I was considering installing linux on my hard drive just for fun. I have no idea how to start though and I had some questions. Could I have Linux and windows installed on my computer and pick which one I wanted to boot with? How would I “install” linux? With linux on my computer would I be able to access all the same files that windows would such as my documents, etc.? What release of Linux would be the best? I know theres like 100 million different versions. Help would be appreciated!


yes, but you might not be able to write to them if they are on a ntfs parition


play with a linux livecd first before you install anything

You could download a live CD and put it straight in your CD rom drive if you wanted to just look at it without messing up your PC or:

Assuming that you have a COMPLETELY BLANK HARD DRIVE:

1/ Install windows first. Near the start of the windows install, it asks about partitions, you need to create two more out of the existing one so that you have a total of 3 partitions. Make one of these at least 500Mb. This will be the swap partition. Make one of them at least 10Gb. This will be the linux partition. Install Windows on the other partition. You only need to format the partition you are using for windows. The other two you can just leave for now.Continue installing windows like normal until finished.

2/Install linux. During the linux install, you will come across the same thing about partitions. But this time put linux on the >10Gb partition you are not using for windows, and set the swap file. Continue installing linux

When the PC starts up, you will be prompted to start either linux or windows.

Thats basically it.

If you already have windows installed I would suggest getting a separate hard drive and install linux on that.

I installed a triple boot on my PC about 2 weeks ago just to take a look at the “power” of linux
2x winxp
1x Ubuntu

Frankly, I did not find ubuntu all that exciting, as it actually runs slower on my pc than winxp. But it is quite good to get a basic look at the linux OS and Gnome. Which is what I wanted to do.

I went to the ubuntu website about 4 weeks ago and they shipped free cds. Or you can download it instead.

I suggest ubuntu for a starter platform - not knowing anything else

Thanks for the help fellas, I’ll check it out. I’ll probably just end up ordering a cd. You saved me alot of time and trouble!

i was trying to install ubuntu but it wouldnt go it just kept asking me some question that i didnt know the answer to during install, so i went back to fedora core.

now, if its gonna have windows on it, install windows first (partition a) and linux second and whatever other things you want.
if you install linux first and decide you dont like it, wipe the drive, it will be hella fun trying to get yourself back into windows.
i did that, spent the next few days downloading cds to get myself back.

I would suggest you try SuSe Linux 10. It uses a a clicky GUI for installing it. Which is very handy for the newbie.

I would also suggest that when you install Linux you create 3 partitions for it.
swap partition,home partition,root partition.

The root is were all sytem files go
The swap is well swap
The home is were all your personel files go.

This set up is great if you want to update. As it means you can just reformat the root partition and your personnel files will still be there.

At the moment I use Kubuntu it uses the KDE interface compared to Ubuntu which uses Gnome.
If you go for Ubuntu or any of its counter parts like Kubuntu. I suggest you try out the live cd of it first. This means you can choose which interface you prefer. Gnome or KDE usually.

Dont worry about formating in Linux as it takes mere seconds for a format to take place. And you dont have to worry about defrag as Linux does it on the go.

You usually use grub loader for dual booting systems and loading an O/S anyway so if you ever remove Linux make sure you dont remove “Grub loader” or “Lilo”.

If your have an Nvidia graphics card you can get the drivers from the SuSe update, while installing it.

Or if you choose Ubuntu/Kubuntu you have to wait till the installation completes. I have found that with new nvidia cards the default xorg drivers dont bring up a GUI. So if you get the console instead just type

“sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx”
“sudo apt-get install nvidia-settings”
“sudo nvidia-glx-config enable”

Then type “startx” to run the GUI.

Enjoy :smiley:

STOP! Don’t install linux until you’ve tried it! Get a Knoppix CD, Knoppix is a distro that runs off a CD so you can try it before installing. I highly recommend you do this… it could save you a lot of grief later.

Why do you want Linux?

I have it because I run Gentoo and thus can get my computer set up the way I want, not microsoft or some distro.

If you want a nice happy interface use Windows, it’s wasted on Linux.


Second on Gentoo.

You will get to check out all the GUI’s and try them. I am using Enlightenments e-17 right now but may change in the future.

If you want there is a graphical installer now here for x86 and here for AMD64

The link will download it. So don’t click it unless you want the installer.