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  1. #1

    Installing 2 or 3 Distros, broad experience

    Hope I'm posting in the right section. I've been trying a few linux distributions as LiveCDs - Backtrack, Ubuntu, Sabayon, PCLinuxOS, Damn Small Linux... And I like them all, but now I'm trying to install a few to my external 80 GB USB Hard Disk and I can't choose...

    I know that people say you just have to try different distributions and see how you like them, but my question is - which distributions should I install to experience greater variety? What I mean is, I read that Backtrack is Slackware based for example, and I really like it. I read that Ubuntu is Debian based, so does this mean the experience of using it (e.g. the terminal) will be different too? What I'm driving at is that which out of the 5 (or any other ones) I listed would you recommend I install to have a broader linux experience? I'm trying to keep about 20 GB free for backing up some data, so maybe I'll do 3 other 20GB partitions? Which 3 distributions would you recommend I get considering my goals? Or does none of this matter and I'm talking nonsense and I should just choose any one of them and install it?

    I like backtrack cos it supported my wireless card out of the box, but I'm not too worried about out of the box compatibility, I don't mind getting my hands dirty!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Welcome to the forums, nb123!

    Install from the LiveCD you think you like best. If it doesn't work out, install your next favorite from all your liveCDs. Keep experimenting until you find the one that just feels right for you.

    The main thing is to have fun with Linux...


  3. #3
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    The Sovereign State of South Carolina
    Hi and welcome.

    If learning Linux is your goal and you don't mind getting your hands dirty, then the harder distros will teach you more. The three that are the most difficult are Linux From Scratch Crux and Gentoo. I think perhaps in that order. They will teach you far more about Linux and far faster than easier distros like Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS or SuSE. Somewhat in the middle of the two extremes are Debian proper, Fedora and Slackware.

    It really depends on how dirty you want to get!

    I love Crux. It is the fastest distro I've ever seen and highly configurable and is a joy to get operational. Slackware is easier but configuration must be done mostly from the command line and that teaches a great deal too. Ubuntu is such a pleasure to run because it's so accommodating and complete.

    Never heard of this "Backtrack" based on Slackware, but if it floats you boat, I'd say go with it!
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

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  5. #4
    Thanks for the replies guys, okay, this is what I plan to do in terms of partitions, :---

    sdb1 10GB ext3 primary - Ubuntu
    sdb2 2GB swap primary - Swap
    sdb3 5GB ext3 primary - Backtrack
    sdb5 10GB ext3 logical - (Leave it for future installation)
    sdb6 53GB fat32 logical - Other files to be shared between Windows/Linux

    Okay, I've tried searching extensively in this forum and in google about how exactly to mount these partitions, but I'm not quite understanding it clearly. I know I need to make the first partition the root / , but what about the other ext3 partitions and the fat32? For the fat32 there are 2 options : - /dos and /windows, so I presume /windows is the choice right?

    What about the ext3 partitions though? From what I've read, should I make sdb3 and sdb5 both /home ?

    (Does it matter where I mount them? Since I can change them later?)
    (Also, just realized, people recommend 1 GB swap yeah? 2 GB can't hurt can it?)

  6. #5
    Linux Engineer Freston's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    The Netherlands
    Well, if 1GB Swap isn't enough, something is wrong :-S But 2GB never hurts...

    Did you plan to run Windows on the FAT partition? 'cause it's your external HD I think not so then there is no problem. Otherwise there might be, but I'm not to familiar with the technicalities...

    Partitioning wise, I don't know backtrack. Don't know how big it is. But as 10GB is very spacious for Ubuntu, you may want to give those distro's both 7.5GB. It's neither here nor there though...

    Mounting wise, just do as you please. I would install one distro, mount the partition it's on as / and put /dev/sdb6 under /home.
    Then install the other and mount the partition it's on under / and put /dev/sdb6 under /home.
    You could (optionally) mkdir mountpoints for the other partitions and name them after the OS on them. Or do that later, you can always change mountpoints.

    For example:
    /dev/sdb1 /
    /dev/sdb2 Linux Swap
    /dev/sdb6 /home
    /dev/sdb3 /Backtrack (optional)

    /dev/sdb3 /
    /dev/sdb2 Linux Swap
    /dev/sdb6 /home
    /dev/sdb1 /Ubuntu (optional)

    Don't get confused though
    Can't tell an OS by it's GUI

  7. #6
    Okay I successfully partitioned and installed ubuntu, thanks guys, I had to mount the fat32 at /home/.... cos it wouldn't accept just /home, but other than that, no problems. I've started another thread - "Grub Error 21 Reinstalling OS or Edit MBR" because I've run into another problem...

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