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suggestions on which OS and a bit of setup help?


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12 replies to this topic

#1 fallendream

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 04:16 PM

i have an external hard-drive and i was wondering if i could boot a unix based OS off of it.
so windows XP will load then i click a button (or set an option or the like) and it switches to my external HD OS. how would i do that?

and once thats figured out which one should i get?
it has to work with WINE or wyne (whichever runs windows programs)

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#2 MadDawg

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:25 PM

i have an external hard-drive and i was wondering if i could boot a Unix based OS off of it.


This may interest you: http://www.pendrivelinux.com/ubuntu-804-us...-drive-install/

Wine should be supported on any common *nix distro.
A penguin broke my windows with a half-eaten apple!

#3 xenios

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:27 PM

i have an external hard-drive and i was wondering if i could boot a unix based OS off of it.


Yes, you can.

so windows XP will load then i click a button (or set an option or the like) and it switches to my external HD OS. how would i do that?


Yep, it can work like that. However, OSs need a bootloader to load the system. Windows has its own bootloader; Ntldr (Boot.ini) and Unix/Linux systems have two bootloaders; GRUB and LILO. The Windows bootloader can boot a Unix/Linux system and GRUB and LILO can boot a Windows system, but the bootloaders cannot be used together... its one or the other.

My suggestion is to learn how to work with the Boot.ini file, editing it to boot the Unix/Linux system. Why? If you accidentally brick the Unix/Linux system, or decide to delete it, Windows will still boot. Since most Unix/Linux systems auto-install GRUB or LILO, I'd also suggest learning how to reinstall the Windows bootloader to the MBR ("fixmbr [device_name]" in a recovery console). One of the best bootloader 'how to' pages:

justlinux.com/forum/showthread.php?t=144295

it has to work with WINE or wyne (whichever runs windows programs)


WINE can be installed on most any Unix/Linux system. Depending on your hardware (CPU,RAM) you might also check out VirtualBox. I have WinXP loaded in VirtualBox on my Linux system and while RAM intensive, it runs XP at native speed. If its for gaming, WINE would be a better choice.

and once thats figured out which one should i get?


Suggestion here would be to download and burn 5-10 different Linux distros to CDs and see which: 1) reads all your hardware correctly and 2) feels most comfortable to you. You'll want what's called a 'Live-CD' because it boots the Linux system from the CD and doesn't touch your HD. You can read about them at distrowatch.com. Distros I'd recommend to get started: Mepis, Mint, Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu. Those last three use the same *buntu OS but have different desktop environments... Gnome, KDE, Xfce. If you decide to go with one of the *buntus, here's a really good starter site:

psychocats.net/ubuntu/index.php

Good luck and have fun.

#4 Andrew

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:47 PM

You should make sure, however, that your computer is capable of booting from an external device. Most modern computers can boot from a USB device, but many older ones cannot. You can almost always boot from an eSATA drive, but eSATA is not a common feature of most off-the-shelf computers.

If you install Linux on the external drive, you can usually install the bootloader on that drive as well. This would allow you to simply select which drive you want to boot from by changing the BIOS setting or by using the boot-menu, if your BIOS has that option.

I should point out, however, that if your drive connects via USB 2.0 you will likely experience slower performance than if it were installed as an internal drive. I don't recommend USB 1.1 at all since it's even slower than USB 2.0. If you're comfortable with adding hardware to your computer, I'd recommend adding an eSATA card and using an eSATA connection for your external drive; it's much faster.

#5 fallendream

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 05:54 AM

would it be better just to scrap XP all together and switch to a unix based OS?
also - do the majority of programs work with wine IE; adobe, office, messenger (not live! just a low quality one), firefox or chrome etc.

just everyday programs.

PS; is ubuntu ultimate compatible with wine? i cant find it any info on it. ill kieep looking though :thumbsup:

Edited by fallendream, 31 January 2010 - 06:19 AM.


#6 MadDawg

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:43 PM

would it be better just to scrap XP all together and switch to a unix based OS?


Probably not. It depends on your needs.

also - do the majority of programs work with wine IE; adobe, office, messenger (not live! just a low quality one), firefox or chrome etc.

just everyday programs.


Internet Explorer works on Wine through the use of Wine-Doors, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Adobe Flash Player works, but I don't know about the rest of the Adobe products.

I don't think Office works; OpenOffice.org is a free alternative to MS Office that comes installed by default on Ubuntu.

I have not tried any messengers, as Empathy and Pidgin both mostly support MSN protocols.

Firefox works nearly perfectly in Wine, but it's not necessary, since Firefox officially supports Linux. I could not get Chrome to work in Wine, but again, it is not necessary, since Chrome also officially supports Linux.

You can search up programs and see their compatibility status in Wine here: http://appdb.winehq.org/

PS; is ubuntu ultimate compatible with wine? i cant find it any info on it. ill kieep looking though :flowers:

I don't see why it wouldn't be. :thumbsup:

Sorry for my lack of explanation on some things, btw.
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#7 fallendream

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:12 PM

would it be better just to scrap XP all together and switch to a unix based OS?


Probably not. It depends on your needs.

also - do the majority of programs work with wine IE; adobe, office, messenger (not live! just a low quality one), firefox or chrome etc.

just everyday programs.


Internet Explorer works on Wine through the use of Wine-Doors, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Adobe Flash Player works, but I don't know about the rest of the Adobe products.

I don't think Office works; OpenOffice.org is a free alternative to MS Office that comes installed by default on Ubuntu.

I have not tried any messengers, as Empathy and Pidgin both mostly support MSN protocols.

Firefox works nearly perfectly in Wine, but it's not necessary, since Firefox officially supports Linux. I could not get Chrome to work in Wine, but again, it is not necessary, since Chrome also officially supports Linux.

You can search up programs and see their compatibility status in Wine here: http://appdb.winehq.org/

PS; is ubuntu ultimate compatible with wine? i cant find it any info on it. ill kieep looking though :flowers:

I don't see why it wouldn't be. :thumbsup:

Sorry for my lack of explanation on some things, btw.


i ran ubuntu and it ran perfectly. i then installed it and got rid of xp to see how it ran properly and wireless didnt work.
i switched back to xp and reinstalled everything but now im wondering if i need to move my drivers over to ubuntu manualy? if so is it just a matter of plugging them in with a flash HDD

#8 MadDawg

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:02 PM

These may help:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=515398
http://dimitar.me/madwifi-drivers-for-ubun...6-29-and-above/

Sorry if they seem discouraging; I couldn't find anything simpler.
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#9 Andrew

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 09:33 PM

You can use the Windows drivers for the wifi card by means of the NDISWrapper program.

#10 fallendream

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:27 PM

thanks alot guys!
ill look into it when i have time.

#11 Guest_Puppyite_*

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:46 PM

Puppy Linux has excellent hardware support and your wireless will probably work right out of the box. Boot a live disc and see for yourself.

#12 fallendream

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 03:09 PM

Puppy Linux has excellent hardware support and your wireless will probably work right out of the box. Boot a live disc and see for yourself.


i shall try it )

Joe.

#13 princess_sophia

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 05:45 PM

I'm a bit new to linux but I love Mandriva. I also like Dreamlinux.
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