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Old 12-27-2007, 11:31 AM   #1
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Brand new to Linux. Want to install on new system

I'm building a system for my 84 year-old mother, from parts of older computers. Actually, it'll be a pretty nice P4 system when I'm finished. I'm trying to save her the expense of purchasing XP, by using Linux as the OS. Many people have told me how great, fast and easy to use it is (some distributions). My mom is familiar with using XP, so I'm looking for a distribution that would be an easy transition. It looks like PCLinuxOS might be a good one for her. If you know of a better one, let me know.

Now, here's my first question (I'm sure there'll be plenty more coming at some point):

How do initially partition and format the hard drive if I want Linux to be the only OS?

Old 12-27-2007, 11:51 AM   #2
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You can basically do similar to installing XP and let it install in one big partition plus a swap partition. I've never used PCLinux OS, but chances are it will create a small partition for /swap (which is the equivalent of XP's virtual memory - 512 MB is plenty if you have 1GB of RAM or more) and then another one for the rest of the system.

But if you want to get more exotic, you can leave like 15 GB for the base system and then make the rest into /home (similar to My Documents) so that if you ever reinstall you can just leave that partition alone.
Old 12-27-2007, 11:51 AM   #3
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The easiest is to have one primary partition for the root partition / and a swap partition. Note: the norm with the swap partition was 2x ram size, but with todays pc 512mb is more than enough.

As for the OS, don't just look at a OS for your mother get one you'll be comfortable with. (You'll be admining the pc) your choice is good or any OS using KDE for the WM window manager.

I put together a pc for my mother using Debian /Etch all she uses it for is going online so all she really needs to know is how to open a web-browser. She also like to get the weather the first thing in the morning, so I added a weather monitor to the task bar. As I have time I plan on setting it up so I can vnc into her pc so as not to have to drive 60 miles to work on it.


we must have replied at the same time, you beat me by this >||< much

Last edited by mrrangerman; 12-27-2007 at 11:56 AM. Reason: info
Old 12-27-2007, 12:35 PM   #4
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Partitioning for Linux

PCLinuxOS is a great choice. This is how it will work.

1. Boot from your PCLOS disk. This will boot you into a live CD session, which gives you an opportunity to make sure all the hardware is working. If your board is very new, PCLOS may not work. I ran into that with my last build. PCLOS didn't like the onboard ethernet chip. If you boot and everything is working, though, you can go ahead and install it with confidence.

2. There is an icon on the desktop that says INSTALL. Clicking that will start the wizard. It will ask you if you want a guided partition or if you want to do it manually. Go ahead and let the wizard do it. It will give you an optimized swap partition and one big / (root) partition. For that type of use that should work fine. You will have already answered most of the other setup questions in the live cd bootup. After about 1/2 hour, you will be ready to boot into the new system.
Old 12-27-2007, 12:54 PM   #5
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I agree with leadsling, PClinuxOS is a good choice. I have come across another *newbie* friendly distro gOS check it out here: It's based on Ubuntu and it has one of the nicest looking desktops out-of-the-box (imo).
Old 12-27-2007, 01:05 PM   #6
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I'd also say that PCLinuxOS would be a good choice for her.


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