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Okay, so i have been using the different m$ os's for a while now back since the dos days and Linux has for a while been something I wanted to ...
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  1. #1
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    Total, and I mean total newbie wants to get started :)


    Okay, so i have been using the different m$ os's for a while now back since the dos days and Linux has for a while been something I wanted to try but never got around to. I have a fair bit of free time on my hands now so it seems an ideal time to have a crack at it. That said I have a few questions I am hoping you kind folks could help me with. Please forgive me If these have been asked before but I tried the search function and had no luck.

    I should explain this is for my second PC. I use my main PC for watching movies, playing games and word processing/spreadsheets. My second PC is used for web browsing, web based email, instant messaging via MSN and downloading on azureus.

    So onto my questions.

    1) The PC has 3 physical hard drives, partitioned into NTFS Partitions, and from what ive read this could be a problem I think. I have no problem with formatting the C Partition which currently holds windows (is around 20 gigs in size) but the others are full of files i would rather keep. Is it possible to read AND write to NTFS drives using Linux or is it read only?

    2) What distro should I choose to begin with? Bear in mind I have a moderate level of IT skill I suppose, I am comfortable messing around with and editing files etc and would like a version which would help me learn rather than one - as i have heard some do these days - which does everything for me, whilst at the same time not being too daunting for a beginner (tall order perhaps?)


    That will do for now Though doubtless I will be back here soon pestering you for some help about something Thanks in advance anyone taking the time to read this and/or respond

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Mounting and reading NTFS partitions is difficult but possible.

    Redhat FC 4 is probably the best option. It is also possible on Debian.

    Read: http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net before getting started.

    In any case, I would suggest backing them up to a cdrom before starting to ensure you will not lose them. You could even read them back onto a linux partition if necessary. Also, consider a dual boot and keep your MS system.

    My favorite distribution is Debian. Sarge the current stable version was recently released. You could also start out with a live CD such as Knoppix to try it out without making any changes to your system.

    Jeff
    Registered Linux User #391940

  3. #3
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    Mounting and reading NTFS partitions is easy, not difficult. Any distro can do it. Writing to them however, while possible, is extremely limited and not really worth the time.
    200mhz Pentium 1 with MMX, 128mb RAM, 10gb Seagate HDD. Beastly.

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  5. #4
    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
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    Reading NTFS is as simple as issuing one command at a bash prompt (command line) except for Fedora. For Fedora, you will have to do a little more work. For writing, you may want to try here. I have never tried Captive but you may want to take a look.

    For question number 2, I would recommend Suse. Easy to install and use (and it will automount your NTFS drives) but you can still edit by hand all you want.

    Bryan
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    "There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
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  6. #5
    Linux Enthusiast aysiu's Avatar
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    Re: Total, and I mean total newbie wants to get started :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Welshbloke
    2) What distro should I choose to begin with? Bear in mind I have a moderate level of IT skill I suppose, I am comfortable messing around with and editing files etc and would like a version which would help me learn rather than one - as i have heard some do these days - which does everything for me, whilst at the same time not being too daunting for a beginner :) (tall order perhaps?)
    Try taking this online quiz to see what distro's best for you.

  7. #6
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    Thanks for the replies guys very handy I have one final question which i should have asked before really, Is there any problem sharing files from linux > windows and vice versa? I have 3 windows xp machines in the house and I would be making 1 a linux box but i need to be able to share files with it..

    Thanks

  8. #7
    Linux Guru bryansmith's Avatar
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    There is a program called Samba that does sharing between the two OS's.

    Bryan
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    "There can be no doubt that all our knowledge begins with experience." - Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
    Queen's University - Arts and Science 2008 (Sociology)
    Registered Linux User #386147.

  9. #8
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    I think you should back it all up, format everything and put the backed up data on the newly formatted drives becase a) The Linux NTFS module can't write very well and b) windows-compatable filesystems suck (terrible security and they get fragmented).

    As for distros, Fedora Core (which is what I use) or SuSE.

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