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Recently I received a new laptop - an HP G72, with an Intel Pentium 2GHz processor, 4GB of Ram, and sadly with Windows 7 (64 bit operating system) installed. I ...
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  1. #1
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    Recommendations for Linux on PC


    Recently I received a new laptop - an HP G72, with an Intel Pentium 2GHz processor, 4GB of Ram, and sadly with Windows 7 (64 bit operating system) installed. I am currently in college and will be required to have Windows 7. I wish, however to stick to Linux and am currently debating a number of ways of getting Linux on my machine. I was wondering if the Linux community could help in giving some recommendations as to which versions of Linux to use, and how I should go about installing it. Also I am curious as to the affects of dual booting Windows and Linux on my machine (that is will it slow down the other operating system?).

    My first idea was to install Linux on an 8gb flash and just run from their however, I'm not sure if I can save data on the flash drive - and if I do I wouldn't be able to save much data.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    You can dual boot your laptop no problem with Windows 7. Plenty of people do it. There's no downside, really. Windows 7 has a partition tool built in, which you must use to shrink your C: file system. It's located under control panel -> admin tools -> computer management -> storage. Right click the volume, shrink.

    I recommend Mint for beginners, as it includes most necessary non-free (don't cost money, but have use-restrictions) software drivers out of the box, which other distros don't; it's also pretty stable, and shares a lot of compatibility with it's upstream Distro Ubuntu, and Ubuntu's Upstream distro Debian (is Ubuntu still a downstream of Debian??). "Versions" of Linux are called "Distros" by the way .

    Check out DistroWatch.com: Put the fun back into computing. Use Linux, BSD. They are a great resource for checking out many of the available distros. Lots of distros can run as live CD or USB drive, but I highly recommend installing to hard disk.

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    Distrowatch is a good site to get information. You didn't post any info on what you would use Linux for so you could google "linux distro chooser" and come up with sites such as the one in the link below. You answer some questions and the answers will make a distro recommendation to you. It is limited to a limited number of distributions shown in the upper right of the page.

    zegenie Studios Linux Distribution Chooser

    You can save data on a flash drive if you create the flash as persistent. I would suggest you google "unetbootin persistence" and "pendrivelinux persistence" as both of those programs allow you to do that and you can do it from windows. Read before doing anything!

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    @mizzle thanks for the shrink info on my pc.

    I'll be using Fedora 17 for my linux distro. It'll be by general purpose OS that I will use instead of Windows 7. I did have one question on the boot manager though before I went and installed. Will the boot mgr for Fedora conflict with the boot manager with Windows 7? I just want to make sure that when I install Fedora I can actually boot it from my laptop and not screw things up.

    Thanks on the extremely fast responses!

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    The options you have with the bootloader will be to install the Fedora bootloader (Grub) to a separate partition. I believe Fedora default creates a separate /boot partition although you have the option not to do that if you pay attention during the installation. If you do this, you will need to configure the windows bootloader using some third party software to boot Fedora. EasyBCD will work. It used to be a free download, not sure if it still is?

    The other option is to install the Fedora bootloader to the master boot record of the hard drive. It should create an entry for windows on your boot menu. If you are not familiar with Fedora or Linux in general, you may be better off installing Fedora to a separate hard drive or flash drive until you are familiarized with it.

    Do you have a windows full installation CD/DVD? If this is an OEM install with warranty, you may have problems if you need to return it for any reason and have non-OEM software in the mbr.

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    I ran Fedora for a while, but not any of the recent releases. I never had a /boot partition created by default... but the option was there.

    Installing Linux on a Windows machine gives a simple and fairly intuitive way to dual-boot.

    I would use the above mentioned Windows tool to shrink the Win partition. Then boot up with your Linux CD in the cup-holder.
    You should have a menu come up that lets you install Linux in the new unallocated space.
    Jay

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    Awesome. the newest versions of Fedora were way to big for anything (USB or CD and I dont have any DVD's) that I have to hold. So I went to Ubuntu. 12.04 is really nice and apparently they included an install from windows program that lets you install Ubuntu without booting through a CD. The Win shrink helped a ton though. Thanks!

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    they included an install from windows program that lets you install Ubuntu without booting through a CD.
    If you are wanting to do a true dual-boot, make sure that you aren't using a Wubi installer.
    Wubi is nice, but it installs Linux inside a file in Windows... allowing you to boot to Linux.
    If Windows goes FUBAR, however, there goes Linux.

    Just checking out your install method.
    Jay

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    Thanks for that last advice jayd512 ! I wasn't aware of the Wubi install - which explains why Ubuntu was running so slow. In that case I uninstalled Ubuntu and am now working on installing fedora. I did have a question regarding to partitioning my drives. What size is best for creating the root partition? and which partitions are a must for Fedora? (as in do I only need the root partition?).

    Also @yancek: what if I install the fedora boot loader on my mbr and it does NOT create an entry for Windows. What do I do then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by theNerd247 View Post
    What size is best for creating the root partition? and which partitions are a must for Fedora? (as in do I only need the root partition?).
    I usually have 2 partitions, / and /home. The system files are in / and personal data (music, movies, documents) are stored in /home.
    I would advise at least 10GB for your / partition. Mine is 15GB, and is still less than 50% full.

    And about the bootloader question...
    Fedora uses GRUB2. It usually does a fine job of detecting other OSs and including an entry for them. If it doesn't do so, just post back and let us know.


    As a side note, since you mentioned the download size of some Linux distros being too large for any flash drives or CDs, you may be interested in checking out Unetbootin.
    Jay

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