i want to install two systems in one computer,one is Linux--ubuntu or redhat,one is windows xp.
is it possible to visit any harddisk files from linux to xp? or from xp to linux?
It's possible either way, although the easiest (if you don't know what you're doing) would be to use WUBI (Windows-based Ubuntu installer)
You can explore your ntfs partitions using ubuntu (it works out of box), inversely you must use some third-party software, which might do not work as you want it to (as far as i know few years ago it worked like it wanted).
Almost all Linux distributions - all the popular ones - run alongside Windows without any problems at all. Windows, on the other hand, when you install it it overwrites the MBR placing its own bootloader at the top of the chain, making it impossible to boot up your other operating systems unless you manually replace the MBR.
Because of that, I'd recommend one of two things depending on what you have currently.
If you have a clean hard disk:
- Boot up a disk partitioning program. Ubuntu includes gparted, which can be started by pressing Alt+F2 when the live CD boots into the desktop and typing "gksudo gparted" into the box.
- Create an NTFS or FAT32 (a bit slower) file system for Windows, an ext3 file system for Linux, and a (small, 1-2 GB recommended) swap partition. If you want Linux to boot up that bit faster, you might want to consider creating two partitions: 4-10 GB of ext4 for your root directory and the rest ext3 for your home directory.
- Install Windows onto the NTFS/FAT32 partition.
- Install the Linux system using Manual partitioning and assigning the NTFS partition as /media/windows (without formatting), the root partition and home partition (if you have one) to what you created earlier. The swap partition doesn't need assigning.
If you already have Windows installed:
- Back up your important data (just in case... anyway, it's good to have backups).
- Boot up a Linux CD.
- Install with the option to resize the existing Windows partition and install into the free space. Resizing takes a long time because it has to move quite a lot of files around typically, depending on how fragmented your file system is (ext partitions are naturally very resistant to fragmenting, and can go up to about 90% full typically without a single fragmentation; NTFS and FAT on the other hand fragment almost immediately).
- You're done!
You can easily access windows files from the linux system, but accessing linux files from the windows system will be problematic.
Two basic options:
1: Use third party software in windows to access the linux partition(s). (Works, but not perfectly, and file management options may be limited.)
2: Install linux on a new FAT32 partition. Most linux installers will be able to do that. (Full access from windows, but linux will suffer a little bit from the inferior file system.)
My favorite (slightly more complicated) option:
- Install linux using linux native file systems, but create another, extra, partition. Format that extra partition in FAT32. You can then use that partition to put things in that you want both OS's to easily access. The nice thing about that is that you can add in any number of OS's of all different kinds, and they'll all be able to reliably share data, as long as all of them know how to access a FAT32 partition.
(This was even more convenient back in the day before linux was able to access NTFS windows partitions. With neither one able to read the others' partition, it was essential to have a third partition they could share.)
(BTW, I like the rieserfs better than ext3 for a main partition... The choice is still yours though, read about them and decide which is better on your own.)
Thanks for you all !
Fire Boar and ocalhoun told very detailed, specially thanks!