Please help me switch to Linux
I am currently running Windows XP on a single partition. I have never used Linux or for that matter, know very much about it other than it is an oen source rival to M$ windows.
Many of my 'friends' on various computing forums talk about Linux and have persuaded me to give it a go but i'm a little nervous
I want to dual boot (?correct phrase) as I have to keep XP for 2 reasons - 1. Missus will kill me if I don't
2. If it goes **** up
Firstly, what won't I be able to do with Linux as a home user?
Secondly, how do I partition my drive to install linux (I guess that's what I need to do)
Lastly, what ?version should I get (are any of them better than the others). I am looking for ease of installation and a pretty GUI.
Can anybody help me out?
Dual Boot is the correct phrase for what you want to do.
The only limitation I have run into as a home user is Linux will not run all of my games. I Keep Windows 98 handy to play DirectX enabled games.
You can do 2 things to make a spot for Linux.
First option is buy or download partition magic (or similar partition utility) to resize your existing drive. Simply shrink the Windows partition with that software. Back Up first in case soemthing goes wrong. I would try a get a least 6 GB of disk space for Linux.
Second option is to get a second hard drive and install Linux there.
I would get Mandrake because it is easy to use and set up or Redhat because it seems to be a leader in all the flavors of Linux. These are the two I use the most. I do also have Knoppix Linux. (You could start with Knoppix - You can download an ISO image and Knoppix runs completely from CD - After you learn Linux you can get another flavor.)
I'll just answer the installation part of your question for now, as I'm sure you will have plenty of replies to answer your other concerns.
As you have said, you will need to make a partition your drive to acommodate 2 OSes. You can get away with just making a small partition for linux to play around with, maybe 4 or 5 gigs at the end of your hard drive.
Be sure to install XP first, because if you install XP after putting in Linux, your computer will boot directly to XP every time with no choice of OS.
When you do it right and install Linux second, Linux will recognize the windows installation and give you an option at boot time to choose either OS.
By the way, as for which version to run, Mandrake is an old newbie favorite, though there are also newer distros available that cater to Linux novices. (and may be better, have never tried them myself)
I am trying to download mandrake 9.1 from their site at the moment but i'm most confused.
I clicked on one of the mirror sites for the ISO version but instead of just a regular download box popping up, I was taken to what looks like the 'my computer' window...showing 5 files and it looks like my modem is downloading stuff.
Do I just leave it like this and in several hours (I have broadband) I assume those 5 files will turn into ISOs?
I bet that made no sense!
The address in the 'my computer' window is:
Mainly games, other than that Linux offers alternatives to pretty much everything windows has to offer in terms of Applications.
Firstly, what won't I be able to do with Linux as a home user?
As stated Mandrake is the ideal OS for those new to linux, hell im a beginner with Linux and the install made me feel really comfortable
Good luck and enjoy
I have ordered mandrake 9.0 powerpack edition from mandrake (can't be assed to wait to download 1.8Gb).
I just have one more quesition. I have been reading the install guide on mandrake's site and i'm a little confused about partitioning. It says that during the install process, mandrake can partition your drive for you if you have FAT (instead of using partition magic, which is more dosh) but it doesn't mention NTFS file systems. Since I have XP and have formatted my 40Gb HDD using NTFS, does this mean the installer can't partition it?
Originally posted by FieldDoc
...Since I have XP and have formatted my 40Gb HDD using NTFS, does this mean the installer can't partition it?
This document would indicate that you would be better off setting up your drive manually (wiping your drive / repartitioning using fdisk) if you will not be using Partition Magic.
Are you familiar with how to do this? Note that you will lose all your existing data if you repartition using fdisk. If you plan to go this route, you may as well prepare by backing up any important stuff while your Mandrake CD ships.
Well if you're looking for a linux distro that provides ease of installation, I suggest you to install Mandrake Linux 9.1. Installation is a breeze with this distro at it comes with a couple of desktops in which you can choose for yourself.
Here's a couple of sites where you can download Mandrake Linux:
Hope this helps~!
Thanks for the advice guys but I have a MAJOR problem.
I bought Mandrake 9.0 (7 CDs).
I have 2 HDDs.
I installed mandrake fine, no problems. Only I can't get it to work! After the installation, I am supposed to be taken to the initial log in screen and then onto the pretty GUI (according to the book), however this does NOT happen for me.
I get taken to the following black screen with this writing:
Mandrake Linux release 9.0 (dolphin) for i586
Kernel 2.4.19-16 mdk on an i686/tty1
So I typed my user name and password and the following appears:
I typed KDE as I know this is the GUI and I get a huge spiel come out:
XFree86 version 4.2.1/x window system
(protocol version 11, revision 0, vender release 6600)
Release date: 3 September 2002
If the server is older than 6-12 months, or if your card is newer than the above date, look for a new version before reporting problem.
Build operating system: Linux 2.4.18-23md kenterpirse i686 [ELF]
Module loader present
Markers: (--) probed, (xx) from config file, (==) default setting, (++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational, (ww) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implented, (??) unknown.
(==) log file: "var/log/XFree86.0.log", Time Thu Apr 24 21:21:15 2003
(==) Using config file: "/etc/x11/XF86 Config - 4"
Using vt 7
(EE) NVIDIA (0): Failed to initialize the NVdriver kernel module!
(EE) NVIDIA (0): ***Aborting***
(EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration
Fatal server error:
No screens found
XI0: Fatal IO error 104 (connection reset by peer) on X Server ":0.0" after 0 requests (0 known processed) with 0 events remaining
PLEASE HELP ME! What's worse is I also seem unable to boot to windows unless I physically remove the drive Linux is installed on as I get a strange message saying something to do with NTDRL?
I wasn't aware that you were using two drives. Did you just keep your XP install on your main drive and install Linux on the second one? Did you just get finished adding the new drive or was it already in there? What is your drive/partitioning scheme?
There seem to be two problems: your XF86Config file (which configures your video) and your lilo.conf file (which configures your bootup OS choices).
"...I get a strange message saying something to do with NTDRL?"
I think that's NTLDR, which just means your computer is not finding the windows boot partition.
You will probably be able to get around these problems, so don't fret. Let us know the answers to the questions above as they will be useful in figuring this out.
Cpl_Squirrel, you were right. I wiped the MBR on my windows drive
So, I reinstalled windows XP, reinstalled Linux on the second drive but didn't install the bootloader, instead I made a linux bootdisk...which works fine.
I have also sorted out the graphics problem, I had to set the BIOS to assign an IRQ to the AGP.
Could you help me set up my internet connection though...I can't get it to work.
I have an Alcatel USB modem. It is working fine when I boot to XP. I goto the Mandrake control centre and select the connection wizard.
I tell it that I have an ADSL connection, select Speedtouch Modem from the list of detected hardware to use and enter my username and password as provided by my ISP.
It trys to connect but it simply says that it was unable to and that I should analyse it with mcc or something like that. My ISP is useless as they say they can't help with Linux
However, it did connect once. I clicked connect and it said it had failed but all of a sudden it connected and I could surf using Konqueror. However, that was several hrs ago and I can't repeat it!
My ISP is Pipex (www.pipex.net)
I have the XTreme Solo ADSL package. I think I have a dynamic IP. Other than that, I don't know any more. Sorry.
Well, if you want to see what kind of luck you have with Roaring Penguin, you can download it here:
It will fit on a floppy so you can download it in windows, save it to floppy, then run it off the floppy once you're in Linux.
You will need to have your ISP tell you some things about your connection.
-Do you have a static or dynamic IP address?
-Can you connect to them using PPPoE (PPP Over Ethernet)
-What is the Primary DNS server address you should connect to? (and see if you can get a secondary DNS server address if possible)
I am not familiar with Mandrake's internet connection wizard, so perhaps when you were running that wizard, you needed to enter some of that same info mentioned above, and that may be the problem? Only guessing here. Anyone familiar with this wizard?
Last edited by Cpl_Squirrel; 04-25-2003 at 10:01 PM.
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