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  1. #1

    First Linux Install

    Hello All

    This will be my first (real) attempt at installing Linux on my PC, and after a few hours looking over the internet, thought it was best to ask here for some help before charging straight into it.

    My plan is to have two hard disks in my PC, one with Windows XP and one with Slackware 10.1. I thought this would be a safer option than partitioning my main hard-disk, especially as i am planning to upgrade to Windows Vista in the future and want to avoid complications.

    Here is a short list of issues that i have read about:

    1. Does having two SATA hard disks make the installation more difficult (ie. does Slackware 10.1 support SATA)?

    2. Should my secondary hard disk be the one that the BIOS is set to boot from, so that i can install a boot loader on this disk and leave the XP disk alone. (I want to do this so that i can stop the boot loader from controlling the boot when i upgrade from XP to Vista -seems simpler in my eyes)

    3. Are there any particular problems with the hardware I have listed below?

    AMD Athlon FX-57 Processor
    MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum Motherboard
    1GB RAM
    Sony DVD ROM (Secondary ATA channel - Slave)
    Sony DWQ28AB2 DVD-RW (Secondary ATA channel - Master)
    200Gb Western Digital WD2000JD HDD - Sata Channel 1 (Windows XP)
    80Gb Western Digital WD800JD HDD - SATA Channel 2 (Linux)
    256Mb Radeon X800-Pro
    Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

    4. Which boot loader should I use? (I have heard that GRUB is the best, but LILO comes by default on Slackware)

    5. Do i need a swap partition on the second hard disk?

    Any Help would be very much appreciated, and links to guides that show a similar installation would also be useful.



  2. #2
    Linux Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    The Hot Humid South
    If this is in fact your first ever Linux experience, I think you should maybe look into a more user friendly installation than Slackware's installation. If you want Slackware's characteristics, I'd say Vector Linux is the way you should go.

    1. Slack does have SATA support, but not on the default kernel. You need to specify the kernel to be "sata.i" for SATA support (not sure what it is for Vector).

    2. Yes

    3. I think you'll be fine except for the graphics card. ATI's driver is a known problem under Linux, so you might have issues getting that configured. has it's on Radeon driver (I think it's called "radeon"... read the documentation).

    4. Slackware comes standard with LILO, but you can get GRUB from

    5. Many people will be conservative and say yes, I on the other hand would have to say no! I have never gone past 200MB of RAM usage on my Debian install (which has almost everything on it, and quite a bit of it often). In my opinion, 1GB of RAM should be enough for you to not need swap space. Keep in mind this is only true if you're using this computer as a home desktop.

    I am also going to recommend you read the sticky on this forum, specially the part that says to check out ... you will need it if you install Slackware. I've installed Vector Linux SOHO for a short time, and it seems to be quite a bit more friendly for first timers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    Regarding GRUB or LILO... I recommend going with the distro default if you are a new Linux user, and that's LILO in this case. That said, I prefer to use GRUB and wish Slackware used it by default, but it's pretty simple to install from scratch.


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