So I’ve had my computer for a year running WinXP and I feel over my winter break I’m going to re-format and set up a dual-boot maching running XP and some sort of Linux distro. Now I’m not too familiar with Linux so I’ve been looking at what appear to be more entry level linux distros: Lindows OS and SUSE 9.0. So, in your opinion which one would be best for me? SUSE seems like it comes with many more utilities than Lindows does. Another thing I think might be a problem is that my WinXP install disk is really just a recovery disk. Has anyone ever had a problem setting up a dual boot using a recovery disk as opposed to a standard XP install? Any other advice or input would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
You didn’t ask, but I prefer RedHat. Setting up a dual boot is pretty straight forward, but I suspect it’s as easy for any distro.
The most important thing that a beginners linux distro should have is a good graphical setup/configuration tool. For example, you will probably not be able to configure your printer right off the bat by hand. A windows-like “click yes or next” method will be way easier. When I first started with linux, I got very frustrated with the many hours it took to set up a peripheral. You do not have to go through that nowadays.
SUSE does have graphical config in Yast, but I would second Bill’s recommendation of RedHat instead which also has graphical configuration. SUSE is a very good distribution, but I remember having lots of problems installing third party software because they always seemed to put required files and libraries in weird places. Maybe that’s changed since I used it, it’s been a while. RedHat is kind of like the standard (as much as there is any) in Linux. So you usually have a better chance of things working on it than any other distro.
Also, I don’t think you can get SUSE 9.0 for free, but you can the latest RedHat.
An even easier verision to use is Mandrake, which evolved from RedHat. You’d almost swear you are running windows, but with different icons. However, the ease of use comes with a price, it’s pretty much the same speed as windows. Not a big deal on a modern computer.
I’ve never heard anything terribly positive about Lindows.
You can definately get SUSE 9.0 for free. It is on their downloads page. I’ve grabbed it myself. Just realize that it comes with no support if you download it for free.
I’d go with Suse over Lindows. Then again, I’d go with Mandrake or Redhat over Suse (both are free), so your mileage may vary here.
I’m a little suprised here Amp, did you get the full 9.0 iso or the live-eval? I thought the only way you could get it was buying the disk or installing from their ftp server which takes forever.
Thanks for the advice guys. I’d been looking around SUSE.com and couldnt find any free version. Didn’t look hard enough I guess. Balduran - You were right about the slooooow download. 15 hours from SUSE but 2 from some university in Georgia. If anyone has anything else to add feel free. Thanks.
rayray you should check out linuxiso.org, they’ve got iso’s of all the major distributions. Also, check the archives in the GQ forum, this question comes up quite often there and you’ll see some good advice in those threads. Not that anybody is complaining, as far as I’m concerned, the more times this question arises, the more people we can convert!
Guess nobody so far can tell you much about your xp question. I have reinstalled win98 from recovery disk and it was basically the regular full version. It is best to install windows first and then linux as linux is better at detecting windows partitions. This program now recognizes linux partitions. Be careful though, you can wipe your system if you are not paying attention!
I would recommend getting a good disk partitioning package. Like partition magic which enables you to repartion your hard-drive without having to reinstall current operating systems.
My other recommendation is to create three partitions: the one for xp (is it still ntfs?), a fat32 (win95), and an ext3(a major linux one). The reason for three is that while linux can read ntfs, it is not able to write to it, but it can read and write fat32. That way you have a place where you can share data between windows and linux.
Have fun and feel free to ask lots of questions in GQ, there are some real experts there.
Yes, I installed it from their FTP server. And it didn’t take for over. Just somewhere between 8 to 12 hours. I fell asleep once I didn’t have to fill out anything else and when I woke up it was prompting me to reboot.
Well Amp, there you go. I tried installing from ftp a few years back and it kept timing out the server. I eventualy gave up. Guess things have changed some.
BTW rayray made a bit of a hash of my last post. The lines This program now recognizes linux partitions. Be careful though, you can wipe your system if you are not paying attention! were meant to be in the next paragraph to describe partition magic.
There are a lot of good distros out there. I can personnaly vouch for the ease with which Mandrake 9.1 can be installed on a machine that already has windows.
It recognizes that Windows is installed and asks what you want to do. One of the options is to repartition the drive without losing information. Note, you should make a back-up anyway. I didn’t, because I didn’t care about the data, and it successfully shifted the Windows partition so it was the first 10GB of the drive and used the rest for Linux. No loss of data.
The LILO config was handled by the install process, and within an hour I had a dual boot pc.
The X configuration is the biggest issue I’ve had with different distros. Mandrake has always been good to me when it comes to configuring XFree86. Redhat made me try a couple times, and some of the other distros drove me crazy getting the config file right.
Redhat, SUSE, Mandrake have good reputations for installation. Debian has a bad rep, but a lot of that is unfair leftovers. They have come a long way.
Lindows may be good, but how do you tell anyone you use it? Seriously. Have some pride, man.