Complete newbie to Linux


I installed Ubuntu 9.“something” on my laptop computer about a year or so ago…and never touched it. Now I want to step up and begin to learn the Linux world so I bought a Linux mag that had five distros on it. So I have registered here on this site today and am asking for help on the following please:

I wish to format the laptop, then install two of these distros as a dual boot. The two I wish to install from the dvd are openSUSE 11.3 and Ubuntu 10.04.1.

I have NO IDEA how to do this but am willing to learn from your tips. This laptop will be used SOLELY for learning just Linux on it.

Thanks in advance for your help and I’ll check back here after lunch!

Perhaps you should tell us
How much room you have / HD space I mean
Which will be your primary OS?

Is there a reason why you want to install Ubuntu 10.04 rather than the latest version (10.10 - maverick) ? Otherwise dualbooting openSUSE and Ubuntu is not complicated. You just have to partitionate the harddisk, which can be done with either openSUSE’s or Ubuntu’s setup or - the best solution - before installing, with a partitioning too called PartedMagic. You’ll need at least one partition for Ubuntu, one for openSUSE and a swap partition (that you can use for both). A separate /home partition (or two in this case) would also be advisable. It’s possible to share the /home partition as well if you use different user names on both systems.

Thanks - Here is a link to the stats of the laptop:

Thanks - 10.04 is the version on the DVD I have along with four other distros. Not sure about your explanation as I am a complete NEWBIE to Linux but thanks. I just want to have both on my computer so I can get some hands on experience working in each of theses two linux flavors please…

I would install openSuse first, then Ubuntu, as both systems will then show up in your boot menu.

More info is a good thing.

Just get yourself a copy of parted magic
or if easier, boot up Ubuntu and use the application Gparted to re-partition your HD with

swap 2GB
Create an extended partition to use all the remaining space, and then inside that you need
2 x 15GB ext4 partitions ( one for each of the OS’s root partitions)
2 x 24GB ext4 partitions ( one for each /home partition)

Or do you still have Vista installed

A hard disk is divided in partitions. An operating system needs at least one partition, but can use more. Linux uses the same partition scheme as Windows. Under Windows, partitions are called ‘drives’ and are assigned letters (C: D: E:, etc). Under Linux, they don’t use letters but directory names. If you install two different operating systems on a single hard disk, it has to be divided in (at least) two partitions. This is not linux specific. This applies to any operating system. That’s why ‘partitioning’ is the first step before installing and the first concept you have to understand if you want to dual or multi boot OS.

IMHO, If you are a complete newbie, I doubt that starting right away with two Linux distros is the best approach. I don’t think you will learn faster, and since Ubuntu and openSUSE are very different to administrate, you’ll probably waist a lot of time with details instead of assimilating the basics.