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Pavilion, SUSE Make for Great Portable 64-Bit Computing - page 3

Why Put a Year-Old Distro on a Brand New 64-bit Notebook?

  • May 12, 2005
  • By Rob Reilly

As in any system rebuild, the usual prep steps need to be performed, before installing the new software. While still running Windows XP I did the following:

  • SUSE can't resize the Windows partition unless it's been "defragged." I had to also turn off paging to get the disk compressed properly.
  • I was working on the machine for a few days prior to the Linux installation, so I did a backup of the working files I had accumulated over to one of my network storage drives.
  • The 64-bit wireless network driver was downloaded and unzipped from http://www.linuxant.com/driverloader/drivers.php. The files were used later on to make the Broadcom 802.11b/g WiFi chip work once Linux was up and running.

Once the Windows XP prep work was done, I proceeded on with the Linux side of the installation. YaST makes installing Linux pretty easy, so I'll just give the highlights and changes from the default. Partitioning was a little complicated because of the resizing for the the XP partition. You can find detailed instructions in the Administrator's manual. Here is how I set up the partitions.

  • Resized the Windows partition (/dev/hda1) to 15GB. The mount point was /windows.
  • Created a 15GB partition for Native Linux (/dev/hda2).
  • Created a 2 GB swap partition (/dev/hda3). The mount point was /swap.
  • Created a 43 GB root partition (/dev/hda4). The mount point was /.
  • When asked if I wanted to dual boot, with Windows, I said yes.

After straightening out the partitions, I basically checked all the boxes under the Software Selection section, to load everything. Don't be fooled, everything doesn't necessarily get loaded. I still had to add the Bluefish HTML editor and a few other packages manually. YaST and the speed of the notebook made that job much less painless than before.

I then listened to the DVD spin for about an hour and a half. When that was done, I entered the root/user passwords and configured the detected hardware. The Broadcom chip, of course, was not detected. Under the boot-up section I did specify dual booting into Windows. Lastly, I always like to change the initial run-level to 3 and then have the option of going into the command line or starting X manually.

When everything was done, the 5460 notebook booted up and ran in SUSE Linux 9.2 64-bit mode. A few things needed to be fixed before the notebook was truly useful.

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