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Old 04-17-2009, 12:07 AM   #16
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I've never used Mint but I'm willing to bet it has at least 4 workspaces (desktops). Try alt + f1,f2,f3 or f4 that should take you to a different workspace. If that works then you need to find a 'pager'.

If you have not saved anything of value in Mint then just reformat and install Ubuntu. A word of caution Ubuntu 8.10 seems a bit buggy to me better if you use 8.04 instead. It's easy to upgrade later if you choose to.
Old 04-17-2009, 12:53 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by HalifaxJ View Post
Looking to install a distro of Linux (Fedora or Unbutu) onto my computer to start learning it with the intent of setting up a full Linux computer on my next build.

For now, however, I have only my 640GB HD (WD). I have Windows Vista installed already. Here are a few questions I have before going forward:

1. Can I partition my HD without losing my Windows install and files?
2. Once partitioned, can I see all the files on the hard drive from either OS or only the ones on the partition being usedÉ
3. Would installing another HD be a better option than partitioning? Ideally I would like to have access to ALL my files from both OS. Is this possible?

I would rather not have to reformat and install windows, but in a few months I will have to as I'll be updating to 64 bit OS. On this note, is there a 64 bit Linus OS?

For graphic work, and some CAD work, is there a better distribution? I'd really like to go with either Fedora or Unbutu. Also, for the same applications, is there a preferred between KDE and GNOME?


Any advice appreciated,

1. Can I partition my HD without losing my Windows install and files?
Yes, it is absolutely possible I had Windows Vista and added Ubuntu with it. Though i cannot give the exact procedure because its been along time i did this but i m sure you can surely get the help of google.

2. Once partitioned, can I see all the files on the hard drive from either OS or only the ones on the partition being usedÉ
Only the files from the current drive. I doubt if you can even see the other drive untill you reboot because in my PC i cannot see the other when i use current.

3. Would installing another HD be a better option than partitioning? Ideally I would like to have access to ALL my files from both OS. Is this possible?

Another HD depends on you bandwidth but logically if you use another new HD it is also partitioning. Did you get it? I doubt there is any way to use files by both the OS.

yes there is 64 bit Linux OS.

If you just wanna try, you can use Virtualbox which is a Sun Microsystem tool to virtualize the OS. Its a pretty good tool. works much better with Linus OS too, while VirtualPC which MS tool sucks for Linux. However if the host OS is 32-bit the guest OS should also be 32-bit only. The contradiction is considered for implementation at Sun.

Old 04-17-2009, 02:38 AM   #18
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You're doing well...
For your follow up questions:

Q=="Now that I've gotten that far, I have a few more questions. Say I decide I don't like Mint, and that I want to switch distribution...what would be the process? Say I want to install Ubuntu...can I just run it from the CD, install it and the installer will let me rewrite my 40Gb Linux partition?"

Yes you can run Ubuntu installer CD and wipe out the Mint. But there is a wiser choice of doing it.

a) Do not destroy the running Mint system. Leave it as it is. Using Mint >Admin>Partition Editor> shrink your current 40GB into 10-20GB, by this you'll have freed something 30 or 20GB for other Linuxes later including Ubuntu for one. Implementing this solution you can go back to Linux Mint anytime by the mere rebooting (you may not like the desktop colors of Ubuntu, it's not as elegant as Mint, warn you.) Moreover, your current grub bootloader can boot up to hundred systems in choice, so no problem going to 3 or 4 choices.

b) Using the same partition editor in Mint, you may slice the newly freed space into two (2) partitions. Right then and there FORMAT them into ext3, in preparation for Ubuntu and Fedora. LABEL the new partitions immediately to be able to identify them next boot at the Ubuntu installer, or at least note down on paper the beginning sectors each, at least being sure you don't have to worry overwriting the wrong partition at installation.

c) Clue: Always make or add new partitions as "LOGICAL" not primary, in order to avoid losing space when limit of four (4) primary partitions are reached while free space exists outside logical (fourth) partition.

Prepare the additional partitions under Mint. Then boot to installer to install Ubuntu or Fedora. Ubuntu installer is the same installer you had with Mint, so you don't have to worry. You can install as many Gnu/Linuxes as you want into one machine and Grub will offer you the choices for each every boot up.

Q=="The reason I'm asking is because I liked the fact that in Ubuntu, you could have different "instances" of your desktop (lower right hand corner...the small squares). Mint doesn't seem to have this feature...or maybe I'm just missing it? I get the feeling that Mint is a very watered down Linux...or maybe that's just a first impression."


Mint is an Ubuntu and "desktop switching" is available as many as you want up to nine (9) under Mint.

>Right click desktop >choose Change Desktop Background >click Visual Effects >Preferences tab >Desktop tab >set Desktop Columns to 6 or 9 >close everything.

If you don't see squares at lower left of desktop for the choice just point mouse anywhere on the desktop click and roll the "center wheel button" of your mouse, the instances flip to the next. You shall have many desktop choices to switch while working.

Or you can start Compiz from the Menu and do the same effect.

Q=="but I'm using D-link wireless USB device (as I don't have a wireless card in my machine)that doesn't seem to work and any "fix" I've seen online seems extremely complicated for me."

Use >Menu>Admin>Synaptic to install the proper Linux driver driver for your wireless USB device. There are some Linux users with hardware like you have.

Clue: Read something about User Permissions, Group Permissions, HAL and Dbus in Linux, as wireless implementation has stiffer security measures that you must know how to work around. These aspects are well tutored in the web, use Google. It pays to include your User name to groups like: "messagebus" "hal-daemon" and "winbind" to isolate possibilities of security issues while installing wireless driver, tweaking backtrack when device is already running.

Hope this helps. Goodluck.

Last edited by malekmustaq; 04-17-2009 at 03:01 AM.
Old 04-17-2009, 10:15 AM   #19
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Thanks for the help!

I thought about resizing my 40GB partition to include another distro of linux. Would I also need another swap partition in this new logical partition? Unfortunately, when I partitioned my disk, I created two primary partitions.

My 640 HD is cut up as follows:

Primary1 600GB Windows Vista partition
Primary2 40GB ext3 partition
512MB Swap partition

Also, if I only size it to 10GB, where do I save my files? All the roots and user folders are on that partition, which at 10GB doesn't give me much room.

What's the tool in Mint to edit partitions? Also, I can't use any Mint tools to download drivers online as I can't connect while in Mint.




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