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Hey guys,
I have an idea to take my old 160GB internal HDD from an old desktop, and converting it into an external HDD. And then, I want to partition it into four parts, 40GB each, and install four different distros on it. The reason I want to do this is because I want to get LPIC-1/2 and CCNA certified within the next year or so, and I want to play around and get experience with configuring the different distro's. So, here are my questions..

1. First of all, is it possible to do this? I thought it through, and I don't see anything that can prevent it, change BIOS to USB Boot etc.

2. When I format the drive in windows, and partition it, what fomat should i use? FAT32?

3. When the HDD is plugged in and I start up my laptop, will GRUB ask me which OS I want to run?If not, how will I choose the Distro?

4. Lastly, what are the top 4 distros used in the industry today? I have an Ubuntu Dualboot now, but heard that Red Hat is popular in the USA and SUSE is in Europe. And another one used is...?

5. Should I install the normal distro or the server version?

Basically, I just want a normal Windows based Pc that I have now with Ubuntu on a 10GB partition, and whenever I feel like practicing, I want to plug in my external hard drive and boot to either one of the four installed and start playing around, configuring it etc. Im currently studying Linux+ material to get the heads up on the Shell commands etc.

Sorry if this is a long q, but I havent found someone who did this on the net. Don't know what you call it, quadruple boot HDD or something. Any advice for learning Linux and the LPIC course would also be appreciated and what will be good for industry.

Thanks for your replies. Hope I was clear enough.
:-)

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Last Post by Crash~Override
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1. Yes it is possible
2. Yes format as fat32 but it doesn't really matter since you will be reformating all the partitions to ext3 when installing linux
3. If you install GRUB, than yes it will ask you which OS you want to boot in
4. I recommend Red Hat linux fedora for desktop and CentOS for server. Ubuntu is good for desktop but if you really want to learn linux get slackware - that should get you learning linux commands fast!!!
5. If you are going to make your distro into a server by installing apache or whatever than get server version or else get the desktop version

pS: if you want CCNA i doubt installing 4 linux copies is really going to help. CCNA is Cisco Certifed Network Associate!! You will need to know tons about networking, ports, switches, routers. How a network works and all! So I would recommend you go and get a book of CCNA and start making and managing networks using windows or linux.

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1. Yes it is possible
2. Yes format as fat32 but it doesn't really matter since you will be reformating all the partitions to ext3 when installing linux
3. If you install GRUB, than yes it will ask you which OS you want to boot in
4. I recommend Red Hat linux fedora for desktop and CentOS for server. Ubuntu is good for desktop but if you really want to learn linux get slackware - that should get you learning linux commands fast!!!
5. If you are going to make your distro into a server by installing apache or whatever than get server version or else get the desktop version

pS: if you want CCNA i doubt installing 4 linux copies is really going to help. CCNA is Cisco Certifed Network Associate!! You will need to know tons about networking, ports, switches, routers. How a network works and all! So I would recommend you go and get a book of CCNA and start making and managing networks using windows or linux.

Thanks for the reply man, a couple q's if its okay..

3. So, if I put the hard drive in and I install one of the distros, will it ask me to install GRUB?
4. should i install the server versions of each then? is CentOS the industry favourite?

Can you give me some pointers on how to use this method to practice my linux skills? The server distros, can you use two computers to practice this? How?

I know what the CCNA is, Im just doing this linux quadruple boot thing to learn the different distros. Im also working on the LPIC-1 course, thats what I need this for. I have all the materials for CCNA, and yes, you have to know ALOT about routers,switches, etc. Got a bunch of simulators and when Ive saved enough Im gona buy the lab before I take the exam.

Now I'm just trying to gain skills on linux, I have absolutely none! So far its a little difficult. lol. But Im going strong.

Thanks again.

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Thanks for the reply man, a couple q's if its okay..

3. So, if I put the hard drive in and I install one of the distros, will it ask me to install GRUB?
4. should i install the server versions of each then? is CentOS the industry favourite?

Can you give me some pointers on how to use this method to practice my linux skills? The server distros, can you use two computers to practice this? How?

I know what the CCNA is, Im just doing this linux quadruple boot thing to learn the different distros. Im also working on the LPIC-1 course, thats what I need this for. I have all the materials for CCNA, and yes, you have to know ALOT about routers,switches, etc. Got a bunch of simulators and when Ive saved enough Im gona buy the lab before I take the exam.

Now I'm just trying to gain skills on linux, I have absolutely none! So far its a little difficult. lol. But Im going strong.

Thanks again.

Most of the major linux distro's will ask you to install GRUB.
You don't particularly need server versions. Since you are just starting out with linux, I would recommend getting just a basic desktop version. Get ubuntu (it's EXTREMELY newbie friendly). Once you get a little comfortable go with slackware (this is where your skills on linux will be tested). And if you want to get a hang of rpm based linux get fedora or any Red Hat based distributions.

CentOS is basically a free community supported RedHat based server distro. Its similar to RHEL but RHEL has professional support and I think you need a license to run RHEL. (I could be wrong here)

So basically I would say for your quadruple boot get:
1. Ubuntu (easiest and the most popular linux distro as of today)
2. Fedora (One of the oldest and most popular rpm based linux)
3. Slackware (will be hardest of all linux distros)
4. CentOS (if you want to mess around with server linux)

I am not a big fan of OpenSUSE but if you want you and try it out.

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Most of the major linux distro's will ask you to install GRUB.
You don't particularly need server versions. Since you are just starting out with linux, I would recommend getting just a basic desktop version. Get ubuntu (it's EXTREMELY newbie friendly). Once you get a little comfortable go with slackware (this is where your skills on linux will be tested). And if you want to get a hang of rpm based linux get fedora or any Red Hat based distributions.

CentOS is basically a free community supported RedHat based server distro. Its similar to RHEL but RHEL has professional support and I think you need a license to run RHEL. (I could be wrong here)

So basically I would say for your quadruple boot get:
1. Ubuntu (easiest and the most popular linux distro as of today)
2. Fedora (One of the oldest and most popular rpm based linux)
3. Slackware (will be hardest of all linux distros)
4. CentOS (if you want to mess around with server linux)

I am not a big fan of OpenSUSE but if you want you and try it out.

Hi Crash,
Thanks for your reply again man. I just popped open my old external HDD that broke and the case inside it has connectors for SATA. The 106GB HDD I wanted to use is a bit old and is still IDE. So I guess Ill have to get a new case or an IDE to SATA converter cable. DAmn.

Im gona mark this thread as solved coz I dont see any point in leaving it open while I wait for the converter cable. (short on cash).

Thanks for your help. I will install the linux versions you told me. I googled it and it looks pretty neat. A bit scared of the slackware one. lol.

Thanks alot dude.
Regards

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Hi Crash,
Thanks for your reply again man. I just popped open my old external HDD that broke and the case inside it has connectors for SATA. The 106GB HDD I wanted to use is a bit old and is still IDE. So I guess Ill have to get a new case or an IDE to SATA converter cable. DAmn.

Im gona mark this thread as solved coz I dont see any point in leaving it open while I wait for the converter cable. (short on cash).

Thanks for your help. I will install the linux versions you told me. I googled it and it looks pretty neat. A bit scared of the slackware one. lol.

Thanks alot dude.
Regards

Dont worry about slackware for now, just get comfortable with ubuntu and fedora and while you are running those 2, try installing packages from source code (not .deb or rpm/yum packages) that will help you out on slackware later on!!!

Also try doing all or most installations and maintenance from command line! That will also help you learn faster and prepare for slackware lol!

Good luck!

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