View Full Version : dual os with linux?

09-08-2004, 04:30 PM
Is it possible to put linux on a computer as a dual os with windows? I know you can have multiple windows installations on one computer and then when booting you can select which one you want, is there a way to do this with a linux installation? The reason I would like to do this is I don't have any computer at the moment that I can put linux on that isn't my main computer and I don't want to lose my only windows-based computer.....so, yah.

I'll do some searching, just posting here to see if anyone knows. I'll post back if I find the answer I'm looking for.

I also want to do this because I want to start making programs that work platform-independantly, as all of the stuff I've done thus far has been solely windows based and I would like to learn to use linux.

-edit 2-
also, what in your opinions is the best linux distro to use? I tried gentoo linux a while ago....which resulted in me having nightmares for a few days after that (took about 20 hours to install, and then it didn't work)

09-08-2004, 04:53 PM
Yup, you can have linux and windows on the same hard drive in dual boot harmony.

The only thing is partitioning your hard drive so linux can have its own little space for its filesystem.

I think most distro's now have a partitioner with them.

The distro's are alot bigger than they were when I had linux before. They now are like 3-4 cds worth at least (for the popular ones anyway).

I have been thinking about putting linux on my machine but havent made my mind up yet.

09-08-2004, 04:55 PM
So...from this site that I found:
It sounds like I'm going to have to format my hard drive? Correct me if I'm wrong, I would prefer not to have to format, but if it's the only way to do it correctly, then I've got no choice, heh.

09-08-2004, 04:57 PM
Nope, you can do a non-destructive partition. Ive looked around and it seems that some distro's come with a non-destuctive partitioner.

EDIT: Not sure about the distro's coming with them, PartitionMagic does it but its not free... argh. :rolleyes:


Most Linux distributions come with a special tool to allow you to resize or divide hard drive partitions. Called FIPS, the First (non-destructive) Interactive Partition Splitter, it is normally found on your Linux CD in a directory called /dosutils.


09-08-2004, 05:02 PM
Anyone know of any good free linux distributions?
Here's what I've found so far:
---cost's money on a yearly basis for some reason to be a user there.....doesn't really make sense
---179...not wanting to spend that much

09-08-2004, 05:10 PM
Check here out...


I am pretty sure you can get those there (among others).

09-08-2004, 05:13 PM
ah, awesome, thanks a ton vicious, I'll try those out.

-Thanks again

09-08-2004, 05:45 PM
I liked redhat, but really like gentoo. If you need any help you know who to ask

09-08-2004, 05:49 PM
Gentoo is sweet dude :D

I'm using it right now. But, people 'just starting off' in linux will find it hard to install. I started with slackware, but soon decided that I didn't like it at all and switched to gentoo. If you have linux experience, and some patience, Gentoo is easy to install, especially after you've done it more than once. Also, you can get a CD-based version like Morphix that you don't have to install on your harddrive.

09-08-2004, 06:07 PM
I was thinking about trying Fedora 2..

Any one have any good/bad experiences with this?

EDIT: I think I'll try Mandrake, it sounds pretty reasonable.

09-08-2004, 11:30 PM
Would this work... I'm going to reformat my whole Hard Drive and I want to install linux first. I want to install linux on about 5GB or so of disk space and leave the rest for Windows.

Is that possible?

09-08-2004, 11:38 PM
no, you do not want to install windows after installing linux, as it will write over the MBR and in case you lack a live cd, you will have "lost" your system until you reinstall grub or lilo. what you want to do is partition your hard drive the following way:

1) partition how much space you want for winxp, adding second partition in case you like having your stuff on a seperate partition.

2) make a partition of ~128 MB, this is where your compressed kernel will be put in most cases.

3) create a partition of the linux swap type, usually 1 GB is good enough for this, you may want more or less depending on your physical memory situation.

4) create 1+ partition of linux type, these will be used for / and what else you want. your base / should probably be 4GB < because most distros will take up around 2 GB of space.

09-09-2004, 12:11 AM
Could I install Linux, then use a partitioner to create a WinXP partition? Or do I need to do Windows first?

Sorry if this is what you just answered, I am a bit slow.

09-09-2004, 09:02 AM
oh, you are asking whether or not windows has to be the first partition on the hard-drive... the answer is no.

09-09-2004, 09:06 AM
I was thinking about trying Fedora 2..

Any one have any good/bad experiences with this?

Fedora Core 2 is a great linux distro, especially for newbies. I run it on my laptop and havnt had any problems yet. I recommend it.

09-09-2004, 09:21 AM
i tried fedora a few months ago, but i do find suse a lot easier to handle.
but i'd suggest trying fedora first because it has a larger user base, so greater support for problems you might face.

09-09-2004, 03:31 PM
If you want to really learn Linux "on the job", try Debian, it's quite a handful... :p

Other than that, Fedora's just fine for starting out.

09-09-2004, 07:50 PM
I tried mandrake but I ran into a problem during installation.

The I had 30+ gigs free but it would only let me resize my windows partition down 1gb, so I only had 1gb for mandrake which wasnt enough. Any idea hy I cant use more than 1GB?

09-09-2004, 10:17 PM
Too much data in your windows partition to shrink it without destroying it maybe?

09-09-2004, 10:33 PM
Maybe, but I had 30gigs of free space?

And it would only do EXACTLY 1gb.

I dont believe I have ever had that much on my hard drive so I am pretty sure that there wasn't any file fragments on the drive. (I guess thats what you call them, the crap thats left after you delete something off of your computer... when you delete something, its still actually there until you write over it right?)