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Date:      Sat, 16 May 1998 19:38:49 -0400 (EDT)
From:      CyberPeasant <djv@bedford.net>
To:        randyfoo@pacific.net.sg (Randy Foo Jong Suan)
Cc:        freebsd-questions@FreeBSD.ORG
Subject:   Re: Multi-boot Different OSes
Message-ID:  <199805162338.TAA29289@lucy.bedford.net>
In-Reply-To: <000001bd80ba$f71a24c0$06f518d2@randyfoo.pacific.net.sg> from Randy Foo Jong Suan at "May 16, 98 07:08:32 pm"

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Randy Foo Jong Suan wrote:
[Charset iso-8859-1 unsupported, filtering to ASCII...]
> 2) Now, I plan to purchase a new hard disk, SOLELY for the purpose
> of installing and learning Linux and perhaps FreeBSD too.
> 
>    2.1) Is it advisable to install more than one Linux OS on the same
>         hard disk but on different partitions?
> 
>         E.g. Red Hat, Slackware and FreeBSD on separate partitions.

FreeBSD isn't Linux. They have separate code bases and histories,
and different licenses.

There's no good reason to have more than one Linux OS on a machine.
They differ only in their installation methods and in what accessories
are included. RH and Slack are probably the most popular. RH is probably
easiest to install.

>    2.2) Based on above example of the 3 products, how many partitions
>         must I create to install the above three?

You will need one DOS partition for BSD; BSD is able to subdivide a DOS
style partition. The terminology gets confusing: what you are
calling a "partition", BSD calls a slice. BSD calls the subdivisions
of a DOS partition (a BSD slice), a "partition". The BSD practice
of calling the subdivision of a DOS partition a "partition" is older 
than MS-DOS or PC computers. (Don't blame BSD, in other words. :)

Linux generally uses DOS partitions directly. Typically you will need
a minimum of three DOS partitions for Linux, one for /, one for swap,
and another for everything else. (typically and generally. You can
get away with only one DOS partition for Linux, but this is a linux
issue. A good Linux list for these questions is linux-newbie@vger.rutgers.edu,
or linux-admin@vger.rutgers.edu).

>    2.3) Do I need additional partitions for swap space?
>         (My PC is a standard Pentium 200 with 64 Mb RAM)

You will need space for swap with either OS. about 128MB I would guess
without further information. Sharing this space between Linux and BSD
is a deep secret, that I don't know about. For BSD, a separate DOS
partition (slice) for swap is not needed. (BSD will use its own partition
of its own slice).

If you're new to Unix, I would say to pick just one OS for now, and
would base that decision on what your friends are using. Since you
seem to lean towards Linux, I'd say go with RedHat. For BSD you have
three free choices, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. For the newbie, FreeBSD
has the best "user-friendliness" and easy installation. The other two
are aimed more at the experienced user. The 3 BSDs are very close;
learning one will mean learning the other two. For the newbie, pick FreeBSD.
Once installed, all 3 BSDs are more or less the same. As a newbie,
you would have to poke around for quite a while to discover the differences.

BSD in general has a slight advantage in that many textbook examples
run without change on BSD; with linux there is sometimes a problem.

Dave
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