition. It's quite slick, but maybe a little arcane for a first time user.

Swap size we've talked about, and the required size of the root partition will vary from distro to distro. Mine root partition is 20GB and I've never come close to filling it. Once the system is installed, the only way it will expand is by installing more applications (and my filling your home directory if you didn't mount that on another partition). I think I routinely sit around 7GB or something for my Ubuntu 6.10 system, but since I have so much space I don't clean up old packages and the like very often.

The home partition (assuming you've mounted it on its own partition again), should be as big as you want it. Out of my 100GB drive I have 20GB for the root partition (/), 3GB for the swap partition, and the remainder is my /home partition.
 
  


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