[Wolves] Need some help!

Adam Sweet wolves at mailman.lug.org.uk
Tue Aug 12 20:59:00 2003


an iso is the CD image itself, it's just one big file
that contains all of the information to be burnt to
CD, thats all the files and boot info etc. It saves
you having to download all of the files individually,
put them in to the right folders, set up the boot info
and then burn it. Linux distros normally come as one
or a sequence of isos and you burn each one to a CD.
CD burning software allows you to burn from a CD
image, Nero's are called .nrg files, Roxio defaults to
.cif files, but .iso files are universal.

If you're going for the Mandrake route, the docs url I
gave you has html and pdf versions so you can read
them online of download them though the pdfs come in
at between 1 and 3 MB each. I would recommend you read
the installation documentation in advance as it will
save you heartache.

As far as hard disks, you can go 2 ways. You can split
your existing drive up into a number of partitions.
You can do this using the Mandrake installer which has
a very good partitioning tool. You can do this in 2
ways too. The partitioning tool allows you to
non-destructively resize an existing partition to make
space to add Linux ones, or you can wipe your
exisiting partition table and create a completely
fresh set.

I've never tried resizing, not in years anyway, it ate
my disk when I did it so I just bought a new one for
Linux. Note this is a rare occurrance and is unlikely
to happen nowadays! All the same, back up your
important stuff before doing anything just in case.

Another important thing is that Windows always needs
to be on the first partition of the first hard disk.
Also beware that Linux can read but not write NTFS
partitions, though the Mandrake installer is said to
be able to non-destructively resize NTFS partitions.
This is useful to note if you want to access your
Windows files from Linux. FAT32 is fine for both read
and write however.

As I said, the alternative is to just buy another disk
which is infinitely easier. Read the docs on it to see
how you feel about resizing or repartitioning.

Either way, all Linux distributions install a boot
loader which will allow Linux to boot, if you have
Windows on your machine, it will detect this and offer
you a menu to choose which you want to boot into. You
can change the default boot option in both the
installation routine and also within Mandrake itself.

If you create a fresh set of partitions, you'll need
to reinstall Windows first after partitioning, you can
bail out at that point of the Linux installation and
come back after installing Windows as it needs to be
first on the first disk and will overwite the Linux

It's highly likely that your geneology software won't
have a Linux version, but there probably are a few
Linux ones, though how they rate is anyones guess
(maybe you could suggest features to the developers?)
You might be able to try installing them using WINE
(which is a version of the Windows API for Linux)
though I've never had any success (got an installer to
display a splash screen once ;)

The 2nd beta version of Mandrake came out 6 days ago,
so a month, 6 weeks, 2 months maybe.

Knoppix is avaiable from http://www.knoppix.org/
though again you should be able to get it from one of
the CD vendors, or someone on the list in exchange for
a blank CD-R at a meeting if you ask in advance. I can
do you one but I can't say when I'll be able to make a
meeting again for the moment, unless you were able to
meet me at Wolves train station on my way home from
work. I have to say, Knoppix really is good and a lot
of people here agree. I would go as far as to say I
preferred it to Mandrake by far, but it's designed to
run from CD only (unless you run the commands to make
it do otherwise).

A final option is to scour magazine covermount CDs. PC
Plus, Personal Computer World and of course Linux
Format and Linux User all offer Linux distros on their
disks (if you're going to get a Linux mag Linux Format
is definitely the best, not least because Jono writes
for them ;) - that'll be a fiver please Mr Bacon ;)

Anyway, I've done my usual trick of waffling at the
new people, I've probably confused you more than I
have helped. Just decide on your partition
arrangement, your filesystem type for Windows (FAT32
if you want to read and write) and install Windows
first after partitioning if you create a new set of

You'll need luck less often than in Windows ;)




Use Linux. Because it's better.

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