Installing Linux:The process is fairly straightforward.
- Use the BIOS to ensure that your machine always tries to boot from the CD-drive before looking to the hard-drive.
- Put Linux CD 1 in the CD-drive.
- Reboot your machine.
- You should see the Linux installer start up.
- Follow the directions for installing a "Workstation" version of Linux.
- When you get to the section concerning partitioning you will be asked "Remove all data on this drive?" Click NO. You want to select "keep all existing partitions and install Linux on existing free space". Also, here you will be offered the opportunity to have the installer automatically partition. Accept that, but also make sure you check the "review partitions" checkbox. The automatic scheme creates a single large "/" partition. On the next page you will be able to add other partitions (e.g., /home, /var, /usr, etc.).
- In "Network configuration", you will probably want to use DHCP if your PC is connected to an existing network (i.e., a cable modem, DSL, etc.) Otherwise you can manually set it to an address different from that of any other machines in your home.
- When you get to the section in which you specify a superuser password, you should also make sure to create a regular user account. It is good practice to never log directly into a linux box as the superuser (i.e., "root") Instead, log in as a regular user, then use the "su" command from a terminal window to temporarily switch to superuser mode. Alternatively, whenever you try, as a regular user, to run a tool or application that requires superuser capabilities, you will be prompted to enter the root password.
- In the "Firewall Configuration" section, you should enable SSH and HTTP.
- When you get to the section concerning selection of packages, choose to manually select them, because you will want to make sure that the installation includes Apache and MySQL. You do not need DNS server, Mail server, News server, etc., unless you really want to set up a server for those services--and I don't think you do.
- After all the packages are installed (which can take about an hour), you will be asked to provide a floppy that will be configured so that you can use it to boot into Linux mode explicitly.
- When you are all done, reboot the machine. After the BIOS finishes you should get a GRUB or LILO window allowing you to select which system you will boot to: DOS (Windows) or Linux.
Other StuffHere are some URL's for other issues related to Linux installation and dual-booting.
Linux can access other filesystem partitions:
Dual booting linux/NT: http://tldp.org/HOWTO/mini/LILO-3.html#ss3.2
also: http://tldp.org/HOWTO/mini/Linux+WinNT.html , and: http://classes.csumb.edu/CST/CST434-01/world/DualBoot.html (though I think this last one is obsolete with newer versions of RedHat.)
Dual booting to many other OS's: