New Computer Installation
Ok, I am an experienced computer user who is an almost total newbie to Linux (I have programmed some, and I like its simplicity to code in, and can get around a terminal a bit, but that's all)
I am getting a brand new computer soon, and I want to experiment with Linux. The specs are:
- AMD 2500+ Barton Core, 333 FSB (I'll probably overclock it)
- Asus A7N8X Deluxe mobo, Dual Ram capable, Firewire, USB 2, built in sound and Lan
- 2x 512 MB of OCZ PC3200 RAM (400 mhz)
- ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB
- WD Caviar 7200 80 GB, 8 MB cache
- Old HD, 30 GB
- cd burner, dvd player, monitor, etc.
My plan is to install a dual-boot on my computer, running WinXP and a Linux distro together. I also have a old computer (166 mhz, can't run new windows anymore) that I want to install Linux onto as a internet gateway to increase security to my machine.
My questions are these:
- Which Linux distro do you recommend? I am thinking Mandrake, since I am new and I hear it is easiest to use. But I really don't know.
- I hear setting up drivers for my ATI is going to be difficult. That's ok, I'll run games on XP, but will this prevent me from using Linux otherwise (I mean without hardware acceleration) ?
- Will it be difficult to set up the old computer as a gateway so that I can use that computer to run the firewall and email virus scanning software and just connect directly to it from my XP machine over LAN? Will this pose a problem for LAN games where I need to be able to connect to remote IPs directly?
- I hear that the way to set up a dual boot is to install XP first to a partition (say 5 GB), then run a Linux and install it to another partition. That way, XP doesn't mess up the boot record. Is that right?
- To save space on my HD, I would like to have a communal data/applications partition that both XP and Linux can access. I was going to set it up as NTFS, but I am not sure. Does Linux read/write NTFS properly?
Sorry about the million questions. I appreciate any help on any of them. :)