I’ve officially migrated to Linux.
I was going to write up a HOW TO, but there are already so many out there. Instead, I am going to point at the areas I had the most difficulty with and offer up links of where to go for the answers.
At first, I thought I needed a dual boot scenario because there were some applications that I could not migrate, namely Macromedia Flash MX 2004, Quicken, and Ultra Edit (simply the best text editor in the world). As I learned more about the various applications designed for use with Linux, I came to realize, there were ways (high quality free ways) to get around almost every road block. This, among most things, is the beauty of Open Source.
So after about three partition/format efforts later, I finally have the perfect environment. Your hard disk partitions lay the framework for any good Linux install.
After my first attempt to install in a dual boot with XP, I found out that it was smarter to keep a separate partition for your /home directory (this gives you some stability when its time to upgrade your kernel). After my second install, I realized that I can host a Windows Virtual Machine within Linux (a good way to run those apps that don’t migrate), so why bother with the dual boot partitioning (more about why later).
I have a two year old Sager 9890 laptop w/ 1GB ram, P4-3.4GHz HT, nVIDIA GeForce Go 6800 w/ 256MB and 2 100GB drives. I ended up partitioning the following way:
I have my linux root (sda1) then my linux swap (sda2), a large separate ‘/home’ partition (sda3), and finally a partition for my virtual machine to be (sda4) all type ext3. My other hard drive (sdb1) is simply a share that I initially set up for my dual boot, and just kept it as is for this new Linux only machine.
Installing Ubuntu is very easy once the groundwork has been laid. The groundwork: setup the partitions, download the latest version of Ubuntu, burn the Ubuntu iso to DVD (follow your tool-of-choice instructions), then boot the machine with the Ubuntu DVD in the drive (make sure your BIOS is set to boot from CD).
The only installation issues I ran into were getting Ubuntu to recognize my video card properly (including changing resolutions) and, almost as important, my wireless NIC. Both of these were troublesome annoyances at best and downright aggravating at worst. Thankfully I had no trouble accessing the internet through a wired connection and found the information online with a bit of googling.
Tips & Tricks
VirtualBox – This is a very simple (and free) way to host Windows inside Linux. I tried QEMU, but ran into issues trying to install KQEMU (the compiler issue). VMWARE costs, so I went with the one that worked for me.
I hope to add more of my own profound tidbits to this list as time goes on, but for now, take a look at these sites:
Linux Magazine (you may need to register for the full article), Linux Man Pages (you can always man something inside, but sometimes nice to see it this way), You Can Switch to Linux!(this is the one that inspired me to freedom)
More to come…