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Will the plan work?: Boot Ubuntu 6.06 from 4GB HDD
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject: Will the plan work?: Boot Ubuntu 6.06 from 4GB HDD Reply with quote

As I've mentioned before, I work part-time in the office of a friend's engineering company. We've had a lot of problems with Windows, and I think that I may be able to convince the boss to swap operating systems.

So I want to try Linux at work and show my colleagues what's possible (they're totally in the dark about open-source software), but the PC that I use is crap. The CPU is some 1.35GHz AMD chip, it has 1GB of memory and I'm convinced that the HDD only runs at 4200 rpm. At the moment, it boots into XP SP2 or SP3 but I really don't want to do anything to the primary drive -- I can't afford to risk damaging the data on that partition.

However! I do have an old 4GB Seagate drive sitting in a box in a cupboard. And I also have a live boot CD of "Dapper Drake" on the desk next to me. So the plan is pretty obvious: stick the old Seagate into my work PC, install Ubuntu 6.06 onto it and have a dual-boot machine. According to Ubuntu's system requirements, 4GB is the minimum size of drive needed for an install.

Bearing in mind the constraints, do the resident Linux aficionados think that this plan will work, or is there an obstacle that I've overlooked?
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saul
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since it is a live boot CD you can verify it by just booting the CD and running it that way. Just don't do the install.

For the latest 9.10 you only need 500MB of disk space so why not grab a copy of it?

https://help.ubuntu.com/9.10/installation-guide/i386/memory-disk-requirements.html
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ghostdawg
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will be pretty tight once you install it. you'll have to watch the repository cache and probably some other areas from filling it up.

Maybe get a debian netinst disc and it will install a minimum system and add only what you would need. A lightweight desktop, such as fluxbox or lxde would be good for it.

I did that for an old G3 imac and I believe it has a 4gb drive in it. What ever size comes with it, I haven't upgraded anything.
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Aquafire
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:43 am    Post subject: Re: Will the plan work?: Boot Ubuntu 6.06 from 4GB HDD Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:

is there an obstacle that I've overlooked?


JB,

Just be careful with installing the spare HDD onto the work machine : it may cause problems when it comes to putting the original drive back in.

I know this from personal experience. Confused

Sometimes, putting the HDD that has Windows on it, back into place, can lead to unexpected issues.

It may cause problems like Windows not booting properly, or forcing you to re-register whatever copy of Windows is on the machine. It can even cause the operating system to not even be recognized.

I am not saying any of these things will definitely happen : but given what you have already said about the Windows OS being a bit dodgy, I would tread carefully.

If I was in your shoes, I'd be trying Linux on some other box rather than the Work one.

Aqua

PS

Ubuntu is OK, but for work purposes, why not show them this..

http://www.caelinux.com/CMS/
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Saul: Yeah, I've already tried booting from the CD on my work machine, but I actually want to try using it for doing work and saving files somewhere. As for 9.10, will that be as responsive as 6.06 on my old machine? (I tried this 6.06 disk on my uncle's 600MHz PC and it was surprisingly nimble)

@GhostDawg: How do I monitor the repository cache?

@Aquafire: I was going to install this 4 gig drive in addition to the existing drive -- either as a slave or on the other IDE channel. However, I'm worried that to create a dual-boot machine, the bootloader (Grub?) will want to tinker with the MBR of the primary HDD. And that gives me the jitters.
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Aquafire
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Putting two drives together isn't hard.

But....thats if you've had some practice.

Trouble is, G.R.U.B can foul up the MBR. It's a sad fact. It's not meant to, but every so often it does.

If things do go wrong, then they can easily be fixed using programs like Gparted, System Rescue etc. But that requires another set of skills.

I commend you on wanting to use Linux, but I don't think its worth the risk to use the work machine. The Boss might wrap a monkey wrench around your ears.

I built my experience of Linux on a $30 machine. This one in fact.

It's a Compaq Deskpro En P111



Perfect because I can pull the lid off and add drives etc. In fact I still use it as my every ready Linux Unix Windows Test bench.

.
.
.

Re your work computer.

You state that its giving problems...

What type of problems ?

Can any of us guys help ?

Cheers

Aqua
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saul
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you physically pull the old disk out you should always be able to go back to it (write down all the BIOS settings first - the drive might not be auto configured). There is always the possibility of you opening the case and breaking a connector so it is not foolproof. If the data is really that important then you should copy it elsewhere first as a hard drive can die at any time.

As far as versions - 8.04 should be a bit more optimized and still has the older drivers - I think that was the version that I tried on a old 500Mhz PIII last year. 9.04 apparently dropped support for some older video cards.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ubuntu 9.10 will install grub2, not grub, and customizing this is another kettle of fish. If you're going with Ubuntu I would either use 8.04 (the most recent version with long term support) or 9.04 (the last one that uses grub). However, an alternative that you might want to consider on low level hardware is Puppy Linux. This one runs from RAM and is extremely fast when it loads. You can run it from a usb key, and still add things to it via a file it would put on your HD.

As far as the HD is concerned, if you want to keep the MBR of the original disk untouched, don't let your distro install grub at all. When you start up Windows, if you hit F11 (at least on my netbook), you will get the option to start up from a list of whatever drives are connected. You can then start up from the second drive when you want to run Linux. Nothing on the first drive is affected, and you can remove the second drive with no effect on anything if you want to put the machine back to what it was.
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Aquafire
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
Ubuntu 9.10 will install grub2, not grub


My mistake. Honestly, forgot about that.

Sorry guys, didn't mean to mislead anyone.

Clearly, I'm starting to get rusty.

Man I need to get into my workshop / studio soon.Very Happy

Aqua
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, you guys have scared me away from grub and doing anything that alters the MBR of the primary HDD. It's probably for the best.

However, Fox's two suggestions -- booting from a second HDD by hitting a function key or running Linux from a USB pendrive/live CD -- are very interesting.

Weather permitting (in south-eastern England, we're forecast even more snow on Sunday and Monday), I'll be back at work on Monday morning where I can check the boot options for the ASRock K7S41GX motherboard in my work PC. I may be able to boot and run Puppy Linux (or Ubuntu?) solely from a USB pendrive, which will be far less disruptive than any plan that involves opening the PC's case.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just heard about the snow in southeastern England, JohnnyBoy. That's twice this year. You're getting our Canadian weather!

If you go with Puppy, it isn't the quickest booting because Puppy puts everything in RAM, but once you have it loaded, running applications is lightning-fast. With Ubuntu, it will boot faster than Puppy, but will run slower; much slower than on a HD.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fox wrote:
I just heard about the snow in southeastern England, JohnnyBoy. That's twice this year. You're getting our Canadian weather!

I thought that we were Fox -- but then I saw "Ice Road Truckers" on Channel 5 this morning, and stopped feeling so sorry for myself! Smile

Fox wrote:
If you go with Puppy, it isn't the quickest booting because Puppy puts everything in RAM, but once you have it loaded, running applications is lightning-fast. With Ubuntu, it will boot faster than Puppy, but will run slower; much slower than on a HD.

Does this apply only when I'm booting from a live CD or will it also be an issue if I boot from a USB flash drive?
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Fox
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
Does this apply only when I'm booting from a live CD or will it also be an issue if I boot from a USB flash drive?

Either way, though loading would be faster from a USB drive. By the way, there are many Puppy variants; these are remixes that have slightly different appearances (cosmetic enhancements), or in some cases they provide different software packages. One of them is call macpup; I believe because it's more Mac-like in appearance. You can view many of the these from Puppy's website (or a link provided on that website).
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VE Day
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:

However, Fox's two suggestions -- booting from a second HDD by hitting a function key or running Linux from a USB pendrive/live CD -- are very interesting.




I have booted both a PC and a Laptop into bootable versions of Ubuntu. It is much less hassle than carrying around a second HDD that you have to fix into the machine, and in my experience more likely to work. Because of the way it works, Linux isn't that big, it doesn't need something the size of a HDD to store a bootable version.
I have a bootable CD of the latest version of Ubuntu - the latest Ubuntu 9.04 is lean enough to fit onto a bootable 500MB CD, you don't need to worry, but I think it is best to make a bootable SD Card (or USB Pendrive if you have one) as you can then save your settings to the SD Card once you've started using the operating system.

However I have never had any success making a bootable SD Card or CD in Mac OS X though. I need to log into my Windows XP partition and use UNetbootin For Windows. Nor have I ever got UNetbootin For Linux working in Linux. UNetbootin For Windows is the reliable working version in my experience, that is the easiest way to do it if you have a working Windows PC or Windows XP Partition on your Mac.

Once you've downloaded Ubuntu from the Ubuntu Website you need to log into a Windows PC/partition and open UNetbootin. Ignore the first half of the page and about halfway down it says something about installing from a .iso file. Use the Browse button to browse to the location of the .iso file that you have downloaded from the Ubuntu website. Make sure either your CD or the USB Pendrive or SD Card are inserted and Start UNetbootin. It takes a good while to get going, it looks like its freezed for ages early on but then suddenly it speeds up and finishes after half an hour of doing nothing.
You then have a working CD or SD Card/USB Pendrive that you can carry with you and insert into a PC and boot up from (by pressing the ESC Key) without damaging the PC or its existing Windows Operating System.

Top Tips:
- Remember you have to format the SD Card or USB Pendrive to a bootable FAT32 before doing the UNetbootin stuff.

- UNetbootin does take some time to make a bootable Operating System but it does work. And its like magic when you see a bright new operating system working on a tired old PC just by inserting a bootable SD Card.

- I think you are much better off downloading and showing a new working version of the latest version of Ubuntu, not an old out of date version. Ubuntu has huge repositories of various applications that you can download (and for free). Its a best to show it at its best by using an up to date version of Ubuntu (it only costs for free to download a new one).

- Don't use a HDD - a SD Card or USB Pendrive is more reliable.
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Fox
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SD card is an interesting option, but I think most PC's don't have SD slots in them; at least old ones don't. How does an SD compare to a USB stick speedwise?

FYI, I've heard that Unetbootin works with Windows to make a bootable USB stick or SD drive. But it works perfectly well with Linux, too, and I've made probably a dozen bootable USB sticks from Unetbootin working in Ubuntu. However, since JohnnyBoy doesn't have an installed Linux, making a bootable USB stick (or SD card if he has a slot) with Unetbootin from Windows is a good idea.
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