How should I setup my Windows/Linux enviroment ?

  • outback
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am a fairly basic computer user who is setting up a new computer at home for the first time. It already has Windows XP Pro as the operating system. I am keen to explore the use of a Linux operating system like Ubuntu or Mint and learn more about free programs that work with Linux and give me the operational functionality I need in a free environment. I have one 500 GB hard drive and access to another 320 Gb hard drive if I need it. I have read where it is a good idea to separate your operating system from your data and email and I am interested in finding out the best way to set up my system. Is it preferable to put both operating systems on the one hard drive and keep the other for data etc, or would it be better to have two partitions on each hard drive (each hard drive devoted to having one operating system and data i.e. Windows vs and Linux)? Is it better to put all program files in the same partition as the operating system or in with the partition for the data? I am also interested to find out what size partitions I should establish for the Windows operating system/programs and for the Linux operating system/programs....
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The ideal way is to have totally separate machines for each OS. I had 2 dual boot computers at one time but now I have each OS on a separate machine.

I know that a lot of people don't have the money to do that but you can use an older machine to install Linux or Unix.

If you still need to dual boot and you have 2 HDs, then put one OS on each. You will only be able to use one at a time unless you use VMware or something like that.
  • Intelrate
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Post 3+ Months Ago

There is nothing bad to have two operating systems on one PC. Here are some steps you have to perform:

1) Each operating system should be installed on its own primary partition of your hard drive. Thus, you have to divide your HDD into partitions.
2) If you have WinXP installed already, it's fine. This OS uses NTFS file system. Note that Linux uses other kinds of file systems. For instance, my Ubuntu is installed on top of ReiserFS.
3) Leave about 100 GB out of your 500 GB for Windows C: disc and 100 GB for D: (your data). Take the rest 300 GB and create three Linux partitions - 1 for swap, 1 for / (root) and 1 to be mount (for your data).
4) You can't see ReiserFS from Windows, but Ubuntu (and other modern Linux OS) can work with NTFS. Thus, you'll have full access to your data from Linux.
5) Linux writes multi loader in MBR. Therefor, you'll be able to choose OS when computer is loading.

Cheers!
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

personally i don't see the point in using separate computers for each operating system unless the purpose of one is a server.
it's not a bad idea to have your program files and other data separate from your operating system's partition in windows as well. i have a friend that has one partition for his my documents, program files and downloads, and i believe another 10GB for the operating system itself. which is easy enough to do, you just remap your my documents to the other partition and as you install programs, choose the alternate partition as the destination. its handy as whenever you have to reinstall windows, you don't lose your programs, documents, etc. and you don't have to back them up before reinstalling (however, regular backups should still be made of important data in case something happens to the partition which they're stored on).
i have no idea on what your data needs are, whether you create home movies or backup your legally purchased movie and music collection on your computer, whether you're a graphic artist and work with tons of large images, etc. so here's my random guesses on how i'd partition the setup:
you'll probably have to resize your XP partition if that's already been installed and the drive is not partitioned. i'm guessing XP is currently using the entirety of the drive. it may be easier to simply reinstall XP if that's an option.
in your case, i would probably partition the 500GB as having 3 primary partitions and one extended partition. the first partition i'd set aside 20GB and use that as your C: drive. the second partition i would create as 200GB for you documents, programs, downloads. the third partition i would create as 60GB for your / (root) partition. the extended partition would contain at least two logical partitions. the first being a 4GB swap partition, and the remainder of the drive as youre /home partition. the purpose for such a large home partition would come with the assumption that you'll be storing most of your data while in linux on this partition. by default, Ubuntu has a documents, pictures, etc. folder within your user's folder inside /home, and in my experience this is where i've stored all of such data. i have my music my equivalent of the second partition i've outlined, that way it's accessible both in windows and linux.
so, i'll let you digest that and feel free to post back with any questions
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If both OSes are on the same machine, you can only use one at a time. I can use XP, FreeBSD, Ubuntu and Vista without having to reboot. That's because I have 4 computers.

How can dual boot beat that?
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yea, you can do it without rebooting. but why? does taking 60 seconds to reboot hurt that bad? lol anything that i want to do in one OS, i can do in the other. and i can't operate multiple computers at the same time as i only have 2 arms and my eyes aren't good at looking at separate monitors at the same time >.<
so basically i still dont see the necessity.
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I'm on all Ubuntu Linux boxes now & the only thing I can't use them for is games.
I want to play a few games with my neighbor so I plan on setting a partition at the end of my drive aside to install Windows and some games on.

Since I will only play games every few days or so & when I do it will be for hours at a time, it makes more sense for me to have a dual-boot setup and just reboot my most powerfull computer when I want to play games.


Now when I first started using Linux, I had an extra computer so it made more sense for me to install Linux on that extra computer rather than risk screwing up my every-day computer if I didn't setup the dual-boot stuff right. I'm not sure I would have wanted to try Linux if I hadn't had that extra computer. Operating Systems are strange animals sometimes.
  • outback
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I appreciate the advice provided and as a beginner I will spend some time getting my head around it before I see if I need to come back to you on this. Many thanks.
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

LOL @AnarchY SI

Actually, what I do is, I have a Putty window opened on XP connected to my FreeBSD laptop and/or Ubuntu box. So when I want to run the whois command on various domains, which I do a lot, it's all in front of me. It's rare that I'm actually looking at the FreeBSD or Ubuntu screens.

You right about one thing, I don't want to be cross eyed >.<
  • AnarchY SI
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Post 3+ Months Ago

joe, you can't play your games with wine or cedega? all the games i play work rather well with wine ^_^

hahah i still don't see the point, but whatever floats your boat.
/cheers to us not going cross eyed tho ^_^
  • joebert
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I tried playing in Wine, the framerate was soo slow I could barely make it to the menu to shut it off. Adjusting the resolution in-game fried my old monitor & I've been afraid to try again since with my new monitor.

I'm not sure whether it was before or after Ubuntu notified me of the Nvidia drivers I have installed now though come to think of it. :scratchhead:

In any event, I've already planned to use the Windows partitio for games. Besides, it will allow me to isolate the gaming from the rest of my work. :D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hahah..nice. that works i guess. i keep getting blue screens in winblows so i've been sticking to linux as those dont exist and everything just works :-X go figure.
i would reinstall, but why..? i have a perfectly functioning, usable operating system..

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