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There are LOADS (positively loads!) of threads detailing how to dual-boot. But the basics are like so:
1) if necessary, adjust (shrink) your Windows partition, or otherwise ensure that you have some space on your hard disk for a Linux root partition where you will install the Linux OS, as well as maybe a partition for your /home folders (user's home folders go there-- a separate partition is optional) and a SWAP partition (used like additional memory, when needed). Most or all Windows have a partition tool built in which can be used to resize the Windows partition, but if not, you can use a tool like "Gparted" or "partitionmanager" or "Qtparted" to do the partition resizing. These tools are usually available as stand-alone bootable ISO images which you can burn to CD to make a bootable partition editor CD, and Gparted for example is also included with many Linux OS's such as Ubuntu for example.
2) Boot your Linux CD or DVD, and proceed to the Installer. You will be asked questions and given options which will allow you to select which partition you want to install Linux into, and most Linux distros will also tell you that they have found a Windows partition, and will offer to add that partition to your boot-loader menu, so that when you turn on the machine, you can boot either Windows or Linux, using a menu.
That's the basics
Search around a little and you will definitely find lots of threads which address more specific concerns; if you cannot find the exact details you need, or are still unsure of something, feel free to ask some more
Use LQ's Search page, and search for "dual boot" or "dual-boot"
Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 03-21-2010 at 09:42 PM.
Yeah i ran a search first, i'm sure there's pages talking about it but it all looked like specific problems with dual-boots. At least to me, i'm sure someone would be capable of finding it without bugging everyone. Sorry!
I do have one more question though, i have 20 gigs free on my C drive.. already have the drives partitioned up, do i have to create a partition for Linux all by itself, or can i just install it in the same partition as windows is in?
No problem! You're right, many of the existing thread probably DO deal with various problems, so maybe they will be more helpful *after* you get your system set up.
You say you have 20 Gib "free" on the C drive (note that "C" or other letters is a Windows thing -- in Linux there are no C or D drives) and that the drives are partitioned up already. If I understand you right, this means you do not have some empty, UNpartitioned space?
Well, there *are* a couple way of intalling Linux INSIDE windows -- one of these ways is called "Wubi" and is a method of installing Ubuntu Linux inside Windows -- but I myself have never used any method like this, so I can't give any help specific to that.
Another way is to use a VM (Virtual Machine) whereby you run a VM on one OS (in your case, Windows) and install a Linux inside the VM. I don't do this either, so again, I cannot tell you how it might go.
Aside from those above ideas, AFAIK the answer is 'no' -- you need to install Linux to its own partition, with its own file-system formatted onto it. Free space inside your existing Windows partition will not work for a 'normal' installation. The Windows file system (NTFS) does not support features that Linux requires to work properly, such as user/group/ownership permissions.
Hope this answers your question, but if not, or you need more, then ask away
When you get the time to try setting up for an actual install, you'll likely find it really doesn't take very long at all, but definitely best to wait until you're not on some sort of deadline -- since that's when things tend to go awry: when you're on a schedule!
P.S. - depending what Live CD you have, you might even find Gparted on it already but if not, just Google for 'gparted' and you'll easily find the homepage and links to a downloadable ISO of it which you can use to make the CD.
Well my problem is that i have 3 partitions right now, i install most of my programs on the second one but the third one is all data.. and there's about 100 gigs of it. A lot of it's random but there's things like home movies and pictures and stuff i don't want to lose.
So i'll need to back up everything before i destroy that partition. Ack.. tired..
Yeah i know all about things not working right when there's a deadline. Thx for all the help!
Virtual machines, of course, needn't be command-line only. And they can be the "greatest thing since sliced bread" of you want to experiment with lots of different OS's, or even with lots of different software.
You absolutely need:
1. A fair amount of disk (it isn't unreasonable to expect a single VM to take 5 - 20GB or more). And the disk should be reasonably fast: external USB disks, for example, are NOT recommended!
2. A fair amount of RAM.
For example, if I allocated 512MB to the VM; I'd want at least 1GB of RAM on my physical server. More realistically, I'd want 2++GB for a 32-bit host, and 4++GB for a 64-bit host.
3. A fair amount of CPU
A cheap (under $100USD) 64-bit, dual-core CPU is more than adequate.
I've had good luck with VMWare; others seem to have equally good luck with VBox and others.
So please don't discount VM's ... they can be great. Honest!