Linux+WindowsNT mini-HOWTO

Miroslav "Misko" Skoric, skoric at eunet dot yu

v2.21, 2004-10-05


This mini-HOWTO covers some ways on how to install both Linux and Windows NT on the same computer and how to boot either of them from within LILO menu. There is also another mini-HOWTO "Linux+NT-Loader" that covers how to boot either of them from within NT Loader menu. As I consider Windows 2000 to be Windows NT version 5.0 this mini-HOWTO also covers upgrading from NT 4.0 to 2000.

More detailed information about LILO (Linux Loader) itself you may find in wonderfull LILO mini-HOWTO.

1. Introduction

2. How to install: LINUX first, WINDOWS NT after

3. How to install: WINDOWS NT first, LINUX after

4. How to upgrade WINDOWS NT to WINDOWS 2000

5. How to install WINDOWS 2000 besides LINUX and WINDOWS 98

6. How to install WINDOWS NT/2000 and LINUX (RedHat 7.1) on a laptop

7. How to install Mandrake Linux 9.1 on HP products

8. Bibliography

9. Further information

10. Getting help


1. Introduction

Bill Wohler wrote in his v1.1 of The Linux+WindowsNT mini-HOWTO:

"Due to hardware or software problems or user headroom, I pulled my hair out for several days trying to get both NT and Linux happily settled on my new HP Vectra PC at work."

I could say that was true in my case too, but you really have a way to make both Linux and Windows NT co-existing on the same machine and to switch from one of them to another.

"Under no circumstances run the Disk Administrator from NT 3.51 to format partitions. It asks if it can write a signature "which will cause absolutely no harm." When it did this, it hosed my partition table until fixed by steps 3 and 7 below. Because of these problems, I was limited to one FAT NT partition. Also remember that even if you do get the Disk Administrator to work, you'll want at least one small FAT partition to use as a staging area for exchanging files between Linux and NT until Linux has an NTFS filesystem."

Well, NT's Disk Administrator is sufficient tool to check what situation on your hard disk(s) you have, before and after you used an utility called Partition Magic by Power Quest. This utility might be needed to 'shrink' your NT (either NTFS or FAT) partition, in order to get some free space for your further Linux' partitions. (After a while, I recognized that 'shrinking' used partition might not be needed. Actually, if you start from 'scratch', it might be the best way to re-format your whole disk(s) using FDISK command. You should make a DOS boot floppy diskette where DOS commands FDISK and FORMAT have to be also copied. More details later...)

"I installed Linux first and then NT, but based on my experience, I might now be able to install NT first and then Linux."

Of course you all are able to install Windows NT first and after that Linux. We'll see how to do that and how to use LILO (Linux Loader) to chose which operating system to boot. But, before that we'll see the procedure that Bill Wohler, the previous maintainer of this mini-HOWTO, has been using:


2. How to install: LINUX first, WINDOWS NT after

1. Install a minimal Linux (hold off on installing the rest until you win the Linux/NT battle). Do all your disk partitioning in Linux, including your NT partition (make it FAT). I was not successful at making more than one NT partition. I also made it the first partition, but I don't know if that is essential or not.

2. Edit /etc/lilo.conf and use boot=/dev/sda (I was not successful at installing LILO on the Linux partition--/dev/sda3 in my case) and run "lilo". You'll have to use the editor ae. You'll live.

3. Save the MBR with this: dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/fd0 bs=512 count=1 Use a floppy. Trust me. Also do this each time you change the disk partition table.

4. Install NT, part 1. When it goes to reboot halfway through the process you'll boot into Linux.

5. Add NT stanza to /etc/lilo.conf, e.g.:

        other=/dev/sda1
        label=NT
        table=/dev/sda

and run lilo. If lilo complains about this (I forget the message), add the "linear" flag to /etc/lilo.conf near the "compact" keyword. Furthermore, if your partition table is screwed up by NT you'll either need to use "ignore-table" or follow the directions in Step 7. See also "fix-table". The LILO HOWTO is your friend.

6. Reboot, select NT from LILO, and finish NT install. You'll need the "Boot Disk XU, HP Vectra AIC 7880 Driver A.01.02" floppy to install the ethernet drivers and the "XU/VT Drivers and Documentation" CD (directory video/disk4 if I recall correctly) to install the video drivers for the Matrox MGA Millennium.

7. Back to Linux, run fdisk and ensure you don't get "partition doesn't end on cylinder boundary" on your Linux partitions. You'll still have this error on the NT partition though, but this seems to be OK.

  
/dev/sda1            1        1      322   329301    6  DOS 16-bit >=32M

Partition 1 does not end on cylinder boundary:

phys=(321, 39, 9) should be (321, 63, 32)

Cfdisk reports strangeness, but it seems OK:

                                          Unusable                      0.04*

 /dev/sda1                 Primary        DOS 16-bit >=32Mb           321.59*

                                          Unusable                      0.39*

If you do get the cylinder boundary warning on your Linux partitions, it is sufficient to use cfdisk to do something innocuous like changing the boot sector.

If, however, NT has really screwed you over and cfdisk can't even run, complaining that it cannot open /dev/sda, then you'll need to take more extreme action. You'll need that MBR you saved previously. Clear and restore the MBR (but not the signature) with:

          dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1

          dd if=/dev/fd0 of=/dev/sda bs=510 count=1

8. Install the rest of Linux. Easy, huh?

If you prefer to have NT write the MBR instead of LILO, you may have to resort to the following to clear the MBR first:

Epilogue: After first posting this message, I heard from several folks that they had no problems with NT's Disk Administrator, and were able to install either NT or Linux first without any problems. Hopefully, you'll be in this camp, but if not, perhaps this campfire story will be of some use.

Since the first edition of this mini-HOWTO, others have written similar documents as well. Please be sure to consult them. If your experience differs from any presented, then you should submit your own mini-HOWTO or submit a revised version of this document to the HOWTO maintainer (reference this sentence) and send a carbon copy to me as I don't have the time to maintain this document. Someone should eventually combine all of these documents into a single coherent HOWTO.

Finally, I'm afraid this document details all I know about this subject. I should point you to an appropriate Linux newsgroup for further information. I use NT about one day a year. Under duress.


3. How to install: WINDOWS NT first, LINUX after

3.1 If you have only one IDE hard disk

3.2 If you have more than one (SCSI) hard disk

Notice: Folks, you see, at my place, one of computers has several SCSI disks. That's why I put the word 'SCSI' in parentheses. There I have a couple of SCSI controllers, a SCSI CD ROM drive and a SCSI Tape drive. That doesn't mean that *you* will be using SCSI parts at all. You'd rather handle more than one IDE disks, but I hope that install process shouldn't change too much, if any.


4. How to upgrade WINDOWS NT to WINDOWS 2000

Well, actually, it isn't a real "upgrade" of running NT to 2000, but a "fresh" installation of Windows 2000 Professional. I hope it should also work for other Windows 2000 products. I haven't tried its server-type installations yet, but I remember I haven't experienced any problem with NT, regarding it was Server or Workstation.


5. How to install WINDOWS 2000 besides LINUX and WINDOWS 98

Notice: When I say 'beside Linux and Windows 98', I mean of Linux and Windows 98 that already work together, so they were installed earlier, before we made a decision to add Windows 2000. One of the machines I use at work, has both Linux and Win98. They both load from under LILO menu.

Actually, it is not a very big problem to install Windows 2000 on a computer where another Windows is running. In my case, it is Windows 98 so I just put 2000's CD into the drive. After it recognized that an 'older' version of Windows was running on my machine, it offered me either to upgrade it to 2000 or to install W2k as the 'clean' installation. At first, I tried to upgrade my Windows 98 to W2k, in order to get a very similar combination that I have at home (described in previous chapter). But, some hardware and software compatibility issues were reported (I mean, some of my components wouldn't stay fully operational if I just did an upgrade).

When saw that, I considered to try the 'fresh' installation of W2k, beside Win98 and Linux. Happily, I recently installed another HD into the box, so I did not need to handle the first disk, where Win98 and Linux were living. Actually, the main reason to add the second disk was that the first one got almost full. If I wanted to install the third operating system on the first disk, I'd have to clean it well. So, when W2k's Setup asked for the location to be installed, I told it to use the second disk, repartition it and format it as the NTFS file system (just to mention that my Win98 was FAT32 and Linux was ext2).

After an hour or so, W2k's installation was finished. During the setup procedure, it re-started the system a couple of times. When it was about to do that for the first time, I was curious if it would re-write the MBR, where LILO resides (actually, in the previous chapter, I have mentioned that W2k's installation was likely to re-write the MBR). Interestingly, it did not do that this time, so I continued to see 'LILO boot:' on the screen. But, a *new* thing has appeared after LILO: the Windows 2000 boot loader, that in turn offered not only to load W2k but a 'Windows' (ie. my old Win98) too.

Well, depending on which operating system I like to start, the procedure might slightly differ, but it is easy. No problem at all. For example:


6. How to install WINDOWS NT/2000 and LINUX (RedHat 7.1) on a laptop

6.1 If you want to have *both* NT and 2000, besides Linux

Notice: Recently my bosses decided to get a couple of HP Omnibook 6000 portables, so I quickly rushed to play with new toys. It was a series with Pentium 3 at 1 GHz and 128 MB of RAM. There's also a hard disk of 30 GB, removable DVD and FDD drives, a secondary battery that goes to the removable drive bay (when it's empty) and NIC/modem combo card.

6.2 If you want to have only Windows 2000 and Linux

Notice: Well, all I have said in the previous section, resulted in a "multiboot" (or, better to say, "3-boot") system. When I want to run Linux - I have to choose its option from within LILO menu. When I am about to run any kind of Windoze - I have to choose Windows (or DOS, or whatever else) from within LILO menu. Soon after, on the screen appears Windows 2000 boot loader. Finally, from this point, either NT or 2000 may be booted. Well, for a next task, I wanted to install Symantec's Norton System Works onto both Microsoft environments. I did it successfully, but it seems that I have later entered a command that resulted in changing something very important in the setup. In sum, I have become not able to run both flavors of Windows properly. Looks that it was the right time to re-install all the stuff again :-)


7. How to install Mandrake Linux 9.1 on HP products

2003-11-19

7.1 Description of the products used in this experiment

Notice: Folks, that part of the article is NOT a commercial for HP production of any means! In fact, a series of their machines I use has lots of failures in the power supply units, as well as with their hard disks. On the other side, laptop's batteries get exhausted earlier than expected. Other than these issues, HP machines are fine.

HP Omnibook 6000

A laptop computer Omnibook 6000 is equipped with a bootable DVD drive. On the other hand I have supplied a bootable DVD-ROM with Mandrake Linux 9.1 installation. After booting the laptop with that bootable DVD, it gets directly to the installation menu, asking the user to choose a language to use for the rest of the installation.

HP Vectra VL420 (used as a server)

In opposite, an HP Vectra VL420 doesn't have a DVD drive (it only has a CD drive), so the direct installation from that particular installation DVD is not possible. But, an option of making a bootable floppy disk for starting the installation procedure is possible. In fact, several boot images are available for those users who don't have (bootable or not) DVD drive. One of the images is a 'network' one. That means, in a local area network there has to be either a NFS, FTP or HTTP server from which the installation will take place.

HP Vectra VL420 (used as a workstation)

Another VL420 desktop system I also use, has a spare HDD from a previous Windows 2000 server installation (actually, that IDE disk was moved from the other computer where it was a primary one and here it is the second one disk for backup data). The nice things is that it has a HTTP and FTP servers installed (of course, usable if the system is boot from that disk). That was good so I could use one of these servers now. On the other hand, that particular Vectra VL420 was used to install a workstation kind of Linux (that time, using its first hard disk - having Windows 2000 Professional).

7.2 Installation procedure

System boot of the laptop

As explained earlier, the laptop has a bootable DVD drive, so that's it.

System boot of desktop machines

So, I made a 'network' bootable floppy and booted the first Vectra VL420 (intended to be a Linux server) with it. After a while, it came to a point to choose the installation method (NFS or FTP or HTTP server). At first, I wanted to use the second 'spare' HTTP server on the other Vectra, but regardless of what permission I tried to give to the 'Everyone' group of Windows users, I always got the following answer from the Linux setup:

Error: Couldn't get file ... (or something like that)

Then I tried to use the 'spare' FTP server from the second Vectra and, at first, it also asked for local and remote IP addresses. That time successfully, it started to load a part of the remote Linux files into its memory without any complaint. Soon after, it came to the very same position as Omnibook 6000 did: it got directly to the installation menu, asking a user to choose a language for the installation use.

>From that point, the setup process was almost the same...

I have chosen/confirmed the following items:

- a language to use, besides English(American) as default: I added Unicode and Serbian (both Cyrillic and Latin); - a mouse and keyboard; - a security level - I accepted defaults: 'Standard' for laptop and 'Higher' for server;

The next important task was to choose one of DrakX partitioning options:

- for laptop I chose the 'Use the free space on the Windows partition', because the laptop has one IDE hard disk and I wanted it to use a part of it for Linux (besides existing Windows 2000 Prof. already installed). Windows' Disk Management reported:

Disk 0  15      MB      FAT     (HP Diagnostics or like)
        7.13    GB      FAT32   (C: "HPNOTEBOOK")
        20.80   GB      Free space

The two partitions (FAT & FAT32) were made during the installation procedure, using HP's supplied installation CD's.

At the first moment, Linux setup complained that my Windows partition "was too fragmented" and required me to reboot under Windows, run the "defrag" utility, then restart the Mandrake Linux installation. The defragmentation process have taken cca. 1.5 hour to be completed! When restarted the setup, it wanted to use 7.13 GB Windows partition, instead of 20.80 GB. I chose to 'Use the free space'. Then it made partitions for Linux: /dev/hda5 and /dev/hda7.

- for Vectra VL420 I used 'Custom disk partitioning' because there I had two SCSI disks, one of them running Windows 2000 Server already installed, and the other one I wanted to use entirely for a Linux server. BTW, I wasn't sure what the option 'Erase entire disk' would do during its next step (erase a whole disk or a partition?), although it also may be the proper solution too. DrakX recognized the two SCSI disks as sda and sdb and I chose sdb to install Linux. The first step was to 'Clear all' and after that to 'Auto allocate' the space on that second disk. Finally, after a 'Done' it appeared to make /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sdb6 Linux partitions.

Package Group Selection

Per default, the Mandrake 9.1 setup offers the following to be installed:

- Office Workstation
- Internet Workstation
- KDE Workstation
- Gnome Workstation

that is in sum: Total size 1010/5267 (at laptop) and 1066/5265 (at server).

- for laptop I added all that was available, excepting 6 'Server' items (1612/5267),

- for server I added all that was available, including 6 'Server' items (1708/5265).

Then I got an info, related to selecting following servers (?) on laptop:

cups, postfix, rwho, webmin

and on server box:

cups, openssh-server, postfix, proftpd, rwho, webmin, ypserv, bind and nfs-utils.

Although I was confused about the 'servers' to be installed on a laptop, I have accepted those things to be installed, considering them needed for the proper installation of other packages.

The installation started ...

Interestingly, although the installation on the laptop was performed directly from its DVD drive, the package installation process was significantly faster on the server box. I suppose that was due the difference in performances between server's SCSI disk and laptop's IDE disk.

After that step was finished, and after entering a password for root, setup asked to 'Enter a user' (an ordinary user). The difference between laptop and server installation was that the latter offered some additional tasks for the (ordinary) user:

- access to compilation tools (ctools)
- access to rpm tools (rpm)
- access to X programs (xgrp)
- access to network tools (ntools)
- access to administrative files (adm)
- allow "su" (wheel)

... and that should be the same for other (new added) users.

Then laptop suggested to 'set up computer to automatically log on one user'. I didn't accept such a solution because I wanted each user to enter his/her password every time he/she is about to log on to the system.

On the other hand, server's setup skipped that particular step and asked where to install the bootloader. I have chosen to use 'First sector of drive (MBR)'.

Soon after, a 'Summary' screen appeared, so I could fine tune the installation. I changed the following items:

- timezone: Belgrade (both machines)
- Graphical Interface (reported as 'not configured' on the laptop? - I tried 
   with 'Flat Panel 1400 x 1050' because that resolution runs fine under 
   Windows), X server: Rage Mobility, XFree 4.3 and 16 million colors - 
   24 bits). On laptop, I chose XFree to start when I reboot. On server, it 
   offered 800 x 600 - due to a recognized monitor Samsung SyncMaster 
   510(M)s (CHA5807*) and card ATI Rage 128 and 16 bit - 65 thousand color.
- Sound card: laptop is ESS Technology|ES1983S Maestro-3i|PCI Audio and
   server is Intel Corporation|ICH2 810 Chipset AC'97 Audio Controller.
- Network: with 'Use auto detection'. Results: on laptop it recognized 'LAN
   connection - ethernet card(s) detected'; on server it recognized
   nothing. So, on server I chose to configure 'LAN connection'.
   Drivers are: 3c59x (laptop), eepro100 (server).
   IP addresses for both laptop and server.
   Host name: laptop, server, Gateway:
- Firewall: disabled (def.)
- Botloader: lilo-graphic on /dev/hda (laptop)
   lilo-graphic on /dev/sda (server)
   default boot: windows on /dev/hda2 (laptop)
   windows on /dev/sda1 (server)
- Services: 32 activated for 47 registered (laptop)
   24 activated for 60 registered (server)

Soon after ...

Congratulations, installation is complete.

(reboot)

Installation results

The next Windows boot made a screen 'System Settings Change': Windows 2000 has finished installing new devices. You must restart your computer before the new settings will take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now? Well, I said

Windows' Disk Management has showed new Linux partitions:

- laptop:       5.85 GB         Healthy \
Disk 0          495 MB          Healthy - all 3 are logical drives within the extended one
27.95 GB        14.46 GB        Healthy /

- server:       5.85 GB         Healthy - primary partition
Disk 1          494 MB          Healthy \
17.12 GB        10.79 GB        Healthy - these 2 are logical drives within the extended one

It seems that /boot and /swap partitions are very similar in size, regardless the disk sizes, but / (root, home etc) partitions depend on disk size. Note that at my 'laptop' box I used the same HD of 27.95 GB for both Windows and Linux (for Windows 7.13 GB FAT32 of 27.95 GB available, the rest, cca. 20 GB for Linux).

At the 'server' box I have two HD's of 17.12 GB each, and I used Disk 0 (the 1st one) entirely for Windows 2000 Server, and Disk 1 (the 2nd one) entirely for Linux.

The first Mandrake Linux boot screen:

- laptop: a screen with only a name of a user (no root available!), Reboot and Halt buttons.

- server: a screen with 'Enter Login', 'Enter Password' and 'Session type' (no name of a user appeared).

First Time Wizard: Default KDE (both)

...

What about the Ctrl-Alt-Del action:

- laptop: a screen 'End Session for "username"' What do you want to do next? Login as different user, Turn off computer, Restart computer, OK and Cancel buttons.

- server: a screen 'End Session for "username"', Logout and Cancel buttons.

After choosing Login as different user (at laptop), or Logout (at server), what appeared were the same screens as described in 'The first Mandrake Linux boot screen' section.

Should you want to learn more about LILO (Linux Loader), configured to boot the systems in the examples above, you should refer to the LILO mini-HOWTO.

HP Vectra VL420 (workstation - desktop client)

As mentioned before, HP Vectra VL420 doesn't have a DVD drive (it only has a CD drive), so the installation from that particular DVD installation was not possible. But, an option of making a bootable floppy disk for it was possible. In fact, several boot images are available for those users who don't have (bootable or not) DVD drive. One of the images was a 'network' one. That means, in a local network there should be a NFS, FTP or HTTP server from which the installation will take place. As earlier explained, a Windows 2000 server machine (that I earlier used for Mandrake Linux server installation), has HTTP and FTP servers installed. That was good so I could use one of them now.

So, I used the 'network' bootable floppy and booted Vectra VL420 with it. After a while, it came to a point to choose the installation method (NFS or FTP or HTTP server). At first I wanted to use my HTTP server but regardless of what permission I gave to 'Everyone' I always got the answer from Linux installation program: Error: Couldn't get file ...

Then I tried to use my FTP server (on the same Windows server) and it also asked for IP local and remote addresses. Then it started to load a part of the remote files into its memory. Soon after, it came to the very same position as Omnibook 6000 did: it gets directly to the installation menu, asking for choosing a language to use.

>From that point, the installation procedure was almost the same...

I have chosen/confirmed the following items:

- a language to use - besides English(American) I also added
Unicode and Serbian, both Cyrillic and Latin;
- a mouse and keyboard;
- a security level - default 'Standard';

The next important point was to choose one of DrakX partitioning options:

- At first I used the 'Use the free space on the Windows partition' because it has one IDE hard disk and I wanted it to use a part of it for Linux (besides existing Windows 2000 Prof. already installed).

At the first moment, Linux setup complained that my Windows partition "was too fragmented" and asked me to reboot under Windows, run the "defrag" utility, then restart the Mandrake Linux installation. After defragmentation process was finished, I tried once again the 'Use the free space on the Windows partition' but it wanted just to 'shrink' Windows partition from cca. 30 gig to cca. 28 gig. Then I used Partition Magic software and tried to shrink it to cca. 20 GB in order to get more free space for Linux.

Than I tried 'Custom disk partitioning', chose the first IDE disk (hda) of 27GB, chose action 'Resize'. That one option was not good because it just offered Windows partition to get larger instead of smaller than before. Finally I used 'Use the free space' and it automatically made Linux partitions. In fact, on that one Vectra I have two IDE disks, one of them having Windows 2000 Server already installed, and the other one having Windows 2000 Prof. that I wanted to use partly for Linux. After 'Done' it came to making /dev/hda5 and /dev/hda7.

Package Group Selection

Per default, Mandrake installation offers the following:

- Office Workstation
- Internet Workstation
- KDE Workstation
- Gnome Workstation

in sum, Total size 1009/5105 (client).

- for client I added everything else (1638/5105), excepting 6 'Server' items.

Then I got an info, related to selecting following server(s) on client:

cups, postfix, rwho, webmin

I have accepted those things to be installed.

The installation started ...

After that step was finished, and after entering password for root, setup asked to 'Enter a user' (an ordinary user). The difference between client and server installation was that the latter offered some additional tasks for the user:

- access to compilation tools (ctools)
- access to rpm tools (rpm)
- access to X programs (xgrp)
- access to network tools (ntools)
- access to administrative files (adm)
- allow "su" (wheel)

... and that would be the same for other (new added) users.

Then client suggested to 'set up computer to automatically log on one user'. I didn't accept that because I wanted each user to enter his/her password every time he/she is about to login to the system.

Soon after, a 'Summary' screen appeared, so I could tune the installation. I changed the following items:

- timezone: Belgrade
- Graphical Interface: it offered 1280 x 1024 - due to a 'custom' monitor
   and card NVIDIA GeForce2 DDR (generic) - 24 bit 16 million colors.
- Sound card: Intel Corporation|ICH2 810 Chipset AC'97 Audio Controller.
- Network: with 'Use auto detection'. Results: recognized nothing. So, I 
   chose to configure 'LAN connection'.
   Driver is: eepro100.
   IP address
   Host name: client, Gateway:
- Firewall: disabled (def.)
- Botloader: lilo-graphic on /dev/hda
   default boot: windows on /dev/hda1
- Services: 32 activated for 47 registered (the same as laptop)

Soon after ...

Congratulations, installation is complete.

(reboot)

Installation results (all 3 systems)

- laptop options: windows, linux, failsafe, floppy;
- client options: windows, linux, linux-nonfb, failsafe, windows2, floppy
- server options: windows, linux, linux-nonfb, linux-secure, failsafe

Notes:

- 'windows2' option at the client box is, in fact, Windows 2000 Server installation located on the second HD.

- Not sure why 'laptop' doesn't have 'linux-nonfb' text boot option, although it looks like it boots to Linux in just like that mode (maybe it is a matter of the laptop's LCD screen capabilities or something like that). On the other hand, client and server differ in floppy and linux-secure options (perhaps as some security measures or like).

- 'linux-secure' option at the server box may be a result of a 'Higher' security level, that I have chosen at the beginning of the installation or, maybe, there are some special server security features.

The next Windows boot made a screen 'System Settings Change': Windows 2000 has finished installing new devices. You must restart your computer before the new settings will take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now? Well, I said Yes.

Windows Disk Management has showed new Linux partitions (comparison of 3 systems):

- laptop:       5.85 GB         Healthy \
Disk 0          495 MB          Healthy - all 3 are logical drives within the extended one
27.95 GB        14.46 GB        Healthy /

- client:               5.68 GB         Healthy \
Disk 0          494 MB          Healthy - all 3 are logical drives within the extended one
37.28 GB        3.52GB          Healthy / (same as laptop)

- server:       5.85 GB         Healthy - primary partition
Disk 1          494 MB          Healthy \
17.12 GB        10.79 GB        Healthy - these two are logical drives within extended

It seems that /boot and /swap partitions are very similar in size, regardless the disk sizes, but / (root, home etc) partitions depend on disk size. Note that at my 'client' box I used the same HD of 37.28 GB for both Windows and Linux (for Windows 27.60 GB NTFS of 37.28 GB available, the rest, cca. 10 GB for Linux).

At the 'server' box I have two HD's of 17.12 GB each, and I used Disk 0 (the 1st one) entirely for Windows 2000 Server, and Disk 1 (the 2nd one) entirely for Linux. That's why Mandrake setup allocated 'less' space for / at the larger disk (in fact, at the 'server' box, it allocated relatively much more space for / even that HD is smaller - because that HD is 'dedicated' for Linux only.

The first Mandrake Linux boot screen:

- laptop: a screen with only a name of a user (no root available!), Reboot and Halt buttons.

- client: a screen with only a name of a user (no root available!), Reboot and Halt buttons.

- server: a screen with 'Enter Login', 'Enter Password' and 'Session type' (no name of a user appeared, but root may also login there!).

First Time Wizard: Default KDE (client, just like the others)

There is a difference between KDE screens at client and server: the client VL420 offers 'CD-ROM mounted at /mnt/cdrom' and 'Floppy mounted at /mnt/floppy' but server Vectra VL420 (having the same type of devices!) doesn't. Besides that, if a flash storage is connected to a USB port, before Linux being started, there will also appear an icon for it. Interestingly, at server there's no something like that. I consider, that is also a matter of the difference between the client and server types of Mandrake Linux installations, or maybe a matter of some security measures for server-type installations. Whatever it is, I see that as a shortage of confortable for Mandrake Linux servers. Case some of you, the readers, has some workarounds on that issues, your contributions are welcomed!

Besides that, KDE's Panel at client offers 'Mandrake Control Center - System configuration tool' (although useful only under root privileges), and KDE's Panel at server doesn't have that (in fact, an 'ordinary' user may access the same tool from the Start Applications menu and, again, to use it after the root's password entered). It makes me wonder why they at Mandrake did it like that. Maybe they didn't want 'ordinary' users to access some configuration tools as easily ...

...

What about the Ctrl-Alt-Del:

- laptop: a screen 'End Session for "username"' What do you want to do next? Login as different user, Turn off computer, Restart computer, OK and Cancel buttons.

- client: a screen 'End Session for "username"' What do you want to do next? Login as different user, Turn off computer, Restart computer, OK and Cancel buttons.

- server: a screen 'End Session for "username"', Logout and Cancel buttons.

After choosing Login as different user what appeared were the same screen as described in 'The first Mandrake Linux boot screen' section.

Should you want to learn more about LILO (Linux Loader), configured to boot the systems in the examples above, you should refer to the LILO mini-HOWTO.

There is also a difference between client and server behavior when it is about to shutdown (halt) the system. A user is capable to halt the system even from the login screen at client (that is not available at server). On the other hand, a user has to know root password to halt the system at server.

7.3 General issues with the Mandrake 9.1 Linux installation

A 'Network' bootable installation floppy should also be capable to reach Mandrake installation files not only from NFS, FTP or HTTP servers, but files that are copied to shared disks on machines within the local network. When an image is called a 'Network' image, that means, IMHO, all kinds of network locations should be accessible - NOT only those specific server-type locations like NFS, FTP or HTTP servers. In fact, if a user in a local network doesn't have NFS, FTP or HTTP servers, but has the installation packages copied somewhere else on the LAN, there should be a way to access those packages too.

The workstation-like installations do not offer a 'root' account to be used from the graphical login window (I suppose that 'su' or 'sudo' actions are available - I haven't tested them yet). That might be a problem in cases when a user misconfigures his/her account and when the administrator has to login to the system to fix that problem. At the moment, I am not sure how the administrator could do that without having the 'root' login ability (perhaps using virtual text consoles accessed with CTRL-ALT-F1, CTRL-ALT-F2 ... , then starting GUI if needed, etc ...)

Some issues after the Mandrake 9.1 Linux installation:

Talking about the behavior of Mandrake 9.1 - related to the type of installation (a workstation or a workstation/server combination) - it seems that there are some other differences. As already mentioned, on a workstation desktop there are icons for CD and FD drives (although maybe not already being mounted at the moment of the system boot). As well, if a USB flash storage is connected to the USB port, there is also an icon of an sda (SCSI ?) USB storage available. On the other hand, in case of workstation/server installations - there are no icons of those devices at all. It seems that the server installation considers that is better to live without these devices in case of a server :-) Any comments are welcomed.

Related to writing and testing HOWTO's. I prefer to write a 'HOWTO' document using a text editor and make it with a .sgml extension. Then I use the old, good sgml2html tool to make HTML pages, in order to check how these pages will look like. Well, that's OK under Red Hat 7.1 but under Mandrake 9.1 it seems that I am not able to find the same tool. Any idea on that task?


8. Bibliography

2004-10-05

Notice: Folks, I often visit some (inter)national ICT conferences all around Serbia and Montenegro, submitting papers and having presentations. For example, here you may see me standing and speaking to the audience. What I want to do is to spread - as wide as possible - the basic idea and the useful mission of the amateur radio hobby. You bet, whenever possible I want my readers to make it with Linux. Besides that, I have been writing various articles for a variety of scientific and other magazines. Here you have a list of the articles I have written, and the papers submitted to the conferences until now.

In case you want to re-publish or forward my volunteer paper works to some journals or other public media around, you are free to contact me. Some of my papers are written in Serbian Cyrillic, some of them are in English and some of them even combined!

      - "U prilog I.A.C.", MI (the youth scientists' organization
         newspaper), No. 69, 1990.

      - "U prilog I.A.C. (2)", MI (the youth scientists' organization
         newspaper), No. 70, 1990.

      - "Vise od radio-amaterskog hobija", Vojska, No. 163, 1995.

      - "Korak ka zvezdama", Vojska, No. 200, 1996.

      - "Die Gefahr von Innen - Internet gegen Amateurfunk",
         AMSAT-DL Journal, No. 4, Dez./Feb. 96/97.

      - "Kakva nam organizacija (ne) treba?", Radioamater,
         Feb. 1997.

      - "Kakva nam organizacija (ne) treba? (2)", Radioamater,
         Apr./May. 1997.

      - "Sateliti umiru padajuci", Vojska, No. 235, 1997.

      - "The Internet is not the Enemy", QST, Aug. 1998.

      - "Novi radio-amateri za novi vek", Antena, June 2000.

      - "Racunarske komunikacije putem radio-veza i
         zastita pristupa", Bezbednost, No. 3, 2000.

      - "Paket-radio - Racunarske komunikacije putem radio-veza",
         proceedings, "Info-Teh", Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia, 2001.

      - "Racunarske komunikacije putem radio-amaterskih veza",
         proceedings, "YU-Info", Kopaonik, Serbia, 2002.

      - "Computer Communications over radio", presentation,
        "Linux FEST", Belgrade, Serbia, 2002.

      - "Paket-radio - Radio-amaterske digitalne veze",
         proceedings, "Kongres JISA", Herceg Novi, Montenegro, 2002.

      - "Paket-radio (2) - Modemi za radio-veze",
         proceedings, "Info-Teh", Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia, 2002.

      - "Alternativne racunarske mreze", festival catalog,
        "INFOFEST", Budva, Montenegro, 2002.

      - "Alternative computer networks", proceedings, "TELFOR",
         Belgrade, Serbia, 2002.

      - "With rule and regulation improvements to the progress"
         proceedings, "TELFOR", Belgrade, Serbia, 2002.

      - "Racunarske komunikacije putem radio-amaterskih veza (2)",
         proceedings, "YU-Info", Kopaonik, Serbia, 2003.

      - "Racunarske komunikacije putem radio-amaterskih veza (3)",
         proceedings, "YU-Info", Kopaonik, Serbia, 2003.

      - "Paket-radio (3) - Programske mogucnosti na strani servera",
         proceedings, "Info-Teh", Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia, 2003.

      - "Paket-radio (4) - Legal rules and regulations in the amateur
         computer networks", proceedings, "Info-Teh", Vrnjacka Banja, 
         Serbia, 2003.

      - "Packet-radio (2) - With rule and regulation improvements to the progress",
         proceedings, "Kongres JISA", Herceg Novi, Montenegro, 2003.
      
      - "Alternativne racunarske mreze (2)", festival catalog,
        "INFOFEST", Budva, Montenegro, 2003.

      - "Alternativne racunarske komunikacije putem radio-veza",
         Info M, 6-7/2003.

      - "Legal Rules and Regulations in the Amateur Radio Computer Networks",
         proceedings, "22nd ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference", 
         Hartford, CT USA, 2003.

      - "Favoritism", IEEE Potentials, Oct/Nov 2003
      
      - "Alternative computer networks (2)", proceedings, "TELFOR",
         Belgrade, Serbia, 2003.

      - "With rule and regulation improvements to the progress (2)"
         proceedings, "TELFOR", Belgrade, Serbia, 2003.
      
      - "XI Telekomunikacioni forum - TELFOR 2003", Info M, 8/2003.

      - "Aktivnosti organizacije IEEE Computer Society - YU Chapter"
        Info M, 8/2003.

      - "Yugoslavia IEEE Student Branch", IEEE Region 8 News,
        Vol. 7 No. 1, Feb/Mar 2004

      - "Radio-amaterske racunarske mreze", tutorial, "Info-Teh", 
        Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia, 2004.

      - "Radio-amaterske racunarske mreze", tutorial, "Kongres 
        JISA", Herceg Novi, Montenegro, 2004.
      
      - "The Amateur Radio as a Learning Technology in
        Developing Countries", proceedings, "ICALT/TEDC 2004", 
        Joensuu, Finland, 2004.

      - "The Amateur Radio in Engineering Education", seminar, 
        "IEEE-EESTEC Technical Conference 2004", Arcavacata 
        di Rende (Cosenza), Italy, 2004.

Besides these articles published and papers presented, I have been studying for an M.Sc. degree in computing. I am also the member of the following associations: IEEE Computer Society, IEEE Communications Society and ACM. In addition, I have been voluntarily working on establishing an academy computer network that would use the amateur radio stations as the media. Such networks exist somewhere else on the globe and I invite their administrators to contact me in order to cooperate.


9. Further information

9.1 Copyright

Copyright (c) 2004 by Miroslav Misko Skoric, YT7MPB.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is available from http://www.fsf.org/licenses/fdl.html.

9.2 Disclaimer

Use the information in this document at your own risk. I disavow any potential liability for the contents of this document. Use of the concepts, examples, and/or other content of this document is entirely at your own risk.

All copyrights are owned by their owners, unless specifically noted otherwise. Use of a term in this document should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark.

Naming of particular products or brands should not be seen as endorsements.

You are strongly recommended to take a backup of your system before major installation and backups at regular intervals.

9.3 News

This is not the first release of this mini-HOWTO. I hope to improve it whenever possible. Beside that, there are other documents that may help you to install more than one operating system on the same computer. You may look for them at the same location where you get Linux+WindowsNT mini-HOWTO.

This mini-HOWTO would be improved from time to time. If you think that the HOWTO on your Linux installation CD is some out-of-date, you may check for newest release on the Internet. It could be found within the main Linux Documentation Project homepage or this one: Linux Documentation Project.

9.4 Credits

This version of Linux+WinNT mini-HOWTO is based on:

The Linux+WindowsNT mini-HOWTO
by Bill Wohler, wohler@newt.com
v1.1, 19 February 1997

Credit also goes to:

Dragomir Kalaba, a local Linux 'guru'

Any comments or suggestions can be mailed to my email address: skoric at eunet dot yu

9.5 HOWTO

These are intended as the primary starting points to get the background information as well as show you how to solve a specific problem. Some relevant HOWTOs are Bootdisk, Installation, SCSI and UMSDOS. The main site for these is the LDP archive at Metalab (formerly known as Sunsite).

9.6 Mini-HOWTO

These are the smaller free text relatives to the HOWTOs. Some relevant mini-HOWTOs are Backup-With-MSDOS, Diskless, LILO, Large Disk, Linux+DOS+Win95+OS2, Linux+OS2+DOS, Linux+Win95, Linux+WindowsNT, Linux+NT-Loader, NFS-Root, Win95+Win+Linux, ZIP Drive, FBB packet-radio BBS. You can find these at the same place as the HOWTOs, usually in a sub directory called mini. Note that these are scheduled to be converted into SGML and become proper HOWTOs in the near future.

9.7 Local Resources

In most distributions of Linux there is a document directory installed, have a look in the /usr/doc directory. where most packages store their main documentation and README files etc. Also you will here find the HOWTO archive ( /usr/doc/HOWTO) of ready formatted HOWTOs and also the mini-HOWTO archive ( /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini) of plain text documents.

Many of the configuration files mentioned earlier can be found in the /etc directory. In particular you will want to work with the /etc/fstab file that sets up the mounting of partitions and possibly also /etc/mdtab file that is used for the md system to set up RAID.

The kernel source in /usr/src/linux is, of course, the ultimate documentation. In other words, use the source, Luke. It should also be pointed out that the kernel comes not only with source code which is even commented (well, partially at least) but also an informative documentation directory. If you are about to ask any questions about the kernel you should read this first, it will save you and many others a lot of time and possibly embarrassment.

Also have a look in your system log file ( /var/log/messages) to see what is going on and in particular how the booting went if too much scrolled off your screen. Using tail -f /var/log/messages in a separate window or screen will give you a continuous update of what is going on in your system.

You can also take advantage of the /proc file system that is a window into the inner workings of your system. Use cat rather than more to view the files as they are reported as being zero length. Reports are that less works well here.

9.8 Web Pages

There is a huge number of informative web pages out there and by their very nature they change quickly so don't be too surprised if these links become quickly outdated.

A good starting point is of course the Linux Documentation Project home page, or this one: Linux Documentation Project an information central for documentation, project pages and much, much more.

Please let me know if you have any other leads that can be of interest.


10. Getting help

In the end you might find yourself unable to solve your problems and need help from someone else. The most efficient way is either to ask someone local or in your nearest Linux user group, search the web for the nearest one.

Another possibility is to ask on Usenet News in one of the many, many newsgroups available. The problem is that these have such a high volume and noise (called low signal-to-noise ratio) that your question can easily fall through unanswered.

No matter where you ask it is important to ask well or you will not be taken seriously. Saying just my disk does not work is not going to help you and instead the noise level is increased even further and if you are lucky someone will ask you to clarify.

Instead describe your problems in some detail that will enable people to help you. The problem could lie somewhere you did not expect. Therefore you are advised to list up the following information on your system:

Hardware

Software

Peripherals

Remember that booting text is logged to /var/log/messages which can answer most of the questions above. Obviously if the drives fail you might not be able to get the log saved to disk but you can at least scroll back up the screen using the SHIFT and PAGE UP keys. It may also be useful to include part of this in your request for help but do not go overboard, keep it brief as a complete log file dumped to Usenet News is more than a little annoying.