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Old 07-19-2006, 02:31 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2006
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Tricky Linux insstall...

I want to install a dual-boot between Win98SE for gaming and Internet access in case Linux goes down, and Slackware 10.2 for daily use. While I'm very knowledgeable about DOS/WIN (All the way back to MS-DOS 4.01/MS-WIN 3.0a), I have no Linux knowlege. I am however willing to jump in waist deep, poke around, and learn stuff, as long as I can reboot into 98SE for help if I get stuck.

My system specs are as follows, according to WinXP's device manager.

- Compaq EVO N160 Notebook
- Intel Pentium III-M 1.13 Ghz (733 MHz in SpeedStep/Battery Mode)
- 256 MB PC-133 SDRAM
- 12 GB IBM DARA-212000 HD (SMART Support in Linux would be nice!)
- Toshiba SD-C2502 DVD-ROM (CD failing, DVD still ok)
- ATI Mobility Radeon (8 MB dedicated memory)
- Firewire 1394 Port
- Conextant HSFi V.9x MiniPCI Modem
- 14.1" LCD Panel
- Intel PRO/100 VE NIC
- Texas Instruments PCI-1410 CardBus Controller (1 Type II slot)
- SoundMAX Integrated Digital Audio (Made by "Analog Devices"?)
- Intel 82801CAM Ultra ATA Storage Controller-248A
- 2 USB 1.1 Ports
- Backpack 190130 External Parallel Port CD Rewriter
- Cable Internet service, soon to be switched to DSL. Both connect via Ethernet, and issue dynamic IPs

Is all that hardware supported?

Since my DVD-ROM drive is beginning to die, I want to install via my external parallel CDRW. I have read that the installation begins with a boot disk, and I'm familiar with making bootable DOS CDs in Windows, but not Linux ones.

How can I accomplish that?

Since I have all my data backed up, I plan to use Partition Magic to make a new second primary partition at the beginning of my HD, just big enough for the 98 install files, drivers, enough room to do the install, and load Partition Magic. I'll copy the 98SE & 98lite files over to the new partition while still in XP. I'll install 98SE, Firefox, Partition Magic, and then blow away the XP partition.

From there, I don't know how to proceed. In addition to installing Slackware, please also detail how to do basic hardware configuration, install & launch a browser, preferably Firefox. With a working internet capable system, I can hopefully find my way around.

Old 07-19-2006, 02:51 AM   #2
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Linux shouldn't have a problem with any of that hardware (including SMART support for the hard drive). The only part I'm not sure about is the external CDRW, particularly for the install. You'll need to make sure that the installation kernel you use has support for that hardware (Slackware's boot CD lets you select a kernel to use -- hopefully one has support for your external CD), but it might be easiest just to put in an internal IDE CD drive just for the install if you have a spare available.

Once you have the Windows side set up, download and burn the Slack 10.2 ISO images (be sure to burn them as disk images). The first CD is bootable and the install program will walk you through basic set up and configuration of your hardware and software. You should be able to use a simple DHCP set up for your cable Internet. For DSL you can use a program called Roaring Penguin PPPoE (RP-PPPOE) to set up PPPoE which is probably the easiest way for a new user. Firefox comes pre-packaged so that isn't a problem.

I'd suggest heading to and reading the Slackware book before you begin. It will walk you throuhg a lot of the basics. Good luck!

BTW, any particular reason for Slackware? It's a greast distro (use it on my desktop) but there are friendlier ones out there if you want the "point, click, and it works" experience. The good thing about Slack though is you will be forced to learn lots about Linux to use it.
Old 07-19-2006, 03:28 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply.

According the Slackware site, there is a parallel port CD boot disk available. As far as I'm aware, mine is from a more well known manufacturer (Micro Solutions Backpack series) although, since it only writes at 4x max, it's definately an older model. Hopefully, it's supported.

Although I agree that using a spare internal IDE CD would be easier, I don't have the spare cash at the moment, although an internal DVD writer is on my upgrade list, along with other stuff.

I'm currently downloading and burning the CDs, to have them reay for when I do the install. My internal DVD-ROM is unreliable at best when reading CDs - I'd prefer to use it as little as possible. The model of drive I have seems to be particularly prone to failure according to what I see on Google.

Regarding reading the Slackware book - According to a few sites I found via Google, it's quite outdated. Is that still true? I also would learn better if I could enter the commands and see the results as I read it.

Regarding my choice of Slackware, it seems to be one the more resource-efficient Linux distros, due to a lack of much of the eye candy, which I consider important, since my system doesn't have the horsepower to waste on eye candy. It also seems to be a good distro to learn with since it will force me to learn how to work the system, whereas a more point & click system would gloss over the details by default.

I've been technically inclined for more than 10 years, and I want to learn how and why the sytem works. That knowledge will hopefully let me tune it better, and have more personal satisfaction.
Old 07-19-2006, 03:43 AM   #4
Registered: Nov 2005
Distribution: Suse, Debian, Ubuntu, Mandriva, DSL, Fedora, Redhat Entrerprise
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I would personally recommend a different distribution,maybe something like suse, mandriva, or ubuntu(kubuntu) These are all good versions to start learning linux on. Slackware has a rather difficult command line installation that can get quite tricky. All your hardware should be compatable check the list on whichever distro you choose to install.
Old 07-19-2006, 12:25 PM   #5
Registered: Jun 2006
Distribution: Slackware 10.2, Debian Testing/Unstable, Ubuntu Breezy Badger, working on LFS
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I don't understand the whole "Slackware is impossible" philosophy. If he really, like he said, wants to "jump in waist deep," then Slackware is great! It won't hold your hand, but with posts like this and this one from Bitbender forums, plus one of the friendliest Distribution specific forums, you're not going to have any unsolvable problems. I just installed Slack on my friends box, got it up and running, took a couple of hours to explain everything, and he's using it like he's never known anything else. So I think the whole story of Slackware being difficult is just a myth. Believe what you want, but Slackware just works (in my opinion).
Old 07-19-2006, 12:34 PM   #6
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I tried slackware 10.1 it was ok, going from FC to slack was a challenge, i just didnt like that it had no package manager that could download/update/install deps for packages, otherwise i'd be using it instead of arch

Once you learn the basics distro can be pretty irrelevant, providing they use the same init script system etc. you can strip it away till its the same as anything else, I tried to put ubuntu desktop (now bundled as a live cd aswell as installer) on a 700 MHz, 200 MB Ram lappy, it would barely run at all to even install, i could download the server version, and install everything via apt get but whats the point? i want it to autodetect all my hardware etc. and setup x (since i didnt have the lappy specs to hand).

In the end i installed arch, much quicker, googled the graphics and sound, loaded the necesary modules, editd xorg and it was all good.

Every time i try ubuntu or mandrake or Fedora i come back to Arch now, it has beauty in it's simplicity whereby other distros seem to make simple things obscure, i imagine Slackware is the same


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