Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

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Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby yotama9 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:01 am

I have just installed Linux Mint Debian Edition on my machine.

I have severa l (too many partition) but I keep one for my home folder. When I installed the system, I didn't see (and I assumed there wasn't) an option to format the partition. I thought that the lack of one means that no formatting will be done

However, when I started the new system I have seen that all my files where gone. I think that I have them backed up (at least some of them) but still this is anoying.

So, to conclude, is it true that I have to format the partition?
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby yotama9 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:04 am

Sorry, I have just noticed there is an LMDE thread
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby ThistleWeb on Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:16 am

You have to install it on "a" partition, at least one. If you opt to format it, it will clear the space so there are no conflicts with anything that's already there. Usually the only reasons you wouldn't want to format is if it's an existing /home partition with your data inside it, or if you've already formatted with gparted. Just because the installer doesn't have a format option (an oversight as far as I'm concerned) it doesn't mean you don't need to. If I recall, you'll need to create your partitions in gparted before running the installer, so you can select them.
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby proxima_centauri on Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:30 am

* Moved to LMDE forum

Instead of cross-posting, in the future, you can report your post (little exclamation "!" button on the top right of the post). Give a little note that you would like it moved and it shall be done. :)
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby yotama9 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:33 am

ThistleWeb wrote:You have to install it on "a" partition, at least one. If you opt to format it, it will clear the space so there are no conflicts with anything that's already there. Usually the only reasons you wouldn't want to format is if it's an existing /home partition with your data inside it, or if you've already formatted with gparted. Just because the installer doesn't have a format option (an oversight as far as I'm concerned) it doesn't mean you don't need to. If I recall, you'll need to create your partitions in gparted before running the installer, so you can select them.


I think you misunderstood me.

I know why I would or wouldn't like to format a partition. The issue is that I didn't see any option to select wiether I want or not to format it. This is possible that I missed it, but I want to know if anyone else installing LMDE has seen this option.
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby proxima_centauri on Sat Nov 19, 2011 8:36 am

I see a format option in this screenshot
http://linuxmint-fi.info/wp-content/upl ... /deb17.png
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby yotama9 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 2:40 pm

I have uploaded my filesysem management screen.

The timezone is Asia/Jerusalem and the keyboard is UK. I do have the column for format but I cannot mark/unmark there anything.
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Filesystem management screen shot
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby ThistleWeb on Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:26 pm

Right click on the partition to select it, it brings up extra options. The edit partitions button opens gparted, where you can make changes, close gparted and refresh the installer to see those changes. Right click to tell it what to use as what.
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby yotama9 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:17 pm

ThistleWeb wrote:Right click on the partition to select it, it brings up extra options. The edit partitions button opens gparted, where you can make changes, close gparted and refresh the installer to see those changes. Right click to tell it what to use as what.


This is beside the point. The point is that is that I *did not* sellect to format the partition and there was no warning about the partition formatting. The format tab was empty. A novice user will be very disapointed and an experience user wouldn't bother to read bunch of worning which he knows by heart.

An operation that cause an irreversible action should be choosen actively (I choose to format the partition) and not passively or as a side effect (I choose to mount a partition and the partition is automatically formated without clear warning).

I'm not asking you to fund my data restoration, I'm asking you to check/confirm if this a bug with the route I took to install LMDE and fix this.

It is however, may answer my question in the subject.
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby ThistleWeb on Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:54 pm

Anything that's marked to be formatted shows up as a ticked box in the partition screen in the "format" column. If you leave the "format as" unselected, it won't format. As I said, there's very few cases where you wouldn't want to do that when installing a new OS. The "novice users" argument doesn't really wash, "users" don't install OS's. There needs a basic prerequisite of knowledge to understand what a partition is, what a file system is, what a boot loader is etc. If you have that knowledge, you know what is being asked for and why. If you don't, you're not qualified to install the OS, and need someone with those abilities to do that part for you.
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby DrHu on Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:13 pm

In general and especially for Linux, formatting in order to make use of a partition is normally mandatory, this is the conservative approach which ensures that the install of the OS will be clean
    Despite that, some Linux distributions allow saving your data while installing the OS
    --doesn't mean they also don't format the partition, simply that they copy the /home (for example) elsewhere while they install the OS..

Of course any Linux distributor could make a decision to change that process, and no doubt they should inform the user/installer, but sometimes some things do get missed
    User testing is not a big part of Linux, just getting a collection of hardware and software to inter-operate is a bigger concern..
http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions ... be-removed

The other choice is something like Ubuntu's WUBI, which allows Linux installations into the host file tree..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wubi_%28Ub ... staller%29
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Re: Is it just me or partion formating is mandatory?

Postby yotama9 on Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:46 pm

DrHu wrote:In general and especially for Linux, formatting in order to make use of a partition is normally mandatory, this is the conservative approach which ensures that the install of the OS will be clean
    Despite that, some Linux distributions allow saving your data while installing the OS
    --doesn't mean they also don't format the partition, simply that they copy the /home (for example) elsewhere while they install the OS..

Of course any Linux distributor could make a decision to change that process, and no doubt they should inform the user/installer, but sometimes some things do get missed
    User testing is not a big part of Linux, just getting a collection of hardware and software to inter-operate is a bigger concern..
http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions ... be-removed

The other choice is something like Ubuntu's WUBI, which allows Linux installations into the host file tree..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wubi_%28Ub ... staller%29


This is only true to the root partition. I can't recall that any case where I was suggested to format the home partition. I have stated in my inital post that I have a partition for my home folder.
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