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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Question Thinking about loading linux on an old dell laptop....

I want to dual boot into the windows 2000 already on the system as well as set up a linux partition. Machine has a 100gb hard disk and there is plenty of room to shrink the current partition down to make room for a linux partition.

What would be a good distro to download? redhat, slackware, debian, etc? Been awhile since I installed linux.....
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 05:56 PM
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If you really want to learn a Linux distro, then go with Slackware.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 06:45 PM
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slackware is cool, but it seems a lot of people are starting to use ubuntu. I have been running it for a few weeks and im sold on it so far.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 12:51 PM
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I agree I like ubuntu for a linux desktop/laptop and use centos for a server type box.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 01:27 PM
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I seen a lady do a presentation on RedHat about a month ago and she said that it's great to have and well worth the $$$
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 01:30 PM
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Go with SUSE.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I downloaded the slackware ISOs thru bittorrent and i'll be installing it here shortly. I may try some of the other distros too; i know that SUSE seems to be very popular. Thanks for the suggestions.

And speaking of bittorrent - it totally saturated my cable modem, even though I was only uploading the torrents i had already sucked down. Anyone else see this?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb
Well, I downloaded the slackware ISOs thru bittorrent and i'll be installing it here shortly. I may try some of the other distros too; i know that SUSE seems to be very popular. Thanks for the suggestions.

And speaking of bittorrent - it totally saturated my cable modem, even though I was only uploading the torrents i had already sucked down. Anyone else see this?
Mike, I'd appreciate any kind of write up on how it turns out for you. I've been wanting to try it myself and wouldn't mind doing it on my Dell laptop as well.

I have the same problem with Bittorrent. I can do normal web surfing but I tend to just run it whenever I'm away from the computer and overnight.




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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evil jose
Mike, I'd appreciate any kind of write up on how it turns out for you. I've been wanting to try it myself and wouldn't mind doing it on my Dell laptop as well.

I have the same problem with Bittorrent. I can do normal web surfing but I tend to just run it whenever I'm away from the computer and overnight.
OK, got slackware running. Off the top of my head here is what I did.

0. Backed up the disk image to another hard disk.

1. I have a single 100gb drive with a 100gb primary partition. I cleaned up the drive of junk files and then ran windows defrag on the disk a couple of times to get the files moved to the beginning of the partition.

2. Resized the partition. I shrunk it down to about 50% of the disk. This was a pain in the ass; partition magic croaked with an "out of memory" error. I read where you can use a "knoppix live linux cd" image to boot from and use a utility therein. I also read where you can download something called "bootitng" which is what I used (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html). You download this, run a .exe to expand an .iso image, burn the image to a cd, boot off of it (which starts a gui shell and an installation process), exit the installation process (leaving the shell running) and within the shell are some partition utilities. They worked ez and fast for me.

3. Burn the slackware disks. You only need the first two images. Be sure to get the english language ones from BT.

4. Boot off the 1st CD. Once you get logged in you will need to create two additional primary partitions (1st partition is the existing windows partition) making for 3 primary partitions total. First new partition is a "linux swap" partition, and 2nd new partition is a "linux" partition. Run "cfdisk" from the prompt and after you screw with it for 20 minutes or so it'll make sense.

5. Reboot again, log in, and type "setup". You'll want to choose to setup the swap and linux partitions. Go thru that process.

6. After partitions are initialized I just selected to install everything (the default).

7. Setup will run thru disk 1 and prompt you for disk 2. Change disks, hit enter.

8. Toward the end of disk 2 you will be prompted to select a kernel. Be sure to use the "from cd" option (you get to swap disks again) and select the highlighted choice.

9. Lilo is the boot loader. I told mine to install with the MBR option.

10. You'll be prompted to install some services. The defaults are probably fine for the average desktop user.

11. I mainly took default choices where prompted. If you screw up you can always start installation over again.

12. I went with the ext2 file system.

After install is complete then reboot again. After logging in type "startx" to enter the graphical environment.

The "shutdown" command shuts down linux. For example, "shutdown now".

I may edit this as I think of other things.

Last edited by mikeb; 04-07-2006 at 07:20 AM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 07:38 AM
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Umm.. what is the ID-10T settings?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:58 PM
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slackware is ok. fedora is cool. I've been using a distro called backtrack, its a live version based off slax which is a live slackware distro. It has excellent hardware support(been running it on my company laptop for about a month and built in centrio wireless works, 1280x1024 res, usb etc). I actually dont boot mine off the cd, i boot it off the ipod(boot over usb) and save files to the ipod drive.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb
OK, got slackware running. Off the top of my head here is what I did.

0. Backed up the disk image to another hard disk.

1. I have a single 100gb drive with a 100gb primary partition. I cleaned up the drive of junk files and then ran windows defrag on the disk a couple of times to get the files moved to the beginning of the partition.

2. Resized the partition. I shrunk it down to about 50% of the disk. This was a pain in the ass; partition magic croaked with an "out of memory" error. I read where you can use a "knoppix live linux cd" image to boot from and use a utility therein. I also read where you can download something called "bootitng" which is what I used (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html). You download this, run a .exe to expand an .iso image, burn the image to a cd, boot off of it (which starts a gui shell and an installation process), exit the installation process (leaving the shell running) and within the shell are some partition utilities. They worked ez and fast for me.

3. Burn the slackware disks. You only need the first two images. Be sure to get the english language ones from BT.

4. Boot off the 1st CD. Once you get logged in you will need to create two additional primary partitions (1st partition is the existing windows partition) making for 3 primary partitions total. First new partition is a "linux swap" partition, and 2nd new partition is a "linux" partition. Run "cfdisk" from the prompt and after you screw with it for 20 minutes or so it'll make sense.

5. Reboot again, log in, and type "setup". You'll want to choose to setup the swap and linux partitions. Go thru that process.

6. After partitions are initialized I just selected to install everything (the default).

7. Setup will run thru disk 1 and prompt you for disk 2. Change disks, hit enter.

8. Toward the end of disk 2 you will be prompted to select a kernel. Be sure to use the "from cd" option (you get to swap disks again) and select the highlighted choice.

9. Lilo is the boot loader. I told mine to install with the MBR option.

10. You'll be prompted to install some services. The defaults are probably fine for the average desktop user.

11. I mainly took default choices where prompted. If you screw up you can always start installation over again.

12. I went with the ext2 file system.

After install is complete then reboot again. After logging in type "startx" to enter the graphical environment.

The "shutdown" command shuts down linux. For example, "shutdown now".

I may edit this as I think of other things.
I recommend using reiserfs over ext3. Also, if you dont want to see the command line stuff and boot straight into a graphical interface, you can edit the following file:

/etc/inittab


you will see a line similar to this:

id:2:initdefault:

change the 2, to a 4. and save it.

command line is cool.. but that is what terminals are for
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trey85stang
I recommend using reiserfs over ext3.
Yeah, I wasn't sure about that and thought i'd be OK with ext2. Last time I installed linux (long time ago) reiserfs wasn't an option.

What's the advantage of reiserfs?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-09-2006, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeb
Yeah, I wasn't sure about that and thought i'd be OK with ext2. Last time I installed linux (long time ago) reiserfs wasn't an option.

What's the advantage of reiserfs?

Well, imo it is much more stable then ext2/3. The filechecks from a power outage (or hard reboot) on ext2 could take 4-5minutes or longer (on a 30gb partition).. w/ reiserfs it takes about 4-5 seconds. I have lost files with ext3 on such a situation... but never with reiserfs.

So resierfs will always be my filesystem of choice
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