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Old 06-17-2006, 06:12 AM   #1
kat99
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Registered: Jun 2005
Posts: 5

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Updating system and dual booting


Hello! I am running Fedora 3 on my machine (that someone else installed for me a long time ago). Now I would like to update the Fedora 3 to Fedora 4.

1. How do I update a current operating system?

2. How do I make a good backup of what is saved on my computer right now? Which preferences/configurations should I save?

Then, I would like to try to install and use Ubuntu and other nice Unix operating systems.

3. How do I partition my hard disk?

4. Do I need to do anything special to dual-boot?

5. Are there other routines if I would like to install Windows on a small part of the disk, for experimental purposes?

Thanks in advance for any advice or answer to these questions!

//Alexandra
 
Old 06-17-2006, 11:26 AM   #2
RedCharlie
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Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Arkansas
Distribution: Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS
Posts: 26

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big questions

And I only have time for short answers.

You can update Fedora using yum, and even have this happen automatically. The details of setting up yum I will leave to you or other posters
Alternatively, you can just wipe the disk and install Fedora 5, but that sounds like it's more involved than what you want.

As for backups, well, there are whole books on this issue, but it generally boils down to two things 1)preserving data and 2)preserving a system (i.e. configuration). As data is usually in discreet files, the first is easily done if you just know where the files are that you want to save. Preserving a system is more difficult as configuration files and code libraries can be scattered all over the place, and often you can't just copy one config file or library from one system to another and expect it to work.

Generally speaking, if you backup your data, and your hard disk dies, well, you just get a new hard drive and reinstall, then restore your data from backup. If you really want to preserve your entire installation, I would first try using "dd" dd allows you to dump an entire hard disk partition into a file (for example: "dd if=/dev/hda1 of=hda1.bak") If that partition should fail, then you can create another partition on another drive, and restore the file into the partition "dd in=hda1.bak of=/dev/hdb1" (the new partition has to be at least the same size as the one you backed up)

For repartitioning a drive, I would recommend downloading a live linux CD that has qparted. Live linux means a linux that runs completely off of the CD/DVD drive, which means you don't have to install it. qparted is a gui for parted, which is a very handy tool for repartitioning disks. (The reason you need a live linux cd/dvd is that bad things can happen if you try to repartition the drive on which you just booted up on). There are LOTS of live linux distro's, but my favorite is knoppix. Of course, no guarrantees, so before you repartition backup anything you can't afford to lose.

For dual booting you need grub. Again, this is a very large topic. And yes, dual booting between windows and linux is a hoary and well explored subject. The only thing specific to windows is that windows needs to think it's on the "C" drive, i.e. first part on master drive on IDE0. My attempts to dual boot FC4/winxp were frustrated until I figured this out. For example, I have XP on hdc (master on IDE1) and FC4 on hda (master on IDE0). So the windows stanza in my menu.lst (grup boot config file) has a line "map (hd1,0) (hd0,0)" that just pulls a switcheroo so that XP thinks it's top dog in the drive hierarchy.

Hope all this at least gets you pointed in the right direction.
 
Old 06-17-2006, 11:45 AM   #3
kat99
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Posts: 5

Original Poster
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Hej RedCharlie,
I had a feeling those were broad questions indeed, thanx for your suggestions and taking the time to answer. There is lots to learn, it takes time and sometimes it feels like giving up (but what's the alternative?)

Kind regards, Alexandra

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedCharlie
And I only have time for short answers.

You can update Fedora using yum, and even have this happen automatically. The details of setting up yum I will leave to you or other posters
Alternatively, you can just wipe the disk and install Fedora 5, but that sounds like it's more involved than what you want.

As for backups, well, there are whole books on this issue, but it generally boils down to two things 1)preserving data and 2)preserving a system (i.e. configuration). As data is usually in discreet files, the first is easily done if you just know where the files are that you want to save. Preserving a system is more difficult as configuration files and code libraries can be scattered all over the place, and often you can't just copy one config file or library from one system to another and expect it to work.

Generally speaking, if you backup your data, and your hard disk dies, well, you just get a new hard drive and reinstall, then restore your data from backup. If you really want to preserve your entire installation, I would first try using "dd" dd allows you to dump an entire hard disk partition into a file (for example: "dd if=/dev/hda1 of=hda1.bak") If that partition should fail, then you can create another partition on another drive, and restore the file into the partition "dd in=hda1.bak of=/dev/hdb1" (the new partition has to be at least the same size as the one you backed up)

For repartitioning a drive, I would recommend downloading a live linux CD that has qparted. Live linux means a linux that runs completely off of the CD/DVD drive, which means you don't have to install it. qparted is a gui for parted, which is a very handy tool for repartitioning disks. (The reason you need a live linux cd/dvd is that bad things can happen if you try to repartition the drive on which you just booted up on). There are LOTS of live linux distro's, but my favorite is knoppix. Of course, no guarrantees, so before you repartition backup anything you can't afford to lose.

For dual booting you need grub. Again, this is a very large topic. And yes, dual booting between windows and linux is a hoary and well explored subject. The only thing specific to windows is that windows needs to think it's on the "C" drive, i.e. first part on master drive on IDE0. My attempts to dual boot FC4/winxp were frustrated until I figured this out. For example, I have XP on hdc (master on IDE1) and FC4 on hda (master on IDE0). So the windows stanza in my menu.lst (grup boot config file) has a line "map (hd1,0) (hd0,0)" that just pulls a switcheroo so that XP thinks it's top dog in the drive hierarchy.

Hope all this at least gets you pointed in the right direction.
 
  


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