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About a month ago I switched to Fedora 10 on my desktop, so I'm still pretty new to this, but I'm definitely enjoying the learning experience. I've recently come into the possession of an elderly Sony Vaio that currently runs Windows XP. I'm not allowed to modify the existing install, so I'd like to throw something accessible and lightweight into it in a dual-boot configuration. I plan to take it with me on vacation and thus will be needing to use its on-board wireless card, and really won't be doing anything very complex besides browsing the net and uploading pictures.
I have about 16GB of free space, (I can make this 26 if it's truly necessary) I am pretty patient and computer-literate without being any sort of expert, and cannot afford to lose the current install. The computer has the following specifications:
Intel Mobile Pentium 4 Processor (3.06 GHz)
960 MB RAM
Lan-Express AS IEEE 802.11g miniPCI adapter.
I'm kind of partial to Fedora, will it "fit"? (Do the computer's specifications allow for a functional install and reasonable speed?) If not, Can I put the latest version of Ubuntu on it? (I'm a KDE fan, do I need Kubuntu?) If neither of these will work, what will? Thank you for your time, and please give a little instruction on how to set up the dual-boot configuration safely.
You shouldn't have any problem with Fedora or Ubuntu. If you prefer KDE, you might want Kubuntu. The wireless device could be a problem and I would suggest you do some research here at LQ using the search function and also googling your wireless card and Linux.
As far as dual-booting, searching LQ and googling should give you a large number of results. If you have specific problems, post again.
Get an external HDD. You know the ones with spinning platters inside. Then on any desktop disconnect the HDD and plug in the external hdd to the usb drive. Launch the live version of Kubuntu and install to the usb hdd. I used a 30 gb hdd from a dead laptop and did that exact same thing. Nice thing is that you will not have to worry about destroying your data on the laptop. Down side is that it may not be a mobile as you may want. My reasons were due to not haveing a spare sata laptop hdd. Also make sure you laptop will boot from usb which it should, my vio is about 2 years old and does.
I had been thinking of making my HP Pavillion dual-boot for a while, but it runs Vista and I did not want to faf around with repartitioning the HDD. I did some Googling and found Wubi, this is an installer for Ubuntu that will install Ubuntu Desktop onto a machine using space from your existing Windows file system.
I am writing this post from the Ubuntu install that has just completed, it was almost painless. I had to sort out the screen, was stuck in 800x600 after install, but it turned out to be an nvidia driver issue. I found the solution here on LQ
I just read your reply. The difference is in the GUI. Xubuntu uses XFCE a light weight desktop and file manager. Kubuntu uses KDE a windows substitute and is heavy on resources. Ubuntu uses Gnome which falls in the middle for resources and takes some getting used to in the beginning. When I first started using linux I started on KDE, then about a year and a half ago I switched to Gnome.
My Vaio had an issue with the beta of the most recent fedora Core. I have the VAIO PCG7X2L slightly different configuration.
I just did a google for you. As of Ubuntu 7.* there was an issue, download the most recent image and run it live and see if it works. If it does not go to ndiswrapper and see if they have support for your card. ndiswrapper allows you to use windows based drivers for your card. Follow their instructions, this is no guarantee just an option in case you have issues.
Thanks to all who replied. I was able to install Ubuntu with minimal difficulties. I chose Ubuntu proper to go with the middle ground of visually pleasing but functional setups. I didn't feel the need to use Wubi, because the setup disk was easily able to guide me through the process. The wireless card set itself up without a single snag. I use my external HDD for other purposes, but things still run great.