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However I am a newbie as far as Linux is concerned, and would appreciate some pointers.
What version of Linux would be best to install on a Windows partition? Redhat? Susie? Mandrake? Other?
Can Linux support more than one browser?
What are the most popular browsers I should use for testing?
Any advice appreciated.
IMHO if your new to Linux, I would avoid some of the more hardcore text-driven distros at least till you get your feet wet. However, Mandrake and SUSE seem to be pretty good choices as well.
As far as multiple browsers, you can install as many as you like. Just find the rpm, install, and then link-up a new icon for it on the desktop. If your a masochist, you can build from source!
For Linux browsers, you definitely want the obvious choices like Mozilla, some of the older Netscape/Gecko browsers, Opera. But there are literally tons of Linux-based browsers available. If you want your site to be truly browser neutral, you might want to think about a text based browser like Lynx, but you'll be pulling your hair out in no time if you want to please EVERYONE.
Linux can't be put on an NTFS partition
I believe that's right, but all my partitions are FAT32. My understanding is that Linux can be installed on FAT32 and it reformats the partition to whatever Linux uses on installation. Hope that's right. :)
The one issue I am hazy about is bootloaders such as GRUB, and how I can preserve my current muti-boot system.
As far as your bootloader goes, you CAN use a windows bootloader. But it takes some serious work to do it and I would not recommend it. If you are just trying it out, I would just let linux install Grub or LILO over your existing MBR. Grub and LILO run a multiboot system just fine. If you decide you don't like it, just bootup with a Windows boot disk (which you thoughtfully made before you installed linux) and boot Windows2k in repair mode(?). Then just run fixmbr from the command line. That should reinstall the Win2k bootloader.
I haven't tried the "Run Linux from a CD" yet, so I don't know how it boots. It may just require its own boot floppy. You might want to do some research there if you don't want to touch your existing setup.
Last week I successfully installed RedHat Linux 8.0 along with Win2K. I used GRUB for the boot loader and it works very well so far. I'm using an 80 gig HD. Basically, I used 40GBs for Win2k, 38GBs for Linux 8.0 and 2GBs for Swap. I'm new myself so this may not be great, but it worked.
I downloaded the first 3 CDs, Burned them, and then installed off the CD. During the install I made a boot disk and for the initial boot I used this disk. There after I use GRUB for both Linux and win2k.
I also had a read through of the instructions for installing a dual boot system on the Red Hat Site. I think it was Appendix G if I'm correct.
This was a very nice install, considering I tried 7.3 the day before and was pulling my hair out right and left.