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Thread: Windows and Linux Dual Boot - Same Disk

  1. #1
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    Windows and Linux Dual Boot - Same Disk

    Alright, money for me is tight. I'm stuck on a dell into which I can't attach another harddrive, and I can't replace this thing (yet). Now I want to try Linux, for a number of reasons. Linux is free, yes? Then I'm ready to try it.

    I have one disk, so I'm guessing I need to partition it. I've backed up my important files and I'm ready to go. But where do I start?

  2. #2
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    You are going to loose all of your files that are on the drive. I suggest you install windows but in the windows install create an ntfs partition that is smaller then the full drive. The after widnows is installed go back and install linux and partition up the remaining unpartitioned space. The reason you would install linux second is so you can use it's boot loader and not worry about having to fix the boot loader after the windows install comes along and kills it... + using the windows bootloader is risky and a pain in the butt.

  3. #3
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    You don't necessarily have to lose any files at all. There are utilities available (and some distros have them built in to the install process) that allow you to resize existing partitions without data loss. You'll probably need to defrag first, and certain disk applications can cause problems, but there's a good chance you can preserve your current install. You can install a fresh copy of Windows if you want, of course.

    I agree with Peo regarding the bootloader issue - install Linux after Windows, not the other way around.

    To be honest, I recommend that before you commit to a distro and install it, try out one or two using live CDs. These are bootable CDs that contain the OS and major programs so you can get a feel for the setup and which you prefer. You can download ISOs and burn them to CD, or there are numerous places online to buy CDs.

    Adam
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    This utility was reccomended to me: http://www.columbianet.gr/~zeleps/

    and yes, definitely linux second!
    In a world without walls and fences - who needs Windows and Gates?! - Unknown Author
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    I think I'm going to wipe this drive first. I've saved all of my personal files, and can get the programs that I use. This is an older computer, originally came with Windows ME (I know, I KNOW!). Never been partitioned or reformatted or anything. Wiping it would clear out anything left over, any files/programs/what-have-you that I don't use anymore. Isn't there a way to clean the whole drive? Or would simply a reformat wipe everything?

    I think I'm going to reinstall XP on a smaller partition. I'm really thinking about running SUSE, heard lots of good things about it. I might run it from a CD first and install it later, but I'll have Windows confined to a partion of the drive, so I should be fine, correct? Question, if I use windows to partion the drive, I can leave the rest of it unformatted? So then I can use the Linux filesystem? My hardrive is FAT32. Now, since I'll reformat, can I use NTFS for XP instead? My last question, I've read about people partitioning into three pieces. Windows, Linux, and a shared partition, using Fat32. Do you think this is neccessary?

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    Ok, what you are planning sounds about right. Reformatting a drive makes the data on it relatively inaccessible, but it can theoretically be recovered. Unless it's mission-critical that all the data be permanently gone forever, you needn't bother wiping the disk first.

    You can certainly upgrade your Windows partition to NTFS when reformatting, but bear in mind that Linux support for NTFS is still lacking so you would be wise to set up a shared FAT32 partition as well. I think it's worth doing to get the better Windows filesystem while still being able to share some files, and this is the setup I have on my current machine. I think you might be able to set it up to share the home directories of both OS's, but it would mean using FAT32 which isn't the best option, and I haven't tried to get this working.

    Adam
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    Will Linux format it's partition itself? Or should I use Fat 32 for the linux-only partition?

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    This isn't a free option, but I used Partition Magic some time ago and didn't lose a single file in the partitioning process. Of course I had lots of free memory. It all worked great. Just a suggestion if the free routes don't turn up anything.
    Ed Womack
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  9. #9
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    Linux will use its own formatting option. It doesn't use any of the Windows supported ones although it can read many of them allowing it to access data from your windows partition.
    Stephen

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    Well, thought I'd give you all a breakdown of what happened.

    Day 1 - I reinstalled windows, upgrading to NTFS. Couldn't resize the partition. Damn.

    Day 2 - I went to the Suse website and grabbed the .iso file. Burned it to a CD and popped it into my computer. Restart and nothing happens. Upon reading on the net, I find out that I have to burn the iso file a special way. Grab the program, burn properly, restart, nothing happens. Finally, I realize that I need to change my boot order, since the hard drive boots then the CD. Spent an hour trying to figure out how to do this. Then I later find out that Dell calls this "System Setup" Not what I was expecting, but it's what I need. Change the boot order, restart, and Linux loads! I fall asleep as it is now very late.

    Day 3 - I load the linux kernel, go to Suse installation via ftp, and I can't access the ftp server. Further reading on the net reveals that I need to load the modules for my network card. I go into linux installation again, and can't find my network card among the modules. I go back to windows, load up Everest, and see that the card internally has a totally different name. Back to linux, and I see the module I need there. Load it, go to ftp install. Nothing happens. Lost a lot of hair. Finally realized that the ftp server I was trying was unavailable. Found a different IP address and, success! I can access the server! I go to bed as it is, again, very late.

    Day 4 - Simply loaded up Linux and started installation. Total time was about two hours (had to download it). I chose the KDE, have now installed Firefox, and am exploring this new OS. And Open Office is looking very cool.

  11. #11
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    Glad you got it working, it sounds like you had a similar experience to me when I was starting out. Now I'm hooked, and trying to find a suitable laptop and Linux distro to use while at University. Good luck with exploring the OS.

    Adam
    "If youíre not using valid HTML, then you havenít created a Web page. You may have created something else, but it isnít a Web page." - Joe Clark

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  12. #12
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    Sorry about double posting, but the forum will only let you post 10,000 characters at a time so I had to spread it over two posts.



    Hi bob. Soory I haven't been on MSN to help out, but my other thread explains that. I don't think I would have been much use for the install anyway. I used two seperate HDD's and I always install from the 700Mb iso so my installation process was little more than reboot and hit delete, tell PC to start from CD and let suse do the rest. I know sod all about partitioning and file systems etc.

    Anyway, if your desktop is anything like mine, you may have noticed an icon called My Computer with a picture of a PC monitor with a penguin sat net to it. When I clicked that, I noticed it had a folder called WINDOWS. I had a peek and lo and behold, it was my windows HDD! It fully listed everything that was on the drive, including the stuff Windows does its damndest to hide from you if you Boot into Windows.

    You could just drag and drop any files you wanted from the Win HDD to the Linux one no problem. I grabbed my entire images library from windows and moved it over to Linux in one single drag and drop! A word of warning though about moving files from Linux to Windows though. A friend of mine that was also trying out Linux tried dragging and dropping a file from Linux to Windows and he said it killed his laptop. I don't know if that was the result of the file moving, or him just being an idiot, but there ya go. I certainly wasn't willing to try and find out.

    Anyway, here now follows a big long post full of tips and stuff to get you lots of stuff with the minimum of fuss.

    Ok.Probably the single greatest thing about Suse (as far as I'm concerned anyway) is the beauty of a feature called YaST. Yast can be found here in your start menu type thing. Open YaST and in the software menu (YaST usually open in the software menu by default) choose "Change source of installation". I avoided exploring this option for a while because it sounds like it does something that it doesn't do, but it's actually the first place you should go after installing Suse. Anyway, choosing "change source of installation" should open up another menu that looks like this.

    Look at the bottom and choose "add" which will bring up another submenu from which you should choose "FTP...". This will bring up a menu which (assuming you are on x86 architecture (see about a paragraph below for a tip on finding out if you're on x86)) you should fill in with the following details:

    server name: ftp.suse.com

    directory on server: pub/suse/i386/(suse version number)/

    Anonymous login: Yes.

    The completed form sould look something like this

    Click ok to add the source and then a little message saying "adding source" or something like that'll pop up. You might have to be patient whilst it adds the source though. Sometimes it can do it in seconds, in extreme cases it can take over an hour The same also applies when going into "install and remove software" for the first time after adding a new source. Using "Install and remove software" is talked about a bit further below). Give it time though and it will eventually finish. Believe me, the wait is worth it.

    Quick way to find out if you are on x86 architecture.
    Have a look at the green box that you clicked on at Mozilla.org to download Firefox and if you have Javascript enabled, it'll tell you which version you'd be best to download (Instead of choosing from Win, Linux, etc). I (like most people) am on x86 and because of it, it says
    Firefox 1.0.4 for Linux i686, English (8.2MB)
    If you have different x86 then it might say something different like
    Firefox 1.0.4 for Linux i586, English (8.2MB)
    or
    Firefox 1.0.4 for Linux i386, English (8.2MB)
    . I can't really go into any detail about x86 because other than being reasonably sure it is the "architecture" of my cpu, I haven't got the feintest notion what relevance it bears on anything.

    Anyway, back to grabbing the goodies....

    The first thing you'll wanna grab is A C compiler and the GNU make command. Go back into YaST and this time, instead of choosing "Change source of installation", choose "Install and remove software. This should bring up a window with a search input and some tickboxes for search refinement. There should also be a large area to the right where your search results will come up.

    Enter "gcc" into the search input box and you should be presented with a list of results that looks a bit like this. Results that are already ticked are items that you already have installed. Results that are already ticked and the name of the item next to the tick box is in red are results that you already have installed and the version of the item that was found by the search is not as recent as the version you already have installed. You can also tick the boxes that are already ticked to make other things happen. clicking it so two arrows that form a circle appears will re install the item already installed to refresh it, ticking it so that a bin appears means that the item will be removed and leaving it ticked or clicking it so that it goes back to the tick will leave the item untouched. empty boxes are items available for installation but are not installed on your system, so as you might have guessed, putting a tick in an empty box means you want to install it.

    Have a look for an item called gcc (GCC stands for GNU C Compiler) that is not installed on your system. You'll also want gcc-c++ too. Make sure you have those boxes ticked and then click the "Check dependencies" button at the bottom (more on this godsend of a feature when I touch on grabbing sendmail). A box should pop up saying "All package dependencies are ok." (I'd be amazed if it didn't), just ok the message and hit accept. YaST will now download and install the GCU C compilers for you. You don't have to worry about a thing. Just wait for it to finish installing the compilers and then go back into the "Install and remove software" search screen.

    Now you have your C compilers, you've one more thing to grab before you can go crazy and just do what you like (software wise that is of course). Just enter "make" in the search box and you should be presented with a considerably sized list of all kinds of software, the one you're looking for is just called "make". The description in the summary column should be "The GNU make command.". Tick that box and hit the check dependencies button. Again I'd be amazed if it did anything but give the all clear (it's just best to do it as a "just in case"). Hit accept and once it has finished installing, you will be sorted for installing just about anything you come accross.

    You can now use YaST or configure and compile your own binaries to install. The benefits of using YaST is that it's a doddle to use. You just search and install at will most of the time. It can make finding and installing software a breeze. The drawbacks of YaST though are that it'll be limited to finding software only on servers that you have added in the "change source of installation menu", the items it installs can sometimes be rather outdated (bluefish is a prime example) and sometimes it'll install software and you won't have a clue where it is or how to start it.

    The benefits of configuring and compiling your own binaries is that you can include extras you do want and chuck out the crap you don't want to make a fast and lightweight binary that fits your needs exactly, the software will have been made by your system for your system (rather than just a generic "one size fits all" job), a whole new world of source code is out there just waiting for you to download, configure, compile and install for free, and you know exactly where it has been installed.

    Right. So them's yer compilers etc done. Now you want a mail server for PHP. You'll probably have POSTFIX installed by default. Whenever I try and install PHP and POSTFIX is installed, it always complains about postfix and asks for "sendmail". So, rather than arse about trying to get PHP to agree with POSTFIX you can just have YaST install sendmail for you. Once again, go into "Install and remove software" and stick sendmail in the search box. If you're searching on the same directory of the same server as I am, then there'll only be 3 items found. There'll be exim, sendmail and sendmail-devel.

    Important: If you're compiling your own binaries from source at the command line (which is something I'll talk about later because that's how I'll be guiding you through installing OpenSSL, Apache 2, PHP5 and MySQL because I honestly think it is the easiest way in the long run) and the compilation process stops and asks for a certain package to be installed you MUST install both the package it asks for and packages of the same name suffixed with "devel" or "files mandatory for development". There may be exceptions to this rule, buy if there are, I don't know of them. If we didn't install sendmail-devel then when compiling PHP, it would halt half way through and ask that sendmail be installed. I already know it's going to do this, so rather than get half way through the process and have to install them and start all over again, we can do it now. So choose both the "sendmail" and "sendmail-devel" packages.
    Last edited by Mr Herer; 05-21-2005 at 03:44 AM.

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    Important: This time, when you click "check package dependencies" it will almost certainly alert you to a conflict that would occour if you were to just go ahead and blindly install sendmail. The conflict will be between sendmail and POSTFIX. It should present you with 3 options:

    1) Abort the installation of sendmail and leave your programs and files untouched.

    2) Just go ahead and install sendmail without doing anything else and risking system instability.

    or

    3) Safely remove POSTFIX and install sendmail in its place.

    Naturally we will be ditching POSTFIX and installing sendmail. That should serve as a good little introduction into the importance of using the dependency checker. You may also have noticed the "autocheck dependencies" checkbox too. This is handy for when you're browsing lots of packages and will be checking out quite a few. It'll automatically alert you about a potential dependency failure or conflict that a package might cause as soon as you tick its box. This can be ideal for finding the right combination of packages to get what you want when you have only a limited selection of old items.

    Even though you're going to have your own servers installed on your machine, you're probably still going to want an FTP client (I know I do). This is another YaST job. By now you should be getting the idea of how to use YaST. I've had a look around and so far, the best graphical FTP client I have found is "Kbear". So, YaST-->Search for "Kbear"--> tick and check package dependencies-->accept. That should be your FTP client installed now. The fastest and easiest way to open up Kbear and take it for a spin is to just hold down the Alt key and hit the F2 key. This'll bring up a small window into which you can type stuff you want to run. So just hit Alt + F2 type in "kbear" and hit enter (you can do the same to launch many other programs too such as the Konqueror web browser). Set up your ftp accounts you have with other servers in the account manager and take it for a spin.

    You'll probably want some more browsers too. You should already have Konqueror installed and you already said you have firefox, but you can also have Opera and Netscape. You can download opera in quite a few package formats. You can download it as a precompiled binary with documentation and other files compressed into a .tar.gz format (a Gzipped "tarball"), as straight source code or as a so called "native" package (in the case of suse, this is apparently a debian package). I'd strongly recomend the precompiled binary with documentation in the .tar.gz format. It's extremely easy to install and saves a lot of hassle. The straight source can be a bit of a bugger to compile into a binary sometimes. Some previous versions of opera I compiled got rather messy and parts of the browser went missing.

    The debian (.deb) package is supposed to be the easiest and most user friendly of the three. It is intended to be much more Windows-like in the installation method, ie just download, click it and it does everything for you. "Why not use the debian then?" I hear you think. The simple answer is "it isn't as easy as it is supposed to be". I've compiled full MySQL binaries from source that run as smooth as a babys' bum (believe me, that's no easy task for a first time Linux user with nothing but the MySQL manual (14Mb of pure text and markup with no images) for help, yet not once have I ever successfully installed something from a debian package. :/

    So anyway, like I was saying, grab the zipped up tarball and stick it wherever you intend to extract it. Usually I stick my browsers in the place I call "under the desktop". By "under the desktop" I mean the highest level directory your standard user login can access. The quickest way there is to just click that picture of the blue tent in the start bar type menu thingy. It'll open a window with bits and bobs in it. One of which will be a folder called "desktop". Click that and you will be presented with your desktop in file browsing window format, click the up a directory button to bet back again. Perhaps now you can see why I call it "under the desktop". extracting firefox here rather than on the actual desktop can be handy because it can help to keep the desktop tidy and functional. If you extract firefox on yer desktop and install from there then you're left with a folder which contains the file you need to click to launch firefox. This can look a bit messy and having to go into the folder to get to the icon each time you want to start an instance of firefox can be inconventient. However if you extract firefox "under the desktop" and then install it, you can drag and drop the icon you need to click to start firefox onto your desktop. When you let go of the mouse button and it asks whether you want to move, copy or link the file, just say link it (not move) and you'll now have a nice little icon to click to start Firefox, rather than arseing about with the folder.

    You can't do the same thing with opera (dunno why) but extracting in the same place seems logical to me anyway and it helps to keep things tidy. You might see in documentation for many programs that it mentions extracting files something like this --> "./tar zxvfr /path/to/file/and/filename.ext". That is how you would do it on the command line. The much easier way to do it is to simply right click it and highlight "actions" from the right click menu. Then from the actions submenu select "extract here...". This will unzip and untar each and every file and folder recursively untill everything is sorted. So do that and go into the newly created folder. You might be able to install opera by just clicking the install file (usually files that end in .sh are referred to a shell scripts) but every time I try it, it just buggers up (Firefox can be a bit cantankerous like that too). The easierst way I find to ensure success is to use the command line.

    If you're in a file browser window then the easiest and fastest way to open a command line window is simply to hit the F4 key.Hitting F4 will open a command line window (or terminal) at your current location. So say you were in /home/Desktop/pr0n/ in your graphical file browser and you hit F4, you would also be at /home/Desktop/pr0n/ on the command line too. The command line can be used and a textual file browser. the command "ls" will list the files and folders in a directory "cd ../" will move you up a directory and so on. So as I was saying, jump into your newly extracted opera folder and hit F4. if I remember rightly the file name of the shell script used to start installation of opera is called install.sh. So on the command line just enter "./install.sh" (as you probably know, "./" meaning 'in this directory'. However durin the process it'll ask if you want to install system-wide configuration files (god knows why you would or would not want to, but I install 'em anyway) if your answer to this is yes then it'll say access denied to whatever it tried sticking a file in. This is because on that command line window you are only logged in as a normal user with basic priviledges and restricted access and therefore and scripts or programs you execute from that command line window have only the same level of access and priviledge etc as you do. You don't have access to wherever the script was going to put them files and so as a consequence, neither does the installation script. To get round this is extremely simple. Just enter "su" (stands for super user) at the command line. It will ask for the root password and when you give it the root password, you will be granted root priviledges (and in turn so will your shell script and thus be able to correctly place the files). The last character in the command line prompt string will also change from a ">" to a "#" to signify root level access (it pays to pay attention to the commandline prompt string, you'll see why more later when you come to using MySQL at the command line). So now your command line prompt string will probably go something like "/home/bob/opera-version_number.tar.gz#" if you extracted it "under the desktop" so just issue the ./install.sh command again and this time it'll stick everything it needs to, where it wants to.

    As I said before, for some reason you can't link the file that starts opera out and on to the desktop for an easy access icon to start it up, but thankfully you don't need one anyway because you can use ye olde Alt + F2 and type in "opera" to launch it anyway.

    You can install Netscape (again, go for the .tar.gz one) in a very similair fasion (and you can do the quick linking thing like with firefox too).

    You'll be needing an html editor too. For now just tell YaST to grab "bluefish" for you. The version it'll give you will be a bit old and outdated, but will do fine for now just so you can get familiar with it. After I've had a bit of a break, I'll come back and walk you through updating Bluefish to the currect version and also the installation of OpenSSL, MySQL, Apache and PHP so that it all goes smoothly and you're up and running first time with no major glitches.

    Gimmy a while to let my fingers recover and then I'll be back. About sixteen hours probably.
    Last edited by Mr Herer; 05-21-2005 at 05:14 AM.

  14. #14
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    Thank you kindly Mr Herer, my hat's off to you. As I'm on limited space, I'm not installing any browsers on Linux other than Firefox. But I've now gotten YaST configured, and finally gotten that GNU C and C++ compiler operational. Make was already installed, and sendmail is now installed.

    Linux really is a beauty to work with. I don't have much of a reason left to run Windows on my own machine any more.

  15. #15
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    Yeah it was exactly the same for me. I only got linux out of curiosity, just for a tinker. After a few months I realised I hadn't actually gone back to Windows. lol

    I'll go through the servers in a few hours. For now, just swing by http://www.openssl.org and grab their latest version of OpenSSL, hop on over to http://httpd.apache.org/download.cgi to grab the latest version of apache 2, http://uk.php.net/get/php-5.0.4.tar.gz/from/a/mirror for PHP5 and http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/4.1.html for Mysql 4.1. With MySQL you can get either the precompiled binary or the source code to compile yourself. MySQL say that the precompiled binary is recomended, however as you probably know, I prefer to make 'em myself now. Withe the pre-compiled one, you won't be able to customise it and will have a fair bit of extra junk you don't want. Compiling from source is the method I find easiest by far, but let me know which you choose so I know which one to help out with.

    EDIT: Soory. I'll have to wait a bit before I post about setting up the rest. Someone is sleeping nearby and my noisy keyboard keeps waking them up.
    Last edited by Mr Herer; 05-22-2005 at 12:15 AM.

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