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I want to try Linux





guissmo
I want to try Linux, maybe experiment on it for a while, but I don't want to take out my Windows 7 installation.

Is there a safe way to dual boot both? Or do I have to reformat and partition the stuff accordingly? Can't they like share partition?
k_s_baskar
If you wish to test only SHELL commands then you can do without installing linux. just boot your computer with knopix like linux or you can get free shell accounts from sdf.org (but you can't use all bash commands here).
guissmo
I mean just the feel of a different OS? Is that possible without having to reformat?
Peterssidan
Many Linux distributions has a live CD that you can run without installing it. Running this way is very slow so it's only for testing.
You can't install two OS on the same partition. If you want to split up your current partition in to two without destroying the files you can use GParted.
Fire Boar
Most Linux distributions come with a method of resizing an existing partition, keeping the operating system already installed. Ubuntu, for example, has this option in the main installer application, so if you download an ubuntu CD and follow the installation procedure, in the "partition" step choose the option to do so and you will keep Windows in-tact.
Diablosblizz
Does Ubuntu still use wubi? Wubi installed Ubuntu on a separate partition and did all the "hard" stuff for you, it may still be around but I'm not sure.
ocalhoun
Peterssidan wrote:
Many Linux distributions has a live CD that you can run without installing it. Running this way is very slow so it's only for testing.

This is definitely the best way to just try out Linux!
With a live CD, you can run Linux only when the CD is in, and it'll be slow. But, they don't change your hard drive, so you can go back to windows-only by just taking the CD out.
Some bootable 'live CD's' that I've tried, and liked:
Knoppix- http://www.osdisc.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi/products/livecd/knoppix/lcd_62.html
(A distro made exclusively for Live CD's- runs KDE desktop, and would be a great way to learn about Linux in general.)
Ubuntu live- http://www.osdisc.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi/products/livecd/ubuntu/inst.html
(Personally, I don't like Ubuntu much, but you can try it with a live CD, and it works well.)
SuSE live- http://www.osdisc.com/cgi-bin/view.cgi/products/livecd/suse/inst_lcd_kde.html
(My favorite distro- SuSE presents a very well integrated and polished package, and the hardware management features of SuSE are second to none. It is relatively large and cumbersome for a Linux distro though.)

(You can also download them and burn them to CD's yourself, usually for free, but buying them is cheaper, easier, and convenient, especially if you have a slow internet connection.)

Some also come on live DVD's, so that you can have a more complete installation to play with, if you have a DVD reader on that computer.
Quote:

You can't install two OS on the same partition.

Well... It can be done, but it certainly isn't recommended for a beginner... Not really recommended for an expert either, for that matter.
Quote:
If you want to split up your current partition in to two without destroying the files you can use GParted.

Most Linux distributions will come with that, or a tool like it, that you can use to shrink down your windows partition, and add a new one in the newly vacant space for linux. The better distributions will be able to do this automatically for you.

Or, you could just add in a second hard drive, if your windows installation already takes up most of the drive.
Helios
You can try Linux safely, or any other operation system actually, using Virtual Box.
It's a software from Sun, you can download it freely. You basically emulate a computer inside your current operating system, and you can load the linux ISO onto it. Pretty easy to use as well.

http://www.virtualbox.org/
weableandbob
Wubi is an easy way to try it through Windows, or you could just load it on an old hard drive.
Fire Boar
weableandbob wrote:
Wubi is an easy way to try it through Windows, or you could just load it on an old hard drive.


I've never personally had much luck with Wubi. The other suggestions are all good though: VirtualBox (slow-ish, good for a first spin), Live CD (very slow but more "real") and dual boot (the real deal and not so advanced as it may sound).
kmaliagkas
I vote for Wubi to.

I have tested a lot of times very well. The major benefit is that you don't need the knowledge of Linux partitioning. There many windows users have destroy the partitions of their drive. But with Wubi it is a very safe procedure.

http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/downloadmirrors
welshsteve
I would agree with using Virtual Box. This is how I started learning linux, now I have a laptop running Ubuntu and am very happy with it.
snowboardalliance
welshsteve wrote:
I would agree with using Virtual Box. This is how I started learning linux, now I have a laptop running Ubuntu and am very happy with it.


I also like Virtual box over dual boot. Especially when you do not need Linux for anything computationally expensive. I never want to reboot to use linux but Virtual Box makes it easy to run both.

If you do go the dual boot route, Win Vista lets you resize partitions from within the OS which I would recommend. I think it should still work in Windows 7. Just shrink the partition to make room. Then you can use gparted or the Ubuntu installer to make the new partitions. No reformat needed. Something potentially could go wrong but it worked for me - just back up first in case.
menino
If you want to test linux, I think Ubuntu is the best.
It installs as a live cd, to test compatibility, and if you want to install afterwards, you have that option, as well.

Virtual machines are good, but to get the real feel of linux, I think you need to install it.
Diablosblizz
Quote:
I would agree with using Virtual Box. This is how I started learning linux, now I have a laptop running Ubuntu and am very happy with it.


This may be a laptop specific issue but just a word of advice. I had Ubuntu on my laptop and it had a overheating problem because the fan wasn't working. I eventually got it to work, but it was a very big pain. Check to see if your fans working, because if it's not then there is an issue.
cr3ativ3
I 2nd or 3rd? VirtualBox if you just want to play around with Ubuntu for a bit, I find it's fairly fast with a Desktop environment, much faster than alot of other virtualization products. I use Virtualbox for any quick testing I need to run, however if you start doing anything intensive with a Virtualbox guest, it will come to crawl compared to a dedicated install.

If you do go for a dualboot installation and end up resizing your Windows partition, keep in mind it may take forever (I tried doing this on my laptop a year back or so, it was resizing for more then 5 hours, so I just decided to "pull the plug" so to say, and ended up with a corrupted MBR, and lost my windows installation and data.)

If anyone has experienced resizing and it hasnt taken forever, then perhaps something did go wrong during the resize procedure in my case...

Oh well best of luck with experimenting with linux! If you want to start playing with a light command-line only distribution, play with Debian Linux! My preferred installation today, for anything other then a Desktop system.
ahnguye5
Wubi was pretty simple in my opinion. I ran the downloaded executable and was dual booting ubuntu with vista on my laptop without any problems. Typically, you get about 10 secs upon power on to choose which OS you want to run. Very clean.
Helios
Yeah, adding to my previous reply, I'd say that dual booting is even simpler than setting up a VirtualBox machine in the sense the you really don't need to do much and the only "difficult" part could be formatting the hard-disk, and that's not a big deal at all in most cases.

The only problem with dual booting is of course the fact that you're putting information in danger by formatting a part of your hard disk, and that you need to restart to try it out.
VirtualBox's disadvantage may be the need for a stronger PC to run both operating systems together (most PC's will have no problems with that though) and it may be slower than the real deal.
wowfan
i think there is two way safely:
1.virtualbox:http://www.virtualbox.org/
2.install live cd to usb flash,example :puppy linux,very convenience.http://puppylinux.org
enjoy it!
k_s_baskar
Try http://www.elastichosts.com they are giving 5 days trial in their cloud hosting. you can try more than 5 versions of linux. installation takes only few min. Smile
ganjour
Connect one more hard disk and install there Linux (switch boot disk in BIOS), and in general, what for it to you, you search for problems, with Linux they at you will be, better install a toy in Windows and play Smile
Iguleder
Virtual machines are slow and running a distribution inside a virtual machine will only let you down and take away your desire to try it out.

Bottom line: boot a distro from a flash drive or CD, Puppy Linux is a good choice. It's a great portable distro.
[FuN]goku
If it were me, I'd get a live CD of any linux distro (assuming that distro has a live CD), Slax, Ubuntu, Sabayon, Damn Small Linux, those are some examples of ones with the ability to boot live.

Alternatively, If you don't even want to try booting from a CD, you can use VMware or VirtualBox, and load the distro's image into it, and install it rather than boot it.

Iguleder wrote:

Virtual machines are slow and running a distribution inside a virtual machine will only let you down and take away your desire to try it out.
Not necessarily. It will run slow, if you have outdated hardware. If you have more recent hardware, they'll run just fine. Booting from a live cd will also suffer a bit of a performance hit from my experiences. As for flash drives, I haven't noticed MUCH of a performance hit, BUT, not everyone's bios supports booting from USB.

Personally, I'd prefer a virtual machine , over a live CD, but usually if I'm not looking to install linux, but want to use it, I only use the terminal, so it doesn't make much of a difference.
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