Dual Installation.

  nobrains154 16:23 09 Apr 2010

I am running Vista, i have a spare 80gig HD installed and was thinking about putting Linux/Ubuntu(are they the same thing??)on it. Would there be any problems with a dual installation? would i get a choice of which to access on boot up or would i need to download anything? any other info would be greatly appreciated .. thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:00 09 Apr 2010
  LastChip 18:07 09 Apr 2010

Linux will happily coexist with other systems.

However, Fruit Bat /\0/\'s link assumes you want to use part of the existing drive and shrink it to accommodate Linux. In your case, this is not true.

In order to be able to identify where you want to load Linux to, you need to know how to identify hard drives and partitions in Linux.

What you would instantly recognise as C:, D:, E: etc in Windows , is somewhat different in Linux and in order to make sure you pick the correct drive, this is how it works.

Hard drives are seen as "devices", shortened to "dev". Each hard drive is assigned an identifier, in the case of IDE drives, they are known as "hd" (appropriately a shortened version of hard drive) and if they are SATA drives, they are known as "sd". - Note; in Linux, almost everything is case sensitive.

If you have more than one partition on a hard drive, it is numbered: 1, 2, 3, etc.

So to put this all into practical terms, I'm going to assume your first hard drive is an IDE drive and would normally be C: in Windows. In Linux, it would be seen as this:


(/device/hard drive a)

If it is a SATA drive, you would see this:


Notice, hda has changed to sda .

Remember what I said, if there is more than one partition on a single drive, a number is added and it would be seen as:


and so on. That also applies to all types of drives as well. If there is only one partition, the first primary drive automatically defaults to hda1 or sda1 .

click here for some more information I wrote about three years ago, but which remains valid. The only part that is now out of date is the bottom part referring to PCLinuxOS - please see next paragraph.

My best advice to you, is not to automatically choose Ubuntu, which is by far the best known Linux distribution (distro), but to seriously consider Linux Mint, which I consider a far better Linux introduction for new users.

I'll keep an eye on this thread and if you need any further help, please post and I (with no doubt others) will do my best to help you.

  LastChip 18:11 09 Apr 2010

Should have added, your second hard drive will become either /dev/hdb or /dev/sdb

If you had a third, it would be, /dev/hdc or /dev/sdc and so on.

  nobrains154 08:01 10 Apr 2010

Thanks both for the info, i am now downloading Linux Mint, i shall install over the week-end,any further questions or problems i shall return or let you know that i have been successful . once again thanks.

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