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A technical question

I'm wondering how it would be possible to set it up so I can get Linux on this machine, and switch back and forth between Linux and XP if need be? Also, if I had Linux on this machine, what kinds of programs would be incompatible? Would I need to download compatible versions? Would my files translate from one to another? What are the practical considerations of having Linux (or other open-source OS) on this machine? Thank you for any help.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
drjon
Jun. 19th, 2008 11:07 am (UTC)
fayanora
Jun. 19th, 2008 11:28 am (UTC)
Yes.
drjon
Jun. 19th, 2008 12:24 pm (UTC)
I run Wubi on this box as a dualboot with XP. It's quite funky.

When you run the install program, it downloads an ISO image (an electronic version of the data on a CD) of a Ubuntu Install disc off the internet, so even with broadband it can take about half an hour, but I do recommend this installer if you want an easy way of checking Linux out without screwing around with your operating system, or having to partition your harddrive.
fayanora
Jun. 19th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
I tried downloading Wubi, and the computer couldn't connect. It's the only web page not working.
drjon
Jun. 19th, 2008 12:40 pm (UTC)
chameleon_path
Jun. 19th, 2008 11:54 am (UTC)
My man just set up a friend's computer to dual-boot Vista and Linux (Ubuntu flavor). They run separately and Linux will not read NTFS files, which I believe is the format that XP uses as well.
tlttlotd
Jun. 19th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
NTFS-v3 works quite well for that. I spent a good bit of yesterday morning using it, in fact.
(Deleted comment)
fayanora
Jun. 22nd, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)
OpenOffice
Firefox
Opera
Yahoo Messenger
MS Paint
JASC Animation Shop 3
Semagic
Cyberlink PowerDVD
eMule
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Cryptainer LE
AVG Free Edition
RealPlayer
Windows Media Player
DivX
D-Link Rangebooster G WDA 2320
Evrsoft
Express WebPictures
Olympus Camedia
Quicktime
Sonic and Knuckles for PC
WinRAR
BitTorrent
Sound Recorder
Notepad

Word (rarely, because it sucks.)
JASC Paint Shop Pro 9 (rarely anymore due to memory requirements)
Windows Movie Maker (rarely, for same reason)
(Deleted comment)
fayanora
Jun. 25th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
you don't need a virusscanner

Like heck I don't!

JASC Animation Shop 3 / ??? (what's that?)

It's what I make animated gifs with.

eMule / don't know

File-sharing client.

Cryptainer LE / what's that?

Program that makes encrypted "vaults" on the computer, which are password-protected. Anything stored in those vaults is encrypted with a really long prime number.

D-Link Rangebooster G WDA 2320 / what's that?

Program that makes my wireless modem work.

Evrsoft / what's that?

Web page design application.

Express WebPictures / what's that?

Can download all the pictures from a website or specific directories on a web site at a high rate of speed.

Sonic and Knuckles for PC / what's that?

Video game. Ever heard of Sonic the Hedgehog?
tlttlotd
Jun. 19th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
It is not difficult to dual boot a PC using Linux and another operating system. What needs to be done is that your Windows partition must be resized to make room on the hard drive (or another hard drive could be installed). Then a second partition is created behind the Windows partition, and Linux is installed into it. A bootloader (usually GRUB these days) is used to choose which OS will be booted.

Alternatively, you could install a virtual machine like Vmware (which is not free for Windows but is for Linux) and install an OS into that (we do this extensively at work to cut down on the amount of hardware that has to be managed). There are other virtual machine applications out there like bochs or QEMU that you could use for the same purpose.

Or, you could download and burn a couple of Live CDs to experiment with Linux. Live CDs do not actually install to your hard drive but boot and run entirely from CD or DVD-ROM disk, so they are slower but just as usable and featureful as a full install. I am personally quite fond of Puppy Linux, which has a nice desktop and is easy to use. It can also be installed to a USB key if you want to maintain file and configuration settings between reboots. Ubuntu Linux and Knoppix are two well-known and heavily used Live CD distributions, and are extremely mature in terms of stability and usability.

As for running existing applications for Windows, you would need to use Wine to run them because the systems are too different (Wine re-implements the system libraries of Windows so that they'll execute). There are, however, alternatives to many Windows applications that you might want to consider (like The Gimp).
kengr
Jun. 24th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Bring a blank CD-R and I'll burn you a copy of Kubuntu. That'll run off the CD when you boot from it vut you can still access files on the HD. It'll give you an idea of what hardware on ytour box is supported and how well it'll run. It'll takse a *long* time to boot though
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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