Howdy, i'm a new-bie on this forum.

i've search and read the entire internet to find an example, but it is not clear where or how i would install other linux distros on an LVM drive.

i used debian with lilo back in the '90s with lots of command line pain, dropped out for a while, then later in 2004 installed FC3 using the nice gui stuff--just put the disks in and let it go. As a result i used the unknown-to-me LVM default for setting up the filesystems. i got it working for a simple email/browser/games machine for the kids and didn't keep up with any updates--it ain't broke, don't fix it has been my strategy...But now the newer multimedia stuff on the web won't play unless i get a newer browser, and the browser wants a newer gcclib, and the gcclib wants a newer kernel, etc...so i need to upgrade.

i would like to try some other distros but not lose my current data files and capabilities while looking, or even later after selecting a newer version.

LVM has always been a mystery to me and there is a lot that is not clear:
How do i load a typically non-LVM linux distribution onto my LVM hard drive--do i create subdirectories or subpartitions within the LVM / partition and copy to those, or should i shrink LVM and create extended partitions non-LVM?

Will a live cd version install at these locations?
Will i be able to share or get to my current /home data (LVM) from one of the new distros running from a non-LVM partition?

Found lots of LVM hatred out there, and frankly i have no understanding of LVM, and i'm overwhelmed by all the information... i do better with simple examples and steps that explain what to do and the why to do each step.

i found the fedora solved examples about shrinking LVM partitions helpful, as well as the chapter 27 here on LHN, but i have no confidence that i know what to do and don't want to lose my data files by a wrong move...

thanks,
kb