LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Complete CCNA, CCNP & Red Hat Certification Training Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 06-22-2013, 03:37 PM   #1
moonunit
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Posts: 16

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Completely new to Linux - any tips/hints?


Hi all,

I've been reading around today and I've decided that I'd like to switch from Windows 8 to Mint, which I've now downloaded and I'm ready to go, I just wanted to clear a couple of things up before I install it as I'm not really sure what I'm doing!

I understand that these are really basics things which have probably been covered in other threads which I will take the time to read, I'd just like to get the install complete so I can start learning that way.

Firstly I'm unsure whether to dual boot or just completely replace Windows 8? If I do dual boot I gather I need to partition my hard drive, once I've done this is it possible to access data on one partition from the operating system on the other? That seems like it would be a pain? Say I did have dual boot could I then just delete Windows 8 if everything went well on Mint?

I guess I would prefer not to dual boot but I do not have Windows installation disks - although I do have product keys for Windows 7 & 8 (paid for) - and I'm worried about 'loosing' Windows. If I did need to change back could I just download Windows and re-install?

Apologies for the rambling first post, I will get my act together, but I would appreciate your thoughts and any tips/things to watch out for on making the transition as easy as possible? I'm not computer illiterate but the most I've done is mess around modifying Windows etc. I've never done anything with operating systems...

Cheers
 
Old 06-22-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
goumba
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: New Jersey, USA
Distribution: Debian Sid. Arch. In the process of converting to and learning FreeBSD
Posts: 1,023
Blog Entries: 6

Rep: Reputation: 237Reputation: 237Reputation: 237
Ok, let's start here - were you offered to create backup disks? If so, do it, although I'm doubting it as fewer manufacturers are offering this capability - I guess they're confident of their backup partitions and hard drives. It's a bit involved, but you can make a copy of the rescue partition if you need it later.

As for partitioning - start off with a dual boot until you are absolutely sure you have no need of windows. Wine can be flaky with some applications, so it's not always the optimal solution and an installation of Windows can be a life saver.

If you decide in the future to get rid of Windows 8, yes, you can remove it in the future and use that space for something else.

As I always suggest, if you are going to resize your Windows partition, do it with Window's own partitioning tools, i.e. Computer Management. I find it more reliable than some open source tools (not surprisingly - MS wrote the FS and the tools).
 
Old 06-22-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
tronayne
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
Posts: 3,477

Rep: Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020
One basic question for you, is your Win8 installed on a brand-new computer or did you upgrade from a previous Win7 installation -- as in, do you have BIOS or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) aka "secure boot?"

If you have UEFI, you need to be aware that you may -- may! -- have problems booting Linux at all irrespective of dual boot. You will need to check, at the Linux Mint web site to start with, whether or not (and how, if possible) to install and boot on a UEFI box. Also, ask in the Mint Forum here at LQ about installing and booting in UEFI.

Not trying to blow off your question, but check and see what you've got then ask about installing Mint in the Mint forum her a LQ whichever (BIOS or UEFI) you have. And, whatever you do, don't just start installing until you're sure of what you have and what you're doing, OK.

Hope this helps some.
 
Old 06-22-2013, 04:18 PM   #4
moonunit
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Posts: 16

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thanks for the responses. Sounds like I have UEFI as I downloaded and installed Windows 8 to replace Windows 7 on release. I have no back up disks and the laptop came with a Windows 7 disk but I don't have a disk drive - so I can't even re install Windows 7. Sounds like this may be more complicated than I though then.
 
Old 06-22-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
tronayne
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
Posts: 3,477

Rep: Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020
Maybe not -- when you power on the computer there is usually a splash screen that shows you the manufacturer. There's a function key you hit so you can get into the "setup." You need to do that and identify whether it's BIOS or UEFI. If the computer is a couple of year old, it may be BIOS (and life got easy). Check and see what it is. I think the function is f11 but I'm not sure about that -- you just have to catch it right at power on.

Don't give up yet.
 
Old 06-22-2013, 05:54 PM   #6
frieza
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: harvard, il
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.4,DD-WRT micro plus ssh,lfs-6.6,Fedora 15,Fedora 16
Posts: 3,200

Rep: Reputation: 397Reputation: 397Reputation: 397Reputation: 397
even with uefi mind you ther is an option to disable the so called 'secure boot', which is where a significant portion of the booting linux problems comes from with uefi, as for dual boot, that's really up to you, but to be honest i would take the plunge and jump in cold unless there is some specific reason such as a software program that you absolutely need that's windows based, as I find a lot of times if a fallback option is available, than more often than not instead of forcing yourself to learn you lean too much on the fallback obption (in this case the windows boot option), and then little progress is made learing linux, i know because I was there myself, though for me it was mac os instead of windows.
 
Old 06-22-2013, 09:01 PM   #7
moonunit
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Posts: 16

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
After some messing about I've managed to get into'setup' from the splash screen as suggested by tronayne, turns out fast boot was on and my BIOS needed updating. Also as frieza mentioned I have the option to turn uefi on or off - its now disabled. I've now also got the option to do a factory restore, would this re-install Windows 7 even though I upgraded to 8?

With me not being able to make an actual boot disk is the best approach to make a boot file on my external hard drive, go to 'setup' from the splash screen and install Mint from there? Is Mint or Linux in general affected my what hardware is in the machine?
 
Old 06-22-2013, 09:05 PM   #8
moonunit
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Posts: 16

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
As for essential software the only thing I can think of that i currently run and might need is autoCAD, and that's more of a want than a need. Would it be possible to run it in Mint?
 
Old 06-22-2013, 09:37 PM   #9
linuxCode
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Location: New York City
Distribution: Arch
Posts: 33

Rep: Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonunit View Post
As for essential software the only thing I can think of that i currently run and might need is autoCAD, and that's more of a want than a need. Would it be possible to run it in Mint?

You need to use wine to run window's programs. Some apps run well in wine, some will have minor issues and other apps not so well

http://appdb.winehq.org/ # Database of applications under wine

AutoCAD is in the Silver list meaning Applications with minor issues that do not affect typical usage

If you're planning not to use windows that often, you can install linux Mint as your main OS and put windows in virtual machine that way you can still use your windows programs.

Last edited by linuxCode; 06-22-2013 at 09:49 PM.
 
Old 06-22-2013, 11:48 PM   #10
Soapm
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2012
Posts: 180

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I would suggest dual booting for someone new to linux. You have a huge learning curve so you may want an OS that you can use until you're confident and competent with linux.

Also, because you had UEFI active it means your current partitions are GPT. No big deal to Linux but Windows will complain if you change the BIOS to legacy mode. To solve this you may need to repartition your drive with mbr partitions.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 06:29 AM   #11
goumba
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: New Jersey, USA
Distribution: Debian Sid. Arch. In the process of converting to and learning FreeBSD
Posts: 1,023
Blog Entries: 6

Rep: Reputation: 237Reputation: 237Reputation: 237
UEFI can not be disabled, it is the replacement for the old BIOS. It can be set to behave in "legacy" mode as it were an old style BIOS. As a matter of fact many distros, including the most recent Mint, should play nice (Mint had issues a release or two back but I believe it has been fixed); therefore eliminating the need to revert to using a "legacy BIOS" mode.

UEFI is not the problem, it is the Secure Boot "feature" that presents the problem for Linux. Disabling Restricted Boot allows Linux to boot, but then creates problems for Windows 8.

Linux is compatible with GPT partitioning, and there is no need to revert to the MBR partitioning scheme unless you are required to use the legacy BIOS mode, as Soapm stated. Otherwise leave the partitioning scheme as GPT, it does not have the limitations of MBR. Last I checked, not all partitioners are compatible, however.

In short, disable Secure Boot, disable Legacy BIOS mode (leaving UEFI to act as UEFI), and boot Mint. If you have no issues, you're set. Fast Mode makes no difference on my ASUS laptop, and likely makes no difference for most.

Last edited by goumba; 06-23-2013 at 06:33 AM. Reason: Oops... HTML tags.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 09:37 AM   #12
TroN-0074
Senior Member
 
Registered: Dec 2011
Location: Michigan USA
Distribution: OpenSUSE 13.2 64bit-Gnome on ASUS U52F
Posts: 1,444

Rep: Reputation: 340Reputation: 340Reputation: 340Reputation: 340
Hi moonunit. I would suggest the dualboot alternative. Like it or not that computer was made to run windows therefore there will be some important updates from the vendor for your computer that will only be available to you if you run them from within windows. BIOS and other stuff updates are some of them.

Beside this day computers come with larger hard drives like 500 GB or more so allowing 100 GB or so to run Linux shouldn't be a big deal.

For sure you can access the windows partition from the Linux partition but you can't access the Linux partition from the windows partition. If this is critical to you then you can allocated a partition just for data from which you can have access from either OS make that partition a good size if you have lots of files.

For AutoCAD there is a program called LibreCAD is made based in AutoCAD but lack some features still uses the same file format, If you are a big fan of programs like iTunes, IE, and some other proprietary software chances are there is an open source alternative but it will require for you to get use to.

You can use a tool like Gparted (include in your mind live cd) to reduce the current windows partition, create new partitions for installation of other OS. If you definitely don want to mess with your hard drive you could put a blank hard drive in your computer and do a full installation of a Linux base OS.

Boot your computer from the Linux Mint OS you already downloaded and test that every thing in your computer while running a live session.

Good luck to you
 
Old 06-23-2013, 10:13 AM   #13
tronayne
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
Posts: 3,477

Rep: Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020
One caution about LibreCAD -- it doesn't like AutoCAD .dwg files (at least 1.0.2 doesn't). Won't open 'em.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 11:57 AM   #14
moonunit
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2013
Posts: 16

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I'm currently running a live session of Mint and everything seems to be working fine - so I'm ready to install. Reading through the responses I've decided that a dual boot sounds like it will be the best option initially, I can always delete Windows down the line.

The hard drive in my laptop is 500GB and I have a 1TB external one which I use to store all my programs, films, pictures etc, meaning that the only bulky files on my laptop are music. What would you recommend as an appropriate ratio for the partition? My plan is to use Windows as little as possible (if at all) so I shouldn't have to access files on the Linux partition from Windows. Would 100GB Windows to 400GB Linux work? If so, I would then put any important but little used files on the Windows partition which I could then just access from Linux if needed?

Presuming this is ok, will selecting 'Install Linux Mint alongside Windows 8' create the partition or do I need to go through "Something else" (dual boot advance) and set the partiton up that way?

Thanks for the responses - they've been very helpful so far.
 
Old 06-23-2013, 02:36 PM   #15
tronayne
Senior Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
Posts: 3,477

Rep: Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020Reputation: 1020
Yes, 100GB for Windows and 400GB for Linux would work just fine (as would pretty much any mix you'd like to make, say, half-'n'-half or whatever). Check the size of what's actually being used by Windows (as in "Computer" and look at your dive use). Linux doesn't take anywhere near the amount of disk for a full installation that Windows does but, as time goes goes on, you'll save stuff in files and you know how that goes -- but, yeah, 400GB is a heck of lot of gig and you'll be OK with it.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
GRE for Computer Science (advice/tips/hints) stees General 3 08-11-2009 04:20 AM
Fedora 10 - Good So Far - Hints and Tips? dudeman41465 Linux - Laptop and Netbook 3 01-22-2009 08:12 PM
Console: Hints and Tips Balkman Linux - Newbie 5 02-03-2004 08:50 AM
hints and tips bigjohn LQ Suggestions & Feedback 0 08-04-2003 02:48 PM
Quickie Tips, Hints, Shortcuts, etc dsledge Linux - Networking 0 04-02-2003 10:52 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:49 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration