Linux Dual Booting Issues troubleshooting

Dual-Booting Issues
If you are new to Linux, you may not be ready to commit to a complete system when you just
want a test drive. All distributions of Linux can be installed on only certain partitions of your
hard disk while leaving others alone. Typically, this means allowing Microsoft Windows to
coexist with Linux.

Because you are focusing on server installations, the text will not cover the details of
building a dual-booting system; however, anyone with a little experience in creating partitions
on a disk should be able to figure this out. If you are having difficulty, you may want to refer
to the installation guide that comes with your distribution or another one of the many available
beginner’s guides to Linux.

Some quick hints: If a Windows 95 or Windows 98 partition currently consumes an entire
hard disk as drive C:, you can use the fips tool to repartition the disk. Simply defragment and
then run fips.exe. If you are using Windows NT/2000 with NTFS and have already allocated
all the disk with data on each partition, you may have to move data around a bit by hand to
free up a partition. Don’t bother trying to shrink an NTFS partition, though; because of its
complexity, it doesn’t like being resized, and doing so will lead to corruption.

You may find using a commercial tool such as Partition Magic to be especially helpful,
because it offers support for NTFS, FAT32, and regular FAT, as well as a large number of
other file system types. Its user interface is also significantly nicer than fips.
If you’re going to be installing a dual-boot system, install Linux last. If you install
Windows last, it will clobber the boot information for your Linux system. If you install Linux
last, it will recognize that you have Windows installed and let you choose which one you want
to boot by default. Linux gets an “A” for citizenship.

Methods of Installation
With the improved connectivity and speed of both local area networks and Internet connections,
it is becoming an increasingly popular option to perform installations over the network rather
than using a local CD-ROM.
In general, you’ll find that network installations become important once you’ve decided to
deploy Linux over many machines and therefore require a fast installation procedure in which
many systems can install at the same time.

Typically, server installations aren’t well suited to automation, because each server usually
has a unique task; thus, each server will have a slightly different configuration. For example, a
server dedicated to handling logging information sent to it over the network is going to have
especially large partitions set up for the appropriate logging directories, compared with a file
server that performs no logging of its own. (The obvious exception is for server farms where
you have large numbers of replicated servers. But even those installations have their nuances
that require attention to detail specific to the installation.)

Because of this, you will focus exclusively on the technique for installing a system from a
CD-ROM. Of course, once you have gone through the process from a CD-ROM, you will find
performing the network-based installations to be very straightforward.

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