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Old 07-20-2005, 06:08 AM   #1
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Need advice


I am new to linux and would greatly appreciate some advice on what distro to download.

I am running windows xp and have lots of programs installed that i would like to keep. Ideally, what i want to do is install linux without having to modify my current set up. I have to learn linux for a bioinformatics course i am doing so i am not after a distro with heaps of software. Is there a distro that gives me a basic linux setup that will let me program perl and use the net. I dont need multimedia and office stuff, mainly software dev and database stuff.
I am considering knoppix to get my feet wet but i think i would rather download a distro in one hit that i can use. Is there one that is 700mb or less that will give me all the features above?

Sorry for rambling on a bit

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 07-20-2005, 06:28 AM   #2
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If you have a free partition any distro can setup a dual boot. For the rest any distro could be what you want. It's how you use it. There are a few more 'userfriendly' that start with lots of packages and setup a graphic interface completely for you. Don't know if that's what you want cause they're often bloated and have loads of programs you say you don't need. Also I'm not sure if they do install programming tools. On the other hand some other distros don't have this so you'll have to learn your way around a bit more. Best I think is to check out It has info on all distros.
Old 07-20-2005, 06:39 AM   #3
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I presume you want a linux distro to sit alongside your windows installation in a dual boot situation

I personally would recommend Mandrake / Mandriva as it has a very good partitioning utility when installing. However you should back up any data on your windows first. Mandrake is usually very newbie friendly.

If you can afford it, buying a second hard-disk and installing onto that might be a good option.

Other good newbie distros are Suse & Ubuntu
Pick up any documentation you can on dual booting and installing and read read read

here are some sites to start you off

hope this helps


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