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1-I have a laptop (Toshiba) with 1.3 GB of RAM & 80 GB of HDD with Windows XP, I am intending to divide my HDD into two parts and installing linux in the second part. Are there any kind of problems regarding having linux and win in one laptop machine??
2-I am a programmer (Java & C), which dist. fits me better. I liked Mandrake 10.1 Official.But, dont know about Mandriva. Is Mandrake or Mandriva a good choise for profisional programmers.
3-How many GB of HDD is enough for me to associated eith the second part?
Dual boot set-ups are quite common and shouldn't be a problem. There are thousands of posts on this forum about setting them up -- you might try looking at some of the results in the forum search.
As for programming, the compilers, libraries, etc. work on any distribution. Just remember to install the devel packages if you're using a binary distribution such as fedora or Mandriva (and yes, Mandriva is Mandrake -- they merged the names when they merged with Connectiva some time ago).
I'm somewhat new to Linux myself, but as far resizing/creating new partitions go, I recommend getting a hold of a Debian distribution and using the installer's partitioner. It's quite user-friendly and you can always abandon the installation if you don't want the Debian system itself (since Debian is installed after you use the partitioner).
Common programs to switch between Linux and Windows include GRUB and LILO. Try doing a Google search for them. They are two of the most common boot-loaders used with Linux. Here are their official websites:
I have only had one problem when dual booting. In the unlikely event that Windows crashes and burns, when you re-install it, it will overwrite your boot record. At that point, Windows will work fine, but you will need a rescue floppy or bootable CD to enter a linux environment and reinstall grub or lilo.
Well, I'm not quite sure I understand your third question. Are you asking how much space you need for linux, or how much space you need for your programming projects?
Since I can't answer the second case... Linux doesn't take all that much hard drive space. 4GB would be enough to run a system. You could split your hard drive into three pieces. One 4GB section for the Windows base system, one 4GB section for the Linux system, and the rest formatted as FAT32 (aka vfat) and used as general file storage for both systems. I would suggest having Windows format the 4GB windows section and the common section so that it is recognized correctly in your Windows environment.