so i’ve never used linux before, but i’ve heard very good things, so i’m looking to have dual-boot capability in my next pc. I’m just wondering, are there certain hardware requirementsi need to meet, such as two harddrives?

frankly a single 250 gig hd would last me long enough until i raised some more money, so instead of a second hard drive, I’d opt for a more powerful videocard

(no matter what, i believe i’m gonna end up with a core2 extreme. That’ll be niiice.)

You only need one hard-drive, you just need to put Linux on its own partition. Make sure Windows is installed first, otherwise it might try to overwrite Linux.

right, anywhere that really explains that more in depth?

thanks a lot though

[edit] oh and mods, if you could do me a favor and move this into off-topic, i thought i was posting there, but too many elysiun tabs in firefox is a little confusing.

Dual booting with one hard drive is a bit more complicated than using two. If you are not exactly sure what you are doing, remember to backup.

Detailed instructions can be found here:

I always recommend Ubuntu, so this is to install Ubuntu Dapper. Good luck with the installation. You won’t regret switching to Linux.

Before drop, look at what an opensource operating system is, what are the outcomes.
Cause, i read you’ll get a powerful video card, unfortunetly it risks to be your first pitfall (especially ATI), and to understand that, you have to know what opensource is, what’s a patent etc…

Are you really ready to spend time on it? Are you able to search by yourself? It could be silly, but it will avoid to you a lot of disappointment cause you would have chosen for wrong reasons.

WinXP is already correct, suck’n but it run :), so why to change? You’ll get more problems than else.

or get a Mac (or MacOSX) :slight_smile:


Ok just want to say you prob wont read this…

but from someone who runs 3 pc’s at home with 2 that have duel booting Os’s I know a very good way for you to do this

Use the software called “System Commander” anything version 7 or higher. What it will allow you to do is devide the 250gig HD to a few partitions for different OS’s…

anotherwords you can have WinXP and Ubuntu or whatever you wish, you can have as many as you want, id recommend no more than 4 for that Hard Drive size…

I know some of you other people out there are thinking… well he can do that without the software “System Commander” but the fact is that software is awsome, it will allow you to do your partions with a GUI and manage them from there, you can combine partions, repair, check disk status… lets stop there and say its the safest way and easiest way to do it.

hope you take a look into it, feel free to PM me any questions you have about how to set it up or what OS’s to use :slight_smile:

Believe me, getting two drives (if you can) is the way to go. Anytime people partition on a single drive, there always seems to be issues.


I dual boot Ubuntu and XP on a 80Gig HD, with no problems what so ever.

The trick is (well not really so much of a trick as it is a method) to properly partition your HD for the linux install. The tools to do this are actually provided as a step in the Ubuntu installation anyway, so it won’t be all that difficult.

Just remember that linux needs two partitions: A filesys partition (ext journaling file sys), and a swap partition (swap).

Next, you will have to install drivers for your graphics card (some basic drivers are installed by default, but if you want 3d acceleration you’ll need to download proprietary drivers for your GPU). If you don’t feel like doing all of this manually, you can always use “easy ubuntu”, which will install all proprietary drivers you want, and also add restricted repositories to synaptic so you can download other proprietary drivers and updates.

I got Ubuntu working a month ago, and I gotta say, It was well worth the time of the install, and some of the frustrations I went through to get it working nice.

I downloaded Ubuntu and I took a few looks at it.

People talk a lot about how great the switch to Linux was. I would like to do it, but I can’t justify it at the moment.

Windows runs all my programs; I’m afraid a lot of them won’t work on Linux. Windows never crashes on me, runs at a fine speed, is not cluttering my HD, and I don’t seem to have any security issues. The only downside is the price, but I already own it…

I have an 80 GB HD, so I could partition, but then I ask myself “Why should I bother?”

What am I missing about Linux that would make me want to switch or partition?


:slight_smile: Laurifer,
I am currently trying to set up dual boot with Ubuntu, and the reason is that some of the software that is open source is not available for Windows. Cinelerra is one that is on my list of want to try, as well as getting the OpenOffice to work correctly - I can’t get my Windows installation to work because of a missing deppendency.
I am hoping to follow the Open Source direction of the Orange team with all my creative programs being Open Source.
I just have had a difficult time learning where I am going wrong with the differences between OS handling - I can’t just extract a program download to my home location and see it appear in the listed programs - I have to get the package manager to handle the installation, and I have to make internet available to that computer to do so.
Depending on need, purpose, and resource, the dual boot can be rewarding.

Just make sure you have even just a small partition which is FAT32… Both Linux and Windows can write to it, and you can probably see how useful that is. If you don’t set one up, you’ll regret it later, believe me.

With only an 80GB HD I have to assume you have an older machine, so switching may not give you much. And in fact, with older systems some of the cooler features available in any of the modern linux distributions may not be capably realized. (dues to speed issues, and or display issues) In that same vein, that older system probably wouldnt run Vista either. or if its really really old (say ME or 98) probably couldnt effectively run XP.

Now, the desire to want to switch typically comes from either a saving of money, or getting a specific feature. Some lean towards idealogical arguments, but reality for most of us is usually cost / feature related.

If you’re happy with what you have, it takes a lot more arguments to get someone to even consider something else. But, that said, I seriously doubt you have no security issues, and that the system actually runs as well as you imply. Unless of course, you don’t do anything more exceptional than word process (no macros, they could harbor bad things) and don’t have this system connected to the internet.

I am tempted to list a series of links outlining feature sets, and application matrices, but all of these can be gained via quick google searches. (eg. virtually every windows app, sans games, is available in an open source format… and even gaming is coming along with systems like Cedega to help implement proprietary DirectX stuff. EDIT: couldn’t help editing this… and if you realy really can’t live without a specific windows app, you always have the option of running it within wine, winex, or crossover office… or gasp… virtual machine)

So, rather than going any furthur:

I’ll just say this. Don’t limit your initial linux trial to one single distribution. Look at all the major ones.
They each have their pros and cons, find the one that meets your personal needs and desires.

Actually most of your windows programs won’t work on linux. You see many of the major software development companies don’t port their software to linux, but then again even if they did I doubt that many linux users would use that software anyway, because it’s listed as being proprietary software (and linux users generally don’t like that).

In the linux world (afaik) this problem is solved by creating Open Source alternatives to any specific software you could think of, and then releasing that software to the community under the GPL (which allows the user to make any changes he/she desires, without any copyright infringement). Also, it’s this freedom that allows the software to be updated much faster, and in turn become better and more extensible than it’s commercial counterpart.

That’s what makes linux a system on the “Bleeding Edge”, with new distro versions comming out something like every six months or so, and that’s basically what the linux people love about it.


You can use “gparted” at any time to make an aditional partition. I would defrag the HD before doing that though.

On the contrary. It’s an HP laptop I got just last April I believe. I opted for 80 GB HD because my last machine had that, and wasn’t even half full, so why waste money on space I won’t use? Its P4 3.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM, so running speeds are fine for me. :slight_smile:

If/when vista comes out, I don’t plan on upgrading unless I absolutely have to.

Why would you doubt that? I would say Blender, Java/C++ compiling, and games are pretty intensive, and they are faster now than ever were before for me. But, really, this is not the point.

I know there are tons of distros, but I have no idea which one. I picked Ubuntu because it seems pretty well rounded, which is good for me. I guess I just need to find some feature that I want that Windows won’t support. Until then I suppose I don’t have any reason to switch.


1 and a quarter GIG ram, beat ya :stuck_out_tongue:
But only 70 gig HD… I won’t even use half of it anyway. I like order and simplicity. In heavy contrast to my room and my school notes :stuck_out_tongue:
yeah, it’s a laptop too and personally, I prefer laptops for their portability. I’m not a nerd, so I don’t buy a new graphics card every six months :smiley:
Nothing on everyone else in this forum, though. I have nothing against nerds, self-proclaimed or not, but that lifestyle just doesn’t fit me.

At any rate, long live ICT!

Just popping in to say that I agree with basically everything Social’s said in this thread. I will add a small addition… You’ll want at least two partitions for linux (/ and swap), but it can be really beneficial to go with 3 instead (/ /home and swap) - this is especially true if you intend to try out different distros. Then you can keep all of your personal stuff on the /home partition, and just wipe root directory and reinstall.

I’m also running an 80gig drive and dual-booting (Win2K and Slackware) and haven’t had any real problems with it. I’m using Partition Commander, and it works well enough. If I wasn’t already using a proprietary solution, I’d probably be using GParted. http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php

Finally, about this:

I don’t exactly agree with that statement. The new features that require recent hardware aren’t really the “cooler features” of linux, IMO. Mostly glitter… fancy eye-candy that does little to impact your actual use of a system. Most of that isn’t really stable or ready for prime-time yet, either.

On the other hand, the real cool features will work even on a 386… Things like command line scripting, multiple desktops, DCOP/DBUS, frequent and simple system updates, a better security model, a more efficient networking subsystem (in my experience), superior multitasking, a wealth of development tools, and complete technological transparency (every setting is exposed somewhere - no magic blackboxes anywhere on the system).

Last and most important is choice. You have tons of choices. Not happy with the distribution? Download another. Don’t like the window manager / desktop environment? Try a different one. Don’t like the shell? Change it. For almost every task, you have at least a few, if not thousands of choices. If none of those choices meet your requirements, you can take one and turn it into what you need (with some skill and patience). That fact alone can be daunting, but it can also be really liberating. It all depends on your perspective.

In any event, I wish you the best of luck. The best thing to do is start looking around, and wait for something specific to catch your fancy. Nothing will serve you better than actual interest in a product. Distrowatch is a nice place to begin investigating. http://distrowatch.com/

Welcome to the Unixy world. Remember… Everything is a file.

I forgot to mention… If you just want to take Linux for a test-drive, try out a LiveCD. You can turn your system into a complete, fully functioning Linux workstation with a single boot. When you’re done, just take out the disk and reboot.

Knoppix, Mepis, Slax, PCLinuxOS and Damn Small Linux are just a few LiveCD options.

Oops, my mistake, I was making an assumption you were talking about a desktop … and here I am sitting on a Dell D600 with a meager 60G HD… always hovering near 90% full. (running SuSe 10 btw, and any windows specific apps I truely need get run under vmware … so far its one specific VPN application I need to help support one specific customer) lol.

Sorry, I’ll try not to make that kind of assumption again.

But, my main opinion on the security of a windows system, is from personal experience in that there always seems to be someone working fervently to attack them. Hence the term Patch Tuesday.

Plus, on the few WinOS systems here at the house, I have to fix all the time. Maybe they attract attention becuase we use them for online games, or maybe its from visiting sites with aggressively bad webpages…but can gocomics, with their bad popups be the cause of all this woe? Overall they are a pain my backside compared to the Linux OS systems.

I have to agree though, you have to have the need in some form or another before you will move. At some future point, the computer will become the tool we really want it to be, and OS will be an agnostic item like a light switch. hmm, agnostic is probably not the right term… oh well.

Alrighty here, this is the wealth of information and opinions that I’ve come to love elysiun for.

#1. Windows works fine for me, but other than mac, it’s all that i’ve tried
(I’m not buying a mac. It’s that simple.)

#2. I really can’t afford a second harddrive dight now unless i want to end up with a really shitty graphics card. Considering I use photoshop, blender, and play games quite a bit, that would be a little bit of a perdicament.

#3. Meltdown- I have no idea what you’re trying to explain.

#4. I’m not just going to jump into linux, I’m definitley going to look for a distro that suits me.

#5. I’m going to be starting from a blank HD, so backing stuff up won’t be a problem.

#6. Is GParted completely stable and easy to use (if I’m going to bother with a gui, it’d better be easy to use) or should I opt for a proprietary alternative? If so, any suggestions? I think I saw a norton one somewhere…

I forgot to mention… If you just want to take Linux for a test-drive, try out a LiveCD. You can turn your system into a complete, fully functioning Linux workstation with a single boot. When you’re done, just take out the disk and reboot.

Knoppix, Mepis, Slax, PCLinuxOS and Damn Small Linux are just a few LiveCD options.

Thank you. That’s really quite helpful.

thanks in advance again.

True, all those are the really cool items, I was thinking more along the lines of the eye candy item like xgl, or the system organizer (or whatever they’re touting it as) beagle search, or say Xen virtualization, these require a little more horsepower in either overall system, hard drives, or video cards to be used without severely slowing down your box. Hmm, even Gnome and KDE have been accused or getting a bit bloated lately.