A few days ago I came to a situation where I had to install Kubuntu (8.10 Intrepid) on my laptop (Dell Studio 1537) that had Vista pre-installed. Although the installation of Kubuntu itself is pretty straightforward, having Vista already installed makes the things a bit more complicated. One of the major issues related to dual booting Vista and Linux is how to re-arrange and resize the existing partitions. Vista (even Home Basic) comes with a tool that can help you manage the partitions of your hard disk, however it has one big limitation. It is not particularily good at resizing existing partitions and this is exactly the situation that you are facing when you want to free up some space for Kubuntu.
My hard disk (320GB) had three partitions initially:
- Vista's main partition (C:) - occupying almost entire hard drive
- A rescue partition with a size of 10GB
- Some additional partition with a size 0f around 140MB
- 10 GB for the root partition (/) - this was the ex-rescue partition
- 3 GB for the swap partition (I know that some would say that it shall be double the size of your RAM but I just don't see any point having a system swapping 8GB to the HDD)
- 10 GB for the /tmp partition - I prefer to have my /tmp mounted on a separate partition rather than under the root partition.
- The rest of the size remained for the /home partition
Going back to Kubuntu I noticed that there is an icon in the tray that prompts me to activate proprietary drivers (Broadcom for the wireless and ATI for the video card). I activated both the drivers and I had everything working. Even the audio control touch buttons were working normally.
So the general conclusions out of the situation:
- Kubuntu Linux seems to be more capable of resizing Windows Vista (NTFS) partitions :) !!!
- If you have some fears trying Kubuntu, ... well don't. It seem to be a great operating system and it is becomming better and better with every new release that we see.