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

Karsten Wade phig at phig.org
Mon Jul 21 15:31:43 PDT 2008

Tony Cappellini wrote:
> 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 had used Red Hat before Fedora, Mandrake (whatever happened to this?), and
> Suse (is this still popular?).
> 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.

Caveat:  I work nearly full time on Fedora-related stuff for Red Hat, so 
you can consider me to be biased with whatever grains of salt.

I highly recommend Fedora as a distro, not just because it is easy to 
use, clean looking, works well, and is a leading open source innovator. 
  Fedora is also a model of how to act as downstream Linux distribution. 
  If freedom is a feature that matters to you, Fedora is a great distro.

 > 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.

There are a lot of great Fedora spins to choose from[0], with more 
coming all the time.  You might just start with one of the Live Desktop 
spins (GNOME is the default, KDE is labeled.)  You can load the image on 
to a USB thumb drive to boot from[1] and run live; it has data 
persistence, so any files you save or updates to software persist across 
reboots.  Handy for when you don't have your laptop, the hard drive is 
failing, etc.

I'd love to tell you that your install is going to be painless.  But who 
really knows.  There is a lot of great community support[2]. I hear 
regularly of problems with *all* the distros on all manner of hardware. 
  You are definitely going to need to go somewhere else to get your 
multimedia bits (MPEG *, Flash, etc.)  There are real and good reasons 
this stuff doesn't ship in Fedora[3].

> 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.

Or vice-versa, if your processor supports full virtualization, you can 
install Windows running under KVM.

- k'

[0] http://get.fedoraproject.org
[1] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraLiveCD/USBHowTo
[2] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Communicate
[3] https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ForbiddenItems
Karsten Wade
gpg key : AD0E0C41

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