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Old 07-28-2012, 10:55 AM   #1
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Unhappy First Baby Steps In Linux

I have been reading up a lot about Linux lately, after reading a very positive write-up about Precise Pangolin 12.04 in the June 2012 issue of ComputerActive.

What strikes me most is that if I start using Linux I will be rid of viruses, malware, and the nagging (and for me) very high costs associated with running non-Linux Operating Systems with all the attendant necessities.

I use a Dell Mini Inspiron with a 320 GB Seagate external drive, Drive (H with 244 GB free space available. The Dell's memory has been divided into (C and (D drives. The (C drive, where Win XP is installed, has 13.8 GB free, and the (D drive has 4.56 GB free. The Dell does not have a CD/DVD drive.

Because Win XP takes up most of the Dell's memory, I normally divert all downloads to my external drive. I want to install Precise Pangolin (Ubuntu 12.04) in Seagate Drive (H, in a separate new partition, but do I need to partition Drive H BEFORE downloading Ubuntu and how do I bypass Win XP while booting and go straight to Pangolin? Drive H has no partitions at present.

Will Pangolin allow me to install it in the Seagate? ? I've been looking up user reports on the Net, and some people complain that they cannot access XP or Win 7 after Linux installation. Another thing is, I don't want to lose existing software and files in Drive H.
Old 07-28-2012, 11:07 AM   #2
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There are a number of windows based options you have access to after installing Linux. Some people prefer to dual boot Windows and Linux on the same hd which in my opinion is out dated.. After you install linux you can install VMWare workstation and install windows xp in a virtual enviroment on the linux desktop.. There is also something called Wine that will run alot of windows applications on linux desktop as well..
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:46 AM   #3
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Sory to tell you this, but there IS malware with linux.

Your chance of catching something nasty just surfing round the net with a supported linux distro is very low (virtually zero) but malware still exists. The most famous of the linux malware is the december 2009 'waterfall' screensaver.

Almost all linux dsitros need to be installed into one of the linux filesystems, not a windows (NTFS/FAT) filesystem. It is possible to install onto a windows filesystem with ubuntu (and possibly with mint and/or some of the other ubuntu based distros) with 'WUBI'. WUBI isntalls like a windows program rather than the normal way an OS installs. I *think* its possible to install onto an external drive with WUBI, but I'm not sure...I'm not a ubuntu fan really, and WUBI has always seemed like a bit of a dirty hack to me anyway.

If you install with WUBI you shouldnt lose any inormation of that partition.

Be warned, running from an external drive is slower than if you use an internal drive (USB 2.0 HDDs are pretty slow compared to internal)

BTW, its a good idea to use 'storage space' or some similar term when describing your HDD space. Using 'memory' can lead to confusion with the RAM. Also, if you have drive 'H' on your external drive, that is already a partition.

I'd suggest if you do decide to install ubuntu to get kubuntu or xubuntu. The difference between ubuntu and kubuntu/xubuntu is the DE (desktop enviroment, the desktop GUI). Ubuntu 12.04 uses 'unity' as a DE, which IMO is one of the biggest PITA DEs ever made. Kubuntu use KDE, and xubuntu uses Xfce, which IMO are better all round than unity.

You can try ubuntu, kubutu or xubuntu from a liveCD (just burn the .iso you download to a CD). Or, if your system doesnt have a CD/DVD drive, you can put the .iso onto a USB stick. Running as a liveCD or liveUSB will not change any files on your system, so you can try out the different versions or other distros without installing anything. Running from a liveCD/liveUSB will be slower than if it was installed though.
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:07 PM   #4
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I wouldnt install it in an external, simply because GRUB in Ubuntu doesnt ask where you want to install it and it takes over the MBR (Which is on your hard drive). Unless you are using the alternated installation tool.

You have to understand that Linux users are people who like to customize their systems so it is very personal on what you like. In some case two computers running the same distro might not even look the same depending on the user. In my case I think that to get the most out of your computer dual booting is best way.

For you to try Ubuntu Linux perhaps WUBI install will be the easiest installation however if for some reason windows in your computer breaks you wont be able to access to Ubuntu. If for some reason you decided remove Ubuntu from your system you can do that from the add/remove tool in windows's control panel.

So what you need to do is use a tool called Unitbootin and create a bootable USB drive.
Use a USB key with 1 0r 2 GB for it. Once you have created the install media just insert it in your computer and wait for the wizard dialog to pop up on your screen. Here is the link for Unetbootin

One more thing, perhaps your computer has an Intel Atom processor so it will be safe to download the 32 bit edition of the operating system that will be compatible with your hardware.

Good luck to you and post more if you have more questions

Last edited by TroN-0074; 07-28-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:06 AM   #5
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Mindsport, Cascade9, TroN0074, thank you all for the great advice. Will go forward carefully and keep all of you posted.
Old 07-29-2012, 03:24 AM   #6
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No problem.

By the way, one thing I forgot- with most linux distros, including ubuntu, it is possible to install multipule DEs. If you have multipule DEs install, you can select which DE you are going top use from the login screen.

If have multipule DEs installed, for example becaause you wanted to try some different DEs, and you have decided that you want to just use one and remove the others, that is possible and fairly easy. I recommend the psychocats site for more info-

For example, if you want to install xfce (xubuntu-desktop) with ubuntu, here is the page-

If you deceide that you wanted to just use xubuntu-desktop and remove the standard ubuntu-deskto, here is the page-

I guess that would be enough info to figure out the basics, but if you have any other questions or something isnt clear, just ask.

Good uck with linux.


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