Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Is Ubuntu / Linux for geeks only? (Part 2: partitions)

Part two of my journey in search of lands beyond MS Windows.

Within a couple more minutes, the installer looked at my hard drives, and reported on what was available. Unfortunately, it reported the partition sizes in decimal gigabytes, rather than binary gigabytes, and I didn't recognise any of the numbers.

(This is the same effect as when Windows users buy a 500 GB drive and only see 465 GB reported in 'My Computer'. Both values are correct, they just have slightly differing units.)

Seized with doubt about which partition to nominate for installation, and suspecting (but not knowing for sure) that SDA1 equates to Disk 0, First partition, I aborted the installation and restarted Windows, to write down a few vital statistics from 'My Computer'.

Armed with this info, I restarted and spun the Ubuntu install disk up again. I wanted to install on my Drive G, which meant nominating SDA2 in the setup program. And I was told that "No root file system is defined".  


I was invited to correct this from "the partitioning menu". Well, the drive's already partitioned. Into four chunks.

I don't want to repartition it, and screw up my existing Windows OS, do I?  So I didn't even look for any obscure partitioning menu, I just aborted the install, restarted the computer, and fired up Windows once again.

Researching, I got the impression that Ubuntu can't be installed in an NTFS partition. OK, Ubuntu can 'see' NTFS partitions, and access files from them, but it seemingly needs a different environment for its own little nest.

Groan. Why wasn't I told about this beforehand?  Again, a simple "things that Windows users need to know" guide would do the trick.

I get the distinct impression that the Ubuntu people aren't really that interested in helping Windows users explore alternatives.  Maybe they're geeks, maybe not. But useful info on their website is damned hard to find.

Anyway, that's as far as I'm going, right now. I'm shelving the whole thing til another week.

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