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I have to start using linux for my school computer science projects and I know very little about it..could some one give me detailed steps on how I can safely install red hat 9 and still have a dual boot between it and windows xp? I have partition magic and I also have 120 gb hard drive.. i'm only using linux for little programming assignments so the less space it takes the better.
I never had much luck with partition magic, but it is *supposed* to resize your windows partition. If it locks up on your computer like it did to mine, just use fdisk or something to partition, and then install xp on the first partition. Then install linux (make sure to have a swap partition). Make sure to go in that order, or you will have to reinstall your boot loader after windows "takes over". I would probly give linux at leat 5 gigs(for everything) and make the swap partition twice the size of your memory. If you need any more help, you are at the right place. Welcome to LQ Boomba . Hope this helps.
All I did with Partition Magic was to create an empty folder. I then booted from my Linux distro cd and pointed it at the empty space (at the prompt, of course ), it installed to that space and then configured the boot manager.
Note: other users on LQ have reported problems if you specify the empty space as "Linux formatted", I didn't but you may want to bear that in mind.
With Partition magic, all you really need to do is resize your winxp partition down a about maybe 10 gigs, and usually not even that much
what distro do you plan to use? that will help determine how much space you should have, but 10 gigs for everything (including /boot, /, and SWAP) is a good starting point
some distros like it when you have PM label the area as linux formatted or ext3, but others do not; Redhat prefers that you not so that the installer can do it automatically, but slackware doesn't care because it will just use the partitions and format it again
normally, the safest way to partition the empty space is /, SWAP (2x your ram, but be realistic, don't use more than 512 megs for swap), and /boot is recommended as a separate partition with 100 megs allocated for it
now I have many dumb quesions..hehe...what is a distro?... all i know is I have 3 red hat 9 cd's (which I downloaded from the linux web site) and I just wanna make a new partion and install linux on it. I dont understand why i need to make a "swap partition." I already have windows xp installed..i just wanna add linux now.
A swap partition is virtual memory. The same thing as a windows 386.swp file for windows 98 or a page file for NT,W2K. When you run out of physical memory idle applications and data will be swapped to the hard drive. A swap partition is faster then a file. The old rule of thumb of 2X RAM is IMO outdated. 512mb is sufficient for most desktop installs and you probably will not use much if any. But having it is better then not because if you don't have any and you run out of memory the OS will crash.
So in a nutshell:
Read install documentation
Defragment hard drive
Resize existing windows partitions. I would allow at least 6gb for RH install
Select create auto partition using free space.
If you want it to take up little space, try a Live distro that works off of a CD, like ZipSlack, or DamnSmallLinux. If your only doing programming (do you want the GUI?), it should suffice without you having to partition anything.
You can create a small Fat32 or Ext3 partition where you can place files from a Live CD Distribution. In that way you can store your programs, etc. And still it will take 10 MBs or something like that Just for keeping your docs.
Or you can use a USB Stick and run a Live CD Distribution. In that way you can store the info in the Stick
Those are valid questions Boomba. A distro is a Distribution ie Mandrake, Red Hat, Dabian, etc. And windows uses a swap file Linux wants a "Drive". It's not all that difficult once you get the lingo used around here down... Red Hat should work fine for your intent. You could install everything on the linux RedHat CD (Distro ) just a little over 5GB, but you could install what you need and a little more for a whopping 2GB (A little over what windows uses for a basic install). Just make a little over 5GB of space and let RedHat do the rest for you. You could use Ghost or something to back-up your windows just to make sure you don't loose anything, but I haven't had any issues with Red Hat or Mandrake when I install them on other computers running Windows XP yet and I have to have installed both a dozen or more times. (I've had more issues with windows, pop-ups, and viruses bombing my system. Welcome to LQ once again... Have fun with your new project.
should I even be using partition magic? here is what I am about to do..if this is wrong can someone let me know so I dont blow it
1)create a new partition using space from my big C: drive.
2)then put the cd in and select auto partition to install to my new partition (assuming that the install will give me an option to select my new partition)
-the auto partition divides my new partition into three partitions (am I right?)
3) then I have linux
i'm sorry if I'm wrong about the above this is my understanding of it from reading the documentation..if I'm incorrect can you please correct it?
Yep - that sounds about right. You also have the choice of 3 types of desktop to install (personal, workstation and scientific (I think)), or about 4 types of server and a couple of other choices. You can then whittle your choices down to less or more packages within the install. For a first time install, I would choose the Workstation and allow it to make the choices for you. Once you are more comfortable with it all, you can fiddle with the install or go for a different distro.