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Old 09-16-2004, 02:16 PM   #1
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Question Recomended Steps for a Newb

Greetings to all the denizens of LinuxQuestions.

Over the past year or so, I have been considering to try out Linux. Elsewhere, after reading an article I thought, 'what the heck'.

When I first learned of Linux I was over eager to try it out. I got as far as installing Caldera Open Linux 2.3 onto my hardrive. I even made a pretty little partition for it to run on. When it came time to do all the setups for it, the computer froze and gave me a beautiful black screen.

This time however I think I will try a different approach and ASK for some help.

The article that I was reading mentioned a logical setup for one who wishes to run both Linux and Windows on the same computer. Three seperate partitions: one for Windows, one for Linux, and the last for any files you use.

What I wish to learn is a way to instal a fresh copy of Windows XP on a NTFS partition from within XP itself (I don't have the software disk for XP itself. All I have is an OEM setup disk for my laptop.) Instal Slackware onto another partition (no clue what type of drive it needs to be. NTFS or Fat32?) After the two most irritateing parts out of the way, enjoy the files on the Fat32 partition from both platforms.

[edit]Just realised a rather silly mistake. Why try to add a second copy of XP when there is already one present. So please ignore above comments about the double copies.[/edit]

First I think I should describe the patient that I am working with.

Compaq Presario 2100 Laptop
Windows XP Home SP1
mobile AMD athlon XP 2000+ (1.66 GHz) Processor
448 MB of RAM
Radeon IGP 320M (64 MB Shared) Graphic Card
60 GB Hardrive
Got a floppy drive
CD-RW/DVD drive
Synaptics Mouse Pad
Logitech USB Wheel Mouse
10/100 Ethernet Adapter
The sound card I have no bloody clue about

Any and all thoughts on the steps I should take to do this task would help. That or confirmation that I got it right would also be helpful.

Here we go:
1. Reformat Hard Disk to remove everything there.
2. Reinstall XP and its base components.
3. Partition the drive to make three seperate areas. (Windows=NTFS, Linux=?, and Files=Fat32)
4. Instal Slackware to ? partition;
5. instal some sort of program that will tell computer which OS to load at startup.
6. Edit kernel to include mousepad and USB mouse support?
7. Further editing of kernel so it will pick everything up.
8. Enjoy the many wonders of duel bootings, editing linux to suit my needs, and anything else that one might use a computer for.

As for detailed information about each step. I will look into Slackwares instalation instructions and the LinuxQuestions board for that.

Are these steps correct?

Thank you for any assistance.
Old 09-16-2004, 02:28 PM   #2
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Ubuntu
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for the windoze part. install XP clean and format when you set up. then get partitions magic and make your partitions.
you can leave the linux area in formated and linux choose it for you.
I haven't used slack ware but i have heard allot of good things about mandrake, i'll be installing that soon.
linux will install the boot loader fedora installs GRUB.
Fedora finds USB mouse just fine.

remember i'm a so i may be wrong.

Last edited by allforcarrie; 09-16-2004 at 02:30 PM.
Old 09-16-2004, 02:56 PM   #3
Gentoo Developer
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This is the guide I used when I first installed slackway,and it is a great dist.good luck
Old 09-16-2004, 03:29 PM   #4
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You will need at least 4 partitions:

1. An NTFS partition for Windows XP (linux can read this but not write)

2. A FAT partition to share between the two operating systems. (both Linux and windows can read and write)

3. A small SWAP partition (a few hundred megabytes to be used like virtual memory in Linux)

4. A Linux partition formatted as REISERFS or EXT3.

The swap and linux partitions can be made by the linux installer.

My first suggestion would be to get Disk Director from and RESIZE your existing NTFS partition so that you don't need to re-install Windows, create a FAT partition, leave the rest as free space and install linux in the free space.

My second suggestion would be to attempt to do the same thing with the Mandrake installer if you can't afford to purchase Disk Director. It is supposed to have the ability to resize NTFS partitions. Mandrake is much better for starting out with Linux as well. You are likely to get frustrated using Slackware if you have no experience unless you REALLY want to read manuals and learn. Mandrake is a lot more point and click.
Old 09-16-2004, 03:40 PM   #5
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I have a Windows XP Pro setup and wanted to do the same as you and it was eay. Just created a 4 gig partition, downloaded the three mandrake ISO cds from their site, stuck the first one in and it guided me all the way - and I have not got a clue about linux.

My initial points are this:

1) Mandrake linux is a hungry beast, it takes more disk space than windows xp - 1.8 gig in my case ;-( however does come with some stuff already available like open office, etc.

2) Took me a while to get my wifi card working, had to compile stuff which was interesting

3) kde has hung three times in the two evenings I have been using it - twice while exploring things, and once when the screen saver was on - all times required a hard reboot.

4) After installing an mp3 player (urpmi xmms) my kde has removed all my useful applications like web browsers, the command prompt no longer launches.... I'm aware this is probably down to my own clumsy way of using linux (I'm a windows guy) so will put it down to experimentation - just hard to find out what i have done wrong.

Still I'm not moaning, I installed linux to experiment and get a better understanding, of which I am going to have to do again since I have screwed it so soon....

The good point is that I can reinstall mandrake linux from scratch in about 40 minutes, there is a boot loader manager that takes care of the duel operating systems so no worries there.
Old 09-16-2004, 08:11 PM   #6
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I thank you for your replys.

I suppose then the eternal question is which Distro is best for: learning about the linux OS, programing in whatever language Linux uses, perhaps even some C++ programing (can you compile C++ files in Linux?) Along with those features I have plans of trying to run an apache server for testing PHP, Perl/CGI scripts. I had heared from friends that apache is much easier to handle within Linux rather than Windows. I have already attempted the latter, and found myself pondering what a laptop looks like being thrown out a second story window. I suppose judgement should be reserved to when I actualy instal it in whichever you all suggest.
Old 09-17-2004, 12:05 AM   #7
Gato Azul
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C++ Programming

The majority of the Linux kernel is programmed in C. As for the individual programs, they vary, but KDE is programmed in C++ and uses the QT toolkit whereas GNOME is in C and uses the GTK toolkit. Both desktop environments have some nice IDEs for programming. KDE has KDevelop and GNOME has Glade. Another really nice IDE that I like is called Anjuta. Then of course there are those of us who just prefer VI or EMACS (and their variants) or simply a plain old text editor such as pico or nano. For compiling C/C++ (and other languages) there's the GNU C Compiler, commonly called GCC. Most distributions will ship with the majority of these components (and often times a lot more) installed, or else they're sometimes part of a distro's development packaging, so typically it's just a matter of using the program once your distro is installed.

Last edited by Gato Azul; 09-17-2004 at 12:20 AM.


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