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Old 03-26-2008, 08:43 PM   #1
drejo4444
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is it possible for me to add linux and keep my existing opperating system as well?


i would like to keep my existing opperating system on my pc thanks alot
 
Old 03-26-2008, 08:48 PM   #2
elliott678
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Of course, it is called dual booting.
 
Old 03-27-2008, 01:11 PM   #3
simplicissimus
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vmware, virtualbox, qemu

You can use virtualization, something like VMware (http://www.vmware.com) or Innotek's VirtualBox (http://www.virtualbox.org/) or QEMU (http://fabrice.bellard.free.fr/qemu/). These allow you to run a different operating system than the host system, and they are free or have free evaluation versions.

This allows for quick testing without all the hustle of a real installation.

Hope this helps,
Regards,
SIMP

Fedora User

Last edited by simplicissimus; 04-02-2008 at 06:02 AM.
 
Old 03-27-2008, 01:53 PM   #4
John-in-France
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Dual Booting

I've been using Linux now for over a year, dual booting with Windows XP. Most major distros come with Grub as part of the package and offer dual boot as routine. What happens after your install is that when you boot your machine, Grub (the boot manager) offers you a list of available systems from which you chose the one you want.

However to use Grub, you need to be able to provide space on your hard disk for the new system. Normally your present system will have taken up all the free space, so to safely install Linux, you need either to treat yourself to another hard disk and install it (all that needs is care and a good screwdriver) or to resize your existing partitions with something like Partition Magic (Windows) or GParted (Linux).

If you decide to go the route of re-sizing you need to be very careful as playing with disk partitions can result in so very nasty messes such as losing the entire contents of your hard disk. That can be fixed - but re-installing Windose, then adding the service packs, then re-installing all that software takes a lot of time.

Naturally before you start installing hardware or playing with partitions make sure you have a good (verified) backup of all your data.

I've never tried vmware or VirtualBox so I can't comment on them but another nice feature of a lot of Linux distros is the concept of a Live CD. You boot up from the CD and it runs without installing anything on your hard drive. It's certainly a good way of getting a risk free feel for a distro for the price of a download and a CD.

Have fun!

John
 
Old 03-28-2008, 06:01 AM   #5
John-in-France
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Dual Booting

Everything I said yesterday holds good except that I've now had a quick play with Virtual Box running within Windows XP. First impressions are excellent.

It's only about 20MB as a download and comes in both Linux and Windows flavours. Installing Virtual Box was a breeze although you do get Windows usual protest that the software wasn't certified by them as safe to work within Windows.

Setting up the virtual machine was painless and I'm currently writing this within my virtual MEPIS machine running off the iso image on my hard disk. So using this system saves the cost of the CD (big deal :-)) and the time to burn it.

Downsides? My machine (the real one) has 2GB RAM and the virtual machine wants some - so it's got 512MB, leaving windose with the rest. So the only downside I see is that to use VirtualBox, your machine needs to have a decent chunk of memory. I don't think I like to try it on a machine with only 256MB. On hard disks, it avoids the need to fiddle with the partition structure and if you decide to dump the system, you've only got to delete a few files. Of course you do need free space on the hard disk for your "virtual drive" but you'd need that anyway you work it.

So simplicissimus has an excellent suggestion - I'd certainly try this routine first, it's even easier than using the live CDs as a "try before you buy" setup.

John
 
Old 03-28-2008, 06:22 AM   #6
brianL
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A brief guide to dual-booting:

Before doing any of this, make sure the choice to boot from CD or DVD is set first in the BIOS boot-order.

(1): Turn off Page File
Right click My Computer => Advanced => Performance => Settings => Advanced => Virtual Memory => Change => click in No paging file => Set => OK => OK => OK

(2) Reboot

(3) Defragment. More than once, if necessary.

(4) Resize Windows partition. Use GParted, or any Parted variety, on a live CD or DVD. Leave unallocated or free space unformatted.

(5) The next step, partitioning, will depend on the distribution. Some have *Parted, some fdisk and cfdisk. How many partitions? At least two: / and swap.

Ask for more details if necessary. Use the Search option on these forums as well.
 
Old 03-28-2008, 07:32 AM   #7
pixellany
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If you start with Windows and then install Linux (dual-boot), you will wind up with ONE operating system (and Windows)....

In addition to the advice already offered, the links below might help.
 
Old 03-28-2008, 08:17 AM   #8
brianL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixellany View Post
If you start with Windows and then install Linux (dual-boot), you will wind up with ONE operating system (and Windows)....
Steve Ballmer, the Tony Soprano of Redmond, will be paying you a visit shortly.
 
Old 03-28-2008, 08:55 AM   #9
sundialsvcs
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Yes, you can do it, but it's so much nicer if you have a "spare" computer lying around that you can use with Linux.

Most people do. My first go-around with Linux, I did it that way. And my goodness, that "old, slow machine" wasn't! At least, not anymore. I ran it for years until it blew a motherboard in a lightning storm. (And a "surge protector." Oops.)
 
Old 03-28-2008, 09:17 AM   #10
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Yes, you can do it, but it's so much nicer if you have a "spare" computer lying around that you can use with Linux.

Most people do. My first go-around with Linux, I did it that way. And my goodness, that "old, slow machine" wasn't! At least, not anymore. I ran it for years until it blew a motherboard in a lightning storm. (And a "surge protector." Oops.)
I once had a setup with two computers and a KVM switch. When something in Linux got hairy, a couple of keystrokes put me back in Windows. The only problem with this is that it is too easy. With Windows as a crutch the process of learning Linux was--for me--slower.

Now it's dual-boot. I have not been in Windows for maybe 2 months now.
 
Old 03-28-2008, 09:22 AM   #11
pixellany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
Steve Ballmer, the Tony Soprano of Redmond, will be paying you a visit shortly.
I never watched the Sopranos, but my impression is that the "Tony Soprano of Redmond" has lower ethics and higher greed than the TV character.

But, being an upstanding citizen, I will be calling Redmond to ask how and where I should pay the royalities on the patents. I really need to do this soon--my conscience is really bothering me......
 
  


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