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Old 08-25-2005, 06:33 AM   #1
juvestar15
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Best plan of attack?


Hi everyone,

I just signed up to this today, was recommended by a friend who is really into Linux. I've taken a subject at uni that is about networking and we work off the live Knoppix cd. It's pretty interesting and I really want to explore more of Linux. Over the last few days I've been looking at many distributions and I can't really decide unless I try it. Today I went on a downlaod binge and got SUSE 9.3, Ubuntu, Slackware and tonight Fedora, Gentoo and Debian should be finished.

My current setup is 200gig SATA is all windows. I have a 20 gig IDE for me to play with Linux. I installed SUSE, no problems at all. Went to install Slackware and things didn't go so well, it didn't delete grub(SUSE put it on) so I didn't know how to boot to it. Just now I finished installing Ubuntu and it's the machine I'm making this post from.

Now to my question. Can I partition this 20 gig into 5 smaller ones. I want to have Slackware, Fedora, Gentoo, Debian and Ubuntu running off the same hard drive. On top of that I want the bootloader to let me chosoe from each distro plus my windows one.

Is this a wise thing to do or should I just install each Linux version one by one(formating the hdd as I go). I'm splitting it just so I don't have to reinstall the one I want to stick with. I'm not really sure what I want to achieve with Linux. I'll always be switching back to windows to play games and do my .NET work but for everything else I want to do it in Linux. I've read so many things about each of the distros I'm not really sure what to believe. That's why I'm trying so many hehe. I mainly want to use one that has a large community.

Any advice would be appreciated.


Sorry just one more thing I wanted to add. Trying out slackware is a high priority. So even if I could just install that along side Ubuntu I would be happy. I'm just not sure how the bootloader will work, that's the main problem I'm worried about. Also in regards to windows. Whatever Ubuntu is running is the best yet. It's so smooth, unlike SUSE's one which was very sluggish. Do I have the option of loading different types of Xwindows? And can it be done in Ubuntu/Slackware?

Last edited by juvestar15; 08-25-2005 at 06:39 AM.
 
Old 08-25-2005, 06:37 AM   #2
jonhewer
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i suggest just sticking to one distro at first - i personally use ubuntu and i love it - it's pretty easy to use, however it may not be the best distro for absolute beginners - suse or mandrake maybe?
 
Old 08-25-2005, 10:13 AM   #3
enemorales
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I also agree that sticking with one is the best way of learning, but only if you choose right in the begining...

About your question, you can, but having 5 at the same time does not make any sense. 2 is already enough: you start with 2 and after playing for a while you keep "the best" and replace the other.

5 is too much because you have to create an extended partition and also you will have chunks of 4Gb for each distro, and that is not too much in some cases!

About Slack, if you haven't deleted it yet, just modify the /boot/grub/menu.lst file and create a second entry for Slackware. The file is usually plenty of comments and you can use the entry for (Ubuntu?) that you have as a model.

HTH!
 
Old 08-25-2005, 10:40 AM   #4
juvestar15
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Slackware isn't working out for me. My plan was to install each distro onto a linux partition on the SATA. Slackware though doesn't pick up my SATA so I cant do it that way. The more I play around with it the closer I'm going to get to screwing it up.

Debian/Gentoo seem to be more of an experts system. SUSE kinda annoyed me and Slackware doesn't work. I guess it's between Ubuntu and Fedora now. I didn't intend on using all 5 distros. I just wanted to install all of them, see which I liked and delete the other 4. It was just to save me some time reinstalling. In the end I want something that is customizable, my friend uses Ubuntu and he has done alot to it so I'll most likely stay with it.
 
Old 08-25-2005, 11:11 AM   #5
jonhewer
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Ubunutu is actually based on Debian and from my experience of both they seem pretty similar, however the support for Ubuntu seems really good - the Wiki they have seems to almost always help any problems I come across, so I would suggest its a good starting distro.

Fedora is also great, I use this at work, however I would suggest Ubuntu over Fedora to start because of the support available for Ubuntu
 
Old 08-25-2005, 11:15 AM   #6
jonhewer
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Re: Best plan of attack?

Quote:
Originally posted by juvestar15
Do I have the option of loading different types of Xwindows? And can it be done in Ubuntu/Slackware?
You have many choices in desktop environments/window managers.

KDE and GNOME are the two main desktop environments. I recommend going for one of these (I personally prefer KDE)

There are loads of window managers around however unlike a full desktop environment, as their name suggests, these just manage displaying windows etc. Desktop environments like KDE come with a whole suite of applications which will probably be all you need to get started.

You can run multiple desktop environments/window managers simultaneously but i would recommend you stick to one at the moment.

And if you decide to stick with Ubuntu, note that Ubuntu comes with Gnome as standard, if you'd rather use KDE, get Kubuntu which is exactly the same as Ubuntu but has KDE instead of Gnome

HTH
 
Old 08-25-2005, 11:22 AM   #7
Ynot Irucrem
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Quote:
Whatever Ubuntu is running is the best yet. It's so smooth, unlike SUSE's one which was very sluggish. Do I have the option of loading different types of Xwindows? And can it be done in Ubuntu/Slackware?
The "one" Ubuntu is running is called GNOME, while SuSE has KDE - they are called "Window Managers". you can install any window manager on any distro, it's just that different distros come with different window managers on the install disk(s).
Quote:
The more I play around with it the closer I'm going to get to screwing it up.
screwing things up is good - it forces you to learn something new about the way the system works.
Quote:
In the end I want something that is customizable, my friend uses Ubuntu and he has done alot to it so I'll most likely stay with it.
Every distro can be customised as much as you want - that's one of the ideas behind open source, you can do whatever the hell you want to anything on the system (without getting sued). That's a good thing too, because while Ubuntu is a nice, stable, user-friendly system, it's default theme is mind-numbingly boring.
 
Old 08-25-2005, 02:18 PM   #8
Superion
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Um, I'm actually a newbie myself...so I don't know that much. However, I just thought I'd say that I've been trying Mepis - from the Live CD, no less - and so far I've been having a nice time with it. You may want to give Mepis a whirl; it came with good reviews and highly recommended for absolute newbies. On top of that, it was one of the top selections that was given to me when I took the distro-chooser test (does somebody have that link?).

Now, Mepis comes bundled with the desktop manager KDE (which I think I heard you mention you didn't care for), but I'm certain you can change that if you like. Also, if you do the Live CD option, it'll be a bit slower (Live CD versions have to decompress stuff on the fly)...but it was still pretty quick, and it's been a great way for me to try Linux/Mepis out before making any changes to my OS.

I keep hearing things about Ubuntu - that was another recommendation from my test results. Now that you're singing its praises, I may have to give that distro a shot. ;-D

Hope this helps! GOOD LUCK!
 
Old 08-25-2005, 07:21 PM   #9
juvestar15
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Thanks for the replies, they have cleared some things up.

I liked the KDE layout and I agree that Gnome is pretty boring. It's just the smoothness and how fast it runs. I might try Kubuntu today, hopefully it will run smoothly. While the gnome and KDE in-built programs are handy, I end up downloading the ones I prefer. It's pretty much how I use windows also, never use their programs for anything.
 
Old 08-25-2005, 09:19 PM   #10
Ynot Irucrem
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Quote:
Gnome is pretty boring
I don't think that GNOME itself is boring, it's just the default theme that comes with Ubuntu - it's just so completely... brown. you can download more themes - just google "gnome themes".
Quote:
I end up downloading the ones I prefer
me too - thats one of the major reasons I don't like KDE - they try to integrate absolutely everything.
Quote:
I might try Kubuntu today
since you've already got Ubuntu, just run
Code:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
instead of having to download another whole distro.
 
Old 08-25-2005, 10:15 PM   #11
juvestar15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ynot Irucrem
Isince you've already got Ubuntu, just run
Code:
sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
instead of having to download another whole distro.
hehe cool, nice and easy.

I couldn't help myself though and I screwed up the drive while partitioning. I'm not exactly sure what's happening but SUSE is on the first 11gig and Slackware should be on the second half. I edited menu.lst but it couldn't boot Slack. I'm not sure which files/commands have my partition info, fstab is the best I could find. Here it is now.

Code:
/dev/hda1            /                    reiserfs   acl,user_xattr        1 1
/dev/hda3            /data1               auto       noauto,user           0 0
/dev/hda5            swap                 swap       pri=42                0 0
devpts               /dev/pts             devpts     mode=0620,gid=5       0 0
proc                 /proc                proc       defaults              0 0
usbfs                /proc/bus/usb        usbfs      noauto                0 0
sysfs                /sys                 sysfs      noauto                0 0
/dev/dvd             /media/dvd           subfs      noauto,fs=cdfss,ro,procuid,nosuid,nodev,exec,iocharset=utf8 0 0
/dev/dvdrecorder     /media/dvdrecorder   subfs      noauto,fs=cdfss,ro,procuid,nosuid,nodev,exec,iocharset=utf8 0 0
/dev/fd0             /media/floppy        subfs      noauto,fs=floppyfss,procuid,nodev,nosuid,sync 0 0
/dev/hda1 -- SUSE install.
/dev/hda3 -- When isntalling Slack I told it to install there. I'm sure I formated that partition as reiser, why is it showing auto? And I'm pretty sure I didn't put in that /data1 mount point.

Here is my menu.lst. I'll cut down the comments.
Code:
color white/blue black/light-gray
default 0
timeout 8
gfxmenu (hd0,0)/boot/message

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: linux###
title SUSE LINUX 9.3
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1 vga=0x31a selinux=0  splash=silent resume=/dev/hda5  showopts
    initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: slack###
title Slackware 10.1
    kernel (hd0,2)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda3 vga=0x31a selinux=0  splash=silent resume=/dev/hda5  showopts
    initrd (hd0,2)/boot/initrd

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: windows###
title Windows
    root (hd1,0)
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)
    chainloader +1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: floppy###
title Floppy
    root (fd0)
    chainloader +1

###Don't change this comment - YaST2 identifier: Original name: failsafe###
title Failsafe -- SUSE LINUX 9.3
    kernel (hd0,0)/boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hda1 showopts ide=nodma apm=off acpi=off vga=normal noresume selinux=0 barrier=off nosmp noapic maxcpus=0  3
    initrd (hd0,0)/boot/initrd
The part in bold I added myself by taking a guess. I'm reading up on GRUB now to see where I went wrong.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 12:43 AM   #12
juvestar15
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Ok I managed to load Slackware. But it doesn't pick up my sound card or even my network card. Is there a way I can install whatever OS's I want to whatever disk/partition I want then install GRUB to control it all? My main concern ismessing up the MBR. I'd give Slack and lilo a shot on its own but LILO won't save to my MBR so GRUB loads. Because I deleted the grub config files when I installed Slack, it doesn't know where to go so I can't get into Windows. I think my computer is giving me indirect signs to stop using Slack.

I'm too paranoid about choosing the wrong distro I think. I want to pick one where I can actually learn about the system. I want to learn on one that needs a bit of manual work so if I switch between distros I can get my way through it. For example, I started with Windows 95. XP now covers a lot of the stuff I had to do manually in 95. When something goes wrong in XP I can usually work it out and recall something I did in say 98. That's how I want to learn Linux too.

So really I'm after a distro that will detect my hardware, install the drivers for it, put on a basic X Window and let me take it from there.

Last edited by juvestar15; 08-26-2005 at 12:44 AM.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 08:29 AM   #13
Fritz_Monroe
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I'm a newbie as well. My main goal was to learn. That's why I use Slackware. My load went incredibly smooth. It had no problems with my network card. As for the sound card, you need to set up ALSA. To do this, run alsaconf at the command prompt. It detected my card no problem.

Slackware is a great distro to learn on. Everything can be done on the CLI. There are graphical tools available. To me, the way to learn is playing around on the command line.

F_M
 
Old 08-26-2005, 10:11 AM   #14
juvestar15
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That's good to hear Fritz. I'm wondering if you have GRUB as your bootloader? I've been at it all night trying to install GRUB to my Slack installation but it just isn't working out.
 
Old 08-26-2005, 10:16 AM   #15
jonhewer
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what problems are you having with grub?

i have a simialr set up in that i have windows on a sata drive, and linux (ubuntu not slackware) on a seperate ide drive. grub installed fine for me but i had problems getting grub to boot windows properly (only reason i can think why is cos its on a sata disk) but i managed to fix it eventually

if ur having similar problems lmk and i'll try and figure how i solved the problem for u
 
  


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