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Old 05-23-08, 11:01 AM   #1
sirpoopalot
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New Laptop +XP/Ubuntu dual boot setup?

Ok, so I think i'm finally ready to pull the trigger on a computer.

some of you may remember my old thread on the subject: Reccomend me a computer

I finally figured out what i think i will do:
buy this: http://www.dell.com/content/products...tab=bundlestab
(dell vostro 1000 laptop, $400 new)
comes with xp

Then setup a ubuntu/xp dual boot configuration.

Is this a straightforward setup & install?
Like pop the cd in and play?

Is the laptop i plan to buy one that will work with and ubuntu/xp dual boot system with no hitches?
Will ubuntu work constantly well, or will i have to do lots of periodic fiddling and setup changes to keep it working a-ok?


I'm not a computer person, but i think i will enlist the help of a computer-savvy friend to help me through the setup. I don't think this is that hard, but i really don't know.
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Old 05-23-08, 12:01 PM   #2
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1. If you have your friend help you partition the drive, set the mount point, etc, with the installer from the livecd there should be no problems. It's just difficult to know what to do if you've never partitioned your drive before. So no, when setting up a dual boot system it's not very straightforward and you either need a guide or a friend who knows what he's doing.

2. Ubuntu 8.04 still needs a few months before it is stable. Right now the main issue is with the web browser, Firefox 3. It is still in development which really sucks. You might want to install 7.10 instead, get used to how ubuntu works, and then upgrade to 8.04 in a few months.

3. Ubuntu is now easier to install than windows, but it takes some fiddling and adjusting, especially with laptops, which can be confusing if you've not worked with it before. But if you're dual booting, nothing is crucial so think of it as a chance to educate yourself. This site helps and the Ubuntu forums are invaluable.

http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Gutsy


4. Your laptop may not be able to handle all of the compiz desktop effects.

5. Once you are comfortable with Ubuntu, you can try out other flavors of linux:

http://distrowatch.com/
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Old 05-23-08, 12:04 PM   #3
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It's not hard at all. I can't speak for the Vostro, but I have installed Ubuntu on my Dell Latitude 600 (v7.10- Feisty Fawn) and just installed it on my Thinkpad x61s (v8.04- Hardy Heron). Both systems run XP Pro. In both cases, installing from the CD was very simple- and in both cases I had no trouble connecting with my WPA wireless.

BTW, there are three options for running Hardy Heron- 1. LiveCD (loads the OS from the CD every time- great for helping you decide if you really want it), 2. within Windows (creates a dual-boot system, but doesn't require you to create a Linux partition in advance of the install- I used this and it's pretty good), and 3. a full-blown install, where you set up a Linux partition in advance (this is the traditional way, and if you're committed to having a dual-boot where you're using Linux as much or more than XP, I'd go for this).

HTH.

{EDIT]_ yeah- what he said ^^^! Good points I forgot about.
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Old 05-23-08, 12:53 PM   #4
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1000 words:

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Old 05-23-08, 01:07 PM   #5
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Well, I will use this thread to gather information since it is for similar reasons...

I have been using Linux off and on since early Slackware days when distributions came on a handful of floppies... So, I am familiar with a lot of the fonctionality, but more with the interaction with older versions of Windows (when I faded from Linux, they were just getting into the ability to interact with file systems beyond FAT32)

So, I have a laptop with a single partition XP with NTFS. When I load the Ubuntu CD, it seems to give me 2 options use the whole disk for Linux (not a good options since I really want to dual boot) or use advanced/expert mode (I forget what it calls it). Will advanced/expert mode allow me to shrink the NTFS partition and set up a dual-boot, or am I stuck?

The bottom line, is there a tool (or tools) available to safely shrink my partition? Free, or inexpensive ideally.
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Old 05-23-08, 01:15 PM   #6
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I just purchased an HP Pavillion laptop that came with Windows Vista on an 80GB partition. I popped in an OpenSuse 10.3 cd and ran through the install process which allowed me to shrink the Vista partition to 40GB and use the remaining 40 for the OpenSuse install. Worked flawlessly. Dual boot works very well. The only problem I encountered was the onboard wireless device was mis-identified by OpenSuse and I had to go out a find patched set of drivers to resolve the problem.
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Old 05-23-08, 01:30 PM   #7
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I bought a vostro 1000 for my daughter. It came with a 29watt-hour battery. I recommend an upgrade as hers runs for about an hour on battery.

If she is around, I'll boot it to Ubuntu and see what works.
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Old 05-23-08, 03:22 PM   #8
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What I did on my low-midrange HP laptop is run both Windows and Linux at the same time, and technically neither is running on top of the other, because Hyper-V virtualizes even the main OS into a partition, similar to a Solaris container or AIX LPAR.

Since Windows Server 2008 is quite lightweight, especially relative to Vista, the Linux partition pretty much runs at native speed, other than having to run through a layer of NTFS filesystem I/O due to its disk image being on the W2008 system drive.

So, instead of dual booting, I just happily run both operating systems at the same time, and with multiple cores, one OS can rail one core without disturbing the other.
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Old 05-23-08, 03:37 PM   #9
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The problem with Ubuntu and any other distro on a laptop is that you just don't know what will work until you try it. Laptops are funny that way, because the manufacturers have to do many things that aren't standard or automatically detectable. Sometimes the iso you downloaded won't even boot, sometimes it will hang, and sometimes it will work very smoothly. It's just not predictable. But you might run into problems making full use of the wireless... although not always.

If you want to try installing Ubuntu, I would suggest that you first download a copy of GParted. This is a Linux CD that allows you to easily resize your Windows partition so that you can create an unused, unformatted second partition (if you don't already have one). Then install Ubuntu on that partition. You can just let it set up the Linux partitions on its own (by telling it to use all the free space when it asks). But of course, do backup at least your data before you resize the Windows partition. It;s unlikely, but there's always a chance something could go wrong.

If the installation is successful, you will have almost full functionality in Ubuntu when you dual boot. Even if the wireless won't work, you can still use a wired connection. As far as wireless goes, some laptops are better than others with Linux.

Of course, you can just try the LiveCD version of Ubuntu or any other distro for that matter. If it boots and it works, whatever works or doesn't work will be the same once you install as a dual boot. On my laptop (an Acer Aspire), the Ubuntu LiveCD won't even boot, but the alternate iso boots and installs fine. But other LiveCDs like Knoppix, PCLinux, Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux work fine. No wireless though because of how ACER implements wireless on some of its laptops.

Alternatively, creating a virtual machine with Virtualbox works very well if you have lots of RAM you can assign to it.

Last edited by Longfemur; 05-23-08 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 05-23-08, 03:45 PM   #10
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Thanks Longfemur...

Using Ubuntu booting from the CD, I was able to connect with my wireless, so I think I am lucky there.

I will download GParted and see how it works for me for the partitioning... That should make me happy.

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Old 05-23-08, 03:59 PM   #11
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very easy with Ubuntu, this is the most user friendly linux version I believe, and works great for people with a windows background.
Though I am more of a MAC guy, I worked and configured many operating systems as I am a computer expert myself.

Your Dell will come pre installed with the windows xp OS. You have to run it and configure this to the end, usually just inputting some personal information, username, passwords, language and so and your computer will be ready.

After that, insert the linux cd and reboot your computer on the CD drive.
You will have a small menu where you will choose to run the linux OS. Once up and running you will see an install icon on your ubuntu desktop. Double click on it and follow instructions from there.

The system will detect your partitions and everything, and will ask you if you want a dual boot and will propose a generic partition/configuration that works for most users. You will also get the chance to migrate some files and setup from a windows user.

The ubuntu takes around 30min to install, pretty quick for an OS, I sure you will not face any major issues.

Good luck
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Old 05-23-08, 04:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
Will advanced/expert mode allow me to shrink the NTFS partition and set up a dual-boot, or am I stuck?
Yes...but you will have to set a mount point in the new partition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
The bottom line, is there a tool (or tools) available to safely shrink my partition? Free, or inexpensive ideally.
Yes, I use system rescue cd. It's a live cd that allows you to run gparted among other things. Much faster and easier to use than the interface during ubuntu install.

http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
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Old 05-23-08, 04:07 PM   #13
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GAG is a nice cd to have around if you end up needing to wipe GRUB the mbr and start over.

http://gag.sourceforge.net/
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Old 05-23-08, 05:40 PM   #14
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1000 words:

oh god that thing is worse that those cyclists in the red/whit kit..



If ANYONE posts the picture, well, let's just say bad things will happen.
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Old 05-24-08, 07:49 AM   #15
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Google (JFGI)

Vostro 1000 needed some workarounds to get things working on Ubuntu 7.10 - screen brightness, video, wireless network.

Works on Ubuntu 8.04 "I had to uninstall xserver-xgl and enable "Composites" in the xorg.conf to get compiz working" (Compiz is the fancy desktop effects.)

They sell enough laptops and the community is big enough that searching should bring up any problems/workarounds.
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