Hello, I decided to make this thread after reading the 'Is Linux The Programmers OS' because I'm thinking about downloading it and setting it as a second OS that I can boot up seperate. Where did you download it(if you did) and should I use Boot Magic to make another bootable OS, er what? All input is helpful, thanks in advanced.
You will want to pick a distribution of Linux that you want to try. Some of the big ones are:
and many many others. (I'm sure folks will pipe in and list their favorites).
Before you go mucking with your box to make it boot into multiple OS's, let me suggest you try out VMWare (30-day trial). This will allow you to install and try out multiple Linux distributions - as much as your HD can hold!.
What is VMWare?
While you're downloading distro's you want to try out (do this before starting your 30 day trial of VMWare) you'll want to do research on how to get your box to boot multiple OS's.
I'll stop here - this'll get the thread rolling.
Before I got rid of windows I had 2 OS's on my computer for several months, slackware and windowsxp, and it can be hard to do if you don't know how to do it. As a backup plan if you have never used Linux I'd recommend downloading a few different distributions and burning them if you can! Redhat, Mandrake, and Slackware come to mind as good solid distro's that come with a variety of packages.
The first thing to do is download Linux, it does not matter which one, but if you download a few different one's like I said it can make things much much easier in the long run. The reason I say this is because not every distro will work "out of the box", it is very hardware dependant.
After you have Linux, put your windows CD into the cdrom drive and reinstall windows. Make sure you leave room for Linux on the hard drive when making partitions. Format the partition as FAT32 to be safe, I tryed NTFS once and I could not mount my windows partition. When you mount the partition, it lets you access your Windows files from Linux, like music etc.
After windows is fully installed, stick your linux cd in and reboot the machine. Ok now you will be asked to make partitions and you have to do this manually. I prefer using fdisk, its very self explanitory to use. Make a swap partition, it should be about double the RAM you have on your machine, so if you have 256mb make it like 512mb. After you make your swap make sure you change it's ID to swap, it is either 82 or 83 I forget but there is a command in fdisk that will display a list of the different types. The one you want will say "Linux Swap".
Finally after you make your swap partition you can make your main linux partition. Alot of people like dividing this up into two seperate partitions but I don't think it is worth the hassle for you especially if you've never done this, so
1 is good. Now alot of people I imagine make a boot partition, this has never worked for me because I am an idiot, so I skip this.:)
The last thing you do is install it, its all point and clik pretty much, just make sure you install LILO when asked to, and install it to the MBR when prompted if you didn't make a boot partition.(this is what i did). LILO is what lets you pick between your operating systems at startup.
Remember the "best" Linux distro is the one that works for you out of the box, because you do not know how to configure all that stuff. Download a few to save yourself the pain I went throught lol, goodluck:D
Edit- Forgot to add you should print out Documentation! Lots and lots of documentation! The Redhat site had an excellent guide to doing this and that is what I used, but I can't seem to the find link.
To add to SourceCode's comments, if you don't want to re-install Windows (which can be good thing from time to time :)), you can look into something like PartitionMagic. This will non-destructively resize partitions so you can add new partitions for other OS's. Top-notch utility.
Drdroid here, How 'bout suse? Is that a good one? From what I've read it seems to be the easier of them to install.
Never tryed Suse but the majority of people say Mandrake is the easiest to install. Redhat is also generally regarded as being easy to install. The new Red Hat 9 is out also, my friend uses it and its very nice, the Redhat Package Managers(rpms) are also really nice:D
Slackware is a little more difficult to install but it was the only one that worked for me out of the box, meaning all the right modules for my hardware were already loaded after it installed. Your best bet to start off would be Redhat or Mandrake imo, as generally these are the easiest to install.
>>Where did you download it
>>Boot Magic to make another bootable OS, er what?
on the installation of the linux, you'll be asked to choose a boot loader, either Lilo (Linux loader) or Grub. There is a lot bootloaders around, loadlin and so on.
LMAO, I am now 2 disks down and am working on my 3rd. Though I have learned and it should work this time. If it does, then I will have SuSe on a Partitioned Hardrive(using partition magic) with a seperate boot from Win98(using boot magic). Thanks for your help. All we can do now, is prey. Well, only if you do that sort of thing. Wish me luck.
mandrake is excessivly easy to install, and if you d/l and burn the images, the disks are bootable. its install system is much like windows, you just watch the nice GUI work and it prompts you for options every once and a while. :)
I installed RedHat 8 a couple of months ago. It allows you to select other HD's to boot up from. So, for me I selected /hda0 for boot. I havent developed much on it yet, I mainly used it as a webserver for a moment.
For a multi OS boot you could try this.
Partition your hard drive with either fdisk (wipe everything) or partition magic (resize current drive without loosing everything).
Install your Windows OS earliest versions first. i.e. 98 before XP.
Then install Linux.
It couldn't be easiler.
I still have XP on my box in case I need it for some odd reason. I haven't had a problem using grub as my bootloader. It installs itself during a RH installation and sets it up for Linux and Windows (if it's installed). You don't need to go and install anything else in my opinion. If you have never used linux before, I would recommend RH or Mandrake, they are the easiest to install and get running.