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Old 05-11-2006, 04:57 AM   #1
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Thumbs up ware do i start please

Hello there
Being a newbie to linux I need to ask a few questions please on a few things,here goes
1.I have 3 verions of linux,they are suse personal 9.1 boxed version,fedora 5 from the latest linux magazine and a copy of mandrake_linux which I've downloaded but not sure on how to save it to cd rom.

2.I do beleive I can run these as a live version before I go ahead and install one of them.

3.Will linux run along side win xp o.k as my wife would only use xp I think (could convert her I suppose)

4.Are these linux os easy to install

thankyou all for any help on these questions

Old 05-11-2006, 05:15 AM   #2
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The distros you listed are not live discs. If you are interested in running live discs before installing Linux on your desktop, take a look at for a list of distros that have live cds. I would recommend you try PCLinuxOS, Kubuntu (or Ubuntu) live and Mepis.

Linux distros will play along nicely with XP. Some like Suse and Mandriva will even resize your Windows partition, make space for Linux and enable you to boot either OS when you start your system.

As for ease of installation, this depends on the distro. Most mainstream distros are have graphical installation routines that make the process a bit easier for newbies.
Old 05-11-2006, 09:08 AM   #3
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Berkshire, England.
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Suse 9.1 is getting a little old these days -- 10.1 is being released today (or it's supposed to be, anyway), and there's been at least three versions in between. That said, it's good to have the manuals; Suse do provide very good documentation. But if you can, try to get a more recent version (I'd be willing to bet 10.1 will start appearing on magazine discs within the next month or two!)

The most recent distro of the three you've got is Fedora 5. I don't have much experience with it, but by all accounts it's pretty good.

I don't recommend Mandrivia at the moment; I really didn't enjoy using it last time I tried it, which was only three or four months ago. But of course, it's a matter of personal taste, so don't feel you have to take my word for it.

All three should be fairly easy to install, but I've always found Suse the easiest to get on with longer term -- certainly easier than Mandrivia.

As far as bootable "Live" CDs go, I don't think any of those three you've got have that option on the disc. You can get a separate "Live" version of Suse, which does what you want, but not from the same disc as the installable version. From memory, I don't think Fedora or Mandrivia offer a live option at all.

I don't do dual-booting any more -- I've ditched Windows completely ( :-D ). Last time I did it, I was installing Suse 9.0, and I can tell you that Suse is very good at setting up a dual boot system. I can't really comment on the others, as it's just been that long since I did it, but I'd have expected most of the popular distros to be able to deal with it pretty well.

I hope it all goes well for you. Let us know how you get on
Old 05-11-2006, 09:34 AM   #4
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Assuming WinXP and plenty of disk space ... If you really want to do it right, I would suggest starting from scratch, including Windows. Reinstall windows in a 12-15 gigabyte NTFS partition leaving the rest of the disk as free space. That will be for the Windows OS and programs.

Once Windows is up, use it's disk management utilities to create a 2nd FAT32 partition for data. 32 gigs is the maximum size XP will allow for a FAT32 partition, so if you have LOTS of disk space, you may want to set up a couple of those. The FAT32 partion(s) will be for data and will be accessible from both Windows and Linux.

Now you are ready to install Linux on the remaining free space available. I'd recommend a minumum of 20 gigs for that. Any of the Linux installation disks you have should set up a dual boot system without significant problems.

A final note that I can't resist ... If you REALLY want to do it right, get a Debian Etch netinstall cd (about 100 mb), and use your broadband connection to set it up.
Old 05-11-2006, 03:36 PM   #5
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Hi reddazz,spudley,rickh
thanks for the feed back on setting up a duel system.rickh what you are saying is my HD is 112gb so I need to partition about 30 gb for nfts for win xp and split the rest of the HD up to about 20 gb sections at fat32.If this is correct I then install linux on one of the fat32 partitions.

thankyou for any help again,regards paul.chambo
Old 05-11-2006, 05:55 PM   #6
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No. That's not correct. Given 112 GB hard drive, I would do this.

Install Windows and use it to set up these partitions:
1 12-15 GB ntfs partition for Windows OS and programs
1 30 GB ntfs partition for Windows data
1 30 GB FAT32 partition for data (this partition will be accessible from both Windows and Linux)

At this point you will have 25 GB or so of free space left on your hard drive.

Install Linux in that free space. Don't format it yourself. Let the Linux installer take care of that for you. I would recommend the ext3 format for the Linux partitions. Your installer will probably give you several options regarding how to set up the Linux partitions. My advice would be to have at least /home on it's own partition, separate from the rest of Linux.

Last edited by rickh; 05-11-2006 at 05:56 PM.
Old 05-12-2006, 04:39 AM   #7
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Hi rickh
really sorry but didn't mention I have win xp pro installed on a 40 gb HD and I have the 112 gb HD as a slave.Shall I still partition the 112 gb HD like you say and leave win xp on the 40 gb or put both systems on the 112 gb
Old 05-12-2006, 04:56 AM   #8
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No Windows is fine where it is (and i believe must reside on the master drive). You can partition the 112GB drive for Linux, with a partition of FAT like rickh suggested (although the limitations of this are you can only copy single files of upto 4 GB in size) in order to share files simply.

112GB is a bit excessive for 1 distro and a temp partition to swap files. Maybe keep some spare space try all of the distros you have and find the one you prefer. Or setup the same distro running concurrently, one for testing/learning (and borking) and one for day to day use.

Installing a linux system on file systems like fat32 isn't really good practise as they can't handle Unix like file permissions, and so it'd be a mess, like reccomended ext3 is a good bet, or there are other ones that fall between a scale of reliability, speed and capacity limits (you probably wont meet them on modern filesystems), google can tell you much more about them than i.

You will need to install the boot loader to the MBR (first sectors of the first disk) in order to have it read on bootup, most distros will detect WINXP and add it along with your linux distro.

All we can offer are guidlines really,and technical info on how to achieve objectives that you need to think about and set

Last edited by ethics; 05-12-2006 at 04:58 AM.


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