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Kylotan

Installing Linux

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Hey, hope this isn''t too off-topic... I hope to install Linux (Mandrake 7.0, if it matters) in the near future with a view to doing cross-platform development, especially on my text-based MUD which will eventually be hosted on Linux, but also my graphical projects. My basic question is, what is the best way to go about this, considering that I need to be able to dual-boot into Windows too? I don''t mind reinstalling Windows, and both 95 OSR2 and 98 are available if it makes a difference. Apparently I have to disable the ''Plug and play OS installed'' part in the BIOS, which may make using Windows more awkward. I am likely to be still using Windows twice as often as Linux so it is important that Windows still runs as ''well'' (heh) as it does now. Can anyone point me to any sites with more info on dual-booting and how to do it as seamlessly as possible? Or give me some hints and advice?

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As off topic as it is, i''m willing to help you, although i do suggest that there are better places to get Linux advice, and since you asked...



www.linuxdoc.org (Authoritative Source on Everything)

www.linuxnewbie.org

#linux or #linuxhelp on any major IRC servers.



Once you have all the installation part done, there''s no reason Windows won''t work just as (badly as) it did before. I''ve never noticed a problem with having disabled the PNP OS switch in the bios, though i''m not making any guarentees.

All in all, just partition, and then boot with lilo and it''ll all be good. 95 and 98 work just as well as each other, though you should install them first, as your friends in Redmond have so nicely added an installation feature that seeks out and disables lilo if it finds it on your MBR. Nothing that can''t be fixed with a boot disk, but still a pain in the ass.

I''m almost sure the Linux Documentation Project has exactly the HOWTO you''re looking for.

As for once you actually start developing games, i''d suggest looking at SDL and to a lesser extent, ClanLib, unless you''re going for 3D, in which case that''s a whole different can of worms...

Good luck!

-BenC

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Buy win2k, install linux as an extra OS to run your MUD. Win2k is the best OS on earth presently.

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Mr(s) Anonymous (how surprising)... I am not interested in Win2K, I would like less Windows, not more, thank you

Shelrem - thanks for the links. I will check them out now. I will look into the libraries you mentioned too, although my first priority is my mud and since that uses nothing nonstandard, it should be fine.

Besides, I don''t think it''s that offtopic... anyone who wants to develop on Linux has to start somewhere I am ok with using the CLI and everything, I just have never had to install it on a machine with Windows before.

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Mandrake 7.0 should have no problems with dual booting. ISTR that it can set this up for you.

Either way, dual booting Linux isn''t that much harder than installing the OS:

1) Find a disk partitioner that will leave a nice bit of blank, unformatted space at the end of the drive for Linux to fit in. If you get a freeware one you''ll have to mess around with defragging the drive first etc. If you get Partition Magic 5, then you save yourself a lot of hastle. Mandrake comes with DiskDrake - I''ve never used it so I don''t know how well it can do this.

2) Put in the Linux CD (and boot disk if necessary) and reboot. The installer program should have no problem locating the free space and partitioning it for Linux use.

3) Install LILO into the MBR of the disk. It recommends that you set up a dedicated 12MB /boot partition within the first 2GB of the disk, but I''ve not had any problems sticking LILO in the MBR.

4) That''s it. Mandrake boasts to be one of the easiest to install.

If you have NT or Win2K you can use the NT loader, which is nicer to use than LILO IMO. There''s a HOW-TO on it somewhere.

Also, remember to make backups of important files just in case something goes wrong, and make boot disks for BOTH operating systems in case LILO decides to destroy your MBR.

HTH

=> Arfa <=

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I''m dual-booting Windows 95 and SuSE Linux, and I''ve adjusted Autoexec.bat and Config.sys so I have a boot menu, which starts loadlin. I''ve also created a shortcut to a batch file that starts loadlin on my desktop (make sure to have it boot to DOS mode!).

In my opinion, Linux is still better than Windows. Even Win2k. It''s a programmer''s dream.

-CobraA1

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Are you insane? Linux is a nightmare to code on. I don''t think you''ve ever actually used Win2k when you make statements like that. Win2k doesn''t crash, period. My computer has been on for approx 40 days straight now. My linux record was closer to 20 days when I wasn''t using it for anything, and probably about 5 hours when I was coding on it. So now I only use Linux as my backup OS for coding CGI. (Win98 is crap though, no argument there)

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If you use loadlin, can you avoid changing boot records and all that? The only reason I am a little hesitant is because I need Win9x for certain key tasks and I can''t really risk messing it up Has anybody had any bad experiences with letting their Linux distribution set up LILO etc? I will have Win9x on the first drive and split the 2nd drive into a Linux partition and a standard FAT32 partition, and basically I''m hoping Mandrake will resize my partition on drive 2 for me (not even touching my Win9x installation) and install everything safely. I looked through all the HOW-TOs etc. but they are either obscure, out-of-date, or in some cases contradictory.

Also, will Linux (Mandrake 7.0, specificially) read FAT32 disks ok? Information on this is patchy at best, and I need to know as I would like to share some of my graphics files between code on Linux and Windows, to save duplication, ease editing, etc. (I''d rather use Photoshop than GIMP... although Photopaint for Linux may be here soon, woo!)

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Yep, you can use loadlin instead of using LILO. And yes, I have managed to screw up the partition table using it, but that was my fault not the installer''s - I used FDISK /MBR to restore the MBR like the docs said, only I did it in Linux and not at the DOS prompt

So yes, loadlin is safer, if a little slower to boot up Linux.

If you have two physical drives (one for Windows, one for Linux), you won''t have any problems with LILO if you stick it in the MBR of your Linux drive and leave the Windows drive MBR be.

Almost every distribution of Linux will be able to read Win32 disks by default. The partition type is VFAT. Mandrake should work it out, but if not then it''s a 10-second hack in the fstab file to sort it out. Windows won''t be able to see your Linux partition though.

If you want to use Photoshop, you could try using VMware for Linux (www.vmware.com) or Wine (www.winehq.com) to run it under Linux. VMware will probably work the best, but requires some heavy-duty kit (at least 64MB of RAM and a PII-300 ideally).

Finally, DayTripper, how can you say that programming Linux is harder than programming Windows? The Windows API is messy to say the least, whereas Linux is as close to ANSI C as you can get. 99/100 programmers prefer it (this is made up, but everyone I know who''s tried programming both prefer Linux). If you mean it''s lacking an IDE like VC++6, check out KDevelop (www.kdevelop.org). As for stability, I couldn''t comment since I shut down my computer at night but I have a friend who had Linux running for 53 days (and actually using it all that time too) and that previous versions of Windows couldn''t stay up that long (it was hard-coded).

=> Arfa <=

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Linux is too close to ANSI C, you can''t do anything on it w\o serious effort. Whereas in windows I have an enormous array of helpful classes. So the only thing I use Linux for is for compiling my CGI programs (which I happily code in windows). Anyway, my main point was about the lack of an IDE, I''ll check out the link you mentioned.

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