Windows to Linux Migration
Essay Preview: Windows to Linux Migration
Report this essay
Windows Vs Linux 2
Beginning a Linux Installation
Before a person can install Linux, theyll need to be sure their machine is Linux capable, and choose a Linux to install.
What kind of system is needed to run Linux? The actual hardware requirements for the ideal computer system change periodically. For the Intel systems, a hardware configuration that looks like the following is required: Any 80×386, 80×486, Pentium or Pentium II processor will do. Non-Intel clones of the 80×386 and up will generally work. Users will not need a math co-processor, although it is nice to have one. The ISA, EISA, VESA Local Bus and PCI bus architectures are supported. The MCA bus architecture (found on IBM PS/2 machines) has been minimally supported since the 2.1.x kernels, but may not be ready for prime time yet. Users need at least 4 megabytes of memory in their machine. Technically, Linux will run with only 2 megabytes, but most installations and software require 4. The more memory a person has, the happier the user will be. I suggest an absolute minimum of 16 megabytes if they are planning to use X-Windows; but 64 megabytes is better. Of course, users will need a hard drive and an AT-standard drive controller. All MFM, RLL, and IDE drives and controllers should work. Many SCSI drives and adaptors are supported as well. If the user is assembling a system from scratch to run Linux, the small additional cost of SCSI is well worth it for the extra performance and reliability it brings. The user will want a CD-ROM drive; effectively all Linux distributions are now CD-ROM based.
Windows Vs Linux 3
If a persons machine was built in 1998 or later, they should be able to actually boot their Linux installer right off the CD-ROM without using a boot floppy. If their CD-ROM is ATAPI, SCSI, or true IDE then they should have no problem making it work. If their CD-ROM uses a proprietary interface card, its possible the installation kernel theyre going to boot from floppy wont be able to see it — and an inaccessible CD-ROM is an installation show-stopper. Also, CD-ROMs that attach to the parallel port wont work at all. If the CD-ROM isnt in the machines boot sequence, the user will need a 3.5″ floppy drive. While 5.25″ floppies are supported under Linux, they are little-enough used, that users should not count on Linux disk images necessarily fitting on them. A stripped-down Linux can actually run on a single floppy, but thats only useful for installation and certain troubleshooting tasks. The user will also need an MDA, Hercules, CGA, EGA, VGA, or Super VGA video card and monitor. In general, if the video card and monitor work under MS-DOS or Windows then they should work under Linux. However, if the user wishes to run the X window system, there are other restrictions on the supported video hardware.
Users will need free space for Linux on their hard drive. The amount of space needed depends on how much software the user plans to install. Today most installations require somewhere in the ballpark of a gigabyte of space. This includes space for the software, swap space used as virtual RAM on the machine, and free space for users, and so on.
Windows Vs Linux 4
Its conceivable that people could run a minimal Linux system in 80 megabytes or less and its also conceivable that users could use two gigabytes or more for all of their Linux software. The amount varies greatly depending on the amount of software they install and how much space they require.
Linux will co-exist with other operating systems, such as MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, or OS/2, on the hard drive. In fact the user can even access MS-DOS files and run some MS-DOS programs from Linux. In other words, when partitioning the hard drive for Linux, MS-DOS or OS/2, they live on their own partitions and Linux exists on its own. In all, the minimal setup for Linux is not much more than is required for most MS-DOS or Windows systems sold today. If users have a 386 or 486 with at least 4 megabytes of RAM. Linux does not require huge amounts of disk space, memory, or processor speed. The more users want to do, the more memory and faster processor theyll need. In experience a 486 machine with 16 megabytes of RAM running Linux outdoes several models of expensive workstations.
Start to finish, a modern Linux installation from CD-ROM can be expected to take from ninety minutes to three hours.
Its wise to collect configuration information on the computers hardware before installing. Know the vendor and model number of each card in the machine; collect the IRQs and DMA channel numbers.
Windows Vs Linux 5
Users probably wont need this information — but if it turns out that they do, theyll need it very badly. If users want to run a dual-boot system Linux and DOS or Windows or both, rearrange, repartition the hard disk to make room for Linux. If the user is wise, theyll back up everything first.
First Installation Steps
If the user haves an EIDE/ATAPI CD-ROM, then check the machines BIOS settings to see if it has the capability to boot from CD-ROM. Most machines made after mid-1997 can do this. If the users system is among them, change the BIOS settings then insert the installation CD-ROM. Then reboot. If the user has a SCSI CD-ROM they can often still boot from it, but it gets a little more motherboard/BIOS dependent. Those who know enough to spend the extra dollars on a SCSI CDROM drive probably know enough to figure it out.
Depending on how the installation phase went, users may need to create accounts, change their hostname, or (re)configure X at this stage. There are many more things the user could set up and configure, including backup devices, SLIP/PPP links to an Internet Service Provider, etc.
The LILO Configuration
LILO is a Linux boot loader, which can be used to select Linux, MS-DOS, or some other operating system at boot time.
Windows Vs Linux 6
Chances are the distribution automatically configured LILO for the user during the installation phase unless theyre using OS/2; this is what the user should have done. If the user installed