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Since I'm a computer major, I want to get and learn as many operating systems at home as I can.

I currently have a laptop with Vista and a desktop with XP. So I'm good for both of those. I'm ready to reformat the desktop so I thought what I'd do is create a few partitions and install XP, Linux and Mac os (not even completely sure if the latter is possible).

I'm not really sure what to do or where to start. :confused:

I have no experience at all with installing multiple operating systems on one machine. I also have no experience whatsoever with mac or linux.

Any information and/or advice you can give would be very helpful! Even a quick point in the right direction..

(The PC is P4 3.0GHz 512 MB DDR)

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Last Post by peter_budo
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    John A 1,896   10 Years Ago

    Regarding Mac OS X - forget it, you'll have to buy yourself a Mac if you want to run Mac OS X. So that means that if you intend to install the Big 3 (*nix, Windows, and OS X), you'll have to get some sort of Mac. As for installing … Read More

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Well, I'm not sure about whether you can host Mac alongside all the other OSs, but I can guarantee you this....if you DO get to install Linux and OSX, well....welcome to being a MAC person lol Cause once you go Linux based, you DON'T go back!

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u can no doubt host mac, xp, and linux on the same hardware. though considering you're able to run vista. for just learning OS's you'd be better off running virtual server or VMware server and hosting multiple virtual clients. though unless your laptop is top notch i wouldn't advise as vm's use up resources like a real machine to some degree.

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Regarding Mac OS X - forget it, you'll have to buy yourself a Mac if you want to run Mac OS X.

So that means that if you intend to install the Big 3 (*nix, Windows, and OS X), you'll have to get some sort of Mac.

As for installing multiple operating systems: my recommendation is that you always install Windows before *nix, because the Windows installer tends to wipe out the Master Boot Record, which is what Linux uses to install its bootloader (GRUB/LILO).

So to summarize the steps:

  1. Wipe hard drive
  2. Create parititions while installing each OS small enough so that there's room left over for your other OSs
  3. First install Mac OS X (if you're using a Mac)
  4. Install Windows
  5. Install *nix

Lastly, GRUB or LILO which is installed by default whenever you install Linux allows you to boot any of the operating systems residing on your system, which is another reason to install Linux last (if you don't, the GRUB installer will only detect Linux).

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Appreciate the help! ~Jaseva
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Is there any way at all to install OS X on a pc? A few friends seem to think it's possible, but they could be wrong..

joeprogrammer - thanks for the info!

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yes but it is illegal and it only works on certain machines that appear to OSX like apples developer ones

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Is there any way at all to install OS X on a pc? A few friends seem to think it's possible, but they could be wrong..

Sort of. You have to use an old prerelease version of OS X that was for the Intel Developer Boxes and build a special custom PC. Not only will the OS be unstable because this version of OS X had so many security holes (and you CAN'T update it), it's illegal. Don't do it. ;)

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So, MAC's out then :)

Guess it'll be XP and Linux.

What's the deal with the different Linux distributions? I'm not sure which I would need..

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What's the deal with the different Linux distributions? I'm not sure which I would need..

In my opinion, there's way too many Linux distributions out there. It can be way too confusing for newbies.

The major ones are (or at least the ones I can think of at the moment):

  • Debian
  • Ubuntu
  • Red Hat (Fedora)
  • Slackware
  • SuSE

The topic is greatly debated, I don't want to start *another* one. Look here for a few opinions, advantages and disadvantages:
http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread50830.html
http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread55262.html
http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread58325.html

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Great info. Is it possible to put more than one on the same machine?

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Great info. Is it possible to put more than one on the same machine?

Of course. You simply install the first Linux distro so that its partitions don't take up the whole drive, and I guess theororetically you could install as many Linux distros as you had disk space. Or at least until the boot loader cannot handle it anymore. ;)

The key is to keep installing the boot loader each time you install a distro so that it stays updated with all the other distros as options at boot time.

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There's a sort of interface (I think it has the word pear in the title, but not sure) that lets you stick OS X on a PC. But it's probably easier (and maybe more stable) if you buy a mac and install XP or whatever on that, and it's legal too.

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Easiest to install linux distros are SuSE, Fedora and Ubuntu.

If you have less than 512 ram Ubuntu is th best choice also it hasa a livecd mode where you can try it out without installing. Ive never used its partitioner tho so i cant comment on it.

SuSE is best if you want sonething that is easyt o use

Fedora is kinda inbetween

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Thanks for the info :) ~Jaseva
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There's a sort of interface (I think it has the word pear in the title, but not sure) that lets you stick OS X on a PC. But it's probably easier (and maybe more stable) if you buy a mac and install XP or whatever on that, and it's legal too.

I think you mean the PowerPC emulator PearPC. Yes, you can run OS X on it if you want. The legality of it is debated, although if it were completely blackmarket it would have already been shut down. ;)

But its usefulness is decreasing as it only supports PowerPC emulation.

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I really appreciate everyone's help here! I'm going to spend some time reading and deciding for sure which linux distros to install.

I'm sure I'll have many more questions, too :)

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If you want to get a better idea of configuring a Linux distribution (or as some may claim "how they work"), I'd recommend one of the less "noob-friendly" (or more "advanced") distros like Gentoo, Slackware, Arch, or Linux From Scratch. My personal favorite distro is Gentoo, though it is admittedly a task to set it up (I've not tried any of the others I just listed yet ;)).

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lfs would not be suitable itll put him off linux for life
Thanks for the info :) ~Jaseva
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LFS is worse than gentoo. Dont use it, excelltne adventure for pros but definately not for anyone else

Try looking at:

Ubuntu 6.10
PCLinux OS 2007 (Test 1)
Fedora Core 6
OpenSuSE 10.2

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What you should do is to before wiping windows install a copy of partition magic. You should be able to download it for free. From there you can create your partitions pretty easily you can even create them as NTFS, FAT(whatever) . From there you can restart and start installing the os's onto each partition you have assigned Hope this helps.

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>What you should do is to before wiping windows install a copy of partition magic.
Perhaps, although if you can do it, it's usually a better idea to completely redo your partition table than to resize it. Not that Partition Magic is buggy or anything, but you'll get the most stability from destructive partitioning.

Also, there are open source alternatives. For example, FIPS can split FAT partitions. I currently don't know of a NTFS alternative, although there are likely some in existence.

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yast is a package manager, isn't it? When did package managers start dealing with partitions?

I've heard of people using qparted with some successes. Always backup first, and you could try giving that a shot.

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Taking joeprogrammer's advice, I'll be wiping out the current partition and starting fresh.

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I just wanted to say, don't buy into people saying you should start with a newbie friendly linux distro. Remember that people had to start somewhere before all these newb friendly distros existed. You can learn a lot by working with a distro that's a little harder to get setup. I started with slackware 3.0 and I wouldn't give up that experience for anything. Sure I use ubuntu now, but that's only because I wanted something that just works, wasn't looking for the learning experience at this point.

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if you want to install multiple OS's in your desktop, my answer is you should install lower version (XP) before installing higher version (Vista / Windows 7). Because, if you install higher first then you cant install lower one. if you have two hard disks then install both separately.

Coming to Linux, it is better to choose best one. Install windows first and put your Linux dvd, and select another drive for linux, then follow the steps. Take care...
Any doubts ask me.

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