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#1
jt1990

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I'm getting a new laptop next week. I'm considering wiping out my desktop and setting up a dual boot with XP Pro and Linux, just so I can learn how to use it. Now, I'm a total noob at Linux, so I have no idea what version I'd want to start with or how to install it, or anything like that. Any opinions/suggestions?
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#2
Kemasa

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You might want to search the forum for the discussion of which version to choose. I know that many beginners like Ubuntu.

You might also consider having a Virtual Machine for XP. VirtualBox works quite well and it is nice to have both on at the same time. This assumes that you have a fast enough machine with enough memory.
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#3
jt1990

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well, I'd be running it on a P4 2.8 with 2GB of RAM, although I don't know what the system requirements look like for Linux or Virtual Machine.

If I have time I'll look around.
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#4
Kemasa

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You can run Linux on less than that. I have 2Gb of memory and using 256MB for the XP Virtual machine and it works fine. I don't recall the speed of the machine, but I think that it is close to what you have. You might want to allocate more memory if you use XP more or use larger programs.
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#5
Titan8990

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I have an old 333mhz P2 that runs Linux just fine. In fact, in many cases Linux runs better on older hardware.
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#6
pyrocajun2707

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I would reccommend either Ubuntu or, preferably, PCLinuxOS 2007. (PCLOS uses KDE, a more windows-like GUI.) If you want to set up a dual boot, you can also have the option of shrinking the windows partition with the linux install disk or another bootable CD tool called GParted. Just make sure you defrag your windows partition before you do anything to prevent data from being cut off the end of the drive.

Also, if you choose to install PCLinuxOS and need to do custom partitioning, keep in mind you need to make a root (/) partition for programs and system data, a home (/home) partition for your personal files, and a swap partition that acts like the paging file in Windows, but must be isolated on its own partition. 2-4GB for swap should be more than enough.
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#7
jt1990

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*bump*

Ok, I've downloaded a PCLinuxOS .iso file. I'm going to wipe out my previous install of XP, so I won't bother with shrinking any partitions. Now, if I were to install XP first, could I just create a separate partition with the Windows setup and then install Linux on it? Or would I be better off doing it the other way 'round? Also, how do I go about installing Linux? Do I just boot to the CD and let it run? Are there any options that I would be better off configuring one way or another? Help!!
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#8
Titan8990

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Installing Windows first is always the easiest option. This is because the Linux bootloader (GRUB) can boot virtually an OS whereas The Windows Boot Loader (BNC) will only boot Windows. Unless you change it after the installation your computer will contain the bootloader of the OS that was last installed. If you were to install Windows second this would require you to reinstall GRUB.

You can't create your Linux partitions in Windows because M$ would rather act like a superior filesystem such as ext3 does not exist. Windows can't read or create the file format that Linux uses. You can leave empty space for you Linux partitions but you will not be able to format them.

Installing Linux is not much different then installing Windows. When you create your partitions you will want one partitions to be your filesystem formatted in ext3 and mounted to /. In Linux / is sort of like C:\ in Windows. You will need a second partition. The second partition is used for virtual RAM and is known as "swap". This is much more efficient than Window's paging file. You want your swap space to be a minimum of 2GB and typically twice the amount of RAM that you have.

Hope this helps.
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#9
jt1990

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Thanks! I haven't got around to actually wiping out my old comp yet, but that'll be helpful! :)
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