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Hello, new to these forums. I've tried live CDs and experimented a little with Linux, and wanting experience for later I've decided with my new hard drive to give an ...
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  1. #1
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    Tried install, want to try again, cleanup?


    Hello, new to these forums. I've tried live CDs and experimented a little with Linux, and wanting experience for later I've decided with my new hard drive to give an installation a go.

    I have the following distro installs I have access to right now:
    Fedora 4 (will probably try next)
    Kubuntu Hoary (was thinking this instead, but apparently not very stable...?)
    Ubuntu Warty (with updated Kubuntu, pass probably)
    Xandros 2
    Xandros 3 (I think?)
    Mandrake 10.1
    SUSE 9.2
    ... and maybe others that slip my mind right now.

    Okay, I had just bought a new 200GB HD to help give my current drive breathing room (20GB for 4 people, 2 of which are into multimedia and one that likes games such as HL2, just isn't enough). And I thought, now that I have the room, I want to experiment with it. So I partitioned the drive like so (how do I attach screenshots?), with a 100MB part. for /boot, 1GB for /swap, 30GB for /root - each formatted FAT32 (I would like the root partition to be read/writable by Linux AND XP). The rest is a big NTFS partition.

    I initially tried installing the Warty Ubuntu (didn't have Kubuntu at the time, it was one CD, simple). Seemed alright, but trying to work out how to tell the installer what part. to use as root was really confusing. I wasn't sure if it was going to wipe the entire drive or not. Anyway, the installer started running, but I got three big red errors - the first one was about "debootstrap" exiting with code 1 or something. So I thought bugger this, reformat the partitions and start again.

    So I tried installing Xandros 2 (3 was on a DVD, didn't want to waste the CDs burning the ISOs). It insists that all drives must be formatted either ext2 or ext3, which sucks, but whatever. And it didn't ask for the boot partition, so I don't know what happened there...? Anyway, it changed the MBR on the XP drive so when the computer starts up, it now brings up a big red "xandros*" boot screen, with Xandros the default - my family hates that.

    Anyway, I hate this Xandros honestly. I can't get on the 'net (even though it saw my network card and talked to the DHCP server apparently), and KDE crashes occasionally (sigsev error, saw a LOT of that on my Kubuntu Live PPC disc).

    So, long story short, I want to start from scratch with Fedora 4, or Kubuntu proper. Is this wise, or would I be better with SUSE 9.2? I tried installing Fedora before, but whenever I tried to select what partitions to use for anything, it kept complaining "This drive must be part of a Linux file system" or something...? (it will be once you install...)

    And my main problem I guess, what has Xandros done to my MBR? How can I fix/delete the Xandros boot loader with the Fedora one (I don't think I have the original XP disc)?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Well, that's certainly an involved story. I'll try to answer what I can. You don't necessarily need to wipe the bootloader if you're just going to be installing a new one on top of it. FC4 and most other major distributions will want to install their own bootloader by default, and this will replace the existing Xandros bootloader.

    You will not be able to install Linux on a FAT32 partition, as far as I know. You can create a separate data partition that is FAT32 for Linux and MS Windows to share data, but I've never heard of someone installing a Linux distribution onto FAT32. Usually it's ext2/ext3 or reiserFS. That's probably what Fedora meant by "must be part of a Linux filesystem".

    As far as which distro to use, that's up to you. All major distributions offer the same basic things (web browsers, office apps, games), they just offer it in a slightly different package. You only need to find the one with the packaging that appeals to you.
    Registered Linux user #270181
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