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nope, i'd say backup then take a deep breath and install linux on ext3.
What distro are you looking at? I'm running fedora core 3 on my (v slow) server @ home or if you can cope with not having a gui SOL is suppost to be good.
The first thing you want to do is to resize that ntfs partition. How much free space do you have there? These are the steps:
1)Resize ntfs partition
2)Install linux on unpartitioned space
3)Install one of the many open sourced web servers around(i recommend apache)
Now, you may be wondering how to do step 1. You can download bootitng, which needs money to buy, but you're free to try it. First, download it from http://www.terabyteunlimited.com. Then, run bootitng.exe (or makedisk.exe) and write the data to a bootable floppy. Next, boot from the floppy and click cancel when propmted to install to hard drive. Next, click partition work and select the ntfs partition to resize, then click resize. After checking for errors, select the new partition size for the partition. I recommend resizing at least 2GB less. Then click ok, and wait for the resizing to finish. This may take quite a while.
After that, get the linux distro you want, and install it.(I recommend redhat linux 9, which automatically partitions your hard drive)I recommend Free Download Manager, which lets you resume your download, so you can download the linux distro over a few days. Then, burn the ISO files to your cd, and boot from the cd, and install linux.
NTFS support in Linux is rather dubious at the moment. The default implementation (Linux NTFS) is read only (it can modify some files, but cannot change their size, etc). The other implementation, Captive (wrapping the Windows NTFS driver to allow it to talk to Linux) is not included by default with most distributions (that I am aware of anyhow) and it's legality is rather dubious.
Therefore, if you really do want to switch over to Linux, the NTFS partitions are going to have to go (ext3 or Reiser are the recommended alternative journalised Linux filesystems). You would be better off doing as whipermr5 suggests, resizing a partition and trying a distribution of Linux out first before plunging into the deep ending of switching your system over.
Well, the first thing you need to know about running a server is that you need to make backups of your data. Especially since, if I understand your message correctly, you are using IBM hard drives which are known to fall over dead with no warning whatsoever.
Any disto can be made to be "windows like" at least from a usability standpoint. Simply use KDE as your window environment.
Originally posted by Deeze Any disto can be made to be "windows like" at least from a usability standpoint. Simply use KDE as your window environment.
That is true. I use KDE because I like the features but it is windoze like.
I'm not to sure on IBMs hard drives though. I have had them and never had any problems. I have had people say the same about my Maxtor and Western Digital drives. What gives? They all break eventually, just like everything else. If you switch to Linux, you will like the not having to reboot part. This is my desktop system that is on a UPS:
I have updated KDE, Mozilla, the Nvidia video drivers and everything with no reboot. You just close what you upgraded and restart the program. I use Gentoo by the way. It's really fast on this rig. Much faster than Mandrake.
Well, my latest experience with the IBM hds was as follows. Aprox 6 months ago I had just set up an installed knopix environment, and had it running for about 3 weeks. I'd had the hd (an ibm 60G) setup in my system for aprox 3 months. I went to pick up my son at school, came back home and my computer was off. Tried to reboot, drive dead. This was my 3rd IBM drive to fail in as many pc's over the last year. My husband is a sysadmin at his company. He has had 10 of them fail in the company. I have a friend who has had 2, and they both failed. Every time, no warning. Just splat, dead. You couldn't give me another deathstar (they did indeed earn the nickname) drive. They suffer from known design flaws, and IBM lost so much money over the difficulties with the drives that it sold it's storage assets to Hitachi. It's been all over the net news for the last couple years (yeah, I liked them too at first, just like everybody else.. never again).
Space and requirements will depend on what sort of server you are wanting to run, will it be a samba, samba as domain controller, DNS, DHCP, mail, web, ftp etc.... These will have a big impact on how the drives will need be setup.
When I first switched to linux, I moved all my data files in windows into some backup media. Then, I resized the windows partition and created a new fat32 partition. I transferred all the data from the backup media to this fat32 partition. I also left some unpartitioned space for linux. With that free space, I installed linux. Now both windows and linux can access that fat32 partition. Now you can completely erase the windows partition, and still have your data. After that, you can expand your linux partition to take up the space the windows partition once took up.