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Old 09-03-2003, 08:54 PM   #1
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want to start from scratch

ok heres the deal. i just got a new laptop with xp preinstalled. it also has a bunch of crap that i dont want, and cleaning it out is too tiresome and already leaving too many loose files and strings in my system. right off the bat ive decided to do a fresh install. i do have a copy of slackware and mandrake. both are up to date versions. ive never used linux, and have heard a few things about linux on laptops, so i wanted to give it a try. i want to get it right the first time (or at least make a valiant effort).

if i can get linux to run on my laptop the way i want it, i want to have it dual boot with xp. so i have a couple questions. what should i install first. linux or xp? should i use xp or lilo to boot?

as far as the linux equation, i havent seen slackware since its infancy, so im not sure whether to install mandrake or slackware. not trying to get into a flavor discussion, but is it possible to do both? what about all 3 (OVERKILL!!!). im not looking at this initial installation as long term, but if i can get it right and learn enough to fine tune it when i decide exactly how i want, then i will owe you one.

thanx in advance. any info appreciated.
Old 09-03-2003, 09:06 PM   #2
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If you dual boot, install XP first. If you don't then you will need to make a boot disk to boot to Linux after you install XP (Windows erases the MBR). If you have to reinstall XP after installing Linux, just boot to the floppy and run lilo, that will re-write the boot loader to the MBR.

Yes it is possible to to do a tri-boot.

If you are not that familiar with Linux and want to put it on a laptop, I would suggest Mandrake. I once install MD 8.2 on my laptop at work (don't tell my boss, hehehe). It detected everything and worked without a hitch. I just installed I prefer Slack over all the other distros that I have tried. I basically think that SLACK ROCKS and is a lot faster than Mandrake.
Old 09-03-2003, 09:16 PM   #3
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ok, about the tri-boot (like i said this initial install wont be permanent) can i get away with three partitions? any advise on the sizing? obviously i know xp will be the largest, but im not even sure of how large the linux packages are in a full install. i know that will vary depending on my choices and support. but if i could get a ballpark figure then i could be on my way to starting this. i have a 60gb btw
so i install xp first, then ill go to mandrake (i heard the install was easier) and get the dual boot. then ill put slackware on if i dont have any problems and lilo config will pick up all three? am i getting this down right?

Last edited by gravy21; 09-03-2003 at 09:35 PM.
Old 09-03-2003, 09:38 PM   #4
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You can test install a Linux distro fairly easily to a 2-4GB partition, so long as you don't get carried away with "options". If you can easily make them 5GB you should be in great shape.

EDIT: Linux likes a swap partition. One can be used for multiple distributions.

Last edited by 2damncommon; 09-03-2003 at 09:39 PM.
Old 09-03-2003, 09:46 PM   #5
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I never done a triple boot, but it should go like this. Lets say that you have a 30 gig hard drive.

1) install xp on a single 10 gig partition. Leave the rest unpartitioned.

2) Install Mandrake. Make one partition and name it / and then a swap partition. Install lilo as a boot loader.

3) Install Slack. Make on partition and name it / and use the swap partition that you created with the Mandrake install. then do not install a boot loader, just an a boot disk.

4) Boot to Mandrake and edit your /etc/lilo.conf file. It should look something like this when you are done. Then type lilo to load the new configuration. NOTE, I am no lilo expert, so back up your original config file and make user that you have a boot disk for each OS.

# LILO configuration file
# generated by 'liloconfig'
# Start LILO global section
boot = /dev/hda
message = /boot/boot_message.txt
timeout = 1200
# Override dangerous defaults that rewrite the partition table:
# Normal VGA console
vga = normal
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x64k
# vga=791
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x32k
# vga=790
# VESA framebuffer console @ 1024x768x256
# vga=773
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x64k
# vga=788
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x32k
# vga=787
# VESA framebuffer console @ 800x600x256
# vga=771
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x64k
# vga=785
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x32k
# vga=784
# VESA framebuffer console @ 640x480x256
# vga=769
# End LILO global section

# Mandrake bootable partition config begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/hda2
label = Mandrake
# Mandrake bootable partition config ends

# Slackware bootable partition begins
image = /boot/vmlinuz
root = /dev/hda4
label = Slackware
# Slackware bootable partition ends

# Windows bootable partition config begins
other = /dev/hda1
label = XP
# Windows bootable partiton config ends
Old 09-03-2003, 10:03 PM   #6
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ok, well i go to work now, so ill try this tomorrow sometime and let you know. thanks for the 411.

ps- if theres anything else i should know, ill check this thread before i start tomorrow.


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