[svlug] Suggestion for dist to use on dual-boot system

Joel Seidman joel_seidman at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 21 13:26:47 PDT 2008

--- On Mon, 7/21/08, Tony Cappellini <cappy2112 at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Tony Cappellini <cappy2112 at gmail.com>
> Subject: [svlug] Suggestion for dist to use on dual-boot system
> To: svlug at lists.svlug.org
> Date: Monday, July 21, 2008, 12:15 PM
> There seems to be a big following behind Ubuntu, I'm not
> sure why. I
> particularly don't like the way the desktop looks ;-)
> Ok, so it may be easy to install, I can't say
> installing Red Hat was hard
> for me, but maybe I've always had well-supported
> hardware.

I've been happy with Kubuntu for several years. It's easy to keep updated. Note that Ubuntu comes with Gnome by default, and Kubuntu comes with KDE by default. If you don't like the desktop look of Ubuntu, try the other. They're both from the same distributor and otherwise pretty much the same. You can add a desired desktop manager if you decide you don't like the one you installed.

I had RedHat and Fedora. I switched because it seemed like they went out of data too quickly, and I'd heard good things about Ubuntu. With Ubuntu/Kubuntu, if you get the long term support version (8.04), it should be good for at least two years. If you enjoy upgrading more often, it seems a new version comes out about every 6 months. Upgrading is pretty painless too. You can do it "in place" via the network (if you've got some spare disk space).

When you first install, you may or may not have hardware support issues, that are easy or hard to fix. (For me, a legacy joystick that still isn't working.) I've been holding off on upgrading to 8.04 because there've been a few reports of problems. But if I didn't already have a working system (7.10) I'd try 8.04 without much concern. It doesn't take much effort to try it. Quicker than talking about it.
> I had used Red Hat before Fedora, Mandrake (whatever
> happened to this?), and
> Suse (is this still popular?).

I think Mandrake has been renamed Mandriva. I think Suse is still popular from comments I've seen.

> It's been many years since I've used Linux at work,
> and have recently been
> required to use it again in my current job.
> I'd like to install it in a dual-boot setup with
> Windows XP on my laptop,
> and would like to get some ideas as to what is the most
> stable, popular
> dists these days.

Ubuntu/Kubuntu definitely popular. Pretty stable (for me) once you get over any startup problems. Linux is dual boot on all (both) my home computers. Current Ubuntu/Kubuntu can read and write NTFS partitions out of the box (as well as VFAT). I don't do it a lot, but I haven't had any problems. 

If you understand partitions the installer allows you to set up dual boot pretty easily. (I'm not sure how it deals with the need to shrink existing NTFS partition. I forget how I dealt with that, but I think I installed Windows myself so probably didn't have to.)
> One option is to use it in a VM with Vmware, but I also
> would like to try
> setting up a dedicated partition, just for practice , if
> anything.
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