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Want To Try Out Linux


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#1 setasdefault

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 07:14 PM

Hi everyone. I would like to try out a Linux distro for the first time. I have XP Home, SP2 on my 80g HD. I want to partition it to try Suse or something. However the format of the drive is NTFS and I hear things about it not being supported with Linux? PS: I tried out Suse live DVD, and it didn't detect alot of my hardware and it hangs on boot up unless you remove all the USB devices each time. Does this mean that a HD install of it would have the same problems? Thanks guys.

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#2 cybormoron

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:05 AM

hi setasdefault

about the ntfs. linux can read data from an ntfs partition but it cannot write to it. when you install a linux distro it will resize the ntfs partition and create "extended partitions" in the free space available. some distros can do this very easily some cannot. i think mandriva is the best at doing this. i don't know suse very well.

about the hardware problems. one of the reasons for running a live cd/dvd is to check for hardware compatibility. i don't think installing will help. it may be possible to solve or fix any problems but it can get complicated. i would recommend trying out some different live cd's.

here's a nice list of live cd's
http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php

this little test may help you find the right distro.
http://www.zegeniestudios.net/ldc/index.php?firsttime=true

i installed mandriva as a total newb with no problems. am still running it.

Edited by cybormoron, 15 May 2006 - 01:10 AM.

I can no longer sit back and allow Microsoft infiltration, Microsoft indoctrination, Microsoft subversion, and the international Microsoft conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious open source GNU/Linux operating systems. General Jack D. Ripper.

#3 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:31 AM

Try http://www.puppylinux.org http://www.puppyos.com
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#4 setasdefault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:20 AM

Thanks. I tried out Knoppix live DVD and that worked a whole lot better than Suse. It detected all the hardware except for my usb wireless (not uncommon for Linux?), didn't hang on the boot up, and I could access my other partitions from it without getting drive mount errors (?). To shrink an ntfs partition, do most distros allow you to do that on the install, or do you need to buy a seperate partition utility?

#5 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:15 AM

I believe all Linux distros do, but I use a freeware program call Digtal Dolly. It is simiar to Partition Magic without the price tag. Download and burn an image to CD. It boots to a GUI and does not need an OS to work.
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#6 setasdefault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:36 AM

Thanks for the link! I will try it out when I choose a distro to install. BTW, I have a big itunes music collection, but nothing is in protected format, just cds I imported using the m4a encoder. Can I build a library of m4a music on a Linux media player? I will still have windows on the other partition, but it would be nice to listen to stuff on Linux if I am using it. Thanks for all your help. :thumbsup:

#7 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:43 AM

I can't see why not. I may try it with a spare computer to see how well it works. I have an old P-II 233mhz notebook that may serve that function.
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#8 setasdefault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:50 AM

Ok, I think I will try out some other live cds like that Puppy Linux one and see how they work with my hardware. I guess I can use that digital dolly to shrink the windows NTFS partition, and try a HD install if I find a good distro. I will keep Windows for my games, but all my other apps that I use are GIMP, OOo, Firefox, Thunderbird, and stuff that's already available on Linux. Do you really have to know what you're doing in order to install Linux and use Digital Dolly? Because I hear people who say that they wiped out thier whole Windows system and had to buy a new compter because Linux installers and partition software wrecked it and things like that. Since I am a total newbie at this, should I be concerned?

#9 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:57 AM

I have been using DD for years. I would use DD before Linux to resize a drive. I have not personally used Linux to resize a partition other than at the time of a full format and partitioning of windows/linux.
Try Chubby Puppy. It has all of the software, including OOo, already installed.

Be very careful resizing your partitions. If you make a mistake you will lose everything on your drive.
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#10 setasdefault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:01 PM

Hmmm. I have never really done anything with partitions before, so is it dangerous for me to mess with them? should I maybe just get an external HD?

#11 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:13 PM

Yes it is very dangerous to modify a partition. If it were me I would install a second hard drive as SLAVE to the MASTER hard drive. Get a hugh hard drive if you plan on playing with Linux. Say a 300gb drive. Divide it up and have several Linux installed at once.
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#12 setasdefault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:18 PM

Ok, sounds like a better idea. This may sound really newbie like - I can't get an internal b/c there's no connectors, so if I get an external one, do I have to worry about jumpers and stuff? Like when you say master and slave, that is set up using jumpers right? Will it say in the HD's documentation what I need to do? Thanks.

#13 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:46 PM

You already have a second drive with your MASTER drive?
No there are no jumper with the USB drives, but your speed will suffer because of the USB connection.
Ever drive has the pin setup printed on the outside. There is only three positions and it will not hurt the drive if you get it wrong. You will just have to reposition the jumper.
The ribbon cable will have a red dot or stripe on one edge. Make sure that dot/stripe is closest to the power plug.

This may help.
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#14 setasdefault

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 12:53 PM

Thank you for your help and patience. I only have one Hard drive in my PC. That hard drive attatches to the motherboard on a connector labeled IDE. From your post, it sounds like I can also attach another one?

#15 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 01:06 PM

Yes the flat cable will have a second unused connector on the ribbion. If it does not you can buy one for a few dollars. Some did come with only one connector, but all IDE ports can hande two drives. You just need the two port cable.
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