I am surprised that there has been no, however brief, mention of GPT and LVM. I am pretty sure LMDE can be installed to GPT, but LMDE is not yet installable to LVM. (I have installed Debian to LVM and then Mint-ified it, with some success)
GPT is the successor to the MSDOS MBR, allowing 128 partitions
with redundant metadata, and drives > 2TB.
The discussion of how much disk space to use for the swap partition is a long tradition on Linux forums. The allotment of swap space should be based on review of the requirements of running programs. Any other way is just a guess. With large drives, make a 10GB swap, who cares. My experience is that a usual lightly loaded home system, with 1GB or more RAM, will rarely, if ever, use swap, anyway...
I am not sure if the remainder of this discussion is really appropriate in this thread, but in any case, here is an account of my foray into GPT and LVM:
Briefly, here is some background: With LVM, you virtualize your storage into resizable
Logical Volumes. LV are kind of like the partitions we used to work with. Kinda...
Going into last night, this was my configuration:
I had LMDE, aptosid, and Squeeze installed to a 1TB drive under MSDOS MBR scheme. This worked fine, except that I wanted to try out GPT and LVM to get the most flexible arrangement I could, and to gain that experience.
My rudimentary understanding of LVM is this:
PV (Physical Volumes) - these are added to initialize your GPT or MBR partitions to LVM. Use pvcreate.
VG (Volume Group) - these essentially group together your PV's, and you refer to it by name. Use vgcreate
LV (Logical Volume) - these essentially are your new "partitions", where a filesystem is installed
, and you refer to them by a name you assign. Use lvcreate.
You end up with devices like this:
/dev/volgrp_main/logvol_debian6_root ##of course, these are the names I made up.
So, last night, I backed up my existing sytem drive with Clonezilla, and did this:
On the 1TB drive, overwrote the MBR with GPT with Gparted with the Parted Magic disk.
Configured the disk this way:
1. sda1 100MB (not sure if really required) not LVM managed.
2. sda2 900GB in a LVM PV and VG.
3. Added these Logical Volumes for Debian:
--- boot 200MB
--- swap 4GB
--- root 45GB or so.
I could have a made separate VG for /home, and the Debian installer would have used it. However, I want to add the /home partition later.
Booted the Squeeze netinst 64bit disk, and installed, with care, to the LV's I setup above. Installed grub and rebooted to a working system.
I was concerned that my key tools in Parted Magic worked with LVM, like Clonezilla. So, I backed up the 1TB drive with Clonezilla without a hitch or complication. I did not test the restore, yet. Of course, Gparted works with GPT. There is a Redhat GUI tool for LVM but I have been a little disappointed with it.
So far, so good.
For the Debian install described above, I can easily define another VG for /home, using the pooled space in the VG.
When I install LMDE tonight, I will just create more LV's and there you have it. Edit: Oops, I forgot. Can't install LMDE to a LVM.
I can't imagine I will run out of space on a 1TB drive, but LVM allows another drive to be added to the VG pool of storage and used transparently for more Logical Volumes.
I am a beginner at this, so i welcome comments. I really encourage everyone to get familiar with LVM. Of course, you can play with LVM even if your install was not to LVM. You just need the tool, which is installed by default.
Here is a good discussion approachable howto for LVM:http://www.howtoforge.com/linux_lvm
Have a good day.