|Red Hat Linux 7.1: The Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide|
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Sharing a computer between two operating systems requires dual booting. You can use either operating system on the computer, but not both at once. Each operating system boots from and uses its own hard drives or disk partitions.
For clarity, we will assume that the other operating system is Windows. But the general procedures are similar for other operating systems.
If Red Hat Linux will coexist on your system with OS/2, you must create your disk partitions with the OS/2 partitioning software — otherwise, OS/2 may not recognize the disk partitions. During the installation, do not create any new partitions, but do set the proper partition types for your Linux partition using fdisk.
Before starting the installation program, you must first make room for Red Hat Linux. Your choices are as follows:
Add a new hard drive.
Use an existing hard drive or partition.
Create a new partition.
The simplest way to make room for Red Hat Linux is to add a new hard drive to the computer and then install Red Hat Linux on that drive. For example, if you add a second IDE hard drive to the computer, the Red Hat Linux installation program will recognize it as hdb and the existing drive (the one used by Windows) as hda. (For SCSI hard drives, the newly installed hard drive would be recognized as sdb and the other hard drive as sda.)
If you choose to install a new hard drive for Linux, all you need to do is start the Red Hat Linux installation program. After starting the Red Hat Linux installation program, just make sure you tell it to install Linux on the newly installed hard drive (such as hdb or sdb) rather than the hard drive used by Windows.
The next simplest way to make room for Linux is to use a hard drive or disk partition that is currently being used by Windows. For example, suppose that Windows Explorer shows two hard drives, C: and D:. This could indicate either that the computer has two hard drives, or a single hard drive with two partitions. In either case (assuming the hard drive is large enough), you can install Red Hat Linux on the hard drive or disk partition that Windows recognizes as D:.
This choice is available to you only if the computer has two or more hard drives or disk partitions.
Windows uses letters to refer to removable drives (for example, a ZIP drive) and network storage (virtual drives) as well as for local hard drive space; you cannot install Linux on a removable or network drive.
If a local Windows partition is available in which you want to install Linux, complete the following steps:
Copy all data you want to save from the selected hard drive or partition (D: in this example) to another location.
Start the Red Hat Linux installation program and tell it to install Linux in the designated drive or partition — in this example, in the hard drive or partition that Windows designates as D:. Note that Linux distinguishes between hard drives and disk partitions. Thus:
If C: and D: on this computer refer to two separate hard drives, the installation program will recognize them as hda and hdb (IDE) or sda and sdb (SCSI). Tell the installation program to install on hdb or sdb.
If C: and D: refer to partitions on a single drive, the installation program will recognize them as hda1 and hda2 (or sda1 and sda2). During the partitioning phase of the Red Hat Linux installation, you'll delete the second partition (hda2 or sda2), then partition the unallocated free space for Linux. (You don't have to delete the second partition prior to beginning Linux partitioning. If you don't, however, Windows will complain whenever you boot that it cannot read Drive D; and should someone accidentally format D, your Linux system would be destroyed.)
The third way to make room for Linux is to create a new partition for Red Hat Linux on the hard drive being used by the other operating system. If Windows Explorer shows only one hard drive (C:), and you don't want to add a new hard drive, you must partition the drive. After partitioning, Windows Explorer will see a smaller C: drive; and, when you run the Red Hat Linux installation program, it will partition the remainder of the drive for Linux.
You can use a destructive partitioning program, such as fdisk, to divide the hard drive, but doing so will require you to re-install Windows. (This is probably not your best option.)
A number of non-destructive third-party partitioning programs are available for the Windows operating system. If you choose to use one of these, consult their documentation.
For instructions on how to partition with FIPS, a program that is on the Red Hat Linux CD-ROM, turn to the section called Partitioning with FIPS.