Which linux to use? I'm new at this OS...

By Spike ยท 12 replies
Dec 16, 2003
  1. I have an odd disk structure as follows...

    Primaray IDE;

    Master - 9.54 GB ( C: ) NTFS (disk 0)
    Slave - 6.38 GB ( D: ) NTFS, 6.34 GB (unallocated), 25.55 GB ( E: ) NTFS.

    I want to dual boot with linux for experimental reasons. That is to say, I want to know a little about it.

    I Have XP Pro installed on drive D:, and XP has it's documents folders on C:. Drive d: has been imaged to be reinstalled easily, and with my docs on drive C: I don't loose data when I do it.

    This leaves me with a 25.55 GB partition in NTFS to install linux to.

    I would very much like to retain the ntfs structure, as I would like both O/s's to have access to each others files. (like I said, it's an experiment).

    Could somebody tell me, what is my best course of action? In other words, which linux best suits (if any), do I need a boot manager (any one in particular?) and is there anything special I need to do to get this running?

    But more importantly, Can it be done???
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    You want to download probably Mandrake 9.2.

    (But Fedora Core 1, or even SUSE would be fine!)

    Download Mandrake from here:


    Read this thread:


    Which contains a lot of information. There's an install guide from me (which is a little out of date, but will give you the general idea) and covers dual booting with another OS, also posts from other members trying to get this to work and asking questions, getting answers, etc.

    Good luck.
  3. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Once more into the unknown....

    Thanks for that Phantasm. I read that thread already, and it does have a lot of info there. A very useful thread. this should be fun...!
  4. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    That's music to my ears!

    Just take your time.

    And, of course, the new OS golden rule:


    If you get totally stuck and angry and annoyed, I'd rather you posted here than gave up. Don't give up.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    You can't install Linux on a FAT or NTFS partition.

    You will have trouble getting NTFS access from Linux, it will be read-only at best (unless you want to buy a NTFS driver). A better solution would be a common read-write FAT32 partition and read only access to the other OSs system partition from both Linux and Windows.
  6. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Sorry, I did not actually read the post, I just congratulated him as someone wanting to try Linux for the hell of it. ;)

    That said, yeah - just start off with unpartitioned space, do a custom install and there will be a disk partitioning section of ANY linux distribution setup more or less, save some of these more insane things.

    Don't install Linux onto FAT32 or NTFS. I believe it says that you can install to FAT32 with Red Hat, but please just don't bother. Use about 8GB or so for your ext3 formatted / partition and then about 2 x your RAM as swap partition.

    I would not use 25GB for Linux, you should use that space to try to install several operating systems like Windows 2000 server, another Linux, etc, just for the hell of it and try to make them all work off the same boot loader, etc.

    That's a far better project for you in the long run, so plan with this in mind and only use about 8GB or so for your first linux install.
  7. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Sounds like a plan! thanks for that guys. Just looked at the microsoft jokes thread. Should I give MS CeMeNT a go? lol

    I might see about looking at red hat and one of the lesser known open source OS's, but I'll see how it goes.

    I'll post back when I've done it. Still downloading the CD1 ISO for mandrake!
  8. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Got the ISO's

    Right. Finally finished downloading the ISO's for Mandrake 9.2

    While I'm happitly running with a broadband connection under WinXP, it might be a good idea to download any windows emulators I may need, etc.

    Sadly, I have AOL 8.0 (I know, big mistake, but I have it now!). Is there anything I can run this on in mandrake ad get my internet connection working. Do I need any emulators for my hardware (Specs in profile). I have looked at this myself, and as far as I can see I will be able to get hold of linux drivers for the essentials (VGA etc). AOL and the BT voyager usb asdl modem, and the USB ports may proove problematic though. Any advice?
  9. Steg

    Steg TS Rookie Posts: 269

    Im in a similar position to Spike
    i want to have a play with Linux and wasnt sure which distro to get downloaded for me (I am NOT downloading an entire OS on my 56k). ive heard good things about fedora
    the problem is i have a half full 40gb HDD (without broadband i have no reason to fill those gigs with music, videos and pr0n). I was wondering if something like Partition Magic can swipe an used 10gb out of an NTFS partition and format it for linux for me - cus currently i dont have the resources to get another HDD and i cant be bothered to format and reinstall again just so i can repartion
    any comments welcome

  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Spike: USB per se is not a problem in newer Linux distros. The drivers for your DSL modem may be hard to find though.

    Steg: The linux setup comes with a decent point and click partition manager that can create/delete/format partitions for you. As for distros, pick something well known and user friendly like RedHat/Mandrake/SuSE

    And both of you should read the Thread about Linux already mentioned:
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    OS installed!

    Right, great. I have Mandrake 9.2 successfully installed and dual booting with Windows XP :)

    However moving from Windows to Linux for the first time. to summarise in one word... hmmm

    AAARRGH! lol

    This, it seems, will take some learning if I'm going to become as proficient in using Linux as I am with Windows. I hope it looks more frightening than it really is!!!

    Expect a few questions sometime soon guys! lol

    Thanks for the help in getting it running though.
  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    My best tip: delete your Windows installation and put the CD away in a safe place for two weeks. Best way to learn to use something is necessity.
  13. Pogo

    Pogo TS Rookie Posts: 19


    1. How is Mandrake different from RedHat?

    2. Is Mandrake compatible with NTFS partitions?

    Thanks in advance
    P.S (sorry if I'm intruding) :)
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