I am running Windows XP and I am always hearing how Linux is so much better than Windows or OSX, so I downloaded a boot cd of Linux Ubuntu. So now when the CD is in I can choose to boot into Ubuntu without installing it, which is nice. I have been playing around in it, and while I havent really noticed a difference like performance-wise or anything, it is supposedly more secure and not prone to spyware or viruses. So I figure it may be worth installing and becoming my primary OS. Any thoughts? I don't really have any special needs or need heavy niche stuff like pictures or gaming--I am a college student and I use my laptop mainly just for browsing and office applications. Now if I choose to install it, I can either partition the hard drive and have a dual boot or wipe it clean and just have Linux. I definielty want to do the former and keep XP. But I don't know anything about partitioning the hard drive. First, is it safe? I don't really have a way to backup all of my files--I only have a 512 MB flash drive so I have backed up my really important documents. How often does doing these kind of things erase the drive? Is it even worth it? Will I be able to access my files and stuff saved on XP while on Ubuntu and vice versa? Anyone else have anything to add on the topic? I think I may wait to experiment towards the conceivable end of my laptop's life, since I will probabaly get a new one in a year or two because this one now is extremely basic and bare and lacking in many ways. That way I can destroy it no biggie.