I have XP installed on my laptop as one 60GB NTFS partition and I need resize it to create an additional partition/s to install Linux. However, I see in several posts people mention shared drives, different formats and all kinds of other variables. I only want to install one distro so do I really need several different partitions? I'd like to be able to share files between the two OSs if that's possible(is that what people mean when they say a shared drive?). Also, I'm looking at Ubuntu 5.10 but I'm unsure whether or not to use its partition tool or go with QTParted. So how many partitions do I need and what tool is best to create them? Keep in mind I'm a newbie so I'm not too comfortable with the command line yet. The only task I'm good at in the command line is configuring my wireless NIC and that's b/c it took me a couple of days.
I usually (but not always) do my partitions something like this:
/ (about 6 gigs)
/boot (about 32 megs - if I use a boot partition)
swap (about 512 megs)
/home (about 6 gigs)
Others here may have different recommendations.
well, if you want a single harddrive, then you should partition it this way...
1)NTFS whatever size you want for xp
2)FAT32 this would be your shared partition because windows and linux can write to it
3)Swap linux needs a swap drive, unless you have oodles of memory, a gig is fine here
4)EXT3 linux native partition
this way you wont have to worry about logical partitions and you can just use primary ones, which'll make you naming schemes a little easier for now...this setup is very easy and pragmatic for single hardrive two os users.
I second the recommendation made be Genesus. There is no point in making it more complicated than you need.
The problem you have is that you need to repartition a hd with an existing OS on it. I assume you don't want to reformat the whole thing, repartition it, then reinstall XP as well. I don't know that the linux partitions programs will do this, at least I have never done it. You could use something like PartitionMagic to do that, but you need to make sure you have a good backup of your data first because there is always a bit of a risk involved in doing that.
I think Ubuntu is a good choice. My son got started using Linux recently when he installed Ubuntu on his laptop and everything went well.
Partition magic works well doing this if you defrag first and also have a bit of luck. You can download Partition Magic for free from any of your favorite p2p networks:D