Multiple Operating Systems (Linux Newbie)

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by ezdankie, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. ezdankie

    ezdankie New Member

    Hello HowtoForge forum! For my first post, I have a relatively general question and was wondering if I could get some expert advice.

    I would like to install several linux operating systems on my Dell Dimension desktop PC while keeping Windows XP home edition. Its a little old (1.8Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 320 GB HDD, Intel Pent 4). My ultimate goal is to do my own computer build in about 6 months and I wanted to test drive some linux distros ( I hope I am using the term correctly!) I have narrowed it down to Mandriva, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Fedora, and Debian. I successfully installed Ubuntu in a dual boot system with Win, and then it was downhill from there.

    The partitioning process is I think what is confusing me because I currently have my HDD partitioned already 3 ways. One for the XP OS, one for documents, and one for media. I shrunk the media partition and have an unallocated 70 GB that I want to dedicate solely to all the linux OS's. I guess I am getting confused when some of the OS's ask about partitioning because I can't see my 70GB partition in the other OS's except for Ubuntu and I have a feeling that is because I choose the "install in Windows" option whereas the others don't have that option. I also think the boot loaders are confusing me because the distros I am interested in don't all use the same one.

    Is there a way to do what I want to do without wiping everything out? I have backed up my files extensively, so wiping my HDD except for the XP OS wouldn't be a deal breaker but I'd rather avoid it obviously. I'm thinking my problem is just inexperience because I would imagine that there is a way to turn your computer on and pick from a list of 6 operating systems unless I am way off base here. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I definitely want to be a linux guy someday soon, I just need someone to show me the ropes.

    Eric Z
  2. falko

    falko Super Moderator ISPConfig Developer

    All installers should give you the option to use the free disk space/partition. They will also install a bootloader that lets you choose between Windows and the Linux installations.

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