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Easiest software to have linux+Windows XP

I currently have windows XP on my dell laptop. I dont want to fiddle around with boot.ini and stuff like that. But i want to set up Suse linux box on the same computer. I dont have any partitions on my dell laptop.

My ideal would be a program runnong from windows XP that asks "How much space you want for linux". I say 5 GB and boom. Thats it. Next time, i get a choice to boot with either XP or Windows.

Dumber, the better. Dumberer, the even better.

LInux help
Friday, April 2, 2004

Doesn't the SuSE Linux installer do exactly that?

Leauki (Andrew J. Brehm)
Friday, April 2, 2004

Does it?. Which version and where can i download it?.purchase it?

I want to install

SUSE LINUX Server v8 (Standard & Enterprise) /
SUSE LINUX Desktop v1

LInux help
Friday, April 2, 2004

Microsoft Virtual PC will run almost anything in a virtual machine, as a guest OS under Windows. I got Red Hat installed on it.  Although, there is a list of OSs that work under Virtual PC floating around and Suse 8.0 may be one of the very few that do not run under it.

Virtual PC runs as just another Windows application. This would avoid all partitioning and dual boot issues completely.

Bored Bystander
Friday, April 2, 2004

(I run SuSE Linux 8.2 on Virtual PC 6.1 on my Mac and it works.)

I don't know about the SuSE Linux desktop and server lines. The normal SuSE Linux Professional, however, does come with an installer that asks the user whether he wants to take space from a Windows partition and use it for Linux and also installs a boot selector (graphical).

But I don't have much experience with that mode any more since I only run Linux on dedicated machines or Virtual PC.

The Virtual PC solution has its advantages though.

Leauki (Andrew J. Brehm)
Saturday, April 3, 2004

If it is easy enough just get another hard drive.  One with Linux and the other Windows.  I had a Thinkpad that had one screw and the drive would pop in and out.

VMWare maybe an option for you.  I don't have experience with that since I prefer the dedicated machine also.

Bill Rushmore
Saturday, April 3, 2004

Use the Suse installer. If it was a desktop you would be better off with another hard drive but with a laptop that's not on.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, April 3, 2004

What are the specs of the machine that you want to do this on?

I have a P3/1Ghz/512MB vaio laptop running Win XP Pro as the main OS.  I run Fedora Core 1 under VMWare 4 and when I put it in full screen, you don't even realize that Win XP is running.

I can't speak for Virtual PC, but I'm pretty sure they use the same principle of sharing the CPU, so things should run at full speed.

Saturday, April 3, 2004

You should realistically expect CPU performance to be near 100%, and disk performance to be between 50-100%, depending on where the VMware/VPC images reside with comparison to the system and swap files.

Brad Wilson (
Saturday, April 3, 2004

Having repeatedly attempted dual-booting Windows and Linux, I offer my first commandment:

"Thou shalt not dual-boot Windows and Linux."

With this in mind, here are a few 'gotchas' that you should know if you're going to do this anyway:

-Put linux on a separate physical hard drive.  You eliminate any number of scary possibilities (i.e. entire drive data loss) when you do this.  PS--scary data loss still possible, but much less likely, barring PEBKAC errors.

-VMWare sounds nice; wish I had it.  What is it, $299?

-Consider a second machine.  You can even by a KVM switch for $30-50 and have the two machines sitting side by side.  This also engenders more experimentation, i.e. your main machine isn't tied up recompiling the kernel.

-Linux can only READ NTFS partitions, not WRITE[1].  So either make a FAT32 partition and 'export' whatever files you need to that partition, ... or you can run some crazy Windows-EXT2FS programs to grab the data directly from the Linux partition.

-Make off-computer backups of your email, files, etc, just in case.

As for my personal experiences:

-Multitudinous installs of RedHat 7.3/8.0/9.  Multitudinous reinstalls of Win98SE when I hosed the hard drive.

-A single attempted install of Fedora Core 2test1, which installed fine, but disallowed XP from successfully booting.  Why?  I don't know why.

-About four different 'LiveCD' CD's sitting around.  No mess, much easier on the digestion.

-Almost nothing actually accomplished in linux, besides one run through the "Linux From Scratch" book.  Which, I guess, accomplished nothing besides reaffirming my prejudices.

[1] - ok, so it's highly recommended that you not write files to an NTFS partition with the native Linux filesystem driver.  There's supposed to be some wrapper around the Windows NTFS-related DLL that will work, but I haven't seen it yet.

Sunday, April 4, 2004

+1 for VMWare/Virtual PC. You won't regret it.

Just me (Sir to you)
Monday, April 5, 2004

I dunno guys, I've got Windows XP and Fedora Core 1 sitting side by side on the same hard drive here with no problems on my brand new Dell 5150 laptop.  I had to monkey around a bit to get the partitions into place, but after that, it worked fine.

Partitions are:

FAT - 31MB - Dell magic diagnostic partition
NTFS -  15GB - Windows XP (C:)
ext3 - 100MB - /boot
Logical Partition containing:
  linux swap - 510MB
  ext3 - 7.81GB - /
  ext3 - 7.81GB - /home
  FAT32 - 6GB - for sharing files between XP and Linux (E:)

I used qt_parted from a rescue CD (Partition Magic would probably have been easier to use), resized the initial NTFS partition that occupied the drive, created the /boot, logical, and its sub partitions, and then just told Fedora Core 1 to install.

GRUB got installed into /boot (NOT the MBR)

After that, I copied the boot sector from /boot onto the share drive, and from there onto C:, and put it into the boot.ini file.

So now the Windows bootloader will let me pick between Windows XP and Linux, and from there, Grub will let me go back to Windows if I hit the wrong thing.  Works great.

Monday, April 5, 2004

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