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Okay. I want a clean, fast, operating system where I can accomplish tasks with speed and quality without encountering problems. It's just for my use - and I will be ...
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  1. #1
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    Who wants to answer a nice little newbie's questions?


    Okay. I want a clean, fast, operating system where I can accomplish tasks with speed and quality without encountering problems. It's just for my use - and I will be operating on a network.

    I'm looking to set up a dual boot system on my sort-of-custom Dell 4600. I've got Windows XP, and I'd like to have it share with either Red Hat or Ubuntu. I've got an 80GB HD with 30GB free (I'm a game and music addict.) I realize that all my games such as Halo, B1942, etc. will stay under windows, and probably much of my media and other leisure stuff too, though.

    So here are my questions:

    1) Ubuntu, Red Hat, or College Linux? I've got them all already on burned CDs from linuxiso.org. I'm looking for something easy to learn, I don't mind learning new things. I just need something that's not limiting but not entirely unfriendly either. Feel free to ask questions.

    2) Once I install a Linux distro to a certain partition, can I decide I want a more advanced distro and completely wipe the old Linux distro from that partition and install a new one over it?

    3) Partitioning. How? How much? I've got 30GB of 80GB free, all currently under C:\, which Windows is using. Am I already messed up? Or not? I'm thinking like 65GB for Windows, 15GB for Linux.

    4) How can I go about partitioning my hard drive - safely? Is there an easy way that is foolproof? Will the Red Hat or Ubuntu CD do it for me?

    5) I've heard of WINE and don't know much about it, but I've got a strange feeling that I don't want to know. I have a feeling that I"ll let Windows XP do the Windows stuff and Linux do the Linux stuff. Easy as pie, right?

    If I'm being completely dumb, please say so. Don't tell me to dump Windows - I've got it running very stable and all set up to my liking. I love Windows. Yep, you heard right. I'd just rather have options.

    I've already looked under the Tutorials, but I can't find answers to my questions. Also, I've searched and searched, and still can't. If it's easier to just link me to another page, just say so.

    <xMist puts up newbie flame shield>

    Oh, and if anyone has a PalmOS PDA, I'm moderator at a nice community called www.palmforums.org/forums (sorry for the shameless plug.)

  2. #2
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    1) the distro choice largely depends on what you want in a distro, I've used several myself, all have strengths and weaknesses...you should try many of them out until you find the one that is for you. Both Ubuntu and Fedora Core 4 are very newbie friendly...some people think that Ubuntu is crippled through...

    2) You can always wipe the current linux distro and add another in its place...one day you may even wipe xp!

    3) 30gb, or even 15gb, is more than enough depending on what you want to do...the install will only be about 2 gigs or so depending on what you install, some fully graphical distros are only 50mb or so installed. You will have to have at least two partitions for your linux install. One, size it about 2x your ram size and format it as linux swap. The second, is where the main os will go, format it as ext3--there are others but ext3 is the most popular--and mount it as /, which stands for your base filesystem. The third optional, you can have a partition formated as fat32, that way both linux and windows will be able to read and write to the same drive flawlessly.

    4) the red hat installer has good partitioning tools on it, just go to advanced and leave your windows partition alone, do not choose the automatic partitioning scheme

    5) wine is pretty good, cedega is the version of wine that does games, it can be tricky to get going, but if you eventually get rid of xp you may want to fool around with it...some programs even run faster on wine than under windows...

    Any other questions, feel free to ask...hope to see you around the forums.
    Operating System: GNU Emacs

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the speedy reply, Genesus! The one thing I don't want is a crippled OS, so I guess I'll go with Red Hat 9. What is Fedora Core 4?

    The partitioning stuff flew right on over my head. It's late and I've had a long day, so maybe I'll try reading it again now...also, it'll probably make more sense when I'm actually doing this.

    Will Windows be able to see my Linux partition? Will the partition make the other 15GB act as drive L:\ or something of the sort, so it limits C:\ to 65GB? Also, if I do set up WINE or cedega to run my apps, can they run from the C:\ partition (I won't have to copy them to the other partition again?)

    Thanks for all your help!!

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Vergil83's Avatar
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    Re: Who wants to answer a nice little newbie's questions?

    I will add to what genesus said

    1)I would go with Ubuntu. IMHO it is the "best" out of those three. It is "easy" but also pretty powerful. The key is GNU/Linux isn't harder than windows, just different!

    3) It depends on what file system. Fat32 should be ok (you will have to make a new partition from you current free space). However, if it is NTFS it will be more difficult (because MS doesn't like to share secrets )

    5) Wine is not a windows emulator, but rather uses "replacements" for all those DLLs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_(software)
    I would be in the use windows for windows framework.
    What I think you will find is that there are many great GNU/Linux replacements for windows programs (except games ). Besides games, I have never been in the situation that I ever needed to use a windows only program. The GNU/Linux replacements are up to the job.

    The most important thing is to try a lot of things out. Once you start it will amaze you how many great programs there are. Is there ever a thing as to much choice?
    Brilliant Mediocrity - Making Failure Look Good

  5. #5
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    Thanks, Virgil! My luck has come to save me (not). Apparently I'm using an NTFS-formatted drive. How big a problem will this create? Anything Ubuntu or Red Hat can't handle? <xMist remains hopeful...>

  6. #6
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    Fedora Core 4 is the current version of the redhat project...rh9 is out of date and may not support all of your hardware...
    Operating System: GNU Emacs

  7. #7
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    Crud...I just started downloading Fedora Core 3...I'll go looking for 4 now. Do you know if FC4 supports NTFS HDs? I did find this site: http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/rpm/about.html

    Seems like kind of a work-around. Besides for FC4, are there any other distros that seem suitable for me that use/support NTFS? Thanks!

    EDIT: Actually, hold on. Can I partition a, er partition for Linux as a separate filesystem, ie FAT32? So, could I have 65GB NTFS for Windows and 15GB FAT32 for Linux on the same hard drive? Thanks!

    I'm kind of avoiding having to buy a new hard drive...

  8. #8
    Linux Enthusiast aysiu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genesus
    some people think that Ubuntu is crippled through...
    It's definitely unfair to say Ubuntu is crippled. Because of its free-in-every-way philosophy, it doesn't come with a lot of proprietary software, but those can be easily installed.

    I've tried over twelve distros, and I've found Ubuntu to be the best. That doesn't mean it's the best for you, but it's certainly not crippled.

    In addition to setting up a FAT32 partition to share files between OSes, you may want to also set up a /home partition where you can keep all of your settings. That way, when you install a new distro over the old distro, you can keep your old settings.

    Ubuntu is super easy as long as you follow the instructions in the Ubuntu Guide. It's just copying and pasting commands:

    http://www.ubuntuguide.org/

  9. #9
    Linux Guru Vergil83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMist
    Thanks, Virgil! My luck has come to save me (not). Apparently I'm using an NTFS-formatted drive. How big a problem will this create? Anything Ubuntu or Red Hat can't handle? <xMist remains hopeful...>
    Ok, I was wrong, it looks like a lot now have resizing ability of ntfs. You should be able to do it from the install disk
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com//HoaryGoals
    http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html
    Brilliant Mediocrity - Making Failure Look Good

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMist
    Crud...I just started downloading Fedora Core 3...I'll go looking for 4 now. Do you know if FC4 supports NTFS HDs? I did find this site: http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/rpm/about.html

    Seems like kind of a work-around.
    I don't see how anyone can call Ubuntu crippled when it comes with NTFS support out-of-the-box.

    Besides for FC4, are there any other distros that seem suitable for me that use/support NTFS? Thanks!
    Any distro can support NTFS. They just can't write to it. Read, okay. Write, not okay. There are programs that help you write to NTFS, but they're experimental--I wouldn't use them.

    EDIT: Actually, hold on. Can I partition a, er partition for Linux as a separate filesystem, ie FAT32? So, could I have 65GB NTFS for Windows and 15GB FAT32 for Linux on the same hard drive? Thanks!
    Linux cannot be installed on a FAT32 partition unless you decide to reformat the FAT32 as EXT3. The FAT32 is for sharing files between Windows and Linux.

    But you can very well install both Fedora and Ubuntu and Windows. I was quadruple-booting at one point.

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