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bjf123

Add Linux?

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bjf123

I'm thinking of adding Linux to my home PC that's currently running Win98. It's an HP Pavilion, P-III 450 Mhz, with 256MB of RAM. It has a 19GB hard drive, with probably 14GB free. I can get my hands on Partition Magic, if needed. Would there be any problems in adding Linux to this system? Do I need to partition the hard drive first, or will the Linux install do that for me? Does it matter which flavor of Linux I choose? The ones I seem to hear mentioned the most are Mandrake and RedHat. Anything else I need to think about?I'm doing this just to familiarize myself with Linux. Based on some of the things I've read (much of which could be complete fabrication), I'm not too thrilled with the direction Microsoft is heading with Windows.

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GolfProRM

Partition Magic would be the best way to chop off some of your harddrive to add a Linux Partition... Make sure you run scandisk and Defrag before you partition though.... I would recommend Mandrake as a great way to get into Linux... I'm a relative "newbie" to Linux myself, and Mandrake has been a great OS to work with. The install process is very easy... just boot to the CD (if you can) or use a boot floppy with CDROM support to get the setup started. It'll walk you through step-by-step... you can select how you want to boot. You can have it install LILO or GRUB (I'll leave the guru's to give you advice there). Either one will allow you to boot to either Windows or Linux. It's a relatively easy process (a bit time consuming, but easy)... Next thing you know, you'll be up and running!

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nlinecomputers

I've been working with Linux for about 8 months. For a newbie Mandrake is probably the easiest to work with. OTOH there are several good books out dedicated to Red Hat. Mandrake is a Red Hat based distro so you can do both. Use Mandrake and read RH books. Either are good strong and stable distros for a newbie to work with. RH will take more reading and work but worth it if you want to really learn. Both distros will set up your hard drive but you've got to have free space allready ready. Partition Magic can be use to shrink your hard drive.The key to running and getting good use of Linux is to read, read, and more reading. How-TOs, man pages, and good books. One good general book to have is Running Linux by O'reilly.

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Bruno

GolfProRM and nlinecomputers are right, Mandrake is the place to start !As you have Win98 installed on your computer the file-system will be fat32. Mandrake kan easely resize your fat32 partition and make a Linux partition in the free space. You really do not need Partition Magic !Read these doc's on resizing and installing;http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/fdoc.php3 ( They are for 9.0 but nothing much changed since )Here is where the critical point is, "use free space on win partition":http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/doc/90c/en...itionDisks.htmland:http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/doc/90c/en...Partitions.htmlswitching to the advanced mode here you can determine the size of your Windows and Linux partition.Do a good preparation reading the docs and some strong coffee. . . :D BrunoPS: Would you decide to use PM anyway, let it make Fat32 partitions, they claim to be able to make ext2 (Linux) too, but they do a lousy job most of the time !

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Peachy
PS: Would you decide to use PM anyway, let it make Fat32 partitions, they claim to be able to make ext2 (Linux) too, but they do a lousy job most of the time !
Bruno is correct in that PM has problems with ext2 and also ext3 partitions. However you wouldn't need to go so far as to create FAT32 partitions for the Linux install. Just resize the existing Windows partition and leave enough free space to create partitions using the Linux installer.If you for some reason manage to use Partition Magic with a drive that has a Linux distro installed and it messes up your Linux partition (believe me, it will happen, from experience!) there is actually a way to fix it. The problem with PM is that sometimes when it reads Linux partitions it will clobber the partition type id when you quit PM. However, PM comes with ptedit, a partition editing tool, which you will find on disk 1 of your PM rescue disk. Just boot the first disk, ctrl-x to kill the autoexec.bat file, which then drops you to a DOS prompt. Type ptedit. ptedit will open with a table that shows you your disk partitions. Find the entry for the Linux ones and then edit the partition type and set it back to the Linux partition type id, which is 83 for ext and 82 for swap.

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greengeek
:D It looks like it's all been said so I'll just add that SuSE8.0 is also easy and might work better on your older machine. I have used it on a couple of PII350s, PII400 and AMD K6-2 500 and it works great on all of them. Joy

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bjf123

Thanks for all the information and suggestions. Does it matter if I download the distro or buy a copy at the store? One other question. When the Linux install adds a new partition, is that something Windows will see, or will Windows just think the C drive is smaller?

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Peachy
Thanks for all the information and suggestions.  Does it matter if I download the distro or buy a copy at the store?  One other question.  When the Linux install adds a new partition, is that something Windows will see, or will Windows just think the C drive is smaller?
Windows will not read Linux partitions and yes, Windows will report your C: drive as being smaller! :D

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Peachy
:D It looks like it's all been said so I'll just add that SuSE8.0 is also easy and might work better on your older machine.  I have used it on a couple of PII350s, PII400 and AMD K6-2 500 and it works great on all of them.  Joy
You would have to buy SuSE since they don't offer an ISO image for the Intel x86 platform. You could FTP individual packages but you'd have to know which ones and then make a boot install disk. It can be done, but, I wouldn't bother.Any ISO image you download will be identical to the retail packaged CD you buy.

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nlinecomputers
Does it matter if I download the distro or buy a copy at the store?
That depends on the distro. Some come with quite a bit of extra non free software such as Star Office or Codeweavers Wine. But both Mandrake and RedHat come with more software then you'll ever use. If you just download the software then the company gets no $ to reimburse there efforts. Mandrake for example is in poor financial shape and could use the cash. If you join Mandrake club for example you get access to priority downloads and some tech support. Red Hat has the Red Hat network for the same kind of thing.

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bjf123
Windows will not read Linux partitions and yes, Windows will report your C: drive as being smaller! B)
How much space should I allocate when the Linux install wants to partition the drive? It's a 19GB drive that has 12GB free. Obviously, I need to leave some space for my future Win98 needs.

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greengeek
B) 4 to 6GB should be plenty, but it all depends on how many packages you want to install.Joy

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havnblast

Speaking of ext2 and ext3 - what are these? I setup RH with ext3 when I did the partitioning

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Guest ComputerBob
Speaking of ext2 and ext3 - what are these?  I setup RH with ext3 when I did the partitioning
It's late, and hardly anyone is here, so I'm going to jump in and demonstrate my ignorance of this topic.It is my understanding that ext2 and ext3 are hard drive filesystems, like FAT, FAT32, and NTFS. ext2 is the older of the two and ext3 is basically ext2 with the addition of "journaling" features that allow it to self-correct some types of file errors.So, Linux experts, was I close? B)

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havnblast

I was thinkin along those lines - that it must be a file type system and I assumed ext3 would be a better one to use since it is newer, but I know newer isn't always the best route either.

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Bruno

ComputerBob:You've hit the nail on the head ! ext3 is ext2 with journaling added for quick recovery.About partitioning: see LilBambi's info in:http://www.scotsnewsletter.com/forums/inde...=14&t=565&p6208 ( D***, this linking to a specific post does not seem to work, anyway, look somewhere in the middle of the thread )I will soon be doing an item in "Tips for Linux starters" on this item because it looks like more people are looking for info on this.( also how to change ext2 to ext3 without re-install or re-format ) :huh: Bruno

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Peachy
( also how to change ext2 to ext3 without re-install or re-format ) :P Bruno
CB,You are correct. And just to beat Bruno to the punch :huh: Converting an ext2 file system to an ext3 file system:as root user type: tunefs -j /dev/hdax where x is the number of your partition you wish to change.

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Bruno
And just to beat Bruno to the punch  :lol: Converting an ext2 file system to an ext3 file system:as root user type: tunefs -j /dev/hdax where x is the number of your partition you wish to change.
Peachy:You forgot to tell that they have to change the entries in /etc/fstab ! :) :) :) Bruno

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