Installing Linux alongside Windows

I've got Windows XP installed on my laptop, I have a 300gb hard drive and am not using most of the space. If I wanted to install some version of Linux as well, how would I go about doing it? Do I make a new partition on the drive and install there? Is there some better way to do it?

Thanks
DJ_AM_JuiceboxAsked:
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alienvoiceConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you want to be able to access your windows files at the same time. I'd suggest using a virtual machine with linux installed.

That way you can boot into windows but also be able to run your linux machine at the same time.

The software I use is free and 1 of the best. Virtualbox by Sun microsystems.
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alienvoiceCommented:
http://virtualbox.org/

Sorry I forgot to add the link.

My setup is, I boot into my Windows XP machine and run Debian virtual machine. I use it for a testing enviroment for rolling out major upgrades or software into out networked enviroment.
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eagerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There are two ways to install Linux on your laptop along side Windows.  

You can create a dual-boot system, so that you can boot either Linux or Windows.  Most Linux installers will automatically repartition your hard drive and install in a separate partition.  Ubuntu is a popular and simple install.  

You can run Linux at the same time as Windows, using virtual environments like VirtualBox, VMware, or CoLinux (http://www.colinux.org).  
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DJ_AM_JuiceboxAuthor Commented:
The virtual box stuff looks interesting, thanks.
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