Have XP, new 500GB HD in the post. Can I put Linux on it to try it out?
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I'm sure this must have been covered somewhere, but couldn't for the life of me find it.
I've been running XP on my desktop for 18mths, and have a new 500GB hard drive on the way. Could I put Linux on the new drive, so that I could try it out, but still use the drive to back up stuff from my windows drive? I even have an old 40GB 2.5" drive kicking around that I could connect externally for a trial, if that was an option.
I know there are ways to try linux out via a bootable CD, but I can't imagine that being much of a test, and I don't want to uninstall XP or risking it killing itself out of jealousy and spite. I'd be very concerned that XP would screw me over if I put Linx on another drive.
Is this a good idea for me? My level of expertise is about average. I can do the basic stuff, like maintaining the pc, and have begun tweaking the registry while following online instructions. Any sort of independent programming is beyond me. All I want is a system that's fairly simple to use, quick, reliable, secure, and freeware is an attraction. If the trial works out I'd build my next pc around my 19" monitor, the new 500GB drive, and a couple of other salvaged bits, without needing to pay out for windows.
Is that a good plan?
Actually, Live CD's are an excellentt Test, but putting Linux on one drive, while leaving Windows on the other, is generally pretty safe(but 500gigs is freakin huge for Linux)... This is honestly how I started learning Linux.. .Windows on main drive, slave drive, i'd put new distros on constantly. Granted, my spare drive was only 40gigs, but it was still way more than needed...
So, I've made myself an Ubuntu Live dvd, and had a play around with it. Here's my first impressions:
The desktop layout and appearance is incredibly flexible and very functional. Being able to add as many tabs as you want, put whatever you want on them, even put stuff in drawers and resize everything, is excellent. I did something similar on XP yesterday, and you can't even move things around freely on the taskbar. I like to use the taskbar for quickl links to the stuff I use most often, like media player, web browser, drives, my documents, etc, and this is better organised on Ubuntu.
It's crashed twice in the five times I've tried it. This makes me wary, considering that I can't remember the last time XP crashed on me, and I've got it running smoothly at the moment. However, I was running a 700mb operating system from DVD, in 500mb of RAM, turning on all the features to try them out, so the real-deal would be different.
The names for drives are different, as are all of the commands. This means that XP users can only see which drive is which, by looking at the volume. Someone like me that has just got to the stage on XP of using msconfig to stop every program that's ever looked at my pc from starting up whenever it wants to, pressing F12 on bootup to mess with the setup, and got the hang of clearing junk of the registry and HD, would potentially be back to where he started. Maybe crap starting up on Linux, and system maintenance stuff, isn't such an issue.
2damncommon, my XP drive is 80GB, and 75% full movies and music, so I wouldn't think of putting another OS on it, even if I had the ability to back it up and wasn't scared of the hassle if I wrecked it. The 500gb HD that I said I was getting was one of a couple on ebay that I didn't get, so I'll have to find another before I can install it, but it won't be long.
If anyone knows a link for info on file storage/ formatting types, I'd appreciate it. I need to partition Ubuntu on the manual setting because the auto option wants to put it on my primary drive, and the FAT16, FAT32, NTFS stuff is all new to me. It sounds like NTFS is for XP, but I don't know what's for Ubuntu, and don't want to take chances with stuff like that. Don't waste your time typing stuff out, because it'll be out there somewhere.
Quick version - I'd download the gparted livecd (see www.ditrowatch.com) - it has a great graphical partitioning too.
Partition the drive in at least 3 partitions
100M for /boot
10G+ for Ubuntu
Format these to be ext3 (standard/well supported/easy format for linux - there are plenty of others but this will do you fine)
From Windows, you should be able to format the remainder as NTFS (standard XP format)
I haven't done it this way (I keep my XP disks separate), but if the above doesn't work, partition the whole thing from Windows as NTFS, then use gparted to shrink that and add the partitions above
There's a lot of opinions on this, I generally just follow the install advice on ubuntu.com. I'll be honest I find the whole idea of /boot, /home, etc, on separate partitions, ridiculous and needlessly confusing to newbies.
swap ------------------- 2-3x your RAM.. so in your case, around 2gigs
/ ------------------- whatever size you want it(Id say at least 10-15gigs), formatted as ext3.
There is one other option for you though which is similar to how I've got my dual boot desktop setup, but only on one drive.. Since you seem to have a lot of movies and music... Install the 500gig drive, and move all music and movies, and any other files you want to share between the two OS's (note, files, not programs), and then install Ubuntu to some of the space you free up on the main drive.
Here's how my system looks, like I said, its a bit different because its only 1 drive. 500gig drive
XP Home --- 25gigs
swap ---- 4gigs
/ ------- 75gigs as ext3 which is way more than enough
/files ----- 380gigs... This is where I keep movies, music, etc. Its formatted as fat32, but NTFS would probably be a better idea, and Ubuntu should have no prob reading either of them. Basically this would be your 500gig drive
Last edited by IndyGunFreak; 08-13-2008 at 07:29 AM.