Help with installing Linux for research

Discussion in 'Desktop / X' started by Brandon Doyle, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Brandon Doyle

    Brandon Doyle New Member

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    Hello,

    I will be coming into the possession of an old 32 bit Dell Dimension 3000 with a 40 GB hard drive and 2 GB of memory in the next few weeks (my dad bought a new computer and I'll more than likely be taking it off his hands). I'm looking to strip Windows XP off of it, which originally came with it and won't be supported in a few short months, and then install Linux on it in order to do my research. You see, I need Linux because the programming I'm looking to do with IDL only exists in Linux or Unix, but not Windows, I only get lots and lots of errors when I attempt to run my programs on my Win. 7 laptop.

    What I'm currently using is a server over in a building on RIT campus and I'm logging in on my laptop using WinSCP and Putty so that I can see my folder and the command line. What I would like to have is a computer right in front of me that can run it, and if the OS really is free (I get IDL free as a student) then I pretty much have a free system to use for small research projects, like what I'm doing now, instead of having to upload files GB in size over the internet, and then having to download them. It's just super confusing having this array of programs in front of me - so much that it took over 6 hours to process 5 GB of data down to 11 final images amounting to less than a MB in size.

    I'm not super familiar with Linux, but I am willing to learn it to do research. I guess what I'm looking for is advice - how do you strip the XP OS off the computer's hard drive and then install Linux?? I've never done something like that before. And also, I'm curious to know if I could replace the existing 40 GB hard drive with a larger one, like an 80 GB or 160 GB. It would just be a bit easier I guess to store more data. I have an external hard drive with 3 TB of space, so storage is really no trouble, it would just be better, easier, if you will, if I had a bit more internally.


    So, overall, my big questions are: Can I replace windows XP with a Linux OS? If so, how do I go about it, i.e. is there a tutorial online? And, it appears there are many different Linux OS?? Which would be best for what I would like to do? And lastly, can I replace the 40 GB hard drive with a larger 80 GB or 160 GB hard drive via ebay?

    Thank you for your time,
    Brandon Doyle

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  2. arochester

    arochester Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes.

    It's easy enough. Just create a Linux bootable disk or USB stick and boot it... Look at http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/install-desktop-latest

    Generally any. For the gentlest introduction to Linux look at something like Linux Mint, which is based on Ubuntu, http://www.wikihow.com/Install-Linux-Mint

    Yes.
  3. glenn4uk

    glenn4uk New Member

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  4. Brandon Doyle

    Brandon Doyle New Member

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    Thanks, it looks like this isn't going to be too time consuming or difficult. And also thank you glenn4uk, I'll keep that in mind if I make the purchase. I'll let you know what happens after I give this a shot!

    Thank you for your time,
    Brandon Doyle

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