Based on advice received from Mad Penguin (thanks) I am going to give Ubuntu 9.10 a try.Now,if I decide to install it on my hard drive,will I have to partition the drive or will that be done automatically during the install.? One other point on the same theme,If Ubuntu and Windows are both on my hard drive,will I have to reboot to switch between them or can I just click on an icon to change over? Cheers. Kenny
During the installation you will be given the option to resize your current (Windows) partition… I’ve found that running a Windows defrag before booting Linux and resizing the partition is a good idea.
(as with any partition operation, there is always a small chance of corruption so backup important data first)
Yes, you will have to decide at boot time which OS to load (and will not be able to switch between them without a reboot), but Linux will be able to access the Windows partition(s), Windows on the other hand won’t be able to access (or even see) the Linux partition without the installation of third party software.
(there are other options which will be explained in the next link)
This doesn’t mean Linux will be able to run your Windows software (or vice versa)… see here:
For a list of some Linux alternatives to popular Windows software, see here:
most, if not all of the software listed on this page is free.
You might also want to take a look at Linux Mint 8 (Helena) main edition, it’s based on Ubuntu 9.10 but in my opinion has a slightly easier layout for Windows users to come to grips with, and comes with support for MP3, (encrypted) retail DVD, flashplugin etc. installed by default, although this is very easy to install in Ubuntu… don’t get Mint 9 though as it’s based on Ubuntu 10.04 so has the same issues… really though, the differences between Ubuntu 9.10 and Mint 8 are superficial so the choice is yours… Green or Brown