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 Post subject: Installing Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:08 am 
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Wow, what a journey! I started a project yesterday evening to install Linux on my Dell XPS 630 after finding that Linux was compatible with the hardware by downloading and booting a Knoppix CD.

I've installed and used Linux before on older computers, but I've never installed and used Linux with RAID. Uhh, doesn't work so well. At first I couldn't boot the Linux install (Fedora 9), then I couldn't boot Windows XP, then BIOS said RAID was disabled, then it said RAID was enabled, etc., etc.

Finally, I got RAID to stay disabled by uninstalling the ESA Performance software (I keep forgetting that if you make changes in BIOS, you've got to uninstall this software, otherwise it overrides what you do in BIOS next time you boot and get to your desktop).

Finally, I recovered my Windows XP partition using the recovery console from a Windows XP Boot CD. (One of the Windows XP partitions anyway...I had a RAID Mirror going, so I actually had two exact copies of the Windows XP partition.)

Finally, I got Fedora installed on its own hard drive and I got the Grub bootloader to work harmoniously with Windows XP. See this article: http://forum.fedoraforum.org/forum/show ... p?t=188378

Yikes, mission accomplished, but what an ordeal. Especially, when at one point when the computer restarted, I didn't have anything to select for booting, not a Windows prompt, not a Linux prompt, just a blinking underscore, blinking, blinking, and more blinking. Uhh, what happened to my boot partitions?

Anyway, like I said, mission accomplished.

_________________
XPS 630 Q6600 @ 3.2 GHz OC | Win 7 Pro 64-bit/Win XP Pro 32-bit | 4GB DC DDR2 800MHz |
BFG OCE GTX 275 896MB | 500GB SATA No RAID | 16X CD/DVD Burner Single Drive |
Sound Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio | BIOS 1.0.8 | 3DMark06 16465 3DMark Vantage P13033
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My XPS 630 Blog


Last edited by devjonfos on Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:39 pm 
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devjonfos,

Some noob questions to follow.

I've downloaded and burned to disc Knoppix 5.3.1 (DVD) and Fedora 9 (CD). I understand they both run from the disc's and therefore I have to set my system to boot from that media, so just so I know what to expect:

1. I take it both have internet viewing type progs, will I have to play with my router to allow traffic or will the system autodetect?

2. Do you know if I will still be able to View my HD's contents?

3. Once I've finished playing with each is there a spacific method to exiting the software?

Very noobish questions I know, but I like to know what I'm letting myself in for as I've got this unerring habit of making a complete mess of nearly everything I touch! :oops:

Ultimately, when I find which one I like I would be looking at installing an IDE drive to run the winning candidate from, when I get to that stage I'll obviously need my hand holding for setting up a duel boot system (something I've only tried once and you don't want to know the mess I got into! :oops: :oops: ) Yep double oops :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:40 pm 
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1. Both will auto-detect. Knoppix has Konqueror for web browsing, Fedora has Firefox.

2. Yes, there should be icons on your Desktop in Knoppix for your partitions. Just double-click the icon to view the files. Right-click the icon to view properties.

3. There should be a Log Out or Shutdown in the taskbar menu.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:29 pm 
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Well I had a quick try of both.

Fedora 9 loaded quite quickly - looks nice.

Knoppix took forever and failed to load with some error, couldn't find a pen so will have to try again later - too much gameing to do!

Can't have it all I suppose :D


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:32 pm 
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Okay, not bad for a first start. One thing about Linux, you can be guaranteed to have technical challenges. But I'm up for it and I enjoy working them out.

Screenshot from my recently configured Fedora Linux desktop...

[Img]http://devjonfos.com/images/Fedora_Linux_Desktop_Screenshot.png[Img]


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:35 pm 
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That must be Fedora from what I remember of my brief stay!


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:44 pm 
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Yeah, and all those little thermometers near the top allow me to monitor my core temps. It's called "lm_sensors" in Linux. For fan control, I'm back to using my hardware fan controller.

Knoppix is okay, but they favour KDE for the GUI. I like GNOME for the desktop GUI, which is the default for Fedora Linux.

I've been listening to Fleetwood Mac this morning, how old are they? Using the audio player in Fedora, Rhythmbox.


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 5:57 pm 
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Of course it's Fedora, you said it was :oops:
That will teach me for being an old fart and trying to use PC and lappy at the same time :roll:

Fleetwood Mac, yeah I remember them, got quite a few of their albums. I like Supertramp as well. Queen, The Police, Sting, Genisis and most of UB40 to name a few. I think I've got about 20-30 GB of MP3's tucked away on a removable HD...........now if I could only remember where I put it! :roll:

As to which one to use, I'm leaning towards Fedora, not because I know anything about it and Knoppix may even be a better OS, it's just that Fedora loaded and ran without any input from me (lazy) but to get Knoppix working it looks as though I may have to do a fair bit of faffing about, so how much would I have to do to keep it running.

I think for now anyway I'll stick to loading Fedora from the CD and once all the other stuff I'm putting out fires for is settled a trip to my local PC store will be in order for an internal HD, and whilst on that subject what would you reccomend?


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Yeah, I would definitely recommend Fedora. And I would also recommend sticking to a SATA hard drive. That's what came with our 630's and there should be plenty of room. The drive bay has four slots and the drive trays slide in and out real easy. Besides, if you go PATA, then you have fat/wide cables to worry about blocking air flow.

How many HD's do you have in there now and are you running any kind of RAID?

I picked up a 160GB HD for $55 at a large warehouse type of electronics store (Fry's Electronics). Linux doesn't need much space. I actually created multiple partitions on the 160FB...

Primary Partitions
1 GB Boot mounted as /boot (stores the kernel and related files)
3 GB Swap similar to a Windows page file
50 GB FAT32 to act as a go between Windows and Linux (In the past Linux could not write to NTFS)

Extended Partitions
20 GB Home mounted as /home
25 GB Root mounted as / (all applications and other system files go here)
50 GB spare

The catastrophe was trying to get Windows RAID and Linux to cooperate. Once I got RAID disabled and stayed disabled (thanks ESA), then the next challenge was to get the Boot Loader to work. What you do is run a Linux console, execute the DD command, and copy the 512 boot sector to a file. Then edit Windows "boot.ini" to load that 512 boot sector, which then loads Linux.

Code:
[root@localhost ~]# mkdir /mnt/ntfs
[root@localhost ~]# mount -t ntfs -o ro /dev/sdb2 /mnt/ntfs
[root@localhost ~]# cat /mnt/ntfs/boot.ini
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptOut
C:\fedora.bin="Fedora Linux"


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 Post subject: Re: Linux
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:38 pm 
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At the moment I have 2x320GB drives on a Raid 0 Stripping setup. My OS is Vista Ultimate 64bit. I have a spare SATA connector and the power is already in place so another SATA drive would, as you say, be the best way to go.

Well once all my fires are out I will defenately be giving this a shot, so not knowing how long thats going to take (not too long I hope) we can get our heads together later.


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 Post subject: Re: Installing Linux
 Post Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:39 am 
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Well, I had to take the plunge (again). Played with several brands of Linux (Fedora, SuSe, Ubuntu, etc).. Finally settled on Ubuntu..

Running Ubuntu 8.10 AMD x64 Ibex with Conky on the desktop.. Got all my favorites up and running to include xmms2 for music, handbrake for video conversion, vlc and mplayer for video playback, ushare for serving video to my xbox360, mozilla and thunderbird for internet and email, open office for msoffice equivelent. Hell, I'm even running my duel ATI 4850's in crossfire. Don't get know better than that..

Did away with the RAID setup.. Got Vista 64 on one 500GB drive, Ubuntu 64 on one 500 GB drive and another 500 GB drive formated NTFS for use by both.. See screenie and let me know what you think. I even made my own XPS theme.. (Still working on the Dock and panels.)

Screenie here

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 Post subject: Re: Installing Linux
 Post Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:54 am 
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Looks good! I would like to try Ubuntu next time around. I've downloaded the Ubuntu 8.10 Install CD, but I'm only using the first option (Live CD) where you can run the Ubuntu Desktop without make any changes to your computer. Similar to how you would use a Knoppix CD.

_________________
XPS 630 Q6600 @ 3.2 GHz OC | Win 7 Pro 64-bit/Win XP Pro 32-bit | 4GB DC DDR2 800MHz |
BFG OCE GTX 275 896MB | 500GB SATA No RAID | 16X CD/DVD Burner Single Drive |
Sound Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio | BIOS 1.0.8 | 3DMark06 16465 3DMark Vantage P13033
Image
My XPS 630 Blog


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 Post subject: Re: Installing Linux
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:13 pm 
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Can anyone help me about my problem? During my Linux installation on my laptop, the last command lines or the login prompt were not shown on the screen. Can you tell me guys why? and how Can I fix this?

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