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instaling linux

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#1
alexis

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i found a mandrale 7.1 disk and i want to install it, it is not new but since it it just my first step with linux i think it is ok, th ethingie is that i canīt install it from xp pro and when i install it from the boot when it should automatically create the partition it does nothing, the thingie is that i am not sure enough to start messing with partitions, i have the c: with NTFS and a partition d: with fat32 it came like that when i bought the machine and on the partition are the bakup files of the machine, can you plz help me :D

#2
nezumi

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i found a mandrale 7.1 disk and i want to install it, it is not new but since it it just my first step with linux i think it is ok, th ethingie is that i canīt install it from xp pro and when i install it from the boot when it should automatically create the partition it does nothing, the thingie is that i am not sure enough to start messing with partitions, i have the c: with NTFS and a partition d: with fat32 it came like that when i bought the machine and on the partition are the bakup files of the machine, can you plz help me  :D

As for Mandrake 7.1... I highly reccommend using a newer version, as that one is WAY too old. There may be some instability issues, and definately some open holes that have since then been patched.

About installing it...

When you get a more up-to-date distribution, slide the CD into your CD-ROM drive, and reboot the PC. Early in the boot process, access the BIOS (could be either by hitting DEL or INS or F10 or F1 or F2, it varies by manufacturer). Look for an option like "Boot Order." Make sure that your CD-ROM drive is listed before the floppy drive or the hard drive. save and exit, and reboot. Oh, you may want to disable legacy USB support while you're there.

Install should start up on the next boot. Keep a few things in mind about installing though:

You need non-partitioned space on your harddrive if you want to keep windows on there. It sounds like you got a PC from DELL or some other vendor, and the possibility of having non-partitioned space seems pretty low. If keeping windows is a high priority, and I'm assuming it is, you may want to invest in a small hard drive (20GB is more than enough).

One alternative is to download Knoppix. I showed it to a friend who was a little anti-Linux, and he was very impressed by it. http://www.knoppix.net. Just grab the ISO and burn it using your favorite software, make sure your PC is set to use the CD-ROM as a boot device, pop the Knoppix disc in the drive, and reboot. It runs everything off the CD and a RAM drive, a completely safe and effective way to try Linux. There's also slackware live... http://www.slackware-live.org/

Now, your post mentions the backup files on another partition... sure you wanna delete that partition? It's probably not gonna free up enough space for a good installation. I'm going to continue as if you went with the 2nd hard-drive option.

Pop the secondary drive in as a slave to your original drive (which will be the master). You may have to move your CD/DVD drives to the secondary IDE channel. Pop in the installation CD, and reboot the computer. If you use mandrake or redhat/fedora, keep in mind that you'll be working on HDB, not HDA or one of it's partitions (HDA1, HDA2).

If you use Slackware (http://www.slackware.com, I encourage you to try this, as it'll be a good, though unfriendly way to learn linux), you'll get dumped to a prompt, with some instructions or notices. At the prompt, you can type cfdisk /dev/hdb to get into an FDISK program. (hdb notates the second drive on the primary channel, hdc the primary drive on the secondary channel, hdd the secondary drive on the secondary channel). Your primary partition on the drive should be about 2.5 to 3 GB. I recommend making the Swap partition about 512 MB to 1 GB, depending on how much RAM you've got. The less RAM, the more SWAP. You'll probably want to make another 5GB partition on the drive for mounting to the /home directory (more on that later), and maybe other 1GB partitions for /var and /tmp.

Once you write the partition table to the new drive, enter the setup process by typing "setup." The first things you'll do is configure your installation media source (you should be able to have this automatically detected) and your partition information. Set the 2.5 GB partition for your root partition, and have it formatted however you prefer. I prefer ext3 and 2048 inodes/cluster (I think that's how it goes...). Do the same for the other partitions (when you format them, you can map them to the appropriate directory, such as mounting the 5GB partition to /home). Formatting your swap partition should be no problem, not too different from the others.

After this, you can select how you want to install it. There's options for installing everything, and options for installing select packages. Since you're new, you may want to install it all, just to be safe.

It'll do it's thing, and install it all, and when it's done, you'll have more stuff to configure. so much fun!

Pay close attention to this, I'm about to explain the boot loader. This will allow you to boot both Linux and Windows from one machine (of course, not at the same time). I recommend writing to the Master boot record, as it's fairly safe to do so, quick, and you don't have to keep up with a boot floppy. You'll tell it that your Linux distribution is on /dev/hdb, and that your windows installation is on /dev/hda, and you may want to specify a 30 or 5-second selection timeout (so that if you don't make a choice, it boots a default in 30 or 5 seconds). You may want to make the Windows the default. Then tell it to write this configuration. You can change the configuration later, but you'll have to re-write it when you do change it.

After this, you'll set up your keyboard and mouse choices, network options, network card options, choose a screen font, set your root password, your default window manager, etc. When you finish, you'll get dumped back to a prompt. You can then type "init 6" to reboot, or 3-finger-salute, as the screen says.

When you get back into Linux, you'll just have a prompt. You'll probably want something graphical. Linux uses the XFree86 implementation of the X11R6 standard, and you can use lots of different window managers with it. The popular choices are KDE, GNOME and Fluxbox. I reccommend going with KDE, 'cause Keramik's purty. You should have one already set to be your default from when you installed. Type "startx" to get going. if something goes wrong, you probably need to edit the X configuration. if so, type "xf86config" at the prompt, and follow the menus. if you use a Microsoft USB mouse, set your mouse to IMPS2. You may want to look up the technical info on your monitors refresh rates and frequencies using the internet (go go google!), as you'll need these to get X looking its best.

If you use a winmodem, head on over to http://www.linuxant.com. They make the linux drivers for Conexant-based Winmodems. If you use a DSL or cable connection, just use your ethernet port, and configure your internet connection for PPPoE. Network settings shouldn't be too hard to handle, there's lots available to read before you get too deep into installing Linux. Read up ahead of time.

If you need help with anything, try the various channels on irc.freenode.net. There are channels for supporting just about every Linux distro. if you need a chat client, just type "xchat" at a prompt (using X-windows) or "biatchx" from any prompt. That's bee - eye - tee - see - the letter H - then the letter x, there's no "A" in that word, regardless of what the forum tells you. Oh, don't chat as root. it's not smart. Make a new, non-priveleged user account for chatting. if you need to install or configure something, use the "su root" command from an xterm window.

If you need office software, there's KOffice or OpenOffice.org.
KWrite and Emacs and VI can be used for editing configuration files.
for IM, you have GAIM
for chat, there's X-Chat
for graphics, the GIMP

if you ever need files from your C: drive, you can use the mount command to mount it to a folder. from your root directory, type the follwoing:
cd mnt
mkdir c
cd..
mount /dev/hda1 /mnt/c -t ntfs -o ro
cd mnt/c
ls

the mount command I gave you above mounts your C drive as read-only, and mounts it to the C folder we put into mnt. the -o ro specifies the read only, and the -t ntfs specifies the NTFS filesystem. NTFS writing is very dangerous under linux,, but writing to fat32 is OK. For fat32, use -t vfat and -o rw (if you wish to make it read/write.

That's enough from me. For the rest, consult some Guru in IRC, provided he's in the mood the help. This should get you started though. Oh, don't pay too much attention to the HOWTOs, as they are mostly grossly outdated.

Have fun. Oh, and do make a Linux boot floppy. It can save teh ass.

#3
ken_cinder

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Thanks for the links nezumi, I haven't run any flavour of Linux in at least a good 6 years.
Slackware-Live won't work for me, but Knoppix does and I'm typing this message out right now from within KDE on the Konqueror web browser.
Great way for me to get used to Linux again, without chopping my hard drive up to put something like Mandrake on again.

I didn't even know there were any CD based distro's that contained anything of real use. But Knoppix is LOADED with software.

#4
nezumi

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Thanks for the links nezumi, I haven't run any flavour of Linux in at least a good 6 years.
Slackware-Live won't work for me, but Knoppix does and I'm typing this message out right now from within KDE on the Konqueror web browser.
Great way for me to get used to Linux again, without chopping my hard drive up to put something like Mandrake on again.

I didn't even know there were any CD based distro's that contained anything of real use. But Knoppix is LOADED with software.

Glad I could be of help!

The following is a true story:
----------------------------------------------------
/me goes to friends workplace to get new slackware CDs. I take my Knoppix CDs.
/me notes that friend is big Microsoft fan, for some reason. Doesn't think Linux can cut it.

He tells me he's having problems with a hard drive. Won't spin up, and he needs the data off of it. Well, Knoppix can't help there. if it were just a bad sector keeping Windows from loading, Knoppix could read from the drive, and get all the goods needed. Not so in this case. I started Knoppix on the machine anyway.

Got the machine on the network, and on the internet. Surfed the web with Mozilla and Konqueror. Showed him Open Office. told him that the new version could write to PDF. This was where I had to field a lot of questions along the lines of "Why do people make this stuff for free?"

This his manager/friend/associate walked it. We'll call him "friend2".

Friend1: "This is Linux."
Friend2: "Oh, I've seen Linux. Nothing too fancy."
Friend1: "Everything is running from the CD and RAM. It hasn't been installed. It's on the network and surfing the net."
Friend2 nods.
Friend1: "And it has this OpenOffice word processor. Writes PDFs."
Friend2: "Oh, I've seen lots of programs write PDFs--[interrupted]"
Friend1: "For free."
Friend2: "Free?! Free is better."

/me chuckles from the sidelines
---------------------------------------------------
:the preceeding was a true story.

Knoppix is probably the most important Linux distro out there right now, because with it, we can safely show people that it is possible to run Linux on the desktop for accomplishing common tasks, and save money while doing it.

/me hugs the Knoppix CD.

Of course, for a full-blown server, I'd probably go with slackware. It just does what you tell it to, and it's still kept very up-to-date.




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