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Old 11-10-2001, 12:31 AM   #1
wjsulliv
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Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Downers Grove, IL
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I'm a little fuzzy on this partition / dual boot concept... Help


I have been looking for a specific answer to this and can't seem to find one, maybe you can help me...

I don't quite get this partition / dual boot conept.

I have a 20 gig drive with only one 20 gig partition on it. I want to keep windows and be able to boot either windows or linux.

How does this work? People keep talking about multiple fdisk type utilities. Are all these people starting from scratch with their windows installation at the same time? I understand I need a windows partition and a linux partition, but is there any way to do this without reinstalling windows?

How many (sub)partitions does linux create in the space I leave as not part of the windows partition?

How much space do I need to leave for Linux?

If somebody could kind of walk me through how this goes before I kill my computers I would appreciate it.

Thanks
 
Old 11-10-2001, 02:35 AM   #2
unSpawn
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Kewl, kewl, a lot of questions :-]

1. People keep talking about multiple fdisk type utilities. Just take it as a thumb of rule to use DOS fdisk for creating DOS/FAT partitions, and Linux' fdisk for Linux/EXT2 partitions.

2. Are all these people starting from scratch with their windows installation at the same time? Usually not. Most people start with Wintendo, and then add/convert to Linux.

3. I understand I need a windows partition and a linux partition, but is there any way to do this without reinstalling windows? What you need is to shrink your FAT32 partition (Windows) to make room for Linux. On the Linux install CD there should be a directory containing FIPS. This will let you do resize operations from the DOS prompt. (Backup any important stuff before you dive in) The only real DOS/Wintendo app to resize partitions that has a more than average respect for your data is Powerquest's Partition Magic. It doesnt' come cheap tho.

4. How many (sub)partitions does linux create in the space I leave as not part of the windows partition?
If this is your first Linux install you would only need to make 2 partitions: one called "root", or "/" (slash) and a swap partition.

5. How much space do I need to leave for Linux? That depends on what distro/release you will be using. Debian/old Red Hat will install in aprox 900Mb. But I guess you want to install everything to see how things work, you will need a minimum of 2Gb, better 6Gb to add some games later on :-]
For swap in newer distro's reserve about the size of your RAM; 256Mb RAM = 256Mb swap (Tho I never use more than a few megs of it weird enough).

* If somebody could kind of walk me through how this goes before I kill my computers
The 'ol Red Hat Unleashed book said people to expect their first install not to be the final one. The chance you fubar/snafu/fsck at one point or another *is* large, just don't get disappointed if not everything works out right away after an install (or disappears during "rm -rf /"), reinstall the necessary stuff and get that Linux experience goin...
 
Old 11-10-2001, 10:19 AM   #3
wjsulliv
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Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Downers Grove, IL
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Thanks alot.

I'm going to install Mandrake 8.1 as soon as my Norton System Works 2002 arrives so I can Ghost my Windows.

Two more questions....

1) From the sounds of things some of my decives (sound card, etc) may not be fully supported by the distro, or may require an additional download? Is that something I should download online first from windows (before the install) to a floppy or CDR? At the moment I don't think I will have internet access in linux (no aol for linux), but I am working on that.

2) Is KDE the windows like enviroment? If not what is it?

Thanks again
 
Old 11-10-2001, 10:42 AM   #4
acid_kewpie
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1) most hardware is supported, esp soundcards, the only thing that casues problems is modems, check linmodems.org to see if yours is supported.

2) Yeah, that's it. Well.. not really. KDE is a Window Manager, which interacts with the X server. X is used by ALL window managers to atually do the complicated stuff like opening windows, refreshing screens...

But actually... KDE has got a virus in it, all versions, ever. People seem to use it and decide it's nice, which it isn't. sounds like a virus to me! ;-) Use Gnome or Blackbox instead, and you should stay fit and healthy. Mandrake inparticular comes with a huge selection of window managers, all of which you can switch to each time you use X. Some are very complicated (KDE, GNOME), some are extremely basic (TWM, IceWM) And some float around in the middle (WindowMAker, Blackbox). It's upto you what kind of interface you want. (Naturally the more lavish the WM, the more it'll soak up system resources, and slow the box down... Not really noticable tho.) Try doing THAT with windows!
 
Old 11-10-2001, 12:14 PM   #5
isajera
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Quote:
Originally posted by acid_kewpie

But actually... KDE has got a virus in it, all versions, ever.
...i guess that's one way to get someone to use gnome .
 
Old 11-17-2001, 09:56 AM   #6
briancof
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I'm with you wj!!

I bit the bullet two days ago and installed red hat linux 7 that came with the book linux for dummies. I wasn't confident enough to pay >$30 for something I wasn't sure was what I wanted and may as well have a manual written in greek!
From windows I used a program called Partition Magic that I got from a friend. Basically I split my HD in two, half windoze, half linux. Partition Magic actually looks after the division between Linux and Swap partitions.
Having installed Red Hat linux 7, when I boot my PC now I get a screen asking me to choose between linux and dos (dos being windoze). On a personal note, I now feel very much in at the deep end. Learning the new file system and syntax is like learning to talk again! But I will persevere both for personal satisfaction and to release myself from microsoft's ever tightening big brother grip.
For the moment I am stuck with having to reboot to windoze every time I need to look something up because I can't get my modem to work under linux, YET!! I will though.
Frankly, I think if I had to brave fdisk I probably wouldn't have bothered yet. If you would like a copy of PM let me know and if it is at all possible I will get a copy to you, i t really does make the whole job a lot less mind boggling!
 
  


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