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Introduction to Linux - A Hands on Guide
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Iam new to this operating system GNU/Linux.I still use Windows XP. I tried all versions of Windows beginning with ME and ending with Vista. Frankly speaking , I am tired and disgusted. Iam a languages teacher and a Social Writer. I depend on using computer in teaching and writing, but it is something unreasonable to lose all what I do just because Windows freezes, hangs,stalls, or not responding. It is terrible to waste time and effors.
So one of my students told me about this free and stable operating system. I began to read everything about Linx to form a good and useful idea. I tried to buy any version like (ubuntu)(I read it is satable and supports other languages)or fedora but unfortunately I did not find any.That student brought me Linux Red Hat . OK I installed it on prtition D beside XP sp2. They went well both of them for four days.
Something happened to XP and I had to upgrade it to Vista.Unfortanytely, Vista was ok, but Red Hat had disappeared . I could not login in to it.But it continued to stand in D. I would like to get rid of Windows for sure, but I need to grasp and to be able to use GNU/Linux at least easily to proccd my work in teaching and writing.My question is: could I proceed with two differnt operating systems until I use Linux as easy as I use Windows?
Thanks a lot.Hottest greetings to all who do their best to provide a real free(gratis) versions of Linux.
Yes, you can use both OS's on your computer. As far as I can understand your problem the bootloader which showed the entry for booting up Linux went when you upgraded your Windows version. The Linux is still resident on your hard-disk and its perfectly safe and a widely used technique to dual-boot Linux and Windows on the same machine.
For a long time I have used a dual or triple boot setup with Windows (XP and or Vista) and Linux. Through trial and error I have found that in order to best avoid conflicts, I have to install them in a certain order because Windows always overwrites the Grub bootloader. XP installs first, Vista second, and Linux last. That is if you find any use in using XP and Vista on the same box, which isn't so much of a concern anymore since Vista is becoming better supported. Vista tends to be very domineering, and I have had it wipe out Linux before as it installs, so order matters. You see, Grub will load any operating sysytem for you, but the Windows bootloader will only do Windows. Kind of selfish, I guess. But if you are just looking to go from the point you are at, reloading the Grub bootloader should work for you this time.
I would like to get rid of Windows for sure, but I need to grasp and to be able to use GNU/Linux at least easily to proccd my work in teaching and writing.
That shouldn't be so difficult.Internet is full of GNU/Linux tutorials and howto's for newbies,and a great forums too.For your writing,I am suggesting you to check out Open Office,a great productivity suite which has become a standard,here http://www.openoffice.org/.Open Office is coming by default with some distros.
I am interested in what version of Red Hat you are having,because it's important to have as newer version of any GNU/Linux distro as it's possible,since there were many improvments over the years in lots of distros.You have many live cd/dvd versions of distros,meaning you can try a distro,without changing anything on your pc,simply by booting from a cd/dvd and cd's are usually around 700 MB,so they fit on a single cd when you have to burn them.And for you as a beginner,I suggest starting with Mandriva(with new release coming on April 9) or Ubuntu.I think new Ubuntu release will come out by the end of this month.
Editing Grub is easyier said than done. I keep windows on a separate hard drive and never go anywhere near the internet with it.Loosing Windows is an expensive sacrifice, perhaps time to get the screwdriver out!. Previous posters are correct, Mandriva 8 is very user friendly and has the admin. stuff centralised, rather like Windows' Control Panel but the difference is the Linux version actually works.Not sure about automatic translation but seems to work in any linux version.
the fact that you can buy linux in stores does not mean it is not gratis. you can download any distribution like suse, redhat, ubuntu and so on from their respective websites for free! but you can also buy it for a rather small charge if you want to save your bandwidth or so.
you can even make your own copies of a linux distro and sell them on ebay as long as you make clear where the distribution can be downloadad for free. here you can find the license http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html for further information.
as for the dual boot. as many said before there is a so called MBR (Master Boot Record) on your hard drive. there the bootloader is installed. the bootloader is a small program that loads the os in your ram and thus "starts your computer". windows has it's own bootloader as linux as any other os.
when you upgraded windows vista overwrote your MBR where the linux bootloader was installed so it automatically starts with windows vista. for the fix, read the comments above or do a search in the forum. it's not very complicate. since i use a different bootloader than you (i assume yours is GRUB) i can not tell you the exact steps to take. if you encounter problems post them here...