View Full Version : Linux install

08-31-2008, 12:34 PM
So I was planning on getting a gumstix verdex as soon as my next paycheck comes in, but I realized that I don't know to much about linux. From what I have read so far I need to have linux on a host computer so that I can setup the gumstix. Here in lies the problem. My computer has windows xp on it right now and I am not about to just get rid of it. I downloaded Ubuntu 8. Could someone explain for me how to steup my computer so I can dual-boot?

08-31-2008, 03:26 PM
When you install Ubuntu, there should be an option to set up your computer to dual boot. Don't be afraid to install linux. Just set aside a partition for it to go on your hard drive, choose that particular partition when you install linux and you shouldn't have a problem. When you start the computer it should come up with the boot loader screen and you can choose whichever OS you want (linux will be the default unless you manually change that). All the dual boot setup will be handled by the linux installation.

08-31-2008, 05:12 PM
There are a few steps in the install:

First - AND MOST IMPORTANT - back everything up! Make sure you have backups of every file you ever created, make sure you have install disks or files for anything you want to put back on - remember, windows apps typically have lots of pesky configuration files you may want to save...

Second - check that you backed everything up! I'm serious, if something goes wrong during repartitioning or installing the boot loader you are screwed...

Third - Defrag the windows partition, so that everything moves to the front of the drive...

Fourth - Repartition. We need a dedicated space for Linux. Depending on the distribution of Linux you choose, many have this repartition package built into the installer

Fifth - Install - with most modern *nix distros the installer is very good and straight-forward (no worse than installing a Windows OS). This installer will make typically have 10-15 steps within it, to decide where to put stuff and how much stuff to put there...

For a first time Linux user, I would recommend using Ubuntu, or another easy to install Linux Distro. You may also want to check your hardware to see that it is supported under linux. In particular, things like high-end video and sound may have limited support (and may thus not function at their best). One last consideration - make sure you have another computer available to get online to look stuff up - just in case something goes awry...


09-01-2008, 11:09 AM
I do not know if it will work but on option is maybe to use a virtual machine that’s running Linux.
One open source software that enable you to create and run linux as a guest operating system is VirutalBox http://www.virtualbox.org/


09-02-2008, 02:38 PM
There is a very easy way which is included on the Ubuntu 8.04 install disk:

Download the ISO, burn the ISO (don't copy), insert the newly burned disk, a window should pop up asking what you want to do, select the install as program option (or something like that), now you can boot into Linux or XP! If you ever want to uninstall you can do that within Windows.

No splitting drives, copying over Windows, etc!

09-02-2008, 08:00 PM
Ubuntu is a "live cd", you may not need to actually _install_ it anywhere (unless you want to). Boot up with the CD in the drive and poke around and see what you think. This will let you know how well supported your hardware is before getting too deep. While it will run more slowly from the CD than from hdd, it's still a useable option for those not wanting to leave Windows. You may be able to run the gumstix software that way, but it won't be a persistent "install", you'd have to re-install gumstix every time you wanted to play.

If you like it and want to install, I'll second lnxfergy's third step, make sure to defrag your windows install first! Then when you run Ubuntu's installer it will give you the option of (non-destructively) repartitioning your windows partition and installing Ubuntu to the new free space. It'll also import your Windows preferences, bookmarks, etc... if you want.

09-02-2008, 09:05 PM
Yeah, the Live CD will let you poke around in Ubuntu and try it out, but I would say you want to install it to do gumstix work...

On that note, Linux doesn't require much computing power - got an older computer just sitting around looking to be used?