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Old 04-30-2009, 11:08 AM   #1
jsl54
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how to erase windows then install linux


hello all, i want to start using linux. i was thinking of slackware or debian. anyway i want to install it on a pentium 3. how do i go about formating or completely erasing windows from the computer then installing
a linux distro. i am so sick of windows as an os. i want to put linux an my newer desktop and laptop as well but beefore that i want to get up and running on the older computer to learn linux. any help is greatly appreciated.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 11:16 AM   #2
Robhogg
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The majority of Linux installation disks will offer you partitioning options as part of the installation process. Usually, they will offer to resize the Windows partition and install Linux alongside it, but if you want to get rid of it just choose "Custom", delete the Windows partitions, and select your partitioning scheme. You'll need at least a root (/) partition and a swap partition, but may want to create others (I have /home and /tmp on separate partitions, for instance). There might also be a "use the whole disk" option that will wipe Windows and create a default partition layout.

I would say that you'll have a fairly steep learning curve with both Debian and Slackware, but if that's what you're after it should be fun .

Have you got an installation disk (or a selection of them) already?

Last edited by Robhogg; 04-30-2009 at 11:19 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 11:43 AM   #3
jsl54
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thank you for the fast reply. no i do not have any installations disks yet. the reason for my selection of slackware or debian, they are the ones that stood out to me the most after reading a number of the different distro reviews. as for a big learning curve is not a problem,
i actually welcome that. i love reading and learning. for me reading is for learning not pleasure. what i mean is all of my reading material is
learning texts eg. university course books, self teaching books etc. sorry to ramble on. oh, is it possible for me to be able to install
microsoft visual studio 2008 on a linux distro, or will microsoft block it. i really like it because it is very versatile for various programming languages/platforms.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
jdkaye
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robhogg View Post
The majority of Linux installation disks will offer you partitioning options as part of the installation process. Usually, they will offer to resize the Windows partition and install Linux alongside it, but if you want to get rid of it just choose "Custom", delete the Windows partitions, and select your partitioning scheme. You'll need at least a root (/) partition and a swap partition, but may want to create others (I have /home and /tmp on separate partitions, for instance). There might also be a "use the whole disk" option that will wipe Windows and create a default partition layout.

I would say that you'll have a fairly steep learning curve with both Debian and Slackware, but if that's what you're after it should be fun .

Have you got an installation disk (or a selection of them) already?
As Robhogg mentioned most installations involve partitioning your drive and it is at that point that you can give the coup de grāce to windows if that's what you want to do.

I beg to differ on the Debian assessment. I've used it for a number of years now and I never had any real problems installing or using it. On the other hand, I have made numerous sincere and honest attempts to install Ubuntu and have never succeeded. I guess that makes me not completely "human". I don't know where Debian's reputation for being "difficult" or not for newbies comes from but certainly that hasn't been my experience. I've never tried Slackware so I can't comment on that judgement.

This is just to give you another view on the subject.
Cheers,
jdk

Last edited by jdkaye; 04-30-2009 at 11:50 AM.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 11:50 AM   #5
Not_me
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I would recommend that you spend a little time researching the different flavors of linux (Fedora, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Suse, etc) and make a decision as to which one most interests you. Then, download an ISO image and make what is called a live CD. The live CD will allow you to run a copy of that linux on your hadware. It will be slower than an HD installed copy, but you will get a pretty good idea and feel for how it works on your system and whether or not you will be happy with it.

If you decide to install it you can either wipe out windows and let Linux have the whole drive or you can dual boot, which is what I would suggest. Dual booting is easy. The installation procedure will guide you through a partition setup where you can resize (make smaller) the windows partition and then install Linux in the unallocated space. This will allow you to use both OS. This would be a wise choice, especially for someone new to Linux as you can still go back to Windows and run programs that Linux wont, such as many games.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
giftlftr_23
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Just like Not_me said try different flavors of Linux first. You can download a liveCD for each distro.

For ranking different flavors of Linux you could look on this site http://distrowatch.com/.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 12:04 PM   #7
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsl54 View Post
i want to install it on a pentium 3.
How much ram and how much hard disk space do you have. That may influence the advice you get here, especially for your choice of distribution.

Quote:
how do i go about formating or completely erasing windows from the computer then installing
a linux distro.
In most Linux distributions, the simplest partitioning choice is to just use the whole drive overwriting anything that was there before. So you don't need to worry about erasing Windows if you really want it gone.

Any distribution that doesn't give you that as its simplest partitioning choice will give the choice to run some partitioning software as a first step. In that, you can simply delete any partitions you already have.

Quote:
i want to put linux an my newer desktop and laptop as well but beefore that i want to get up and running on the older computer to learn linux.
Personally I think it would be a more effective learning process (learn more in less time) if you select an easier distribution and install it dual boot with Windows on a better computer. (That may trade off against it being safer to trash a less important windows system than dual boot with a more important one).
 
Old 04-30-2009, 12:45 PM   #8
jsl54
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thank you all for the fast replies and good advice. i am going to put the slower p3 aside download a few live cd's to try which flavor of linux best suits my needs and wants & do a dual boot os that way the wife can still use the computer with out getting dragged into having to learn just so she can use the computer. as you guys have suggested, it makes sense to have both windows and linux. even though i dislike windows, i feel like it dictates & restricts what i can do. i guess i can't escape it yet cause i need it to run some programs. anyway my desktop is a p4 1.7 ghz
512ram 80gig hdd. laptop is a dell latitude 620 2.0ghz intel duo
1gig ram 120gig hdd. thanks again for the help, it is greatly appreciated.
 
Old 04-30-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
johnsfine
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I like Mepis best, so I suggest including that in the liveCDs you try.

When you're ready to switch from liveCD to dual boot, it is best to defrag the ntfs partition(s) within Windows before resizing them. For Vista, I understand it is best to resize the partition within Vista before installing Linux. For XP and Windows 2000, I always defragment in Windows, then resize the Windows partitions using gparted on a liveCD, then install Linux.

While trying a liveCD, be aware there will be some slow operation and even apparent hangs while software loads from CD that was designed to be loaded from faster media. On occasion it may be hard to tell whether nothing happened because you did the wrong thing vs. nothing happened yet because CDs are slow. So don't judge Linux performance by liveCD performance. Just use the liveCD to see how you like the desktop and menu structure and such things that vary more by distribution.

Mepis and Ubuntu are based on Debian. Mepis is significantly more beginner friendly than Debian. I think Ubuntu is also more beginner friendly than Debian (but I never looked at Ubuntu long enough to really know). Using Mepis for a little while should give you all the basic concepts that would make it easy to use Debian directly. On a decent computer, I don't know any advantage of using Debian directly instead of Mepis. On an underpowered or obsolete computer, I think using Debian directly makes your choices more obvious for streamlining the initial install and/or later customization, but until you have used some Debian based distribution, I don't think you would know what most of your choices mean. I first used Debian on an obsolete computer, then switched to Mepis on a decent computer, because I didn't know that learning sequence was backwards. Having done it, I feel qualified to say it was backwards. At some point I hope to install LIRC and some other things on an obsolete computer. I think I would use Debian and I know my Mepis experience has given me the required knowledge to use Debian. But I don't have time to do it, and right now the obsolete computer is powered off (with Debian still installed, but not installed well enough).
 
  


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