Howdy, I am a noobie to VectorLinux and just discovered it yesterday. Please put up with someone who need really simple instructions.
In searching for a Linux distro with a small footprint, VectorLinux was recommended. I have an ancient IBM Thinkpad with a 1.1 GHz Chip, 384 mb of RAM, and a 20 Gig HDD. This dual boot computer is to demonstrate to several friends that a small Linux Distro can run very well on an "Antique" computer alongside Windows.
I have searched for instructions as to how to do a dual install and not found any.
Would someone please refer me to a link which shows the simplest way to install VectorLinux for a dual boot with Windows XP?
Vector works really well on an "ancient IBM Thinkpad". I have it installed on one a little bit more "ancient" than yours. And yes it is multi-boot. My ThinkPad is a 600. I've got the same amount of ram and HD as you have, but its only a 400 Mhz Pentium II CPU. I'd recommend using VL Light instead of the Standard package. There are an number of small Desktops that work with Xwindows that you can chose from when you install VL. I like the LXDE desktop.
When you install Linux you need to make sure you create at least 2 partitions for it. One partition is the swapfile partition. I like to put this at the very end of the drives free space. I would recommend about a 512 MB swap partition. If you make a root partition, always called "/", of about 3.5 GB you should still have enough room for XP to run ok. Other partitions can be created but are not necessary for Linux to run. If the space isn't already free for these partitions you will have to resize your XP partition. The VL install should be able to do this for you.
In order for linux to load you will chose between LILO and GRUB as your boot loader. I've used both on various installations that I'm currently using. My IBM TP600 has LILO and my Gateway is using GRUB. Either loader will see your XP partition and put them in its boot menu. My Gateway has a rescue partition that has the factory restore software in it and GRUB even sees this partition and adds it to the menu.
VL saw all the hardware on my TP600 without a problem. My nic is a pcmcia card, a Cisco 350, and yours might be an internal card or something that is Windows only. This sort of thing happened with my HP Mini. The ndis-wrapper program solved this for me. When it comes to hardware on all the different systems I've put Linux on, I've been very impressed with VLs compatibility.