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  1. #11
    Penguin of trust elija's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Either at home or at work or down the pub

    Most (if not all) Linux disributions will allow you to repartition your
    hard drive in such a way that you boot either OS.
    Should you be sitting wondering,
    Which Batman is the best,
    There's only one true answer my friend,
    It's Adam Bloody West!

    The Fifth Continent

  2. #12
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    PartedMagic CD will let you adjust partitions on a hard drive ... its easy to use & I found it more reliable than a similar sounding Windows partition manager As elija says ... dual boot is relatively easy to setup.

  3. #13
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Córdoba (Spain)
    Quote Originally Posted by Anu_1235 View Post
    My question is less about how to use than what would be best. I run a number of programs that have confirmed Linux versions with only a few that I may have to run using windows as a separate OS. I am mainly concerned about finding an OS capable of running, and taking advantage of, all of the above mentioned specs without feeding Microsoft more money or sacrificing something else.
    Gentoo Linux is a good option wherever architecture specific stuff is needed, since everything is compiled from source. But it is not for lazy people. Unlike many people seem to believe, it is perfectly possible that a newbie installs it without too much problems. It just requires that you have some will to learn a bit about how linux actually works.

    The gentoo forums, a really great source of info:
    Gentoo Forums :: Index

    The Gentoo amd64 handbook, there's also one for x86 in case you don't want to go 64 bits:
    Gentoo Linux Documentation -- Gentoo Linux AMD64 Handbook

    The safe cflags central, this is where you will find info on how to configure gentoo to compile everything specifically for your cpu type:
    Safe Cflags - Gentoo Linux Wiki

    If you need help, visit de forums, and you will find lots of knowledgeable persons that will be willing to assist you with any problem while installing (as long as you are doing your best on your side).

    Freeing myself from the constant errors and workarounds inherent in Vista would be an added bonus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anu_1235 View Post
    My question is two fold. One, can I run off a flash drive (my motherboard allows access to it prior to windows load up, so I'm sure I can set it as a bootable drive) and two, are there any issues with installing to a partition or otherwise while in a windows environment?
    You can install in any place you like. But I don't know if the graphical installers nowadays provide the relevant options to install into a flash drive (they should, after all the flash device is detected thru the scsi layer, just like a SATA hard drive).

    With gentoo you will have no problem, you can install gentoo in any place that the SO can access. If your board can boot it, then there's no problem.

    You can even put grub on its mbr and install many OSes into it, provided you have enough space. Note though that regular usb flash drives are damn slow, this is a limitation of the NAND technology they use, and there's no work around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anu_1235 View Post
    Well I'm experimenting with different configurations and possibly looking to go linux on my laptop as well; however, as windows may still be needed, repartitioning my laptop is not something I would really be interested in doing.
    There are programs to resize partitions. You will need to do so to install linux. You can't run linux into a windows partition because fat32 just doesn't provide the needed infrastructure for a POSIX OS, like linux, in which regards ownerships, permissions and such stuff. Also, fat32 is really bad, it has an idiotic cap on the file size (4gb - 1 byte), due to some moron thinking that a 32 bit address system would be enough to fulfill nowadays requirements, or maybe just to force users to migrate to ntfs, who knows.

    I can't give real numbers, but on a first sight, I can tell you that a given linux installation nowadays can have like 500 thousand files, maybe more, maybe less, but it is a big big quantity of files, which fat32 would just be unable to handle on a sane manner (even if the linux vfat driver behaves better than the windows fat32 driver). It is a bad fs by design, I only use it when I need compatibility (flash drivers, cameras and so on). And all that, without speaking about the fragmentation issues. You need a linux fs

    If you need posix functionality into your windows box, use Cygwin, but that is a completely unrelated thing and would not help you in your current problem, since Cygwin is a posix layers that runs under windows, with all its problems and limitations.

    If you decide to try gentoo, visit the forums, you won't regret it

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  5. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by elija View Post
    Most (if not all) Linux disributions will allow you to repartition your
    hard drive in such a way that you boot either OS.
    As with most operating systems; however, as I mentioned repartitioning is not an option I wish to go into on my laptop for a number of reasons.

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