N A wrote:
Is it possible to install Debian as a dual-boot on an Intel Celeron
system using only the existing windows partition and a removable hard
drive ~250MiB? If so, how would one do so?
from the installation manual:
"The base installation for i386 using the default 2.4 kernel, including
all standard packages, requires 573MB of disk space."
It might be possible to deselect some standard packages to reduce that
size, but that is definitely not recommended for first time Linux users.
I also wouldn't recommend an removable hard drive as a medium to install
linux to. In principle it is possible to install debian to an external
usb-disk (and I have managed to do it), but I certainly wouldn't
recommend trying it for a first time linux user.
To have a 'full' installation usable for newbees, ie. one including a
graphical desktop environment, one requires about 2GB of disk space. If
you want to use kde and try some extra packages, 5GB is even better.
I would guess that such an installation contains more applications and
more features than a 'comparable' WinXP installation that requires about
5 times that size. (My 'minimal' Xp installation (office, cd-burner,
adobe reader, mozilla, little else) consumes about 9GB and has orders of
magnitude less usability than my plentyful 5GB of debian).
If you would like to just have a look at linux, try one of the
distributions that boot of a cd without requireing an installation. I
would recommend knoppix (www.knopper.net).
If you definitely want to install it to your computer, you would want to
give it some disk space on your hard disk. If you have some free disk
space on your windows partitions, it is quite straightforeward to resize
one of those and create the required space for debian during
Before you should backup all your data, but that should be done
regardless of your decision to install linux or not -- just in case...