On Fri, 08 Jul 2005, O'Connor Paul-poconn04 wrote:
> I am new to Linux and want to install on my laptop. I guess I must
> re-parition my hard drive. It's a inspiron 510m. Any guide lines to
At all costs, keep things as simple and safe as possible. You can always
do the install again when you feel more comfortable and add separate
partitions, etc. Oh and if you do run into trouble, feel free to mail the
list for help.
* If possible, backup all data you want from Windows. It's unlikely you'll
nuke it but just in case. Resizing partitions is quite safe these days
but better safe than sorry.
* If you have a spare Windows drive (d:, e: or something) it's easiest
just to delete that partition and use the freed space. If not, you'll
need to resize your Windows partitions.
* If you need to resize a Windows partition, defragment it first in windows.
* Experts will use a number of partitions for linux. If I were you I would
just create 2. That's:
- the root "/", analogous to C:\ (all system and files on this)
- swap which linux uses invisibly for virtual memory
* For swap I'd recommend about 512MB-1GB. For root you need a minimum of
2-3GB plus whatever space you expect to use for your personal files.
Without opening up a war, I'll say that one reasonably easy to install
system is Ubuntu (the installer is text based but don't let that put you
It comes on just one cd which is handy (choose the i386 installer cd
The full install process takes about 30-50 mins and is online as
screenshots linked below.
As the partition resizing is slightly hidden I'll give some detailed
instructions. When you get to this screen:
you must choose "manually edit partition table". You will be shown a list
of partitions (probably just one large NTFS or FAT32 used by windows). As
far as I recall, you can select that partition, hit return, select the
partition size, hit return and it will allow you to edit the partition
size, giving you a minimum allowed size. Up to now, you'll have written
nothing to disk and can abort at a moment's notice. Resizing the partition
is permanent but windows will still be bootable. Then go back out to the
partitions menu and add one partition for "swap" and one for "root" (aka
"/") in the space you made (also a permanent process).
After that the install should proceed exactly as in the screenshots. You
might later find that Ubuntu is not the best distribution for you but it's
a nice handy one to start off with and is pretty popular among newbies and
experts alike. Once you have the installation done, I'd recommend having a
flick through this page[*] to get you up to speed on some basic admin tasks
(install java, flash, compilers, security updates, etc).
Good luck and have fun.
[*] On the Ubuntu guide, under "How to add extra repositories?", the author
recommends adding extra repositories including two repositories called
"## Backports". Do yourself a favour and omit those 2 lines unless you
want unsupported, bleeding edge stuff.
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