Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Somewhere inside 9.9 million sq. km. Canada
Distribution: Slackware 14.1, 14.2
This is a netbook, how big is the hard drive?
First of all, linux uses different terminology that windoze for hard drives. The hard drive in linux will be 'sda'. That is the entire disk. The first partition on sda will be sda1, meaning it is the first drive, and primary. The second hard drive would be sdb, the third sdc etc, The second partition would be sda5, assuming you made it an extended partition. sda6 would be the next extended partition.
Now since you have a C and D drive for windows, the first linux partition number would be sda3, and that is assuming windoze C and D are both primary partitions. C has to be primary, D could be primary or extended, it depends on how the formatting was done.
If this sounds confusing, I would strongly suggest you get the system booted from a linux live distro, and use one of the partitioning tools to show you what you have now. I suspect you will also have a recovery partition that is hidden to windows. When I bought my netbook, it had four primary partitions occupying the entire disk. In other words there was no room for linux the way it was done from the factory.
The fact that you have free space on C and D does not meant there is any unused space for linux. Linux uses its own file systems, most commonly ext3 or ext4. There are a lot more.
So, in order to install any linux distro, there are some challenges with taking space away from windows, and creating empty disk space.
Some warnings. If you want win 7 to work after your linux install, it is advised to shrink C and D with Win 7 disk tools. Win 7 and I believe Vista introduced some small changes in how NTFS file systems work. Linux disk tools may not work correctly on win 7 partitions.
Just so you know, I blew away win 7 on my netbook. I have experience, so I was not worried about the linux install.
Ok, so you shrink C and D the amount you think you want for linux. Then install linux to the unpartitioned space. ( You create partitions in this unused space then install linux to those new partition(s) ).
How much space? Since you are using UNI ( Ubuntu ), I would recommend up to 10 gig for the root partition, known as just a / character. This is where all the system files and program files go. I would suggest a small swap partition, say half a gig. The rest for /home. Home is where all your user files go. mp3's videos, word processing etc.
So, partitions, C and D in linux speak are sda1 and sda2. I don't know about the recovery partition, you will have to find out if you have one or not. Create an extended partition, and with in that, create /, swap, and /home. Then install.
Netbooks usually don't have a CD or DVD drive. You can buy USB drives and plug them in. If you don't have a USB CD or DVD, then you will install from a USB memory stick, using UnetBootin. That is how I did it. You can also boot Ubuntu from that stick, and not install, just run it as a live distro.
So, at this point you will probably have more questions, and may even seem confused. Please ask questions, until you understand the task at hand.
One thing I can add, if you can boot the system from the usb stick, there are tools in Ubuntu to show you the current disk partitioning. This may help you understand the new terminology, and show you clearly how the disk was set up from the factory. When you run the system live, nothing touches your hard drive, linux runs in memory only. It is safe enough to look around, and get a feel for linux. This is recommended for someone new to linux.
Best of luck, don't hesitate to ask questions.
Last edited by camorri; 08-12-2010 at 06:52 AM.