Help me

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Moose
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Help me

Post by Moose » Fri Feb 25, 2005 10:56 pm

I need some help. I am wanting to put Linux on my Dell Inspiron 5150 as a second OS with XP Pro. What would be the best distro for me. Please help a newbe wanting to learn about Linux.


Thanks

Peace

Moose

worker201
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Post by worker201 » Sat Feb 26, 2005 12:25 am

There's 2 types of Linux newbs:
1) Wants to get started quickly and then learn as you go along
2) Wants to start from the bottom and work your way up

Type 1 should go with Fedora or RedHat, since they come complete with gui administrative tools, have a graphical and friendly installer, and have the weight of rpm for package management behind them. Once you learn to do everything graphically, then you can start to mess around with command line stuff.

Type 2 should go with Slackware. You're probably going to have to build your own kernel right at the start, and Slackware doesn't have full rpm support or graphical management tools. You'll spend a lot of time Googling and reading documentation/FAQs, but eventually, you will be elite and have a custom system.

Of course, you posted this in the Debian forum, and that's an option too. But not one that I am familiar with.

So,
which type of newb are you?

Moose
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Post by Moose » Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:51 pm

Thanks for the help and I am a newbie #1. I will see what I can do. Sorry for posting in this forum I wasnt sure where to post it. Thanks again for the help.

Peace

Moose

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Post by Ice9 » Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:13 pm

I totally agree with worker201, and I think you should go with Fedora.
It's not too difficult to adapt to when you come from Windows and it still requires some work to reach the level of "usability" that a Windows user is used to have.
Meanwhile you'll have a rock solid system and you can learn the tools of the trade.

After that you can always switch to whatever distro you want and have a go at it, in fact you can do that now too but I'd suggest sticking with one distro at first until you at least know a little bit what you're doing :wink:

Moose
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Post by Moose » Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:31 pm

Thanks Ice9 it is nice to get more than one opinion. Helps with the decisions.

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Re: Help me

Post by insomnia » Sat Feb 26, 2005 9:34 pm

Moose wrote:I am wanting to put Linux on my Dell Inspiron 5150 as a second OS with XP Pro.
If you're going to dual boot WinXP with Fedora Core 2 or 3(or any other distro that uses both kernel 2.6 and Parted), be sure to add the right disk geometry size at boot time.

See: http://lwn.net/Articles/86835/

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Post by worker201 » Sun Feb 27, 2005 1:47 am

Wow, that's an ugly bug. Before you scare Moose's shorts off, let me just say that I have never been affected by it, and neither has anyone else I know.

But this reminds me - you need to have a partition management program, because parted can't modify NTFS drives. I used BootMagic to set up all my partitions before running the Linux installations. You can either delete your Windows partition, reformat it to FAT32, and then reinstall Windows (best solution), or resize your NTFS partition. If you don't want to wipe your entire hard disk clean, I'd go with the second option. It might be a good idea to create a small transfer partition with FAT32 format, to use for swapping data between NTFS and ext2 partitions, since both Windows and Linux can read it.

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Post by Void Main » Sun Feb 27, 2005 7:26 am

Actually qtparted can resize NTFS partitions (ala ntfsresize) and I have used it successfully for this in the past. I have had a couple of times where I tried to use it and it didn't work though so it's not the best tool for such a task. There is a magical graphical utility called BootitNG that can resize and move partitions very nicely. It's not Free software but you can download the full version on a trial period (it's not crippled, the trial period is on the honor system):

http://www.bootitng.com/bootitng.html

It will install itself entirely on a floppy (or CD if you prefer) which will be bootable. One hint, when you boot it press "CANCEL" when it asks if you want to install it. You don't want to install the boot manager, you just want to use the partition tool which will be available after you press CANCEL.

I have never run into an nightmare problem because of the different disk geometries but I do have an issue relating to it on my new laptop. From VMware running on the Linux side I couldn't boot the Win side using the raw disk until I added the old geometry to the kernel params in the grub.conf. I booted a 2.4 kernel to get the needed disk geometry. That's all there was to it though, didn't have to make any other changes or reformat anything, just add the geometry as a boot parameter.

NOTE: I don't actually use the Win side, I just boot it once a day in VMware while at work so SMS can push viruses, er I mean "updates", to it and everyone will be happy. :)

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Post by Calum » Sun Feb 27, 2005 3:11 pm

re: which distro, for an "i-know-nothing" newbie, i would suggest either red hat (as stated), maybe fedora, suse or possibly mandrake. Those ones seem to me to be the most ready to go ones for desktop users. many others aim for desktop users but in my opinion, need a lot of configuration before they are user friendly.

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