Discussion:
Advice for newbie installing dual-boot Debian/XP please.
(too old to reply)
Will
2004-05-29 05:01:27 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I am looking at installing a dual-boot (Debian/XPee) set up on one of
my machines at home. Please note my Newbie status - This is my first
attempt at such an install (including first Linux install on own –
but with your help, technically, not on my own).

I'll be doing this on a brand new Seagate Barracuda 120GB hdd. I have
researched the topic on the web and have come across different views
as to the best way to approach this. Your learned views will be
greatly received.

What follows is my plan thus far:

DUAL-BOOT DEBIAN/WIN XP

Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a – I know it’s old) i386.

1. Insert Win XP CD into CD-Rom.
2. Remove old hdd and replace with 120GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7
hdd.
3. Restart machine - XP install CD will start (assuming BIOS is set
to start from CD-Rom).
4. FDisk (on Win XP CD) can be used to carve disk into partitions, so

(eventually*) partition as follows (or better ideas?);

10GB ==> NTFS ==> Win XP and Applications
50GB ==> FAT32 ==> Linux and Windows Data files
59GB ==> ext3 ==> Linux and Applications and Linux-specific
- data files
1GB ==> Linux Swap file

Another option above would be to put a third OS on there – maybe
another Linux flavour (say where I currently have 59GB currently
allocated for Linux and Apps).

* One of opposing views here regarding partitioning - some say let
the Win XP install make all partitions, others say, just partition
the first NTFS and FAT32 for Win XP and let Linux tools partition
rest of space after XP install. So, make three partitions - one for
NTFS and one for FAT32, leaving rest of (partitionable) space for
Debian installer (Disk druid) or other?

5. Load XP onto first partition.
6. Insert first Debian CD, restart machine, Debian installer shown.
7. Use Disk Druid (or something similar) to partition rest of drive
(Debian will recognise Win partitions) as follows:

50MB for boot partition (\boot)
1GB for swap file
58.95GB for Linux OS (\) **

** Advice here would be appreciated (ie. splitting this up into
further partitions to separate everything (although I won't be
running mail server on this box or anything like that - I am a Newbie
but, I will be setting up IPCop on a separate box, which is how I
will dial-up (cough, yes, I know) to the Internet.

8. Continue with set up of Debian as per above.
9. Choose Grub for boot partition. I have read differing views on
placing it in the MBR - some people say yes and others say no. If
putting into MBR it will cause Linux to boot next time from hdd?
10. Make user account, other than root.
11. Remove CD and restart.
12. Return to Bios (Delete key at start up? I have an American
Megatrends 900Mhz mobo) to start from hdd.
13. Grub will appear and give choice of Linux or Dos. Select Linux,
login under root, launch command line and navigate to:

/etc/grub.conf. Go to bottom of this file and enter:

title Windows XP
root (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1

Save above and exit. Restart and Grub will appear with Win XP under

Linux. Will that work?

Sorry for long post, or if I have repeated anything above.

Look forward to any feedback.

Cheers,

Will

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Mark Foster
2004-05-29 05:47:54 UTC
Permalink
Hi Will,
Firstly congratulations on taking the first step :-)

Heres how i'd do it...
Post by Will
Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a ? I know it?s old) i386.
Note the older it is, the more updates you'll have to download to be
current. I hope your internet link is reasonable :)
If you can get the Knoppix 3.4 CD (its a fairly new image, less than a
month old) - the hd-installation is Debian (its a debian derivative). Just
a thought - the one you have will be fine.
Post by Will
1. Insert Win XP CD into CD-Rom.
2. Remove old hdd and replace with 120GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7
hdd.
3. Restart machine - XP install CD will start (assuming BIOS is set
to start from CD-Rom).
4. FDisk (on Win XP CD) can be used to carve disk into partitions, so
(eventually*) partition as follows (or better ideas?);
10GB ==> NTFS ==> Win XP and Applications
50GB ==> FAT32 ==> Linux and Windows Data files
59GB ==> ext3 ==> Linux and Applications and Linux-specific
- data files
1GB ==> Linux Swap file
Firstly start everything off as FAT32. Linux cant read NTFS and its a
b|tch to recover from should you have any problems. You can convert
fat->ntfs very easily from windows later.

I'd divide it up this way:
10GB - FAT - Windows XP Installation only...

Then stop. Thats enough to get windows on the disk. You want to use Linux
for the rest - at least initially.
Post by Will
5. Load XP onto first partition.
6. Insert first Debian CD, restart machine, Debian installer shown.
7. Use Disk Druid (or something similar) to partition rest of drive
50MB for boot partition (\boot)
1GB for swap file
58.95GB for Linux OS (\) **
Depends on how picky you want to be with partitioning, but what i'd be
tempted to then do is, after the 10GB FAT32 partition, have

Root partition /boot - 20 MB
Swap Partition - double your ram, and then some. Youre not short of
disk so i'd be tempted to allocate around 1Gig for Swap.
Rest of disk (/) - say, 20GB. Thats HEAPS of space for your installation.

Install Linux.
Post by Will
8. Continue with set up of Debian as per above.
9. Choose Grub for boot partition. I have read differing views on
placing it in the MBR - some people say yes and others say no. If
putting into MBR it will cause Linux to boot next time from hdd?
10. Make user account, other than root.
11. Remove CD and restart.
12. Return to Bios (Delete key at start up? I have an American
Megatrends 900Mhz mobo) to start from hdd.
- Or simply remove the OS CD when its seeking a boot drive. :P
Post by Will
13. Grub will appear and give choice of Linux or Dos. Select Linux,
title Windows XP
root (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1
Save above and exit. Restart and Grub will appear with Win XP under
Linux. Will that work?
This part I can't comment on, as i've never done it (I use LILO
personally).



Important thing to my mind - the above gives you two OS installations with
space to spare. Perhaps make your initial Windows partition 20GB - in
fact this is a good idea given MS's tendency to install things on C: - but
once youve got your two OS's in place, the above still leaves you with a
lot of space which you can then partition at whim. If you're truly wanting
to dualboot you may simply want to set up the majority of the rest up as a
fat32 disk that both your OS's can read/write to.

If local file security is a concern, then simply trim the amount of shared
space, create ext3 space for linux usage, and an NTFS partition for
Windows usage. (and convert your c:).

This is how I'd do it, i've done it once myself with Knoppix and Windows
2000, it was actually quite straight forward.... i'm sure some of the more
experienced geeks on here will be sure to correct any errors or bad
suggestions on my part :)

Cheers
Mark.

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Philip Charles
2004-05-29 10:05:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Foster
Hi Will,
Firstly congratulations on taking the first step :-)
Heres how i'd do it...
Post by Will
Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a ? I know it?s old) i386.
Note the older it is, the more updates you'll have to download to be
current. I hope your internet link is reasonable :)
If you can get the Knoppix 3.4 CD (its a fairly new image, less than a
month old) - the hd-installation is Debian (its a debian derivative). Just
a thought - the one you have will be fine.
Would you be interested in a freebee Debian Testing DVD? I have just
completed a 2.4 GB test installation of my latest test build and it went
well. I would find it helpful if it could be tested with different
hardware.

I could throw in a Mandrake 10.0 Official DVD as well. Both these DVDs
are my own constructs.

Phil.

--
Philip Charles; 39a Paterson Street, Abbotsford, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3 488 2818 Fax +64 3 488 2875 Mobile 025 267 9420
***@copyleft.co.nz - preferred. ***@debian.org
I sell GNU/Linux & GNU/Hurd CDs & DVDs. See http://www.copyleft.co.nz

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Philip Charles
2004-05-29 10:10:01 UTC
Permalink
Ooops, my bad. I meant the installfest.

Phil.
Post by Philip Charles
Post by Mark Foster
Hi Will,
Firstly congratulations on taking the first step :-)
Heres how i'd do it...
Post by Will
Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a ? I know it?s old) i386.
Note the older it is, the more updates you'll have to download to be
current. I hope your internet link is reasonable :)
If you can get the Knoppix 3.4 CD (its a fairly new image, less than a
month old) - the hd-installation is Debian (its a debian derivative). Just
a thought - the one you have will be fine.
Would you be interested in a freebee Debian Testing DVD? I have just
completed a 2.4 GB test installation of my latest test build and it went
well. I would find it helpful if it could be tested with different
hardware.
I could throw in a Mandrake 10.0 Official DVD as well. Both these DVDs
are my own constructs.
Phil.
--
Philip Charles; 39a Paterson Street, Abbotsford, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3 488 2818 Fax +64 3 488 2875 Mobile 025 267 9420
I sell GNU/Linux & GNU/Hurd CDs & DVDs. See http://www.copyleft.co.nz
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--
Philip Charles; 39a Paterson Street, Abbotsford, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3 488 2818 Fax +64 3 488 2875 Mobile 025 267 9420
***@copyleft.co.nz - preferred. ***@debian.org
I sell GNU/Linux & GNU/Hurd CDs & DVDs. See http://www.copyleft.co.nz

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Mark Foster
2004-05-29 22:39:35 UTC
Permalink
Phil,

If you'd caught me a week earlier i'd have volunteered to test it on my
laptop (the only machine I have with a DVDRom). As it is I just restored
windows to it... bugger. :P
Post by Philip Charles
Post by Mark Foster
Hi Will,
Firstly congratulations on taking the first step :-)
Heres how i'd do it...
Post by Will
Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a ? I know it?s old) i386.
Note the older it is, the more updates you'll have to download to be
current. I hope your internet link is reasonable :)
If you can get the Knoppix 3.4 CD (its a fairly new image, less than a
month old) - the hd-installation is Debian (its a debian derivative). Just
a thought - the one you have will be fine.
Would you be interested in a freebee Debian Testing DVD? I have just
completed a 2.4 GB test installation of my latest test build and it went
well. I would find it helpful if it could be tested with different
hardware.
I could throw in a Mandrake 10.0 Official DVD as well. Both these DVDs
are my own constructs.
Phil.
--
Philip Charles; 39a Paterson Street, Abbotsford, Dunedin, New Zealand
+64 3 488 2818 Fax +64 3 488 2875 Mobile 025 267 9420
I sell GNU/Linux & GNU/Hurd CDs & DVDs. See http://www.copyleft.co.nz
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cr
2004-05-29 07:06:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Will
Hi,
I am looking at installing a dual-boot (Debian/XPee) set up on one of
my machines at home. Please note my Newbie status - This is my first
attempt at such an install (including first Linux install on own ?
but with your help, technically, not on my own).
I'll be doing this on a brand new Seagate Barracuda 120GB hdd. I have
researched the topic on the web and have come across different views
as to the best way to approach this. Your learned views will be
greatly received.
DUAL-BOOT DEBIAN/WIN XP
Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a ? I know it?s old) i386.
1. Insert Win XP CD into CD-Rom.
2. Remove old hdd and replace with 120GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7
hdd.
3. Restart machine - XP install CD will start (assuming BIOS is set
to start from CD-Rom).
4. FDisk (on Win XP CD) can be used to carve disk into partitions, so
(eventually*) partition as follows (or better ideas?);
10GB ==> NTFS ==> Win XP and Applications
50GB ==> FAT32 ==> Linux and Windows Data files
59GB ==> ext3 ==> Linux and Applications and Linux-specific
- data files
1GB ==> Linux Swap file
Another option above would be to put a third OS on there ? maybe
another Linux flavour (say where I currently have 59GB currently
allocated for Linux and Apps).
* One of opposing views here regarding partitioning - some say let
the Win XP install make all partitions, others say, just partition
the first NTFS and FAT32 for Win XP and let Linux tools partition
rest of space after XP install. So, make three partitions - one for
NTFS and one for FAT32, leaving rest of (partitionable) space for
Debian installer (Disk druid) or other?
5. Load XP onto first partition.
6. Insert first Debian CD, restart machine, Debian installer shown.
7. Use Disk Druid (or something similar) to partition rest of drive
50MB for boot partition (\boot)
1GB for swap file
58.95GB for Linux OS (\) **
** Advice here would be appreciated (ie. splitting this up into
further partitions to separate everything (although I won't be
running mail server on this box or anything like that - I am a Newbie
but, I will be setting up IPCop on a separate box, which is how I
will dial-up (cough, yes, I know) to the Internet.
8. Continue with set up of Debian as per above.
9. Choose Grub for boot partition. I have read differing views on
placing it in the MBR - some people say yes and others say no. If
putting into MBR it will cause Linux to boot next time from hdd?
10. Make user account, other than root.
11. Remove CD and restart.
12. Return to Bios (Delete key at start up? I have an American
Megatrends 900Mhz mobo) to start from hdd.
13. Grub will appear and give choice of Linux or Dos. Select Linux,
title Windows XP
root (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1
Save above and exit. Restart and Grub will appear with Win XP under
Linux. Will that work?
Sorry for long post, or if I have repeated anything above.
Look forward to any feedback.
Cheers,
Will
Just a couple of comments.

It's usually said to be preferable to let each application make its own
partitions (one of the possibilities you mentioned there). By the way, I
really don't know whether WinXP uses NTFS or FAT32 - I've always seen it
written that XP uses NTFS, but the (new) PC I repartitioned the other day,
which came with a brand-new out-of-the-shop XP install, had FAT32 on it.
Odd.

I would actually make two or three spare ext2 partitions of, say, 3GB each,
just for putting future versions of Linux in. And use the remaining large
partition for your data, separate from the operating system. That may sound
a bit superfluous, but you might want to try, say, Knoppix, and if you have a
spare partition you can do an install without endangering your existing
setup.
It's also very handy, for example, if you want to upgrade - Debian Woody
(3.0) is pretty old now, Debian Sarge is coming out Real Soon Now, and the
safest way to upgrade (without risking damaging your working system) is to
copy the entire system into a spare partition and upgrade that. Then if it
doesn't work you're no worse off. You can boot them all from GRUB.
And they can all 'see' your data on your large partition without risking
changing some setting in one your other operating systems.

Putting GRUB into the MBR should enable you to boot Linux (but it may not do
so automatically, the way the WinXP loader boots Windows). GRUB isn't a
Linux app, it's its own OS-independent bootloader. You get a menu entry for
each operating system you want it to boot. The Debian installer probably
will make a menu entry for Debian Linux, and it probably will install GRUB
Stage 1 on the MBR, pointing to Stage 1.5 in your Debian Linux partition. I
doubt if it will make a menu entry for DOS, I think you'll have to add the
WinXP menu yourself, as you noted.


I happen to have a small DOS/Windows drive in /hda (that's C: in DOS
terms), so that's where my GRUB lives, in C:\boot\grub. Grub really
doesn't care which system it's in.


Just as a sample, this is what my GRUB menu.lst in /hda1/boot/grub
(aka C:\boot\grub) looks like. Stuff in square brackets is my comments,
not in the actual file

# \BOOT\GRUB\MENU.LST
# Grub boot menu

color white/blue yellow/green
timeout 15

title Grub menu on /hda1/boot/grub/
lock
[This line is just so I know which GRUB menu's in use.... since I swap
hard drives around, I have been known to get confused with copies on other
drives, and which one GRUB Stage 1 on the MBR is loading....
The 'lock' asks for a password which it's never going to get - just a trick
to get GRUB to display a 'comment' line on screen, without trying to boot it,
since GRUB doesn't have a 'comment' command]


title Debian GNU/Linux, kernel bf2.4 on /hdc1
root (hd1,0)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.4.18-bf2.4 root=/dev/hdc1 hdb=ide-scsi ro
savedefault

[ hd1,0 is what GRUB calls the first partition on /hdc
GRUB is zero-based so (hd1,0) means second drive, first partition
I've got a 3GB drive in /hda ("hd0" to Grub)
a CD-ROM in /hdb (Grub ignores it)
a 20GB drive in /hdc ("hd1" to Grub)
Hence 'root (hd1,0)' points Grub at /hdc1
The 'root=/dev/hdc1' in the 'kernel' line is a parameter Grub passes to the
Linux kernel so it knows where it is, otherwise Linux will crash with a
'kernel panic' when it can't find itself. Grub doesn't care what the
parameter says, the 'root' means nothing to it.]


title Fedora Core 1 on /hdc5
root (hd1,4)
kernel /boot/vmlinuz root=/dev/hdc5 hdb=ide-scsi ro
savedefault


title DOS D on /hda2
rootnoverify (hd0,1)
makeactive
chainloader +1

title Win98 on /hda1
rootnoverify (hd0,0)
makeactive
chainloader +1




What I would do, before all this installation, is make all the 'boot
floppies' you can - that is, if WinXP offers you the option, make one, and
make a Debian one, and make a GRUB one. That way, you can always boot into
*something*, even if something goes wrong with the MBR.
You can download the necessary files to make a GRUB boot floppy (DOS format)
off the 'net, and you can always reinstall Grub on the MBR using that floppy.

While you're at it, it wouldn't hurt to download 'RIP' (Recovery is Possible
- a tiny Linux rescue distro) and make a floppy of it, too. Can't have too
many ways to get back in to the system, and it's very handy for checking
(with fdisk) how your drive is partitioned. ;)


One other thing - the Debian Woody installer is notoriously unfriendly.
I'm referring to 'dselect', the 'package' selector, which always manages to
trip me up. Best method is probably to just let Debian install its own
selection of packages, then do your own fine-tuning afterwards with a nice
graphical front-end like Kpackage (which should be included in the install).


Regards and good luck

Chris

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Andrew Simpson
2004-05-29 07:13:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 29 May 2004 17:01:27 +1200
Post by Will
Hi,
I am looking at installing a dual-boot (Debian/XPee) set up on one of
my machines at home. Please note my Newbie status - This is my first
attempt at such an install (including first Linux install on own ___
but with your help, technically, not on my own).
Might not be what your after; but there is a new Debian installer in
it's fourth beta.

http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/

Points to note: It installs the 'testing' variant, and not the 'stable'
you're getting from Copyleft. Also, the CD only has the base system;
the remainder has to be downloaded from a network (not good on a
dial-up?).

I tried it the other weekend. Very smooth indeed - a real joy to use
(especially compared to it's predecessor).

I installed the base system, and connected to
ftp://ftp.jetstreamgames.co.nz with an Jetstart ADSL account. By
changing your ISP username to ***@jetstreamgames.co.nz (no password
required), you can connect at full jetstream speed - and no cost. I
think I downloaded all the packages I wanted in about a minute.

Regards

Andrew

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Matthew Currington
2004-05-29 19:45:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Simpson
I installed the base system, and connected to
ftp://ftp.jetstreamgames.co.nz with an Jetstart ADSL account. By
required), you can connect at full jetstream speed - and no cost. I
think I downloaded all the packages I wanted in about a minute.
I'm pretty sure you use the same password as your normal ISP account,
not "no password".

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Nic Bellamy
2004-05-29 23:07:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Currington
Post by Andrew Simpson
I installed the base system, and connected to
ftp://ftp.jetstreamgames.co.nz with an Jetstart ADSL account. By
required), you can connect at full jetstream speed - and no cost. I
think I downloaded all the packages I wanted in about a minute.
I'm pretty sure you use the same password as your normal ISP account,
not "no password".
I use literally '***@jetstreamgames.co.nz' and 'password'. Using
your real ISP login password is a great way to give it to a third party
(the Jetstreamgames people).

Cheers,
Nic.
--
Nic Bellamy <***@bellamy.co.nz>
Bellamy Consulting -- Software & Security -- http://www.bellamy.co.nz/
Phone: +64-6-377-4957 Fax: +64-6-377-0505 Mobile: +64-21-251-8954

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Will
2004-05-30 05:13:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Foster
Hi Will,
Firstly congratulations on taking the first step :-)
Hi Mark,

Thanks :) and thanks for your advice. Just one question below ...
Post by Mark Foster
Post by Will
Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a ? I know it?s old) i386.
Note the older it is, the more updates you'll have to download to be
current. I hope your internet link is reasonable :)
If you can get the Knoppix 3.4 CD (its a fairly new image, less than >a
month old) - the hd-installation is Debian (its a debian >derivative). Just
a thought - the one you have will be fine.
Only dial-up :( so perhaps I should wait for Sarge stable, or go unstable now? Is it a hassle to update to stable from unstable?

<snip>

Rest was excellent advice, thank you.

Cheers,

Will :)

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Mark Foster
2004-05-30 05:19:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Will
Post by Mark Foster
Post by Will
Please note: For the Debian component I am using Phil's (from
Copyleft) Enhanced 2CD set (3.0r1a ? I know it?s old) i386.
Note the older it is, the more updates you'll have to download to be
current. I hope your internet link is reasonable :)
If you can get the Knoppix 3.4 CD (its a fairly new image, less than >a
month old) - the hd-installation is Debian (its a debian >derivative). Just
a thought - the one you have will be fine.
Only dial-up :( so perhaps I should wait for Sarge stable, or go unstable now? Is it a hassle to update to stable from unstable?
Its not necessarily a hassle, its just connectivity :P

Knoppix is a mix of Stable and Unstable IIRC (i'm not the expert) - what I
like about using it is
- I know it'll work with my hardware (tested first)
- It has a crapload of apps supplied - no fussing around
- Its still debian
- The CD is useful for rescuing machines.. ;)

Where are you located? I'd be happy to make you a copy of Knoppix 3.4 if
that suits you.

Happy to help,
Mark.

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Matthew Gregan
2004-05-30 05:24:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Will
so perhaps I should wait for Sarge stable, or go unstable now? Is it a
hassle to update to stable from unstable?
You could be waiting a while. Debian has notoriously long release
processes.

Don't go directly to unstable because there's little gain to be had.
The testing repository makes for a nice middle ground--the packages are
quite up to date, but are much less likely to be badly broken than when
you're updating from the unstable repository.

Fortunately, it is trivial to upgrade between releases. It's usually
just a matter of running 'apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade', and
sometimes fixing a few bits and pieces afterwards.

If you installed stable now, an upgrade to testing would result in a
pretty hefty download. Your best bet is probably to install a snapshot
of testing (find someone to burn a set of packages to CD for you), and
go from there.

Cheers,
-mjg
--
Matthew Gregan |/
/| ***@orcon.net.nz

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Will
2004-05-30 05:44:34 UTC
Permalink
Hi Mark,

Mark Foster wrote:

<snip>
Post by Mark Foster
Its not necessarily a hassle, its just connectivity :P
Ha ha, true.
Post by Mark Foster
Knoppix is a mix of Stable and Unstable IIRC (i'm not the expert) - >what I
like about using it is
- I know it'll work with my hardware (tested first)
How did you test? Trial and error or checked some sites?
Post by Mark Foster
- It has a crapload of apps supplied - no fussing around
- Its still debian
- The CD is useful for rescuing machines.. ;)
Cool :).
Post by Mark Foster
Where are you located? I'd be happy to make you a copy of Knoppix >3.4 if
that suits you.
I'm in Greytown, South Wairarapa. A copy of Knoppix would be great thanks - given the space I have (and list comments) I would like to put a few flavours on the hdd. I can email you my address off list if you like and fire you a CD or two back?
Post by Mark Foster
Happy to help,
Mark.
Cheers,
Will :)

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Will
2004-05-30 05:46:24 UTC
Permalink
Hi Chris,

cr wrote:

<snip>
Post by cr
Just a couple of comments.
It's usually said to be preferable to let each application make its >own
partitions (one of the possibilities you mentioned there).
Great, thanks.
Post by cr
By the way, I
really don't know whether WinXP uses NTFS or FAT32 - I've always >seen it
written that XP uses NTFS, but the (new) PC I repartitioned the >other day,
which came with a brand-new out-of-the-shop XP install, had FAT32 on >it.
Odd.
Indeed. One of my machines has XP on it and it's NTFS. I read somewhere that with Xp it was preferable to have it on XP otherwise certain (security?) features wouldn't be accessible (by being FAT).
Post by cr
I would actually make two or three spare ext2 partitions of, say, >3GB each,
just for putting future versions of Linux in. And use the >remaining large
partition for your data, separate from the operating system. That >may sound
a bit superfluous, but you might want to try, say, Knoppix, and if >you have a
spare partition you can do an install without endangering your >existing
setup.
Sounds good to me.
Post by cr
It's also very handy, for example, if you want to upgrade - Debian >Woody
(3.0) is pretty old now, Debian Sarge is coming out Real Soon Now, >and the
safest way to upgrade (without risking damaging your working system) >is to
copy the entire system into a spare partition and upgrade that. >Then if it
doesn't work you're no worse off. You can boot them all from GRUB.
And they can all 'see' your data on your large partition without >risking
changing some setting in one your other operating systems.
Cheers.
Post by cr
Putting GRUB into the MBR should enable you to boot Linux (but it >may not do
so automatically, the way the WinXP loader boots Windows). GRUB >isn't a
Linux app, it's its own OS-independent bootloader. You get a menu >entry for
each operating system you want it to boot. The Debian installer >probably
will make a menu entry for Debian Linux, and it probably will >install GRUB
Stage 1 on the MBR, pointing to Stage 1.5 in your Debian Linux >partition. I
doubt if it will make a menu entry for DOS, I think you'll have to >add the
WinXP menu yourself, as you noted.
Ok.

<snip>

Thanks for those examples - appreciated.
Post by cr
What I would do, before all this installation, is make all the 'boot
floppies' you can - that is, if WinXP offers you the option, make >one, and
make a Debian one, and make a GRUB one. That way, you can always >boot into
*something*, even if something goes wrong with the MBR.
You can download the necessary files to make a GRUB boot floppy (DOS >format)
off the 'net, and you can always reinstall Grub on the MBR using >that floppy.
Great, thanks.
Post by cr
While you're at it, it wouldn't hurt to download 'RIP' (Recovery is >Possible
- a tiny Linux rescue distro) and make a floppy of it, too. Can't >have too
many ways to get back in to the system, and it's very handy for >checking
(with fdisk) how your drive is partitioned. ;)
Will do :).
Post by cr
One other thing - the Debian Woody installer is notoriously >unfriendly.
I'm referring to 'dselect', the 'package' selector, which always >manages to
trip me up. Best method is probably to just let Debian install its >own
selection of packages, then do your own fine-tuning afterwards with >a nice
graphical front-end like Kpackage (which should be included in the >install).
Will do - I'm assuming Phil's enhanced CD/DVD sets will make life easier too, but I'm thinking, given what I've had from the list so far, that perhaps I should wait for Sarge - or upgrade later.
Post by cr
Regards and good luck
Chris
Thanks very much.

Cheers,

Will

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Will
2004-05-30 05:53:13 UTC
Permalink
Hi Andrew,

Andrew Simpson wrote:

<snip>
Post by Andrew Simpson
Might not be what your after; but there is a new Debian installer in
it's fourth beta.
http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-installer/
I'm looking forward to using this :). Anything to make life easier ...
Post by Andrew Simpson
Points to note: It installs the 'testing' variant, and not >the 'stable'
you're getting from Copyleft. Also, the CD only has the base system;
the remainder has to be downloaded from a network (not good on a
dial-up?).
:) But this is coming out in Sarge stable, so not long to wait - yes, dial-up is too slow - my wife says we have other priorities than filling Telecom's pockets.
Post by Andrew Simpson
I tried it the other weekend. Very smooth indeed - a real joy to use
(especially compared to it's predecessor).
Cool :)
Post by Andrew Simpson
I installed the base system, and connected to
ftp://ftp.jetstreamgames.co.nz with an Jetstart ADSL account. By
required), you can connect at full jetstream speed - and no cost. I
think I downloaded all the packages I wanted in about a minute.
Awesome, maybe once we get some decent competition in my area, Jetstream will drop in price.
Post by Andrew Simpson
Regards
Andrew
Cheers and thanks,

Will
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Will
2004-05-30 06:55:07 UTC
Permalink
Hi Matthew,

Matthew Gregan wrote:

<snip>

<Your best bet is probably to install a snapshot
of testing (find someone to burn a set of packages to CD for you), >and
go from there.
Cheers,
-mjg
Cheers,

Will :)

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