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Old 03-12-2005, 06:27 PM   #1
bongo22
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Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Debian
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Dual-OS-System questions


Hi,

I have a few questions because the tutorials I read (read a few) weren't always on the same page with a few things.

Currently I'm using XP Pro and I'd like to keep using it until I can handle Linux well enough. Then I'll dump XP.

My specs are:
Intel P4 3.2 GHz
2*512MB Kingston DDR 400MHz (running in dual channel mode)
Asus P4P800-Deluxe
45GB Western Digital (master)
120GB Samsung (slave)
Lite-On 52x24x52x
NEC ND-2500A
Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9800PRO 256MB DDR
Creative Labs Audigy 2 ZS
I checked the HCL, and it seems like everything's supported.

I want to use the 45 GB for Windows and Linux(2 partitions) and cut the 120GB into 3 pieces (1 for Linux, 1 for Windows, 1 for both).
I'll format both drives before all this too.

The distribution I'm planning to start my Linux-life with is Fedora Core 3.

Now to some of my questions:

1) Which program shall I use to partition the drives ? How big should the Windows/Linux partition be ?
2) Which filesystem do you recommend and can I choose it? I've read that you can't really choose it with the "beginner" distros. I'd like to use ReiserFS or JFS.
3) In one tutorial I've read one should first install Windows, then Linux.
In another I read first Linux, then Windows. And in another one I read that one shouldn't use the same hdd. So what do I do now ?
4) What's the difference between LiLo and Grub ? Any advantages/drawbacks? Don't they do exactly the same ?
5) Which antivirus program do you recommend for Linux ?
6) Is there a noob-friendly how-to/tutorial for iptables out there?
The ones I've seen so far weren't noob-friendly.
7) What happens if the swap partition is not big enough ? Will it just slow down the computer until the operations are done ? Are 2 GB enough ( I don't know what I will run on FC3 yet)

I think that's it right now

Thanks in advance
 
Old 03-12-2005, 06:54 PM   #2
bigrigdriver
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1) From within a linux OS (as in a bootable cd) I like cfdisk for partitioning. I beleive parted also partitions disks. Cfdisk allows me to specify partition size and whether or not the partition should be bootable.
2) I use ext3 (basically a journaled ext2) because of it ease of use. The few times I've managed to trash something, ext3 allowed me to recover automagically on re-boot. I have no experience with reiserFS or JFS, but the reading I've done suggest that a bit more work is required to recover from improper shutdown, etc.
3)You can install win and lin on the same hdd. My recommendation would be to install win first, since win doesn't play well with the other kids on the block. Then install lin and write the bootloader to the MBR. Most distros will detect the win installation and correctly write the bootloader config to be able to boot both win and lin. There are a few wihch won't and you'll have to manually write the bootloader config lines for win. There are tons of posts in the LQ boards to help you. Just search for posts in re XP and dual boot.
4) No difference anymore. A couple of years ago, there was a problem with lilo that no longer exists (the 1024 cylinder limit).
Now adays, it's a matter of choice, not practacallity.
5)You don't need an antivirus for lin yet (80 or so virii,worms,trojan horses known for lin). The main reason for an antivirus app on a lin system is if the system is used as a server or firewall for a lan in which there win platforms. I use antivir. There is also clamAV, and possibly others. Your choice.
6) I don't know.
7) A general rule of thumb for sizing a swap partition: make it equal to or greater than the amount of ram you have on the mobo. Be advised that you can have a swap partition, and a swap file, which both work for the same purpose.
I hope this helps you, or at least gives you ideas for google searchs for more info.
Welcome to the Linux fold.
 
Old 03-12-2005, 07:02 PM   #3
slakmagik
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Re: Dual-OS-System questions

1) Which program shall I use to partition the drives ? How big should the Windows/Linux partition be ?

Whatever Fedora uses, probably. fdisk or cfdisk otherwise. I wouldn't use a proprietary solution because a lot of people seem to have problems with them not doing the Linux part correctly.

2) Which filesystem do you recommend and can I choose it? I've read that you can't really choose it with the "beginner" distros. I'd like to use ReiserFS or JFS.

Most distros allow a choice - it's usually more a case of having to choose 'expert install' or the like to get the chance to make the choice. You can't really go wrong with a journalling fs - I use reiser but a lot of folks like the track record and backwards compatibility of ext3.

3) In one tutorial I've read one should first install Windows, then Linux.
In another I read first Linux, then Windows. And in another one I read that one shouldn't use the same hdd. So what do I do now ?

If you have the opportunity to put Windows on hda and Linux on hdb, that's good but two drives aren't at all necessary. But Windows going first, while not required, definitely makes life easier.

4) What's the difference between LiLo and Grub ? Any advantages/drawbacks? Don't they do exactly the same ?

Most people prefer grub - I prefer lilo. You have to remember to run the map installer when using lilo but grub uses a goofy syntax. There's more to it than that, of course, but I've just stuck with lilo because it always worked for me and I never had reason to change. Most of the Neo-SysV camp uses grub now, though.

5) Which antivirus program do you recommend for Linux ?

You don't really need one unless you want to scan mail from windows boxes. The most popular ones are clamav and fprot but I've never used clamav and only used fprot on DOS. It was cool there.

6) Is there a noob-friendly how-to/tutorial for iptables out there?

The ones I've seen so far weren't noob-friendly.

Sorry - don't know a good current one.

7) What happens if the swap partition is not big enough ? Will it just slow down the computer until the operations are done ? Are 2 GB enough ( I don't know what I will run on FC3 yet)

Unless you're re-editing Star Wars, you don't need 2 gigs. You should be fine with a gig of total RAM or so. I've got 512/512 and it's fine. If you *use* swap, your system will slow. If you *run out* of swap, the kernel should start crashing apps for you to save RAM or your system may lock. But this is highly unlikely unless, as I say, you're doing some seriously heavy stuff.

'I think that's it right now '

You sure? Not just a few more?
 
Old 03-12-2005, 07:29 PM   #4
bongo22
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Registered: Mar 2005
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 25

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Thanks bigrigdriver and digiot

@ digiot
Quote:
You sure? Not just a few more?
lol, you'll be seeing me around for sure, as this here seems to be a great place
And you'll also probably be wishing you didn't say that

Anyway, here's another one.
What's the advantage of having linux and windows on different hdds ?
Isn't it better when both are on the master-drive ? (that's what I was taught when I got my first computer, back when win 95 was top-notch..uh..new)
And with re-editing..did you mean video conversion ?
I don't really do that.
But I've also read that you can always create a second swap, so I guess I could do that if I was ever jolly enough to convert a video, right ?

And to make sure I understood you right.
First I put in the Fedora DVD, then I partition the hdds, then I reboot, put in the Windows CD, install Windows, reboot, install Fedora, and live happily ever after(I still get a real buzz when pc stuff works for me) ?

Thanks for the quick replies and thank you for welcoming me to the world of linux
 
Old 03-12-2005, 07:53 PM   #5
slakmagik
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Nah, questions are welcome - it is LinuxQuestions.

There's no extreme advantage to dual drives - as I say, it's not necessary. It just allows you to handle each drive separately, not have Windows confused about an 'empty' partition on its drive, and so on. Just tidier, basically.

As far as re-editing, yeah, video editing or anything that seems to require massive amounts of RAM - scientific simulations, servers under heavy loads, and so on. For normal desktop use, multiple gigs of (virtual) RAM aren't necessary. By the same token, with today's giant hard drives, it wouldn't really hurt anything to overload on swap if you didn't need it for filespace. Just seems wasteful. And, yeah, you can use multiple swap partitions or, as bigrigdriver said, create swap files on the fly and delete them when you don't need them any more. Those are even slower than swap partitions, but will give the virtual RAM.

And as far as the sequence, I was thinking of like a Mandrake install with Windows preinstalled where Mandrake will resize the NTFS - I assume Fedora can do this, though many distros don't. However, if the hard drive is bare or you're reinstalling both, then you can use Windows to partition and restrict itself to one of them, but Windows tends to want to take the whole drive. I can't remember how to make it take just part of the drive. So you could try that and, failing that, yeah, pop in the Linux disk, then the Windows, then the Linux again. Windows does seem to respect pre-existing partitions to some extent.
 
Old 03-12-2005, 10:32 PM   #6
oberon-ken-obi
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Oberon Australia
Distribution: Fedora Core3
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bongo22

Q3 I agree with digiot. Windows 1st then Linux.

Q6 Do you want to learn ip Tables or do you not know about a gui tool called Firestarter see http://www.fs-security.com/ for more info. You can also use Yum to update from fedora-extras.
----EDIT BELOW
Q.6 Tutorial, finally tracked down where i found mine, try here http://iptables-tutorial.frozentux.net/ for a tutorial. You are asked for name and email address before being allowed to download it, sup to you. Its as simple as I've found.
But having said that, I suggest using Firestarter 1st up then learning ipTables later, less to learn all at once and you know its as safe as can be :+)

Reagrds
Allan

Last edited by oberon-ken-obi; 03-13-2005 at 08:09 AM.
 
Old 03-12-2005, 11:19 PM   #7
J.W.
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I agree pretty much 100% with what everyone has already said, but here's my own 2 cents:

1. cfdisk
2. NTFS for XP, ext3 or reiserfs for Linux, FAT32 for the common/shared partition
3. Windows, then Linux. (Windows wants to be on the first partition of the primary master; let it)
4. They are both 2 tools that perform the same function (booting the system). Take your pick
5. Linux viruses exist pretty much only as theoretical concepts. It's important to follow the usual security standards in Linux, but I don't have/need any AV software. There is ClamAV however
6. Your best bet is the LQ Security forum, or a Google for Linuxsearch
7. If you've got a gig of RAM, you will probably never use swap. (Swap only is invoked as a last resort, when RAM is pushed past capacity and the system is forced to write memory pages to disk) Back when 32Mg or 64Mg of RAM was smokin' hot, it was easy to run out of RAM; these days, were 256 or 512Mg is the usual, it very seldom happens. Set up a 256Mg swap space and all will be good. 2G is just wasting disk space.

Welcome to LQ! -- J.W.
 
Old 03-13-2005, 12:07 AM   #8
Nalorin
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Quote:
Originally posted by J.W.
3. Windows, then Linux. (Windows wants to be on the first partition of the primary master; let it)
- I disagree with that - I've got windows installed on the 3rd partition of Primary Master - ext3, then linux swap on partitions 1 and 2, Pri Master
as long as you install windows first, it's all good - I tried the other way around: windows likes to ignore non-microsoft OSs in it's bootloader.
Quote:
Originally posted by J.W.
7. If you've got a gig of RAM, you will probably never use swap. (Swap only is invoked as a last resort, when RAM is pushed past capacity and the system is forced to write memory pages to disk) Back when 32Mg or 64Mg of RAM was smokin' hot, it was easy to run out of RAM; these days, were 256 or 512Mg is the usual, it very seldom happens. Set up a 256Mg swap space and all will be good. 2G is just wasting disk space.
Agreed - however, one reason that it's suggested to have as much as the ram you have (and maybe a little more) is for suspend/hibernate - but i'm assuming that you won't be doing a lot of that, so - I agree... kudos!

Welcome to LQ![/B]
-ditto[/QUOTE]

Last edited by Nalorin; 03-13-2005 at 12:11 AM.
 
Old 03-13-2005, 12:37 AM   #9
slakmagik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nalorin
[B]- I disagree with that - I've got windows installed on the 3rd partition of Primary Master - ext3, then linux swap on partitions 1 and 2, Pri Master
as long as you install windows first, it's all good - I tried the other way around: windows likes to ignore non-microsoft OSs in it's bootloader.
Well, I disagree with the disagreement. I've got Windows on my primary slave and have had Windows and Linux booting with Windows on hda2 on another box, but we're talking general principles and Good Things. J.W. was saying let it have what it wants; not that you *couldn't* force it to do something else, and it is best and easiest to take that route. You can even install Windows second if you have a Linux rescue disk and reinstall the boot loader but it's just simplest to work around Windows' rudeness.
 
Old 03-13-2005, 01:29 AM   #10
J.W.
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Quote:
Originally posted by digiot
<snip> it's just simplest to work around Windows' rudeness.
Totally true. If you want to install Linux first and then Windows, it's certainly possible, however, it takes extra steps to accomplish. From my point of view, it makes no functional difference which one goes first, but from a practical standpoint, installing Windows first = less work. As digiot indicates, Windows doesn't play nice with other OS's, and basically expects to be installed as the C:\ drive aka /dev/hda1. Obviously different folks may have different preferences, but in my opinion it's just more efficient to do Windows first, then Linux. In other words, save the best for last -- J.W.
 
Old 03-13-2005, 08:59 AM   #11
bongo22
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Thanks everyone
 
Old 03-13-2005, 03:30 PM   #12
niravdani
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and if you still wanna master linux first...

try this, no need to install linux, get fully comfortable with linux before setting up dual boot

http://www.knoppix.com/

I've been using knoppix for few weeks on my XP laptop. Get in and out anytime No problem.

Cheers,
 
Old 04-06-2005, 07:16 PM   #13
Nalorin
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Quote:
Originally posted by digiot
<snip> not that you *couldn't* force it to do something else, and it is best and easiest to take that route. You can even install Windows second if you have a Linux rescue disk and reinstall the boot loader but it's just simplest to work around Windows' rudeness.
well... force is not the word i'd use... afterall, you can choose the partition to install windows onto (provided the partitioning was done PRIOR to the WinXP install) and it will do it without any hassles... but yes... the 'rudeness' - so to speak - is that windows writes directly to the MBR and takes over (son of a b****)... but yeah... a rescue disk, the right steps (which can be found elsewhere on this forum) and you're on your way!
 
  


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