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Can install unix (more specifically, centOs) as a 2nd os? e.g. first is a windows

Jesus Angeles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2005
Posts: 2057
Hi,

I am a unix newbie.

Can I install unix (centos 5.x), as a second OS on my pc, just like installing a second windows?

Or do I have to install it on a fresh system?

Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14150
    
  18

Yes, you can install it that way (dual-boot). I have installed Ubuntu on my desktop computer in that way. First install Windows, make sure you leave some harddisk space (i.e. make Windows not use the whole harddisk). Then install Linux. The Linux installation will install a boot loader (Ubuntu used GRUB) that shows a menu on screen before the operating system boots. That menu allows you to choose which operating system to boot.

On Ubuntu, you can in the installer even resize your Windows partition to make space for Ubuntu.

I don't know how it specifically works with CentOS.

Make sure you backup any important data on your Windows partition before you attempt this; if you accidentally do something wrong with the disk partitions, you may loose all your data.


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Jesus Angeles
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 26, 2005
Posts: 2057
Thank you for the reply.

Windows Vista has a tool (I think near the tool where you change assigned drive letter) that allowed me to release some space and allocate a new partition.

I was informed that centOs also can be installed as a second os. I will need to do the partition preparation using Win Vista, as centOs is not able to 'touch' the partition.
Joe Ess
Bartender

Joined: Oct 29, 2001
Posts: 8907
    
    8

You can get GParted as a bootable disk and create a partition that way.
Our Linux FAQ has a section on installing. Since you are new, I'd recommend using VirtualBox or VMWare and a virtual machine. You run much less risk with a VM than changing your disk partitions, plus you can experiment with different flavors of Linux without multiple partitions.
It's also polite to mention when you have posted the same question on another forum


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Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38820
    
  23
If you are installing Linux for the first time, I would suggest you need 3 partitions for it.
  • A "swap" partition. Slightly larger than your total RAM, to be booted as "swap".
  • A / partition, which is bootable, and you mount as /
  • A /home partition, which is not bootable, and you mount as /home. This will be the largest partition, and next time you need to install anything, don't format it.
  • You may need a tiny partition as a boot partition too.

    Somebody else check this please, in case I have made a mistake in this suggestion.
    Peter Johnson
    author
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    Joined: May 14, 2008
    Posts: 5827
        
        7

    Another possibility is to run CentOS within a virtual machine using a tool such as VirtualBox. Then you won't have to dual-boot; instead you can start Windows and once it is up launch VirtualBox and open the CentOS virtual machine.


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