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Can Intel Atom N270 run Linux? Which distro?

Mark
Mark asked
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Last Modified: 2014-02-02
I have an older HP MINI with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270. It currently has XP installed, but I'd like to install Linux, if possible.

Is this Intel Atom N270 processor compatible with a "normal" Intel chip? I a guessing it is since I believe a vanilla version of XP is installed, though I didn't install it.

If the processor is "normal" in that sense, does someone have a recommended distro for this netbook. Also, is there software, Linux or otherwise, that will let me keep the XP installed and use part of the partition for Linux? If not, I can reformat the whole thing for Linux.
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Dave BaldwinFixer of Problems
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With some HP Minis you could choose to have either XP or Linux when you purchased it - the Linux ones were cheaper of course. You might be able to get a set of Linux Restore disks for your model directly from HP.

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Thanks all. I am a long time Linux user, but mostly Slackware and recently Debian. I wasn't sure about whether the Atom was instruction-set compatible, but from your answers that seems not to be a problem.

Nobody mentioned about the dual-boot/partition thing. Can I keep XP on this laptop AND install Linux? I've heard that Ubuntu can right on the Windows NTFS partition, true? I've never tried having a dual-boot Linux system so I'm a but out of my element here.
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It's no problem to dual boot with WinXP. Just install Linux and select to keep the old partition (depending on what Linux dist you choose, but most popular dists have this feature in the installer).

Regards, Tobias
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Whatever do you need to dual boot for? XP will be obsolete by June anyway, so I don't see any reason to keep that. But yes, you can easily dual boot. What you have seen about ntfs is using a tool called "wubi". I don't recommend that, it creates a large file that contains your OS on your ntfs partition, and that file can corrupt easily. It is always better to install it on a Linux native partition like ext4. Most installation routines of current Linux distro's allow you to shrink the original windows partition, so you get enough free space to create a new ext4 partition and swap partition on the HD, and then it installs to that new partition. It then also asks you where you want to have grub installed on, which then adds windows to the boot menu.

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Thanks all

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