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Old 09-24-2003, 07:06 AM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Espaņa
Posts: 1

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First Linux try: Dual Boot Linux-XP

For months I have had an empty partition on my machine that is reserved for a Linux distro "when I get around to it", but due to laziness and fear of change, I never have gotten around to it.

However, I've always admired the open source ethos and so I recently installed Mozilla 1.4 (I no longer use IE) and I am amazed at how much better it is than Microsoft' browser. Then, after reading about the Microsoft DRM patch (at slashdot), I decided that I should start getting my feet wet in the Linux world that Microsoft is inevitably steering me toward with their lack of ethics and imagination.

But I am cautious about change, especially since I need my computer for work, so I'd like to start with a dual boot until I get to know Linux well enough to flush Microsoft out of my life.

Right Now I have 2 hds on my Pentium 4 2 ghz machine (512 mb ram):

hd0 is an 80 gb Maxtor
hd1 is a 40 gb Seagate

Hd0 has 4 partitions on it:

F: Windows XP (NTFS 13 gb - Primary)
G: Programs (14 gb FAT 32 - Logical)
H: Data 1 (49 gb FAT 32 - Logical)
I: Data 2 (40 gb FAT 32 - Logical)

Hd1 has 1 partition:

C: Data (40 gb FAT 32 - Primary)

*Note: hd1 is older and although it is the slave, it still retains the C: label. D: and E: are CD and DVD, leaving F: etal. for the partitions on the newer master, hd0.

The two candidates for the Linux installation are C: and I:

C: has only 12 gb of free space, but it is a separate hd and already set to primary. I was thinking I could copy all of that data over to hd0 and just use that hd for Linux, but I want to have some of that 40 gb available for Windows data storage as well.

I: has 29 gb free, and I can clear out the data that is stored on it, or make smaller partitions. This hd is also runs at a higher rpm than the other, so maybe it is better for operating systems.


I also have to decide between Suse 8.2 or Redhat 9.0. I have read that maybe Suse is better for a Linux newbie like myself, but I'm open to that debate.

So any Linux guru feel like holding a newbie's hand through his first install? I promise I'll pay close attention to your instructions.

By the way, I live in Spain where some of the Autonomous communities (Extremadura, for example) have started developing Linux based systems for local government admistration and I'm hoping I can help spread the Linux message here once I'm up and running (I'm already doing so with Mozilla)...

Un saludo.

Last edited by charles_mingus; 09-24-2003 at 07:09 AM.
Old 09-24-2003, 08:41 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Reading, UK
Distribution: Debian 3.0, LFS
Posts: 524

Rep: Reputation: 37
Firstly, it doesn't really matter which hard drive you use, it's up to you. I'd probably go for the C: drive, although it's a bit slower and will take more time to clear out, simply because it's physically separate and if anything goes drastically wrong you can just format the whole thing without worrying about deleting some of your existing data. It's more of a security thing (i.e. making you feel more secure) than a practical reason.
If the I: drive is a lot faster you should probably use that though.

Anyway, I've never used SuSe, but I've used Redhat 8, and that was pretty simple to install. It boots from CDROM and leads you through the install pretty well. It sets up almost everything very nicely, and I didn't find I needed to do much tweaking to it. Any tweaking I did need to do I found on the internet pretty much straight away.

Well done on going to Mozilla, it's an amazing piece of software. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.


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