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Old 09-23-2009, 01:25 AM   #1
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New To Linux - Need Help With Installing

I have a computer which has 80 gb memory. It has been partitioned into 4 drives c,d,e,f . a drive being floppy drive and g being dvd drive. Now how can I install linux into one of the drives, so that I can have two operating systems.

I just do not know how to start. But let me start with myself. My name is Michael V.Louis, A merchant marine chap.Could some body help me how to start with Linux

Even partitioning I can not do.

Is it OK that i first download linux kernel and do the installing

Last edited by XavierP; 09-23-2009 at 06:54 AM. Reason: One question really
Old 09-23-2009, 06:56 AM   #2
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Hi michlvlouis and welcome to LQ - your first step is to identify a distribution, Ubuntu is aimed at the new user and you can burn it to disk to use without installation to get an idea of what it can do and how it works.

I have moved your posts to their own thread in Linux-Newbie
Old 09-23-2009, 07:03 AM   #3
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As suggested, you can start off with Ubuntu. download it and burn it. But remember to use option Burn Image to Disk or similar to burn the iso image to cd. DO NOT burn as data cd or something else.
Once the disk is ready you can just boot from it and use your system as if you were to use when it was installed. If you like it, you can go and install it by clicking install button.
Most of the procedure is quite self explanatory. You will just need to be careful while partitioning. Use manual method.
Old 09-23-2009, 07:12 AM   #4
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Hi! Can you tell us what are you planning or expect from using linux? It would help us suggest you a distro!
Old 09-23-2009, 07:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by michlvlouis View Post
I have a computer which has 80 gb memory. It has been partitioned into 4 drives c,d,e,f
In the terminology used here, that would be described as one drive divided in four partitions.

Windows uses drive letters both for drives (such as your floppy or DVD) and partitions. Linux does not use drive letters for either.

how can I install linux into one of the drives
The normal methods of installing Linux do not go into a Windows partition. So you probably want to install Linux in place of one of your Windows partitions, not into it. That means deleting the Windows partition, then using the unpartitioned space to create Linux partitions.

After you create and boot a Linux liveCD, you can run a partitioning program such as gparted, and see the Linux view of your existing Windows partitions. Then you could use that same program to delete a Windows partition to make room for installing Linux.

The Windows partitions will have names, such as sda1, sda2, etc. not drive letters. So it may not be obvious which is c, d, e or f. You want to be sure which is which before deleting one. The size of each partition will be visible from Linux and probably also the fraction of free space. Look at those first in Windows before booting Linux. Obviously in Windows you want to copy any files you want to keep from the partition you plan to delete to one of the others. You might also want to then delete most of the files left in the partition to be deleted, so you can recognize its large fraction free space from the Linux side.

Is it OK that i first download linux kernel and do the installing
You will want to burn some Linux liveCD, then boot it and use it (without installing Linux to the hard drive) both to see how easily your hardware is compatible with that distribution of Linux and to run the partitioning program to see how Linux sees your existing partitions.

You will probably want to ask a few questions here about what you see during that initial test, before you actually delete a Windows partition and install Linux.

Edit: I changed a misleading "if" to "how easily" in the text above, because almost every distribution will be compatible with your hardware after some boot time option for the liveCD and/or some minor tweak while installing. But they may vary in whether or not any such extra effort is required and if required how easy it is to figure out.

Last edited by johnsfine; 09-23-2009 at 10:20 AM.
Old 09-23-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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These you may do for a start:

1. Download an iso (image) of a live cd. An Ubuntu based elegant distro is available click here: Linux Mint 7.
Bookmark the webpage where you downloaded the iso image: get the md5sum hash for the image from there, just beside the link, this you must use in order to be sure that your downloaded live cd iso image is in good condition. [There is a French Version available for it aside from the English.]

2. Check the the md5sum. Download also the handbook for Mint 7 for your reference if you need to.

3. Burn the iso image into an empty cd: use Copy CD command, don't burn it as raw data.

4. When live cd is ready set your computer to boot from CD. Use that newly burned live cd for booting.

5. Login as "root" this time you should be running (driving) a linux system. If you have a broadband you can log into the internet and surf. Live CD is "live" this means it is bootable and runs as an Operating System without necessarily installing it to the hardrive.

6. Do the same procedure downloading, burning, booting with other distros. you can visit this link for every distro available for you to try on. After you have had some experience driving a linux through live cd, you will have enough thoughts to make a final decision which distro you shall install into the hard drive.

Check back if you need more help.

Good luck.
Old 09-25-2009, 07:37 AM   #7
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michvlouis, I'm relatively new to Linux also, and have chosen Mint over several others I looked at. It's easy to use once you get use to the menu, which is also easy to do. Much better than Windows XP menu!

Once you download and burn the ISO image to a CD you can run Linux directly off the CD. You may have to go into your computer's BIOS and set the CD as the first boot device. Then put the burned Mint Linux CD in the CD drive and reboot the computer. It will boot into Mint if the CD is in the drive, otherwise it will just pause to see if a CD is in and if not go on to boot normally into Windows.

Mint will run a bit slow from the CD, but you can play around with it and decide if you like it or not. You might want to try a couple other Linux distributions -- maybe MEPIS and FreeSpire. You can run them the same way -- download the ISO image, burn to a CD, then run from the CD. Any Linux version with a "live CD" image will run from the CD without installing. Just remember that it will be slow from the CD -- it will run 3-4 times faster once installed on the hard drive. All it will cost you is the blank CDs to burn the distro on and the time to play with it. I think as a newbie you'll like Mint though. It comes with a few "closed source" add-ons that others don't, but you may need, especially to play different media files. No hunting down and installing CODECS -- they are already there! Then there is the easy to use menu (similar to the XP Start menu, only better!) too.

To remove a Windows partition, first decide which partition you want to remove. Or rather you should remove the last (highest drive letter -- in your case F) partition. Move everything from that partition that you want to keep. Then click Start, click Run, type compmgmt.msc, and then click OK. In the new window that pops up click Disk Management. The Disk Management window appears. Your disks and volumes appear in a graphical view and list view. Right click on the one you want to change and one of the options will be "delete". For a better overview of managing partitions in XP see

I haven't had to do this much in XP, had to search to find the solution myself! Id did try it though -- everything but deleting the partition. Easy enough to work with!

Once you have the partition deleted and decided on a Linux distro, all you have to do is run the distro from the live CD then choose "install". It will ask you where to install, and one of the selections will be something like "in unused space on hard drive".... something of that order.

I plan on slowly converting everything over to Linux over the next 12 months, starting with my wife's computer. I do a lot of DTP and can't afford to have my computer down, so may wait until I get a new one around the first of 2010.
Old 09-25-2009, 05:46 PM   #8
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If you are a power user with the Window$ control panel, you might try openSUSE, it has one of the best configuration tools available for a Linux based operating system, and the next version of openSUSE, 11.2, is coming in about a month. You can get both LiveCDs (installable like ubuntu, but relativly little in the way of software) and install DVDs (enourmous nmber of packages, but a gigantic download at 4gb) from or order them at say
Old 09-26-2009, 05:28 AM   #9
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being newb myself..
i'd install one of the turnkey "flavors" (distros) of linux. I tried slax (2007), dynebolic (2007), tinyme (2008), ubuntu (2009). (those are the years i tried them).
because popular, peer support/forums are abundant for ubuntu, so you should go for ubuntu, IMO.
i have tinyme and ubuntu installed now. for a newb, they aren't all that different, because you use "add remove" (or synaptic or apt or apt-get or similar) to update and download apps. (dyne is probably less similar.)

i partitioned when installing winxp, then had linux installer format its own partition (plus one "swap" partition, which installer offers to do).
my cd drive and or burns were bad, so the ubuntu installer switched to a netinstall.
i also installed tinyme using unetbootin, because i had winxp on a different partition and unetbootin has versions to run from windows (or from linux, etc).
i recommend unetbootin, btw. :-)
you can have it use an ISO you've already downloaded to hard drive (perhaps by torrents). or it will download. image search shows how good it is:, Notice the jpg shows the LinuxMint-4.0.iso on the hard drive already. this person could have unetbootin use that.

decisions during install...
make note of sizes of partitions, as confirmation which partition to which you're installing. then you won't worry you're installing to "wrong" partition. farna and johnsfine already posted tips (/dev/sda1, (hd0,0)... ) above about this "scary" aspect.

the ubuntu and tinyme installers added them selves to the boot menu (grub). i chose the usual grub to mbr (master boot record). nothing scary there.

the most confusing choices were mount points, etc choices. i kind of guessed thru that. i don't recall what i chose (and my notes are long and messy because swiped a lot of notes from various webpages), but i used the defaults for most mount, etc choices.
if you're installing just one disto to the pc and no other operating systems (eg, windows), i think you can accept all defaults.

and... i like tough passwords, but mine is a PIT* to enter, because linux asks often (and I'm a cr*ppi typist). so at first, you could give the installer an easily typed username and password. after all the updates and app installs, then you could switch to tougher password.

Last edited by nxja; 09-26-2009 at 05:56 AM. Reason: better sentence structure (i hope)
Old 10-07-2009, 06:21 AM   #10
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i think my question is not related to this thread. but i would like to be helped. I installed opensue in a computer which already has XP. Both the systems ran smoothly. But one day XP was not working properly and i retrieved XP through acronis image file. after retrieving XP opensuse is not available. What can i do to retrieve my Suse linux

Old 10-07-2009, 08:12 AM   #11
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Do you mean reinstalled XP from the image? Did you touch the suse partitions? Can you check from Xp if those partitions are still there? And if they are still there you just need to recover grub.
Boot from suse cd and enter rescue mode and type

grub-install /dev/sda

Any further help? Start your own thread and post it there.


netinstall, unetbootin

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