Thursday, June 12, 2008

Trying on the Red Hat

Strictly speaking not Red Hat but Fedora.

I'm installing Fedora-9 Linux operating system onto my home pc. I've added a second hard-drive and installed it there. I'm attempting a dual boot system with the existing Windohs eXPee left un-altered on the primary hard drive.

I'm a complete newbie to Linux so the learning curve is more like straight up.

I've managed the download of 6 CD iso files (6 hours of download time) and burned them to discs after downloading a windows add-on that can read iso files. It's a Windows Power-Toys add-on. Funny with all the size and things XP can do it can't read and write iso files or resize a jpg image or various other simple things. You have to go and find extra software like Power Toys. But hey isn't the price of XP worth it. . .

The first thing that Fedora's install program wants to do is check the media to make sure you have good CD discs to install from. This sounds great. Doesn't work though. . . not at all. Google it, you'll find all sorts of complaints about how half-ass the media-check works. Do your own Checksum verification on the iso images and skip Fed's media-check.

Dual-boot. Fed's install is no help in setting this up, even though most of the world is like me with a Windohs system. We're not sure of linux and so don't want to toss XP into the trash yet. We want to dual boot for a while until the dust settles and we get everything transfered and working on Linux. Dual boot sounds simple enough. Install the linux boot file in the /boot directory (of the 2nd hard drive) not in the Master Boot Record (which is on the first hard drive and which windows is using to boot itself), then make it into a file that you then put on the windows C: drive, then write a line in Windows boot.ini file to let you choose Linux rather than defaulting into windows.

The first step (not over-writing your MBR) can be done as part of Fed's install process. The next step of making a file of linux's boot file sounds easy but is being a bitch. First off to do it you need to have Fedora booted up. Ok. . . how do you do that if you haven't completed the dual boot process? If you've not put the Linux boot file into MBR (on either hard drive) you can't boot linux. You have to find another way. With windows you make a boot disk (CD or floppy with msdos) and you can boot. Fed's website and google show shit for "Linux boot disk".

This is where I'm currently stuck.

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