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Linux INstall

  1. Jan 11, 2005 #1
    I'm currently running Windows XP on and AMD 64 with a 200 GB SATA hard drive.

    I would like to install Linux on a 20 GB partition, leaving what i already have installed on the remaining 180 GB, leaving that untouched.

    I have the install disks for Mandrake 10, but i'm not quite sure how to go about this. Any material i've found so far only addresses going from 98 or earlier.

    I tried doing this before on an older laptop (20 GB IDE, Pent III, WIndows XP) and it worked mostly, i could not connect to the internet though.

    My main concern are what risks am i facing if itry this, and how should i set up the directories on the linux partition? This is something i have not understood very well from what i've read.

    Help is appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2005 #2


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    Typical of Linux installs, I would create a / partition, a /home partition, and a /boot partition.

    The point of the /home partition is if you ever do a reinstall, you'll only be modifying the / partition, therefore, your user (home) directories will be safe. As for the /boot, if you ever get brave enough to start doing kernel recompilations, the /boot partition is an added safeguard.

    You should be able to partition the extra space and install Mandrake; Mandrake should detect the other Windows-based partititons you have. If this is not that case, Mandrake uses the GRUB bootloader (I believe), which is easy to configure for a Windows and Linux dualbooting.

    Mandrake has a relatively point-and-click partititioning interface.

    I'm not sure about what version of Mandrake you installed in the past, however, any Ethernet card (wireless, also) should be detected by Mandrake's hardware detection. If not, this is at most, a simple matter, and can be fixed relatively easily.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  4. Jan 11, 2005 #3


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    Just install windows the way you like on the 180GB first, and then tell mandrake to install on whatever is left over(the unformatted section). You don't have to worry about paritioning with mandrake, unless of course you want some speical confiiguration. Like graphic7 said, mandrake has a relatively easy point-and-click interface.
  5. Jan 11, 2005 #4
    Well windows is already installed on the 200 is the thing. BUt i've only used about 12 of that.
  6. Jan 11, 2005 #5
    The only thing i'm worried about with windows reinstalled is losing my copy of Office 2003. Everything else is easily replaced, but being a college student away from home i don't have the install disk, or the product key, so losing that would be a real pain in the ass.
  7. Jan 11, 2005 #6


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    If windows is taking up the whole drive then you'll need to resize the windows partition. Something like parition magic will do the trick.
  8. Jan 11, 2005 #7
    any recommedations on finding a program to do that that doesn't cost $70? I tried the free trial of partition magic but it would not apply any changes.
  9. Jan 11, 2005 #8
    Well..you don't have to pay $70 for it (if you catch my drift). I mean after all, you're only using it this once, right? But regardless of whether you join the dark side, I would back up your work anyway, because it is possible to lose data when partitioning with or without partition magic.
  10. Jan 11, 2005 #9
    Also, I am not sure about how you are getting mandrake, but my fedora core dvd (came with a book) had openoffice and other packages on it. www.openoffice.org It is free, I think, and from what I have seen so far, it is roughly the same as ms office. It has word, powerpoint, excell. I have only used word though, so I am not sure about the others. It does seem like a decent equivlant though.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  11. Jan 11, 2005 #10
    I downloaded the isos for Mnadrake 10 a while back (five or six months ago) and burned them onto Cds, had them ever since.

    However, in my readings over the past day i have not been hearing any good things about mandrake, but i've had trouble getting any definite info on which distro would be best.

    I really only plan on using it for programmimg purposes really. Some web browsing obviously, but mostly just programming and related activities. I plan on retaining a windows partition for everything else. I'll need telnet and ftp clients (not like those are hard to find anyway though) as well. I chose Mandrake, because a friend told me it was easy to learn, but i've heard many bad things about it in the time since. Any advice on that front?
  12. Jan 11, 2005 #11


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    I would recommend Fedora or SuSE, since your contemplating which distro is the best for you. Fedora and SuSE both have excellent management interfaces (especially, YaST in SuSE). Fedora and SuSE will both include tons of packages, usually a DVD or 4 CDs worth. Fedora is free, whereas for SuSE professional (a full DVD or CD collection of packages), expect to pay around $90.

    In the midst of all the packages included for both distributions, you can expect the GNU Compiler Collection, as well as plenty of editors and IDEs. Mozilla and/or Firefox is included with them, of course. As for FTP clients, a terminal client is always included, as well as ncFTP, which is an excellent terminal FTP client. SSH and a telnet clients are standard with any Linux distribution.

    I think Fedora is a relatively simple distribution. Everything is straight-forward, and tasks can usually be completed from graphical or curses-based applications.
  13. Jan 11, 2005 #12
    OK if i go with Fedora, should i get the most recent Core, which would be Core 3?

    I appreciate patience, I'm Still new to the whole thing.
  14. Jan 11, 2005 #13
    I have Mandrake 10 on one of my machines. (Actually, I have WinXP, Mandrake 10 and Gentoo on that machine.) I don't use it that often, but I think its safe to say that it's the easiest, or at least one of the easiest, linux distros to get up and running.

    It sounds like you want to use it to have a unix-compatible environment for programming. It should be fine for that purpose.

    I believe that the Mandrake installer includes a non-destructive disk reformatter SIMILAR to Partition Magic; it SUPPOSED to be able to resize and create partitions without harming your Window installation. But I don't know how reliable it is. Partition Magic is the safest way to go.

    OpenOffice is good; I use it frequently. But it's not an item-for-item replacement for Microsoft Office.

    If you can get a copy of Norton Ghost, the safe approach would be to make a Ghost image (on CD) of your Windows partition before you start. That way, even if the disk repartitioning ruins your Windows, you will be able to restore it AFTER repartitioning & not lose anything.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  15. Jan 11, 2005 #14


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    Yes, Core 3 is the latest.

    Also, Fedora is one of the more "professional" Linux distributions I've seen. All the interfaces are very sleek, and by this, I don't mean Windows XP sleek. Regardless, Fedora doesn't have that rough feel that I find many Linux distributions have.

    If I were to use Linux, Fedora would be my first choice. When I did run Linux a few months ago, Fedora Core 2 could be found on one of my workstations; I was highly pleased at it (for a Linux distribution).
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2005
  16. Jan 11, 2005 #15
    I had Mandrake 10 running on my old laptop for a short while, but it had a few problems, the built in resizer in the mandrake install would only give 2 GB for the whole linux partition, which would not install all the packages i wanted. Couldn't connect to the internet either. Of course i was on a wireless card at the time. That didn't upse my windows partition either.

    What i've read recently on forums about mandrake and heard from a few others makes me paranoid though. Some one mentioned hard drive failures, and i don't want to pay for another 200 GB hard drive anytime too soon. Can't afford to really. Backing up my data is horrendously crucial, everything except my copy of windows office is immediately replaceable, just losing that would be a pain. I would abck everything up first, but i don't have any extra hard drives right now (ironically i do have one, but its 350 miles away, i hadn't thought i would need it.), and i don't have the cash (poor student) to spend $100 on one right now.

    And yes i'm really just looking for a UNIX compatible programming platform. Another thing is apparently Intel has a FORTRAN compiler that is FORTRAN 90 compliant for linux, which apparently from what they're telling me, can be ahd for free for non commercial purposes. And obviously gcc comes with most linux distros which i would use as well.
  17. Jan 11, 2005 #16


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    Impressive. I had no idea Intel offered their compilers for free for non-commerical use. I wish Sun would do the same with Sun Studio.
  18. Jan 11, 2005 #17

    I didn't either, but i searched for a FORTRAN 90 compiler, wound up on their site and thats what it said.

    I got the drive to partition safely, no problems with that(the risky part). Now just to install and get linux running.

    I think i'll go with fedora core 3, any other recommendations?
  19. Jan 11, 2005 #18


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    As I recall, Intel only offers their compilers in an RPM package install format. I could be wrong, but if this is true, then an RPM-based distribution like Fedora or SuSE will be your only choice. If you do choose to run, say a Debian-based package distribution, conversion utilities do exist to convert the RPM to the native package format, however, I would not put too much faith in those.
  20. Jan 11, 2005 #19
    I would say fedora 3 is fine, but I am a noob; however, this could be a good thing, because I use fedora 2, and if I can use it, you should have no problem. I only have one issue with fedora 2, and that is the dual install of it and windows xp. But, from what I have read, this is only a problem with the grub that comes with fedora 2. So, if you install fedora 3 then you will probably have no problem. When I went into one of the fedora irc channels, people recommended that if I wanted to use a dual boot with windows xp and fedora, then I should use fedora 3 instead of 2.

    I hope that sounds clear, I am really tired, and am writing terribly.
  21. Jan 11, 2005 #20

    I'm dowloading the fedora isos right now so thats not an issue:

    On a side note, the stanford mirror is great, i'm getting 1392 Kb/s on all four simultaneously. Yay for T1.
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