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victorsk
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:59 pm    Post subject: Does Gentoo recognize Windows? Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I am currently waiting for my Dell i7 7000 laptop to arrive and am considering various distributions. I mostly use LMDE but want to give Gentoo a try. My first question is 1) does Gentoo recognize Windows partition? I plan to install Gentoo alongside Windows 8. 2) How stable Gentoo in general? Is it mostly for enthusiasts, academic purposes and hobbyists or can it be used in work environment? I myself am software developer and stability is very important for me because loosing my work is not acceptable. Is it safe to use Gentoo in work environment, professionally?

Thank you,
Victor.
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lexflex
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 6:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Does Gentoo recognize Windows? Reply with quote

victorsk wrote:
Hello everyone,

I am currently waiting for my Dell i7 7000 laptop to arrive and am considering various distributions. I mostly use LMDE but want to give Gentoo a try. My first question is
1) does Gentoo recognize Windows partition? I plan to install Gentoo alongside Windows 8.


If you mean if you can install gentoo on a seperate partition: Yes.
However, partitioning is done manually ( see http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-amd64.xml?part=1&chap=4#doc_chap3 ) so you should be able to 'recognize' the windows partition. You might want to take care when installing GRUB; You can also consider using neogrub on windows ( basically using the windows bootloader which points to GRUB, so you dont need to overwrite the MBR).

Quote:

2) How stable Gentoo in general? Is it mostly for enthusiasts, academic purposes and hobbyists or can it be used in work environment? I myself am software developer and stability is very important for me because loosing my work is not acceptable. Is it safe to use Gentoo in work environment, professionally?

It is very stable ! However ,there might be other considerations if you want to use Gentoo for work.
( but a gentoo system in itself is perfectly stable and capable of meeting your demands).

Alex.
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Irre
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After ten years testing I have today:

8 real Gentoo-linux on 5 physical machines (64bit,32bit and 2 RaspBerry PI)
2 virtual Gentoo-linux under windows/7
1 virtual Gentoo-FreeBSD under windows/7
1 virtual Arch-linux under windows/7
1 virtual FreeBSD under windows/7
1 real FreeBSD(32bit)
3 real Arch-linux (64bit,32bit)

So Gentoo has definitively become my favorite. One installation is ten years old but as good as the others. Whilst my win/xp became slower and slower...

It is risk free an easy to install and test different Linux using Oracle VM VirtualBox.
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666threesixes666
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dual boot side by side i had windows 7 & gentoo it just required os prober for grub.... (that installs long gone)

dual boot side by side windows xp & gentoo im posting this message from with lilo was no problem....

windows 8 is anybodies guess, my educated guess is it is supported.
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The Doctor
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A windows 8 double boot is actually much easer because no boot loader is required. All you need to do is turn off secure boot, turn off secure boot (no typo. That thing has 9 lives), install refined, and you are good to go. I would recommend letting windows update to 8.1 before installing as this removes the boot settings. I would also partition under windows. Linux tools do have a rare tendency to damage windows file systems.

As for the gentoo installer, you have known it for quite some time. It is located between the keyboard and the chair and should be able to set up the system using this information.

My experience with Gentoo is that it is generally more stable than most binary distros. I keep finding that they develop 'hiccups' over time and need to be reinstalled. The only reinstall I ever needed to do on gentoo is when I started messing with rm in /var (I know, a very stupid thing to do.)
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victorsk
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your comments. I've been a Gentoo fan for a long time and been buying Gentoo t-shirts and hats to express my appreciation for this distro. It's not easy choosing a distro to work on because it will have to become my permanent work environment at my workplace so many issues must be considered carefully.

Thanks again for all your feedback.
Victor.
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DONAHUE
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

my 2 cents are at: http://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/UEFI_Dual_boot_with_Windows_7/8 ; now doing well with systemd
a third cent: no grub, no grub2, no lilo, no whatever ... UEFI with stub kernel and rEFInd
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cwr
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Gentoo alongside various versions of Windows, booting to Grub via the Windows boot menu
to avoid upsetting my laptop's Windows installation. I've found Gentoo entirely reliable for ~8 years
now, but if you want to move files between Linux and Windows there may be a question about
the reliability of the NTFS driver. I don't know the current status, but it would be worth checking.
I use a separate FAT32 partition to transfer stuff, out of habit more than anything else.

You also need to experiment a bit with live DVDs, or whatever, to get a GUI you can live with;
some of the current Linux GUIs are pretty irritating on a desktop.

Will
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Fitzcarraldo
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've dual-booted between Windows and Linux on my work laptops since 2007. On my previous work laptop it was Windows XP and on my current laptop, which I've had for nearly four years, it is Windows 7 Professional. All my work is done from the one laptop; I don't use any other machine for work. My livelihood depends on that machine.

I have ntfs3g installed in Gentoo and have never had any trouble whatsoever using NTFS from Gentoo. When using Gentoo I copy files back and forth between the Gentoo partitions and the Windows partition frequently, and I access the files on the NTFS partition from applications on the Gentoo partitions without problems. I can also access the files on the NTFS partitions from Windows applications without problems. I also copy files back and forth between Gentoo partitions and FAT- and NTFS-formatted drives (USB pen drives, memory cards, external USB drives, NFS running Windows Server, office servers, etc.) without problems. As Windows cannot natively access the ext4 partitions on my laptop, I store all my work local files on the Windows NTFS partition, but I normally run Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint under WINE in Gentoo to access those files.

I have the Thunderbird e-mail client installed in both Windows 7 and Gentoo, with the actual Thunderbird e-mail folders stored on the Windows partition. That way I can access exactly the same e-mail accounts and same locally-stored e-mails in whichever of the two operating systems I'm using at the time. I also have DavMail installed in both Gentoo and Windows 7 so that I can use the same work WebMail Outlook Web Access account from either operating system. I use six different e-mail accounts in total, with thousands of e-mails stored locally.

Rather than installing GRUB to the MBR, I use the as-delivered Windows Boot Manager to chainload GRUB (GRUB 2, to be precise) which I installed on a separate Gentoo boot partition. I used EasyBCD in Windows to configure the Windows BCD accordingly. You can read how I did this in my blog post The best way to dual boot Linux and Windows.

The reason I set up my laptop as described in the previous three paragraphs was so that, if I ever had a problem with booting Gentoo, it would have no impact on Windows; the original Windows boot manager would be able to boot Windows and all the work files would be accessible in Windows.

However, I should point out that I almost never boot into Windows; I always do my work from Gentoo. For compatibility with my work colleagues it is essential that I use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint (LibreOffice is good, but not 100% compatible in every case), which I do from Gentoo. The only time I boot Windows is in order to run Windows Update and Windows Backup, which I do once every couple of months or so. I can backup from Gentoo all the work files that are on the Windows NTFS partition, so there is really no need to do it from Windows.

In the last four years there has only been one task where I had no choice but to use Windows instead of Linux: using Microsoft SharePoint. In order to open a Word file on the office's SharePoint repository, check-out the file directly into Word, edit it and check-in the file from Word directly to the SharePoint repository. Although Firefox in Linux can access files in the SharePoint repository, it is not possible to go through the above process in Linux; one has to use Microsoft Internet Explorer and Word in Windows. Apart from that one task, I never need to use Windows.

As far as printers are concerned, since 2007 I have been able to access from Gentoo all the networked printers, bar one, in the various offices where I have worked. I have a long list of printers (I'm guessing around twenty different printer models) installed in Gentoo for work at various offices: HP, Brother, Samsung and Canon. Several of these printers use PostScript (the PostScript standard is a wonderful thing!).

I also have two USB scanners at home: one HP, the other Canon. The HP scanner does not work in Windows 7; both work in Linux.

Back in 2007 I used to use Ext2IFS in Windows XP to have read-write access to Linux partitions, but I stopped installing such tools in Windows as I believe an anti-virus tool in Windows corrupted my Linux root partition (I was able to fix the partition without re-installing, and immediately un-installed Ext2IFS). Since then, I have always kept to one-way acess: Linux can see Windows partitions, but not vice versa.

As my current work laptop (COMPAL NBLB2) is in constant use and has had a tremendous bashing over nearly four years, I will need to replace it fairly soon. I am thinking about buying an OEM laptop again (probably a Clevo), but this time not bothering to install Windows (which would be 8.1 these days, I suppose) at all, just Linux. Providing I can use Word, Excel and PowerPoint under WINE, I'm happy. If I ever did need to use Windows, I'd install it in VirtualBox. However, dual-booting does have its advantages (e.g. an alternative operating system if one operating system gets damaged), so perhaps I would dual-boot between two different Linux installations. Haven't decided yet.
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