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Old 05-11-2005, 12:58 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Distribution: mandriva
Posts: 8

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Question Linux first timer... (newbie)

My hard drive just failed me miserably, I have ordered a new one and would like to give linux a go...

I have a:
2800xp amd cpu
160gb HD (ordered it last night to replace broken one)
80gb HD for storage
2 x 512 ocz 3700 platinum enhanced bandwidth
480watt psu (antek cool blue)
9800xt ati Graphics Card
gigabyte mother board GA-7004n-pro2

What I would like to do is particion the HD so that 120 GB is dedicated to a windows xp pro instalilation and have 60GB for a Linux installation.

considering the following, what would be the best distro for me?

*I will probably spend more time in Windows then Linux due to application specific programs (dam lock in OS ), so uptime isn't a main priority...

*I would like to use the Linux distro to connect to a linux web server that i have running red hat (I could use vnc through windows, but i would prefer to become more acustomed to linux). (i did not set the server up or anthing else, it is maintained by someone else)

*As mentioned previously I have a red hat web server, so maybe it would be better to have a red hat distro?

*I would like it if the distro come with a client remote desktop tool and server side tool too.

*I have no idea what Gnome and KDE is, so a pointer here would be appreciated.

*Security isn't my main issue, although i know most Linux distro's are pretty secure.

*I would like it to have a client and server side FTP tool.

*It is paramount that it is dual bootable.

I have a copy of mandriva 10.2 and fedora 9 (shrike), considering that i dont really have a way now of downloading a new free distro as my HD is broken (posting from a friends house) I would consider these distibutions to be my main choises really, although i guess i could download them from another source, but i need to get my computer back asap...
Would you recomend me to use either of these distro's? And will they meet the above criteria?

Also how the hell do i install? Should i particion and then install windows, then restart the pc with linux CD in and install this into the separate particion? or do i install linux first? Perhaps i install windows and then can install linux whilst I am mounted in windows? Like the thread says I am a Linux newbie, so I don't know

Thankyou for reading the uber lengthy post and many thanks in advance for any help
Old 05-11-2005, 01:53 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: St Louis, MO
Distribution: Xubuntu, RHEL, Solaris 10
Posts: 929

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Well, let's see

Connect to an external webserver:
Being able to connect to a webserver (unless it somehow requires specific applications, anything like that?) is something that any browser can do. Both Mandriva and Fedora come with their share of browser options, I'm sure. So that shouldn't be a problem. And if you're ssh'ing into the server to do maintenance or anything like that, you're still covered. The ssh client is sort of a linux built-in at this point.

Client & Server remote desktop tool:
There are a myriad of remote desktop applications knocking about, VNC being probably the most popular (but there are others). Google would probably be of help in researching this. However - if you'd like to be able to connect to your current desktop from a remote computer, there's pretty much just one vnc server that will do it afaik: x11vnc. The funky thing with linux and desktops is that the X server (what controls the pretty graphical desktop, all of that stuff) is perfectly happy to just up and create a completely clean, new desktop every time it receives a connection. Which means that ordinarily you wouldn't be able to connect to an existing desktop when you tried to VNC'd get a brand-spanking new one. So if you wanted to log in and check your AIM messages or something, you'd be out of luck. x11vnc can connect to an existing desktop, though...give it a look-see and see if it's what you'd want. The configuration *really* isn't hard.

Gnome and KDE:
Both of them are what's called Window Managers. Basically this means that while X is perfectly capable of drawing pretty pictures in rough box-like shapes, it does not by default control the interact-able properties of those boxes. Without a windowmanager, windows don't have borders, minimize/maximize/close buttons, aren't movable, things like that. MS windows has the same thing - the window manager is explorer.exe You just don't hear much about it because you don't have a choice when using it.
Linux lets you have a choice. You can make your desktop look like pretty much anything you want, and can structure your windows and menus any way you like simply by changing the Window Manager currently in use.
Gnome and KDE are both very user-friendly, MS Windows-resembling WM's. There are others, if you don't like the Start menu taking up all your screen real estate, aren't keen on the bubbly-windows look, etc, but those are the 2 biggies. Take a look around their websites, there is a lot of useful information there which can help you choose. Choices are a big part of what makes Linux fun

Client isn't a problem - that's another usual linux built-in tool. As for an ftp server - there are a heck of a lot of them out there, and probably just as many threads on the subject here at LQ. Personally I'm fond of ProFTPd, but Google and searching here is a good starting point to find one that looks good to you.

Not a problem. The distro isn't even what decides whether or not you can dual-boot, that comes from your boot manager (there are 2 major ones: lilo and grub). Completely personal choice decides which one you pick, although I'm fond of Lilo as I've found that its config file is very slightly more intuitive. Only one word of caution here - install Windows first. Then install Linux. Linux boot managers don't mind booting windows also, but the Windows default boot manager will absolutely stubbornly refuse to boot linux, so you've got to be sure to install linux 2nd.

Well, I'm definitely more fond of Mandriva than Fedora for reasons which are arbitrary and would probably get me flamed if I listed them, but in reality they're both equally good get-to-know-linux distro's. Toss a coin if you can't decide

Install Windows first. When you partition your hard drive, carve off enough for Windows to sit happily on and leave the rest unpartitioned space.
Once you're good with your windows installation, shut down and boot from the linux installation CD. Mandriva has a really nice installation process, very similar to how Windows does it, and you shouldn't have any problems. It should automatically detect the unpartitioned space, and ask if you'd like to install there. You can even have it automatically create its own partition structure, as Linux typically uses at least 2 or 3 separate partitions instead of Windows' single C:\ partition.
When it gets to the end and asks about a boot manager (Mandriva favors Lilo, if I remember correctly), say Yes, install it to the MBR; yes, there is a Windows installation here that I'd like to keep so please dual-boot ...and all things being equal you should be all set ^_^

When you reboot what should happen is you'll get a choice between Windows and Mandriva. Choose the one you want with the arrow keys.

Let me know if there's anything that I left out, was confusing on, etc...and welcome!

Last edited by rose_bud4201; 05-11-2005 at 01:57 PM.
Old 05-11-2005, 02:07 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: May 2005
Distribution: mandriva
Posts: 8

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Thanks for the welcome mate, that was pretty much what i needed to know, It makes a refreshing change to come to a forum as a new user and be given the time of day, I come from a gaming background and run a pretty big forum (not as big as this, 600 hundred users and about a 1 million hits a month) and it is a nightmare with flaming and so forth, so your reply was somewhat unexpected, and very informative, thankyou for your time
I think I will become fond of this community and forum

one thing tho, I have never used a boot manager... do I need to install this from a floppy or something before the partitioning and operating system installation? or is it built into the bios (i doubt it), perhaps i need to do it after creating the partitions, in which case which partition should i install it in? maybe it needs its own very small partition? Some help here would be fantastic

Thankyou in advance for your time...

*edit* and your explanation of Gnome and KDE was very good, i read a couple of Linux magazines and was really confused, after your reply I fully understand what the hell it is all about now are they changable on the fly by any chance? or are you stuck with them once you have installed?

Just incase you wondered, I have decided to go with mandriva 10.2, merely because it is the newest distro that I have in my possesion and without a PC to download another one I thought that this would be best. Altho if I was able to download atm I probably would get the newest red hat distro, merely because thats what my web server uses. But if the differences are like you say they are then i guess it doesn't really matter...

again thanks for your time

Last edited by reborn; 05-11-2005 at 02:15 PM.
Old 05-11-2005, 03:26 PM   #4
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Missouri, USA
Distribution: Slackware 12.2, Xubuntu 9.10
Posts: 371

Rep: Reputation: 31
Originally posted by reborn

It makes a refreshing change to come to a forum as a new user and be given the time of day, I come from a gaming background and run a pretty big forum (not as big as this, 600 hundred users and about a 1 million hits a month) and it is a nightmare with flaming and so forth, so your reply was somewhat unexpected, and very informative, thankyou for your time
I think I will become fond of this community and forum
Yeah, that was my reaction when I first joined too - you'll find that the ONLY time anyone gets flamed is if they're REALLY rude and foul/obnoxious. I've not seen one post where a person was derided because they asked a "stupid" question. I started using Linux full-time about 6 months ago, and this forum made the transition just about painless...
Old 05-11-2005, 03:52 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2002
Location: St Louis, MO
Distribution: Xubuntu, RHEL, Solaris 10
Posts: 929

Rep: Reputation: 30
The boot manager is something that is installed when linux is - it's one of the "final steps" of the installation process. So nope, you won't have to do it separately.

Window managers are absolutely changeable on the fly! Most distros include a submenu somewhere in whatever menu or dialog controls their display properties which allows you to simply select a different WM whenever you want to. Mandrake by default installs a decent selection of them - along with Gnome and KDE, you get Enlightenment, IceWM, Blackbox and Windowmaker (my personal favorite ). Others that you may find are downloadable. It makes things very experimentable indeed
Old 05-11-2005, 04:11 PM   #6
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Distribution: mandriva
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Thanks for all your help rose_bud4201, I feel more confident about installing mandriva now and venturing out of Windows, will still hold on to my security blanket, more because of application specific software. Infact with my job and gaming interests I don't think I could ever drop Windows entirely, however much I would like too...

I'll pop back in a couple of days and post on how it went, or I might be back sooner if the installer doesn't go too well... :P

thankyou once again mate, it is appreciated.
Old 05-11-2005, 04:20 PM   #7
aes canis
Registered: May 2005
Location: Finland
Distribution: Slackware 13.37, Ubuntu 10.10
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Why don't you download a couple or three liveCDs?
Knoppix, SuSe, DSL amongst many others all do live versions. You can then find one that siuts you best without actually having to install anything.
Pop over to and have snuffle around.
Old 05-11-2005, 04:39 PM   #8
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 927

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welcome reborn -

rose_bud covered everything in great detail - but an extra caution: run a few searches here at LQ and for "dual boot" and dual booting tutorials. its been discussed a billion times, so you'll find a lot on it. it will be helpful for you to have a map of what to expect, and how to avoid the common mistakes that trip everybody up their first time through.

also, it may be a good idea to research some regarding setting up the driver for your ati card, and maybe do some distro-specific reading on SATA if that's what your new drive is.

none of them are terribly difficult, but can be confusing if you're not familar with them.

good luck
Old 05-12-2005, 12:07 AM   #9
Senior Member
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Following the white rabbit
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I will restate one thing rose_bud said: install your Windows FIRST. I see this mistake so often it's scary. If you install Linux first and then Windows, the Windows installer WILL overwrite your Linux bootloader.

Welcome to the forum and to Linux. You'll be an addict in no time.
Old 05-17-2005, 04:11 PM   #10
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Distribution: Linux Mint 13
Posts: 37

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You can use Fedora! Easy to install, very nice and good looking, has Gnome desktop environment by default which I prefer because their packages are very well integrated.... but this is more a matter of taste than anything else!

Whatever you do install Windows FIRST!
I have Windows NT Bootloader doing the work because I have to share my pc with 2 more persons from my family and they're windows users, that's for sure!
So I've installed windows XP on a 40 GB partition and reserved 7 GB for Linux (the +- 33 GB left are for data backups and shares between the 2 OS :-D

After installed Linux I used a live CD (Damn Small Linux) to enter this new OS and made the following:
in console as root
dd if=/dev/hda6 of=/mnt/hda1/bootsect.lnx bs=512 count=1
where hda6 is my linux root partition (where linux was installed - yours will be different, I guess!)
/mnt/hda1 was the mounting point for my windows partition where boot.ini file resides

then, in Windows, I edited that same boot.ini file and inserted the line c:\bootsect.lnx="Fedora Core 3" and voilá before windows starts I have an option to choose what system to load!

Hope this helps (somehow)
Old 05-18-2005, 10:41 AM   #11
Lee Barker
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: London
Distribution: Fedora 6
Posts: 31

Rep: Reputation: 15
Mandriva Ftp problem


I'm using Mandriva 2005 Limited Edition and have enabled my LAN (which also has Redhat 8 and WinXP boxes attached).

All computers can happily access the web and the Redhat and WinXP boxes can Ftp to each other. Even the Mandriva box can Ftp outbound - but nothing inbound can get to Mandriva (not even itself).

I've already changed the line disable=yes to disable=no in the file proftpd-xinetd, and I'm signed-in as a normal user (not root).Basically I've done the same steps as I did for my Redhat installation which gave no problems.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

Kind regards.


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