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Win95 and Linux on same system?

I am currently running Win95 on a Pentium 166 with 128mb ram and have 3 fixed hard drives.  I am anxieous to give Linux a shoot as an alternative OS, I don't wish to change my operating system since all of my programs are Windows based. #1) will I be able to use any, all or some of my existing software?  #2)How do I get my hands on a copy of Linux as a sample or demo and relative software?  #3) How do I load Linux onto my computer and still maintain my current Win95 configuration and is it possible to have a dual boot situation on my  computer? #5) Will I have to reconfigure all or some of my hardware settings and or drivers?  #4) What Linux software is available for free and where can I obtain it? Finally is there any tricks, hints or suggestions that I should be aware of?
Thanks ahead of time!
Bruce MacRobie
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macrobie
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macrobie
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swwelshCommented:
You'll need to give linux it's own partition and probably a swap partition as well. Linux doesn't care where you put it, and it can read/write fat16 or fat32 partitions. Linux has an os loader called lilo which you can install in your boot sector to give you dual boot capabilities. You can also use the boot manager included with Partition Magic or use a product like System Commander. You will not be able to use any of your windows software in linux. Text files, graphics files, html, and some word processor, spreadsheet, and database files can be shared between linux and win95 applications. Installing linux will not affect your win95 partitions and setting up linux to use your hardware won't cause any disruption of your hardware settings. My advice would be to buy linux in your local bookstore - there are lots of linux books with a couple of linux cdroms as part of the deal. That way you have a hard copy of linux plus many programs, and you have a guide to take you through any rough spots in the installation and setup. Make sure the linux version included with the book is recent, at least kernel version 2.0.30. You can also download linux from several archive sites on the net, or order the cdroms for under $5 from several places. You should be able to get a book/cd package for under $50 Before you take the leap, look around the net at all the linux documentation available. Try www.linux.org
www.xfree86.org; the linux software map, www.redhat.com, etc. Also do a search for the linux HOWTOs, as these documents will have answers to almost any question you will have
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macrobieAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your imput and advice.
BM
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