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Old 12-18-2014, 03:34 PM   #1
Stoltzfus
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Setting up new installation; Dual-Linux Boot advice


I'm a Linux noob with DOS and Win experience through XP. I took a Unix course during the 90s and liked it.

I like command-driven operation, but as a Linux newcomer, I'll be relying exclusively upon the GUI at the beginning.

I want to set up a computer with dual booting of two Linux versions. One version will be AVLinux, of which I won't be using video apps. I'm a musician and audio expert.

The machine is a media computer: HP Pavilion A1520N, AMD dual-core, 3g memory, 250g HD.

As I understand the AVLinux doc, in order to achieve rock solid reliability, AVLinux and its bundled softwre (Debian) is being held back from contemporary "culture." This is why I want to also use a second Linux environment on the system that is capable of working with up-to-date Linux apps.

I need advice about two things:

- What would be a good second Linux distro to use (for general purpose computing)? I work a lot with documents. Stability is important, as is good community support and a wide range of utilities. I'm not a gamer. (I have tried a few incarnations of Mint, and there's something about Mint that bugs me; I can't quite put my finger on why.)

- How should I partition the hard drive? I'd like some advance "heads-up" (the AVLinux doc simply says "follow the instructions"). I have a range of partitioning software at my disposal. Or, I could just probably accept the installation defaults in AVLinux. I blanked the hard disk in advance.

Thanks, folks!

Richard
 
Old 12-18-2014, 11:02 PM   #2
jailbait
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Welcome to LinuxQuestions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoltzfus View Post

As I understand the AVLinux doc, in order to achieve rock solid reliability, AVLinux and its bundled softwre (Debian) is being held back from contemporary "culture." This is why I want to also use a second Linux environment on the system that is capable of working with up-to-date Linux apps.

- What would be a good second Linux distro to use (for general purpose computing)? I work a lot with documents. Stability is important, as is good community support and a wide range of utilities. I'm not a gamer. (I have tried a few incarnations of Mint, and there's something about Mint that bugs me; I can't quite put my finger on why.)
Debian addresses this situation by providing three different versions at any given time. The stable version of Debian (currently wheezy) is rock solid and only contains well tested software. The testing version of Debian (currently jessie) contains more recent releases of software packages and is less stable than the stable version. The third version of Debian (currently Sid) contains software freshly released by the developers and is fairly buggy.

So I recommend that you install two versions of AVLinux, one based on Debian wheezy and one based on Debian jessie.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoltzfus View Post

- How should I partition the hard drive? I'd like some advance "heads-up" (the AVLinux doc simply says "follow the instructions"). I have a range of partitioning software at my disposal. Or, I could just probably accept the installation defaults in AVLinux. I blanked the hard disk in advance.
I run a dual boot system with Debian wheezy and Debian jessie. I have two hard drives but for a single drive system I would set up 4 primary partitions on the hard drive.

Debian wheezy - about 20Gb

Debian jessie - about 20Gb

swap - Make the swap partition slightly larger than your RAM. That way you can use the hibernate function if you want.

/home/username - the rest of the drive. This is where you will keep all of your personal data. Both Debian wheezy
and Debian jessie should be set up in /etc/fstab to mount the 4th partition as /home/username.


---------------------------
Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 12-18-2014 at 11:03 PM.
 
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:44 PM   #3
jefro
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Many of the media type distro's are using a type of kernel or mod that get's it closer to real time kernel type performance. It does sometimes fail on some hardware.
 
Old 12-19-2014, 01:50 AM   #4
Stoltzfus
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I forgot to mention that AVLinux is based upon a customized Debian. However, I haven't discovered which Debian version is under it; I haven't seen this info mentioned, yet, in either the doc or the support board.
 
Old 12-19-2014, 03:05 AM   #5
Head_on_a_Stick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jailbait View Post
Debian addresses this situation by providing three different versions at any given time. The stable version of Debian (currently wheezy) is rock solid and only contains well tested software. The testing version of Debian (currently jessie) contains more recent releases of software packages and is less stable than the stable version. The third version of Debian (currently Sid) contains software freshly released by the developers and is fairly buggy.
This isn't strictly true -- the packages in Testing are migrated from sid after ~10-14 days (generally speaking) and this lag means that sid gets bug fixes much quicker than Testing.

If something is broken in Testing it stays broken for a while; in sid a new version is pushed out pretty much straight away.

I have run both Testing and sid and IMHO sid is more reliable and the better option for day-to-day use.

Debian themselves recommend using sid if you want new software versions.

Testing is for testing the next version of Stable.

This is from the Debian website FAQ on "Which Debian distribution is best for me":
Quote:
If security or stability are at all important for you: install stable. period. This is the most preferred way.

If you are a new user installing to a desktop machine, start with stable. Some of the software is quite old, but it's the least buggy environment to work in. You can easily switch to the more modern unstable (or testing) once you are a little more confident.

If you are a desktop user with a lot of experience in the operating system and does not mind facing the odd bug now and then, or even full system breakage, use unstable. It has all the latest and greatest software, and bugs are usually fixed swiftly.

If you are running a server, especially one that has strong stability requirements or is exposed to the Internet, install stable. This is by far the strongest and safest choice.
As you can see, Testing is not recommended for anyone -- it is the pure development version and not really intended for general use.
https://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/d...g.en.html#s3.1

Also, Unstable will always be called "sid" -- it is named after the character in Toy Story who broke all the toys

EDIT: And of course this is further complicated by the fact that jessie is currently frozen and slated to transfer to Stable in summer (ish) -- if you have a sources.list with "Testing" sources you will be in for a very "interesting" ride once jessie transfers and a flood of new packages enter Testing.

It is generally recommended not to use Testing at all for a month or so after the transfer.

If, on the other hand, you have "jessie" in your sources.list you will be using what is essentially a non-bug-fixed and poorly tested version of Stable -- no new packages are going to be introduced to jessie, ever.

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick; 12-19-2014 at 03:12 AM.
 
Old 12-19-2014, 10:00 PM   #6
Stoltzfus
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The version that underlies the latest AVLinux is Debian 6/Wheezy.

I'm interested in downloading a pure, reliable Debian, but I'm having a hell of a time figuring out which is which from their terse names. Also, I'll need a straight download. I'd enjoy having a "live" DVD that's also installable. Again, I can't find anything named as such.

Any recommendation?
 
Old 12-20-2014, 07:31 AM   #7
Head_on_a_Stick
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Try this link:
https://www.debian.org/CD/live/

If your hardware needs non-free firmware, use these instead:
Live GNOME desktop
Live KDE desktop
Live LXDE desktop
Live XFCE desktop
(Presuming you have a 64-bit computer, otherwise see here)

I think that covers it...

But yes, the Debian naming system is somewhat confusing.
 
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Old 12-20-2014, 10:24 AM   #8
Stoltzfus
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Thanks Head and Jail:
My box is 32-bit. Overnight, I found my way to Wheezy/Live-installable/XFCE. Burned it and enjoyed it immediately. I feel like I have a way forward and am on the path. I have a good sense of what to do. Will partition the HD using a routine that comes with AVLinux (runs in Wheezy).
 
  


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