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Old 04-18-2005, 01:05 AM   #1
hanzj
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Burning Distros to CD: Is it Necessary?


Hello,
I am about to embark on the Linux Life with the computer that I just recently acquired. The computer came with Windows XP Professional.

I'd like to save money by not purchasing blank CD-Rs. Furthermore, my computer's optical disk drive is a simple CD-Rom reader.

In order to run Linux, is it necessary to burn the distros onto a CD-R? Can't I just download one distro from Windows XP Pro OS and then somehow reboot and have the computer select to run that distro? Or, does the very first Linux distro I decide to install have to be burned onto a CD-R first, while the future (2nd distro and succeeding ones) distros can just be run and installed from within the first Linux Distro?

And then, after the Linux OS has been installed onto my hard-drive (40G), I suppose it will then be easier to install/try out other Linux distros, true?

If my questions are unclear, please let me know.


Thank you for helping a newbie!






j
 
Old 04-18-2005, 01:18 AM   #2
celejar
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It is possible to create boot floppies while keeping the bulk of the distro on the hard drive. Alternatively, if you run dos (not the XP command line) you can boot linux via 'loadlin'. I don't know if you can boot linux without floppies or loadlin/dos.
 
Old 04-18-2005, 01:26 AM   #3
hanzj
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Does XP come with this "DOS" you mentioned? How do boot floppies work? How can I make boot floppies?
 
Old 04-18-2005, 01:35 AM   #4
wapcaplet
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I'm sure there's a way to do what you're describing; there are other Linux distributions that run under Windows, such as Cooperative Linux, so at the very least there are options for running Linux without needing to install from CD.

However, I don't think saving money is a very compelling reason not to burn CDs. I don't know whether the retail pricing is similar where you live, but rewritable CD drives are quite inexpensive in the U.S. ($30 will usually buy you a decent drive, especially if you look for discounts or rebates). I've usually been able to get spindles of 50 to 100 blank CDs for $10-$20, so it's not expensive to get started with CD burning.

I don't speak with any authority, but I'd recommend getting a generic CD-RW drive (buy a brand you've never heard of before - name-brand drives are usually just rebranded no-names anyway), and I'd suggest using Maxell recordable discs. Stay away from Sony discs; I've been burning CDs for 7 years, and I've never had much luck with Sony discs.
 
Old 04-18-2005, 02:20 AM   #5
enemorales
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The way you create the floppies depend on the distribution. Just go to the webpage of the distribution you are interested on... Do you have any particular distribution in mind?
 
Old 04-18-2005, 02:48 AM   #6
J.W.
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There are several ways to interpret the OP's question:

1. I want to install Linux, but after I download the ISO I don't want to burn it to CD. No problem, this article tells you how to install Linux from a loopback device. All you need to do is d/l the ISO.

2. I want to install Linux but don't want to download the entire ISO. No problem, many distros offer the option of doing a network install, where you do have to download a small (generally <30Mg) boot image, but following that you download all the packages from the net.

3. I want to run Linux but I don't want to have to keep it on my hard drive. No problem, use a Live CD such as Knoppix, which is a fully functional Linux installation that runs off the CD and does not write any data to the hard drive. If you've got a Live CD, pretty much any PC can be "converted" into a dual boot system simply by putting the Live CD into the CD drive and rebooting (and assuming that the BIOS boots from the CD device first)

Overall though blank CD-R's are pretty inexpensive, and while I'd agree that if you were burning several every week that could add up, but using a few blanks in order to acquire a Linux distro (or two) would be well worth it. Just my 2 cents, good luck with it -- J.W.
 
Old 04-18-2005, 07:58 AM   #7
Paul8032
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hanzj,

How about buying the first distro on CD-ROM? I am based in the UK
and a few retailers sell various distros for the cost of burning the
CD - typically about GBP 4-5 (~7 dollars). Cheaper than fitting a
CD_RW if done as a once-only...

If you know which distro you want then a look at google will find you a
retailer in your country who will send you a CD version by mail.


Paul
 
Old 04-18-2005, 11:07 PM   #8
hanzj
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul8032

How about buying the first distro on CD-ROM? Cheaper than fitting a
CD_RW if done as a once-only...
Paul


After getting the first distro on a CD, what then? Why do you recommend getting the first distro (and only the first) on a CD?

Last edited by hanzj; 04-19-2005 at 04:47 AM.
 
Old 04-18-2005, 11:19 PM   #9
kencaz
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This is a confusing question. If you want to install Linux and you only have a CD reader there are way's like buying the CD like was just stated. Also you can install Linux from another partition or HD but you still need a bootable medium. I know you want to save a little money but CD writers are very cheap (in the us anyway) especially since DVD writers came on the seen, and you can get CDRW disks for free with rebates, plus it is a great back-up medium. Yeah you could install Linux without burning a CD but It's just to easy that way...

KC
 
Old 04-18-2005, 11:20 PM   #10
frieza
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Quote:
Originally posted by hanzj
Does XP come with this "DOS" you mentioned? How do boot floppies work? How can I make boot floppies?
NO... WINDOWS xp does not come with 'dos', you can go to www.bootdisk.com and download an executable that will create a boot floppy, even a dos 6.6 boot floppy with cdromn drivers will work

it is necessarily required to burn the isos to cd, but i'ts much easier, and you can store the cds in a safe place for later use.
 
Old 04-18-2005, 11:29 PM   #11
hanzj
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Quote:
Originally posted by frieza
It is necessarily required to burn the isos to cd, but it's much easier , and you can store the cds in a safe place for later use.
What's much easier? Easier than what?
 
Old 04-18-2005, 11:29 PM   #12
79spitfire
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Having a "hard copy" on cd would protect you from a system crash, allowing you to reinstall the OS in the case of a hardware falure.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 01:12 AM   #13
hanzj
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Hello,
Thanks to the suggestions on getting a CD-RW drive. I'm now looking into that idea. As a frugal guy, I'm looking into this country's largest auctions website (auctions.yahoo.co.jp). There are many CD-RW drives for sale, many of them are second-hand. When buying a drive, do I need to have a CD-Rom or a floppy disk in order to "install" the drive... in order to have my computer recognize the drive?

What if seller is not selling the Drive with any disks? Is it still possible for me to use the drive, maybe by getting the required software on the internet (maybe on the Drive Maker's website, or a website containing drive drivers)?

Do the answers to the above questions depend on:
A. whether I choose an internal drive, or an external (USB) one?

B. Whether I have XP Pro installed, or using a Linux-only computer? I understand that Windows OS are plug-and-play. How about Linux? Can linux recognize new hardware just by plugging the hardware in?



Last edited by hanzj; 04-19-2005 at 01:17 AM.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 01:32 AM   #14
79spitfire
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Most of them do not require drivers. I would go with an internal one, unless you do not have an open drive bay, even still if I only had one drive I would prefer it to be a CD-RW. I do not know about other distros, Fedora is pretty good with ID-ing new hardware.
 
Old 04-19-2005, 04:38 AM   #15
hanzj
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Quote:
Originally posted by celejar
It is possible to create boot floppies while keeping the bulk of the distro on the hard drive. Alternatively, if you run dos (not the XP command line) you can boot linux via 'loadlin'. I don't know if you can boot linux without floppies or loadlin/dos.
What if I totally delete WinXP and have a linux-only PC? Are"boot floppies" still necessary?

Is the quote above only if one wants to keep WindowsXP and have a dual-boot PC? Or does it also pertain to a Linux-only PC?
 
  


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