Thinking about switching to Linux

I am seriously considering setting up a dual boot system with XP home and Linux on my PC. Trouble is I am not sure what complication to expect as a result. I did that on first PC and I had a lot of trouble with getting modem and sound to work. But I am almost fed up with M$ and I want to try it again on my new PC. Below are my specs please if you can check and let me know of any possible headaces I might come across.

Compaq Presario
Pentium 4, 2.8 GHZ
512 MB DDR ram
ATI Radeon 9200 - 128MB video memory
SpeedTouch 330 Alcatel ADSL modem
Redhat Linux 8
Onboard RealTeak AC’(& Audio


That one will definately give you a headache.

I’d definitely go with RH 9 or Fedora. RH 8 was somewhat shakey. And don’t forget to do your package updates with apt-get. It will save you a lot of headaches.

I would recommend getting a second hard drive to install linux onto rather than faff about resizing partitions. Even an old 20 gig drive would do.

I’d say go for gentoo (as long as you are prepared to wait for things to compile! although a stage 3 install is quick)





Wisdom is right!

I would also suggest going to and going to with your favorite IRC app, and going to #linux #fedora or #redhat depedning on which distro you go with.

Yeah, second drive. Leave win drive as master, create a win floppy boot disk to be safe. I haven’t used RedHat in a long time and Fedora not at all. To all beginners I recommend Mandrake but use a serial mouse for installation if you have a ps2 mouse. Once installed you can plug your ps2 mouse back in. You shouldn’t have any problem with the rest of your gear. Use GRUB for the boot loader. Good luck.

so, you can have multiple hard drives, and have 2 operating systems?

(stupid question, but i am just learnin comp stuff)

I have two hard drives and easy access to both from the linux side (which is what i use 98% time). [/quote]

I use two hardrives in case one crashes I have access to both.

I recommend:

and especially:

They meet at #blt You won’t find a nicer bunch of helpful linux geeks. Mature and with linux since it started.

You can search out to see if there’s a LUG near you at:

And last but not least - sign up - it helps the cause.

the ox is reg user #199890 (1998 the year of the penquin :smiley: )

Linux is totally the way to go. Nvidia cards work well with linux, no idea about Radeon.

I recommend mandrake 9.2 if you’re beginning. If you’re advanced try gentoo or debian.

The great thing about linux is you can choose the distro that suites you best.



uh huh and did someone say choices? Check the huge list on the right side of the page.

Mandrake 10.0 - $3.49

$.99 sale cd’s! hahahahhaha great stuff!

Linux is tough stuff, it’ll really make you pissy, but after you learn it things go easy.

One thing to remember: have water, advil, and an xterm near by at all times.

Many things, if you want them to be done effectivly, cleanly and properly you must must use the terminal.

Many terminal emulators are availible, the most used are gnome-terminal, xterm, and kterm. They come with most distros.

Linux is case sensitive, so if a dir is spelled “Dir”, you must use “Dir” when talking about it, not “dir”.

Some useful unix commands follow:

‘dir’ -like in windows, this command will list all directory contents.
‘cd’ -change directory, same as in windows, type “dir” followed by a space the directory name. for more.

have fun!

PS, beware, most unix commands sound very sexual in nature. Maybe because they’re geeks who made it… %|

as long as you don’t use the 5.1 channel sound capabilitys of the card then you should eb fine.

otherwise don’t bother with linux.

if like me you need to have 5.1 channel sound on your computer then wait till linux actually can handle it easily.

otherwise linux is a good choice. unfortunatly not for me.


That one’ll give you a lot of trouble. There’s no official drivers from ATI for linux out yet. Summer 2004 is the only word I’ve heard about it, and that’s probably not true. If you don’t use any high-end games on linux, this should be fine as blender’s renderer uses teh CPU, not the GPU, for renderering.

btw gj deciding to try linux. RH isn’t necessarily the best distro tho…

But I am almost fed up with M$ and I want to try it again on my new PC

Buy a mac :slight_smile:
Just kidding. I guess being fed up with microsoft is a good reason for going through the headache of getting a dual boot partition with linux [!]
You could also go with SUSE which seems to be the big euro version.

If you’re thinking of using a dual boot system, I highly recommend a $35 shareware product called BING ( I’ve used it for about two years with absolutely no problems to run 10 different Windows systems on my computer. It doesn’t go through Windows at all, so none of the OSs see each other.

It’s perfectly possible to do all your work with Linux these days. SUSE is a nice distribution. I use it on my PC at home. Sometimes the versions of programs are not completly up-to-date (the Blender that comes with the newest Suse version is Blender 2.28 ) but you can easily download the version you like to use. Tweaking settings and configuring hardware is very easy. And the whole is very user friendly and stable.
It sucks that they threw MPlayer out and replaced it with Xine. MPlayer supported loads more video files. Now you have to compile it yourself and arrange for the mplayer-plugin to work with your web browsers.

On my XBox I use Debian another good distribution. It gives you more control in configuring stuff. And I like the apt-get program makes updating/upgrading super easy. Debian still includes MPlayer. MPlayer is a must have when using Linux.

Well folks let me update you on my quest to dual boot WinXP/Linux on my pc. I have hardly visited this forum since I started with this dualboot business. All my online time is spent reserching,downloading and asking questions at Anyway this is the story so far.

I decided to go with the slackware distro mainly because I wanted to actaually learn Linux and if it was that dificult and will make me learn then so be it. I downloaded the non ISO files for ver 9.1 created the nessesary disks (boot and root) . I created all the needed partitions and proceeded with the installation. Contrary to my expectations, I wouldn’y say it was difficult at all. It went whithout a hitch … well that is untill i was prompted to restart the system.

Upon retart, I got the Lilo screen and opted to start Dos(windows) first. Then the problem started. Instead of widows booting I got the system recovery menu for compaq asking me to do a system restore. Instead I rebooted again hoping it will go away but that screen still came up :< . Well I did the restore and now when I reboot the Lilo screen doesn’t show up again. It boots straight to windows. I have posted several questions and researched alot but so far because of my PC manufacturer (Compaq - you know that persky hidden partition that they put on their PC’s, Ive got one) it looks like my dualboot aspirations will have to be abandoned.

I have sent them a mail to the guys at HP/Compaq hoping they can help me out. By the way my system is a Compaq Presario model S0000. So there you go and back to windows :frowning:

Hold on! First of all, you should be able to boot to linux from a floppy instead of a boot loader. BUT before I did that (it’s a little slower boot) I’d do a little homework and alter the bios settings to conform to your desired setup. I believe it is possible to get around the proprietary stuff. I have in the distant past. Next box you get should be a “free box” (i.e. non proprietary). Just a suggestion.

I wish to thank all you guys who responded to my post. I am pleased to announce that as at today (19:46) i have succefully set up windows/linux dual boot on my compaq pc :D. With the help of some wonderful guys at, I installed lilo to the root partition and not the MBR and used the windows boot loader to select and boot linux.

First impressions? I think KDE looks really cool :stuck_out_tongue: A few devices are not yet working but I will research and hopefully fix it. I am yet to check if my usb broadband modem is working. I hope to get that done today and then I can start my migration.

The bonus of all the hassel is that in this short space of time I feel my knowledge of some of the more techinical thing have increased and that can’t be a bad thing or is it? Stuff like partitions, file types, fixing bootloaders etc.

I’m off to check on my broadband modem ! :wink: