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Old 08-10-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
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Unhappy Add Linux to Windows XP


I am new to Linux, infact i have never seen how it looks like.
I use Windows XP and I am trying really hard to get a Linux installed on my machine.
I have managed to get my hands on a bootable CentOS 5.3.
However I am stuck at the stage where you need to partition your hard-drive.

Below are a few questions that I have:
1) I want to use both XP and CentOS on the same hard-drive.
Is this possible ?

2) Does CentOS support NTFS file system ?

3) Can I install CentOS without affecting the data on my machine while i am using XP.

4) How, please ?

I know the above questions may sound quiet annoying and basic.
But I would be glad if someone could help - am very new to this and as equally keen to learn !
Thanks in advance !
Old 08-10-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to LQ!

There are many threads here about dual-booting, and there is a load of information on Google also.

The basic (generic) proceedure:
  1. Backup all important data
  2. (If necessary) re-size the existing Windows partition--create at least 10GB of empty (unpartitioned) space for Linux. Almost any partitioning tool will do this, but I would get the GParted stand-alone CD (free).
  3. Install Linux (it will prompt you on how to create the new Linux partitions)
  4. Install bootloader (This is typically built into the installer---and all of the better ones will automatically detect Windows and set up the dual boot.)

Another very easy way to do this is to install another hard drive. You can even use the BIOS to pick which one to boot---thus leaving the Windows drive unmodified.

The links below in my sig might also be useful.

Good luck
Old 08-22-2009, 04:38 PM   #3
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Hi There,

Thanks a lot for your reply and those links too.

I just tried out something with my partition and lost all the data on my hard drive so there was no need for backup
So i could then use the default partition option during CentOS installation.
The data was not so crucial to my existence, so that was fine.

The best part is that I am also able to connect to the internet from CentOS (Don't know much about computing and configuration, so I am very happy about this)

A few basic probelems that i face now are....
1) I am stuck with 800 X 600 resolution - i just cannot see a higher resolution in the dropdown

2) Cannot play media - mp3 and video files

3) How to enable Wireless Connection - I used this previously on XP (I am using a wire right now to connect to my router)

Thanks for your help !!!!

Old 08-22-2009, 05:59 PM   #4
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Media and mp3...

You can use vlc or mplayer. mplayer has in addition a good front-end, smplayer. These links are to the particular players. The site DAG should tell you more about how to get things working.

If you want help connecting to a network, you might have more luck if you started a new thread. You need to post the details of your system and your connection and service. Look at this.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 08-22-2009 at 06:09 PM.
Old 08-23-2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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I can already connect to the internet but using a wire to connect my machine to the router - I am looking to connect through Wifi.
The drivers that came with the machine are for XP and Vista, and nothing for Linux - so its more of a hardware issue than a network issue.

Also I am having a hard time trying to install applications (xmms or codecs).
I have only used Windows till now and used to the .exe method of interactive installation of applications.

Hope I am not asking for spoon feeding - I have already tried to play mp3 for 2 days now without any luck.
I have read a lot about the installation but could not understand much.

Also the screen resolution is driving me nuts - any advise ?
I just cannot see a dropdown for a higher resolution than 800 x 600 - is it drivers that need to be installed ?

Old 08-23-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
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CentOS is , in my opinion , not the best or easiest to use and for getting things installed.
This is because CentOS ( RHEL 5.3) is geared for THE OFFICE AND NOT FOR THE HOME USER.
It is GREAT in the office but can be a "pain in the -- you know what -- " for the home user to get media ( dvd's mp3, and games ) to install

For the very new Linux user i would recommend you install Ubuntu instead of CentOS

almost all media will play ( out of the box) without the need to install more things

but for CentOS have you looked at the centOS wiki ??
and the help pages there ?
-- for multimedia ---
Old 08-23-2009, 02:43 PM   #7
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For your resolution issue, you'll probably need to know what video card you're using and install the drivers for it.
I've never used CentOS so I have no idea what they use for a package manager.
Whatever it is, you may be able to install your vid drivers from there.
Concerning XMMS.
Open XMMS.
Right click anywhere on it and select options, then select preferences, then select the Audio I/O plugins tab.
About half way down the new window will be a caption that says Output plugin.
Just below that will be a bar that has some wording in it.
Click on the right hand side of that bar and select the ALSA plugin [hopefully CentOS uses alsa instead of oss, if not, try the oss driver].
Click apply and try your player again.
VLC has already been mentioned for a media player.
I can also recommend Xine and GXine if CentOS has it.
You may also need to install whatever codecs CentOS carries in the repository.
In Xine, almost everything is done from the right click.
As for wifi, I dunno, I don't like it or trust it, therefore refuse to use it.
The preference for installing software across the majority of Linux distributions is to stick with their repository and package manager.
CentOS being Red Hat, I would think they use a graphic package manager similar to Fedora, which still ends up being point and click, just a little longer winded than windows.
You'll learn there is a lot of reading initially with Linux until you have enough experience under your belt to cover your own needs.
You'll also learn you will have to convert Windows terminology to Linux terminology,, ie,,, XMMS is the equivalent of winamp.
Old 08-23-2009, 03:48 PM   #8
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If you have not run a yum update yet, then do so. If you installed 5.0 a yum update will take you to 5.3. You MAY find that the additional hardware support in 5.3 will cure your wifi issue.

On the resolution issue there are two separate places that it needs to be changed(one limits the other). System->Preferences->Screen resolution is one(the one I suspect you are seeing limited). System->Administration->Display is the second. Once you change the second you should see additional options in the first. This may require you to log out and back in before the changes become available.

With Centos you will want to look at their wiki. It lists a number of third party repos (basically required for any RH based system) that you can add to your yum repos. The reason that mp3(etc) is not in the base repo is legal reasons. Technically US based companies can be sued for not paying licensing fees, thus these features are only available from 3rd party repos(they have very few assets). For people who do not require lots of flash Centos is an excellent choice. Most of the mainstream applications are available in the repos (3rd party) and you will not have to worry about having to do a fresh install until 2012(?).
Old 08-23-2009, 05:24 PM   #9
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It's a new world...

If it helps, here is are some tutorials for linux.
Old 08-23-2009, 09:35 PM   #10
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I use CentOS 5.3 also
Like other distros this dosent provide the support for NTFS
you will have to install ntfs-3g drivers
Download rpmforge files from here ^^^ and install it now set priorities for repositories as shown and do this
yum install fuse fuse-ntfs-3g dkms dkms-fuse
now you have ntfs support
To play mp3 avi mpg files either download vlc now like yum install vlc or install plugins for totem(default player)
you need to install gstreamer good,bad and the ugly plugins
Old 08-24-2009, 04:26 PM   #11
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Hi Leslow,

You were right.
I initially just tried the System->Preferences-> and not System->Administration->Display

Windows is running throughout me and i thought the first one was the one where i should be looking at (preferences).
But now i do see a better resolution, though not what i want.
I can see 1024 x 768 currently which is surely better than 800 x 600.

I wish if i can change it to 1280 x 1024 - i could use this in Windows
which means my moniter does support this resolution.
I am able to see this option in the System->Administration->Display.
I select it and close it.
But when I reopen it (even after a reboot) I see it is changed back to 1024 x 768.

Is something wrong or is it just not possible ?
I use an Acer Aspire 5520 machine by the way.

Old 08-24-2009, 04:37 PM   #12
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Hey John,

Thanks a lot for your advise.
I always wanted to get my hands on a Ubuntu itself but could not manage to find it easily (I am still trying)

Apologies but dowloading Ubuntu is not the option for me right now as I am charged heavily for data usage by my ISP.

But I will surely get my hands on one soon.
I could get CentOS with the "Linux For You" magazine.

I guess Ubuntu must have been a part of this in earlier versions and I could only find CentOS at the book shop.

Also thanks for the links.
I will go through these.

Old 08-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #13
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After you change it in Display THEN go back to Screen Resolution. You should see more options after you change Display, to be clear you have to change it in both places.
Old 08-24-2009, 05:04 PM   #14
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I changed it in both the places.
It goes back to 1024 x 768 on its own.
Any help on this ?


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