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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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Its possible to have Windows and Linux on the same machine (its called a dual boot). Linux will install a bootloader that enables you to choose whether you want to boot into Windows or Linux. Post back if you need more info.
I am a real newbie to Linux but feel it necessary to learn. I'm a systems admin with virtually no Linux experience. Someone gave me Suse Professional 7.3. First of all is it worth a darn to begin learning with and secondly, can you add it to MS Virtual Server as one of 3 OSs - Server 2003, XP Pro and Linux? Or would it be better suited to dual boot with Server 2003?
Last edited by m1man; 03-12-2008 at 02:53 AM.
Reason: Forgot something to add
SuSE 7.3 is very old. I'd go with a more recent version of Linux (SuSE is probably a reasonable one to start with -- you can download up to date versions from www.opensuse.org -- other popular distros for beginners are Ubuntu, Fedora, and PCLinuxOS -- if you want to get more "under the hood" there's stuff like Slackware and Debian). I am not sure about virtual server, but I've installed many distros in VMWare.
Distribution: Debian Wheezy/Jessie/Sid, Linux Mint DE
IMHO dual booting nowadays with so many virtual machines avialable is crap. A virtual machine is the way to go. I am not sure if MS Virtual Machine allows Linux to be installed. (Multiplatform in Redmond means W2000, XP and Vista)
But many other products like VMware and Virtualbox do the trick.
I second btmiller in the advice to install a recent Linux version. Suse might be OK. Ubuntu is as close to Windows as you can get in hiding administration tasks on the command line. Which might be nice for you given your Windows experience, but on the other hand you do not learn Linux that way. The more professional distros are Fedora and Debian, and I prefer the latter because of its extreme stability and excellent package management. (No, I did not say FC is not stable or doesn't provide good package management )
Not to mention the appalling performance in some cases. I tried installing netbeans on a FreeBSD image and it was an absolute nightmare, even though I gave it 2GB of RAM and 2 cores.
I would recommend a Red Hat based distro for professional use: CentOS 5 - a Red HAT clone - for proven stability or Fedora 8 - more or less Red Hat beta - for a cutting-edge system. Suse is another corporate house name and it is directly associated with Microsoft but my experience is that it tends to get clunky unless you limit yourself to the core software packages. Both run fine on MS Virtual Server 2005 and they are the only ones that MS lists as supported (well, not exactly, MS lists Red HAT and SLED but I don't expect that to be an issue as the ones I mentioned are largely identical). And for what it's worth, even the "easy-going" distros do not hide anything if you know how to use them. There is even a no-GUI Ubuntu server edition. How much more command line can you get?