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choosing a linux distro

By alexcoop ·
i'm sick of microsuck and want to switch to a real o/s. i want to make the switch to Linux, but before i do i've been testing/learning it on a virtual pc and i can run live disks with no problem, but when i try to run a full installation, after reboot nothing works. i've tried 4 different distros with the same results. I can get very specific in terms of describing the problems, but since i'm just learning Linux my trouble shooting skills are limited.
also i have an unusual "personal network" that i need specific functions for. mainly software that i can virtualize, several multi monitor systems desktops into one big one. like maxivista, which i currently use via TCP/IP. that and a software KVM, which maxivista also does in a limited way. i also use a hardware KVM as well. you can get more info on my equipment at my website
i'm open to any and all knowledge.

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by larryhyman In reply to choosing a linux distro

get anothe hard drive leave it unpartitioned and unformatted, stick it in your pc, install linux on that new hard drive, tell it to use the whole drive, allow linux, to replace the MBR of the main hd (c) this will allow you to dual boot

(remember u will loose the mbr on drive c)

if you will ever need to remove grub, you will have to boot from the the recouvery console and use the fix mbr caommand to wipe out grub

sugestions, I found a version of linux that is easy, free and has a large community support, it is called UBUNTU

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to choosing a linux distro

Because Linux uses a different File System to Windows you need to format the HDD to allow it to load. As the above posted said Ubuntu is most likely your easiest choice and there are 2 versions currently available of the latest version the workstation version available at

And the server version available at

About the only problem you may run into is with the Software KMV as I don't know if the raw Ubuntu supports these things and there may be some problems if you are using a wireless network as well.

But as Ubuntu installs it will ask you for a User Name & Password which you'll have to retype just to make sure that you haven't made a mistake. I would also allow the Installer to Auto Format the HDD as Linux sets up 3 partitions one has the OS one has programs and the third one is for data storage so unless you know what it is you are doing you can run into major problems here and the drive needs to be blank so if it's already been formatted you'll need a wiping utility of some kind that will write zeros to every sector of the HDD or the installer will not be able to format the drive.

The following URL may be of some use to you as well it's called Linux is not Windows and is worth the read at the very least

Most HDD makers have a wiping utility available for download from their Web Sites so you should be able to pickup one of those easily. About the only real difference that you'll notice is with any form of Linux when you attempt to install a program you'll be prompted for the Administrator Password to give you Admin Rights to continue installing the program.

Drop me a Peer Mail if you have any problems or would like a different Distro to work with.


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by Deadly Ernest In reply to choosing a linux distro

The only time I've seen that happen was when I fiddled with the bootloader and put a wrong instruction in it. If you let the default system set up the GRUB bootloader to the MBR of the active disc with the OS on that, it should work OK.

I have had no troubles loading from the live disc of Ubuntu Breazey Badger of SimplyMEPIS 3.04 and 6.

It is possible that there could be an issue related to the KVM, depending upon what type you use, but that is a low probabilty that can be easily checked by plugging the monitor, keyboard, mouse into the system - install Linux and then see what happens.

In the past I have had trouble with some KVMs on Windows but is a non-issue with USB ones, usually only a problem with some seriel or PS2 ones - something to do with the keep alive signals not recognised by the OS. Usually fixed with special drivers.

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by Deadly Ernest In reply to

Most of the Linux versions that come with Magazine cover disc have Live CD version on them. Also when you buy discs like Ubuntu and Simply MEPIS they come as a Live CD which you run, then from within the LIve CD OS yoou have to select to load it if you want it loaded.

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by alexcoop In reply to choosing a linux distro

sorry i should have been a little more specific. 1) i want a full distro on a vm to learn it before installing it on hardware
2) i use the kvm for keyboard & trackball only (ps-2)
3)hd on main system 2-SATA
4)what is the best file system to use, i know of about 80 different ones.

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by abc098 In reply to choosing a linux distro

1) i want a full distro on a vm to learn it before installing it on hardware
2) i use the kvm for keyboard & trackball only (ps-2)

Most easiest to learn Linux are distribution such as Mandrake and Ubuntu. Both have X-Windows. X-Windows is GUI interface much like Microsoft Windows, except you still need to familiarize with the GUI.

I'm not sure if X-Window in Ubuntu can be displayed in your VM or KVM. If not, you might want to try out Mandrake. I'm sure Mandrake would work out for your environment.

3)hd on main system 2-SATA
There is a different concept in how the Linux work under VM and as a multi-boot operating system (OS). For VM, you do not need to do anything except to make sure that your PC should first boot into the OS that contain the VM. (I think in your case MS Windows). For multi-boot, you will have to boot into the Hard drive contain the Linux installation. In fact, I would not suggest at all of learning Linux under VM unless if you're a developer for different OS.

4)what is the best file system to use
There is no such as thing as best file system. It depend on your need and requirement. But for starter, I suggest you use either ext3 or reiserfs. Reiserfs is the fastest for general usage. Take note that these are not the best file system combination. But it is good as a beginner.

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