Hiya, Ubuntuers ^^
I've been hearing a lot about Linux distros being the best OSs around and so i've decided to give Ubuntu a try. If i don't like it, i can always just get rid of it anyway (or so i think anyway... Correct me if i'm wrong please xD).
I've been googling, reading the Ubuntu guides, reading blogs, tutorials, asking friends, etc etc so i've got a hang of the sheer basics, but not much. In this thread, i'd like to sum up what i currently believe the correct steps would be to get the system set up the way i want it to be. Being rather comfortable and experienced using my laptop in somewhat shady ways, i'm more picky than the average person about what happens on every level of my computer and the last thing i like is not knowing what something is doing when clearly it's doing something. Thus, i'd like to go over what i currently believe to be my desired setup and i'd like to ask to have it pointed out to me if at some point i'm missing something, i have to watch out for something, etc.
The reason i'm asking this here anyway, despite having read so much and having experienced that most of these things "just work themselves out" when you start them, i prefer being sure about everything 100% before i try doing anything potentially dangerous (i've already burnt the desktop iso and booted into ubuntu of course, that's all safe stuff). It's also due to the fact that much of the info is written by bloggers (whom may be right, but i wouldn't count them as reliable) or came from the official guides, which at some points just made me go crazy. Another big chunk of the info i found was potentially outdated, i could have misinterpreted some of it, etc. There's so many things that could go wrong so easily, making me feel very insecure if i can't get confirmation of the basic info from someone with experience. :/ Some of these question might very well already be covered somewhere, but either the info was just too shady for me or i don't feel comfortable blindly assuming it to be true without any background info and specifics. So, sorry if that's the case, but i only ask if i have a reason to ask, don't worry
And oh yes, stuff between round brackets is generally just semi-off-topic remarks, ignore it if you don't want personal yapping in my posts
---------- the real deal
My current setup is win7 32bit on a plain laptop with no special hardware that i'm aware of, just the common average stuff with 4 (although some programs say 3) GB RAM, 2GHz processor, Nvidia gpu and that's about it. My only harddrive is divided the following way:
C: primary, holds win7 and program files
D: logical, holds my big stuff that doesn't fit the category "system"
G: logical, games, Steam and Firefox (like i said, i'm picky when it comes to this stuff and this G partition is mainly for constantly changing files, so i can defrag with more control and efficiency)
L and S: both logical, L to hold Ubuntu and S for its swap file (respectively 6gb and 2gb)
unmounted0 and inmounted1: both primary, created by Win7 for recovery purposes and stuff, always unmounted
What i'd like to do is
1) keep Win7 and all the rest as it is right now, absolutely no changes to anything in existance
2) install Ubuntu onto the 6GB L partition (i believe linux will label it sda7) with its swap on the 2GB S partition (probably labeled sda8 then)
3) have them dualboot nicely through grub without them tearing each other apart
4) be able to access each partition/usb stick/sd card through both OSs (i use an SD card to hold the music i constantly play, consider it a fixed disk ). I am aware though that Windows cannot read Linux's ext4 disk format, but i'd be like to be able to access everything else through either OS
---------- the issues
My questions are (with corresponding numbers):
1a) by installing Ubuntu, will anything be changed in my current system, other than the bootloader being replaced by grub and the partitions that i specify during the Ubuntu setup getting formatted to ext4 to fit linux onto them?
2a) L and S are currently formatted as standard NTFS. When i start the Ubuntu installation, will i be able to plainly select them and tell the setup to format both to ext4, then install ubuntu on L (sda7 probably) and put the swap on S (sda8 then)?
3a) will this just plainly work and have my good old win7 (yes, i'm a big fan of win7 despite knowing what a crappy company MS is, dito for everything related to it. And i just hate them for screwing up RareWare, the used-to-be best games developers Sure hope they don't go for Retro Studios next) listed in it, along with the newly installed ubuntu? Is there some known bug or somewhat often occurring situation where win7 is not recognised properly and the MBR needs fixing and whatnot?
4a) Yes, how about that? Windows can't access ext4, ok, but can linux/ubuntu access ntfs and fat32? Better formulated: is Windows -> ext* the only couple that doesn't match?
Aside from that, i've also got some general issues but i believe i can fix those by myself, such as some confusion in my mind about mounting partitions and having them appear as dev/sdaX while they're also just in /media... If i can't fix those, i'll ask properly, just ignore that for now ^^
I'm sorry if i come across like i've been living here forever or something, but if you spend your entire day talking to all sorts of people around the globe and reading forum topic after forum topic about all sorts of stuff from economy and war to funpics and surveys, you tend to get tired of those silly introductories and being overly humble. Being polite is good of course and i will always be polite, but being "humble" is not part of being polite IMO Even if my writings don't sound like it, i really do appreciate any help people offer, as i regularly have to do it myself and i know what a pain it can be sometimes.
Either way, thanks to anyone who can give me confirmation that the steps above are the correct ones, can answer my questions regarding the setup and can point out any roadblocks i might hit along the way ^^. Also, sorry for the wall-o-text but they are a necessary evil sometimes