currently i have a dell inspiron e1505. i want to install a linux distro (unsure what yet). however, i dont know how many partitions i need in order to install a linux distro and how many partitions i can make on my hard drive. OR is it possible to put a OS on my external hard drive?
answers to any/all would be great.
someone must know the answers to these questions.....
Generally speaking, for a simple linux only machine setup you only need 2 partitions. You will need what is called a swap partition, which on my 100GB HDD was about 4GB, then you need your main partition, which is everything else in your HDD, minus the swap.
For a dual boot linux machine you will need 3 patitions. You will need your swap partition and main partition as listed above, however, you will also need a third partition to put the 2nd OS in.
For a multi-drive linux setup you will also need 3 or more partitions depending on how many drives you are using. You will need your swap partition, main partition, and then you will need to specify the other partitions to formatt to ext3 as well when you are formatting your HDD.
Hope that answers your quetsions.
so all i need to know now is how many partitions a dell laptop already has with mce on it.
I have a dual-boot winxp and linux (tried many different distros and can't get the friggin wireless to work)
Dell Inspiron 9300.
I did a clean reinstall: Here is my 80GB disk
Windows - NFTS - 25gig
Linux root - 40gig
Linux swap - 2gig
FAT-32 - 13gig
There are different opinions on the FAT partition, but I think it is a good option because it is a place where both Windows and Linux can both read/write to easily.
I keep overwriting the root and swap partitions when I try different distros, no problems so far.
I've tried Ubuntu (Breezy and Dapper), OpenSuse10.1, FedoraCore4, and Zenwalk, Mepis, and 1-2 more than I can't seem to remember.
You know dell like most other manufacturers often put advertisement junk on their computers so I would recommend simply to wipe the harddrive put two partitions one ext2 for linux distro. and ntfs for xp pro or what ever xp you want to put on there.
As far as the distro here is the main thing:
Easy to use: Ubuntu (like Windows gui but with developer stuff)
Ok to use: Debian (although a pain to install)
Hard to use: Gentoo (but is completely open to anything : for geeks)
Favorite: Fedora Core 5 (nice gui and fun to use with all develeper stuff)
I would suggest that you use something like Ubuntu (Kubuntu if you like KDE).
It does well with Dell Laptops with default modules. It also is very simple to use and to get help for online. You can easily update or install new OS versions using synaptic or apt from the command line.
If you start to excell at you Linux usage, then I would opt to continue on to a full fledged Debian install. I think the Ubuntu distro can automaticall be upgraded to the newest Debian using online repositories, if I remember correctly.
The advantage of Debian is more in the community. It has longtime developers, the most avail software of the distros, and a huge following. Another advantage is that after using Ubuntu, you will already be familiar with the file system, package management, etc... because Ubuntu is a Debian based distro.
Another option to consider is Mandriva. I have fell in love with .deb systems in the last few years, but Mandriva had a simple graphical partition manager built into the installer as far back as 10.0 and maybe even 9.0 (try 5-10 years ago) called diskdrake, I think.
It might be the best for partitioning your drives. It is very simple to use, even in CUSTOM mode.