Hello everyone. Please advise. I need to install Red Hat Linux on one hd with Windows 2000 Pro, which means I need to partition my hd. From the installation screen of manual or automatically partition, I'm lost. Anyone, please advise. I'm new to this and actually need step by step directions. Thanks so much.

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Hello Patricia,

I agree that a format is in order. Yes, there are tools such as partition magic that will manage things while keeping your data secure, but you are then placing your faith in a tool and your data. I would save the data off, and then re-partition.

I hope that you have at least 10 GB on your hard drive.

I won't be able to offer step-by-step instructions, but can give you a good idea of what to look for.

Reboot the computer with your Windows 2000 disk. When it comes to selecting where to install Windows 2K, do not use the entire hard disk. Partition it down, so that you give windows a comfortable amount, but not squeezing your Linux "side". Minimum hard drive IMO is 10 GB, where you can give 5 to Win and 5 to Linux. If you have a 20 GB, give 10 to Win, and 10 to Linux. 40 GB? Give 25 to Win and 15 to Linux. You get the idea. Windows programs tend to be larger, and you most likely have a lot of software on the shelf waiting.

Install Windows, and go through the motions. When it is all stable, you can go into the Computer Management tool, and run the disk administrator, and you will see that your hard drive is so big, and that the Windows partition is only using part of it.

Don't forget your patches!

Reboot with your Linux CD's

Install, but do not use the automatic partition tool. Manually make partitions, and protect your Windows partition. An advanced Linux installation will have something like:

500 MB for / (root)
256 MB for swap (same size as your installed RAM, to a point!)
500 MB for var
1 GB for /home (where user files are stored, this varies greatly by design)
(the rest) for /usr

If you want a simple Linux installation, you just need two partitions:

swap (what your RAM size is, to say 512 MB)
/ whatever is left

Select your packages, and install.


Now, according to the book, GRUB (the boot software) will recognize Windows and Linux, and you can choose which environment you would like to go into.

Couple Gotchas:

1) Remember to patch Windows after it is installed
2) Register and patch Linux after it is installed
3) If you have a default environment, it is possible to assign that. Look up some help on the grub program to see how that is done
4) You can setup Linux to access your Windows files. Be careful if you formatted 2K to be NTFS. I am not sure if Linux will play with NTFS. If it does work with it, I will be surprised if NTFS permissions are honored.
5) I am not aware of Windows being able to use the Linux files.

Be sure to enjoy your setup and your exposure to Linux!

Want a book?

I like the RedHat Linux 9 Bible published by Wiley books. It is a big Yellow book with a black bottom. www.wiley.com/compbooks/negus

Good Luck with it, and if you have questions, please ask.


You are correct, 99.9% of linux operating systems cannot support NTFS, they can read them, but not 'write' them. so I would not recommend using NTFS for the windows partition. As far as windows using linux/unix files, this won't happen in a dual boot situation at this time.

As mentioned, Linux's support for writing to NTFS is still "experimental" and not recommended. The traditional workaround in a dual-boot system is to create a separate FAT32 partition in which to store data you want to share between Windows and Linux; both operating systems fully support read and write operations to FAT partitions.

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