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Old 03-03-2011, 10:42 AM   #1
LinuxTyro
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Getting Linux OS onto Windows machine with 250 GB storage...


Hello Linux community,

Linux has been a long lost interest of mine, ever since my introduction to programming in college in an electrical engineering program. But since then I have not put the very basic skills I had developed to use, I have lost my sway and memory of it all frankly but would like to get back in motion starting with perusing this massive amount of information here on this forum.
Firstly, I would like to start with the very basics... I hope this question isn't illegal but I am trying to get Linux in some form, onto my laptop without damaging/hindering regular use of my windows 7 os if possible... I want to switch or swap back and forth between both os on my laptop that seems to have decent enough memory for the job, since my research tells me that linux development environments can use up to 10 GB... I have come across a term called partitions. I believe to set up that, is required in orde to have the swap-over capability. Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated and put to use since I have no where to start here. I've pondered purchasing a second machine, one that is Linux-oriented such as Dell's Inspiron 15n but if you may provide suggestions as to low-cost linux-powered machines that would be greatly appreciated as well.
I look forward to your correspondence on these topics!


LinuxTyro
 
Old 03-03-2011, 10:52 AM   #2
kirukan
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If your system have enough resource. Install the Linux as guest OS by using Virtualization.
Try virtualbox
http://www.virtualbox.org/
 
Old 03-03-2011, 11:00 AM   #3
Soadyheid
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Welcome to LQ! It sounds very much that you wat a system which dual boots between Windows 7 and Linux. There are a huge amount of posts on this topic in the forum. I'd suggest that you download a live copy of Ubuntu 10.10 which would allow you to burn a live CD.

This means it'll boot Ubuntu Linux directly from the CD and allow you to have a "walk round" to check it looks like what you're expecting. It runs in memory so doesn't disturb your Windows software. There are several other "live" distributions if you're not happy with it. Mint, Mandriva, Fedora, etc.

The Ubuntu distribution has a partitioner called GParted under System > Administration which would allow you to shrink your Windows partition and leave, say, 100Gb for Linux (Less if you're unsure) Doing this takes some time as it has to ensure all the Windows files are at the correct end of the disk, so to speak. BACK UP any Windows stuff before playing with this as this is the bit which could wipe your existing system. You may like to do a "look only" job and come back and ask any questions.

Then... If you hit the Install Icon on the desktop (Again I'm talking Ubuntu though the others are simmilar) you'd be guided through the installation. During partitioning, choose the now clear non-windows partition, i.e the one on the right hand side in the graphic, and just let it use the complete partition. That's the complete cleared partition, NOT the whole disk!

Go and have a look at some Live CDs and come back and let us know how you're getting on.
Play Bonny!
 
Old 03-03-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
Ignotum Per Ignotius
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Quote:
I hope this question isn't illegal but I am trying to get Linux in some form, onto my laptop without damaging/hindering regular use of my windows 7 os if possible
You're OK --- your question isn't illegal. ...At least not today.

Quote:
I have come across a term called partitions. I believe to set up that, is required in orde to have the swap-over capability.
Yes, you're right: the general plan is that you'll split your hard drive into several separate chunks ("partitions") --- one partition will have Windows on it, and the others will have Linux on them --- and you'll be able to choose which to boot when you power up your machine.

At the moment, your drive is likely to be formatted into a single gigantic partition: you want to split this into more than one. Since there is already data on the drive (i.e. Windows and your files), you can either

i) back up the data and then just partition the drive, destroying the existing data --- and then reinstall Windows and restore your backed-up data (this is known as destructive partitioning and is the "long way" of doing things),

or

ii) you can try a non-destructive partitioning tool (e.g. gparted, as mentioned in the post above). The basic idea of non-destructive partitioning is that the data already on the drive is not harmed by the partitioning process --- but as my good man Soadyheid points out, you should nevertheless back up your data first, just in case things don't go quite to plan... It's also worth running a disk check on Windows and defragmenting it before you start --- the former helps to spot any potential problems and the latter squeezes your data into one nice lump at the start of your disk, so that repartitioning is easier.

If you want more detailed information about all this, this article is a beginner's introduction to partitioning.

Good luck & welcome to Linux!
 
Old 03-03-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
jefro
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If your laptop came with windows 7 the I'd consider using a virtual machine. They are almost all free and almost impossible to bork your windows 7. You'd be able to run Windows 7 and linux at the same time.

A guy named knopper started making what is termed a live cd. Almost every distro at distrowatch.com has a live cd. Many don't even say it but the cd or dvd is a live cd they are so common.

One can easily use them to learn on and they are quite safe too. They can usually be made into live usb flash installs too to speed them up. Running from a cd is a bit slowish.

Last edited by jefro; 03-03-2011 at 04:22 PM.
 
Old 03-03-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
Cr0wb4r
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Quote:
The Ubuntu distribution has a partitioner called GParted under System > Administration which would allow you to shrink your Windows partition and leave, say, 100Gb for Linux
You could do that, or you can just insert the Ubuntu disk while windows is running and install it just like you would any other program. If you don't like Ubuntu you could just uninstall it through Add/Remove programs. No partitioning required.
 
  


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