i have tried to install ubuntu many many times and cannot get past the bash prompt. they say it has to do with the drivers for my ATI Radeon HD4890 video card. i have asked on their forums a million times about how to get the drivers and install them without ever making it to the desktop. never can get anyone to answer. i decided rather than play with them for weeks i would try this distro. i have never had any kind of experience with linux at all. my system is a 64bit system. is there a 64bit version? or should i just install the 32bit version?
At present, there is no released 64-bit version, so the 32-bit is the way to go. If your machine is 64-bit, it sounds as though it is reasonably modern, so the Standard version should work.
the reason i am migrating to linux is for 2 reasons...i am very curious, and next spring i will be taking a class on the unix system...would be nice to have a clue atleast when the class starts. i love to learn about operating systems, how they work and such. ok, ok ill cut it short ;-)
which is the best version to install on my system, and if by some chance i cant get to my desktop after reboot...is there a way to fix this?
Standard Gold would be the one to go for. It has two installation routines - one is graphical, the other text based. If the graphical installer works, there should be a fairly good chance that you will get to the desktop. If not, there are still a number of things that can be tried. I'm not familiar with the ATI you are using, but others here may be. Either way, you'll not know until you try.....
oh, one more thing...i am duel booting with windows 7. i have a 460GB partition ready for this os...the partition has not been formatted at all, should i format it before i install or is there a program in the live cd that will make it the right format for this os?...thank you all in advance, and since i am a linux newborn, i will definitely see you all again...many many times in the near to extended future. thank you
For most Linux systems, I normally use 3 partitions - a / (root, not to be confused with the root or admin user's home directory), a /home partition (where user account information and user data is stored and a swap partition. The installer should allow you to create those paritions and will format them if you request it to do so. You will also have a selection of different file systems to use for the / and /home partitions - I use xfs most of the time, but you can select Reiserfs or ext3 as alternates. And since Linux doesn't care in the slightest whether it boots from a primary or a logical parition, I always use logical partitions for all three Linux partitions.
I would not suggest trying to install from the live CD - I think you would be better using the standard instal CD. It isn't entirely clear from what you say, but I presume that you have only tried the Ubuntu live CD, rather than installing the OS from the 'alternate' CD? If so, you will have to install a boot loader to provide a means of booting Linux after the install. Ubuntu uses Grub by default, where Vector uses Lilo. I've no experience of using Lilo with Windows 7, but it may be worth your while to install a copy of EasyBCD to your Windows 7 partition, so that you do not have to mess with the Windows 7 MBR. Others on here may be able to give you more direct information on using Lilo with Windows 7 though.
EasyBCD can be found here: http://neosmart.net/dl.php?id=1
If you need help, it would be useful to provide some information about the hardware you are using, and, if you hit problems, provide as much information as you can about any errors reported during the install.