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well slackware is my first linux and i am trying to dual boot it windows xp .... can i get instructions and prior things that i should know about linux in general and slackware in particular?
FIrst, if you are a newbie to GNU Linux (and/or UNIX), I would recommend a different version than Slackware unless it is mandatory that you use it. I have nothing against Slackware ... but it is much harder to install and maintian for new users. It is the most UNIX like distrubution of GNU Linux I have seen ... the installer is character based ... the hardware setup is not as easy (both multimedia and sound).

I would recommend you download and burn the RedHat 9.0 CDs (Discs 1-3)[RedHat ISO's (look for a close mirror under the D column)] or Mandrake 9.1 CDs (Discs 1-3) [Mandrake 9.1 ISO].

Wether RedHat, Mandrake, or Slackware ... You need at least 5gb of unpartitioned Hard Disk space (most functional installs with GUI are 2-3 Gb) for Linux (8-10 Gb is better if possible). If you don't have 5-10 gb of unpartitioned hard drive space then you need either a new hard drive (the easiest way) or to repartition your current hard drive (harder).

If installing an unused hard drive is not an option, and you have an already working version of Windows XP installed (and if you need to repartition) then your best bet is Partition Magic to shrink you XP partition and free up 5-10 gb for Linux.

You can also use a program called GNU Parted ... but it doesn't work on NTFS partitions, only FAT32/FAT ... make sure you have a backup before you start. Here are RedHat instructions for using Parted.

Here are some instructions for setting up RedHat 9.0 dual booted with XP.
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