How To: Partition your Hard Drive.

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Postby msgnomer on Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:21 pm

Thanks!

"you are very unlikely to need 2 GB of swap unless you are planning on doing video editing or audio composition."

I do some video editing (or did, in Windows). I haven't tried editing in Linux yet,
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Postby scorp123 on Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:10 pm

linuxviolin wrote: Again personally I would say to you not to be bored
You maybe mean "bothered" ? To be bored is something entirely different ...

linuxviolin wrote: to do as many different partitions and just to make / and /home (maybe /boot if you really want it). That is completely sufficient. It is just a personal opinion.
I'd separate /var if anything. That stuff fills up all the time and having it on / together with all the static stuff (/usr, /opt, etc.) is ugly and slows the system down. /home should always be separate.

linuxviolin wrote: {scorp123, do not strike me! :lol:}
You're lucky..... I'm too tired. Tomorrow maybe? :lol:

msgnomer wrote: I guess 3 GB seems excessive to me. 1 GB is sufficient
Out of experience I'd suggest size of swap = size of RAM if you have 1 GB or more RAM. If your RAM size is less than 1 GB then size of swap = 2 * size of RAM. But I wouldn't recommend a swap larger than 4 GB ... I mean if you have to swap 4 GB around and still run "Out of memory" then something is seriously wrong anyway :wink: But for video editing 2-3 GB swap looks OK to me.
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Postby linuxviolin on Fri Aug 03, 2007 3:03 pm

scorp123 wrote:You maybe mean "bothered" ? To be bored is something entirely different ...


Or annoyed maybe.... sorry for my a little approximate English! :oops:

scorp123 wrote:/home should always be separate.


Definitively YES!
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby nelamvr6 on Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:52 pm

linuxviolin wrote:
scorp123 wrote:You maybe mean "bothered" ? To be bored is something entirely different ...


Or annoyed maybe.... sorry for my a little approximate English! :oops:

scorp123 wrote:/home should always be separate.


Definitively YES!


If this is the case, is it possible to make this the default behavior for the Mint install routine?

I'm right this minute in the process of re-doing my partitions because when I asked the Mint installer to do the right thing it gave me a / and a swap, and nothing more.
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Postby scorp123 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:33 am

nelamvr6 wrote: If this is the case, is it possible to make this the default behavior for the Mint install routine?
Sure, we could change it so that every Windows partition gets automatically formatted and deleted (too bad if you wanted to keep it). Or we make /home use 80% of your second hard disk (too bad if you don't have one). ..... :wink:

You see the problem, yes? No installer can replace human intelligence. *YOU* have to tell it what you want. To correctly guess the "right" partition scheme (and what is "right" or not is a hot topic in it self) for each and every user and each and every system is impossible. The other problem I see: Even if the installer did suggest to create a separate /home partition I fear it would confuse the heck out of newbies. Chances are also they'd get the sizes wrong, e.g. make /home too small because they don't realise yet what they need it for. Or they make " / " too small ... or they by accident delete their Windows partition because they thought they could re-use the same partitions and settings under Linux ... and and and.

It's better if the user informs himself and then decides for himself what he wants to do.

nelamvr6 wrote: when I asked the Mint installer to do the right thing it gave me a / and a swap, and nothing more.
See above. You want a separate /home? Then tell the installer.

If you think this is "unfriendly" try the Solaris installer for contrast ... it will overwrite whatever it finds and take no prisoners and show no mercy to whatever is on your harddisks. And it will enforce it's partitioning scheme: e.g. per default slice 0 is always root " / ", slice 1 is always swap, slice 2 always covers the entire disk from first sector to the last sector and is reserved for Solaris-internal use (this by accident also makes sure that normal partition programs get confused like hell when they see that the third partition overlaps with the rest ... but this is "normal" here!), slice 3 is always /export, slice 4 is always not really defined, slice 5 is always usually used for /opt, slice 6 is always /usr, and slice 7 is always /home ... and there are always exactly these 8 partitions, slices 0 - 7 on each Solaris disk. Not more. Not less. And nothing else .... usually.

Trust me, you don't want the Mint installer (or any other Linux installer) do this to you. Being able to tell the installer about your partitioning wishes is precisely what you as home user want. An installer that would enforce the "right" partitioning scheme whether you want it or not would make you very unhappy.
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Postby nelamvr6 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:02 am

scorp123 wrote:
nelamvr6 wrote: If this is the case, is it possible to make this the default behavior for the Mint install routine?
Sure, we could change it so that every Windows partition gets automatically formatted and deleted (too bad if you wanted to keep it). Or we make /home use 80% of your second hard disk (too bad if you don't have one). ..... :wink:

You see the problem, yes? No installer can replace human intelligence. *YOU* have to tell it what you want. To correctly guess the "right" partition scheme (and what is "right" or not is a hot topic in it self) for each and every user and each and every system is impossible. The other problem I see: Even if the installer did suggest to create a separate /home partition I fear it would confuse the heck out of newbies. Chances are also they'd get the sizes wrong, e.g. make /home too small because they don't realise yet what they need it for. Or they make " / " too small ... or they by accident delete their Windows partition because they thought they could re-use the same partitions and settings under Linux ... and and and.

It's better if the user informs himself and then decides for himself what he wants to do.

nelamvr6 wrote: when I asked the Mint installer to do the right thing it gave me a / and a swap, and nothing more.
See above. You want a separate /home? Then tell the installer.

If you think this is "unfriendly" try the Solaris installer for contrast ... it will overwrite whatever it finds and take no prisoners and show no mercy to whatever is on your harddisks. And it will enforce it's partitioning scheme: e.g. per default slice 0 is always root " / ", slice 1 is always swap, slice 2 always covers the entire disk from first sector to the last sector and is reserved for Solaris-internal use (this by accident also makes sure that normal partition programs get confused like hell when they see that the third partition overlaps with the rest ... but this is "normal" here!), slice 3 is always /export, slice 4 is always not really defined, slice 5 is always usually used for /opt, slice 6 is always /usr, and slice 7 is always /home ... and there are always exactly these 8 partitions, slices 0 - 7 on each Solaris disk. Not more. Not less. And nothing else .... usually.

Trust me, you don't want the Mint installer (or any other Linux installer) do this to you. Being able to tell the installer about your partitioning wishes is precisely what you as home user want. An installer that would enforce the "right" partitioning scheme whether you want it or not would make you very unhappy.


Well, I tried to tell the Mint installer that I wanted a separate Home partition, but I was met with a very obtuse interface. In order for me to do this, I had to know a whole lot more about Linux than the average newb does, and though I'm not exactly a newb I had some troubles.

As it is right now, the Mint installer automatically makes a Root and a Swap partition, correct?

My part consists of telling the installer how much of my disk I want it to use, whether I want to resize the windows partition, use the largest free contiguous space, or take the whole drive, correct?

So within those constraints, why cant the Mint installer take the space I've assigned it, using my "human intelligence", and then use that space to make at least a /, /home and swap partitions?
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Postby scorp123 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:50 pm

nelamvr6 wrote: So within those constraints, why cant the Mint installer take the space I've assigned it, using my "human intelligence", and then use that space to make at least a /, /home and swap partitions?
And where should it put /home? On your Windows partition? Before or after " / "? On a separate disk? On your USB stick? On your external harddisk? .... You see the problem? You want a separate /home => you've got to define it, partition your harddrive and then tell the installer to mount your /home there.

The installer as it is right now gives you a working installation which is OKayish for most newbies ... but it isn't "optimal". Having a proper partitioning scheme with separate /boot, /usr, /var and /home partitions would be ideal. But not even professional products that cost several thousand dollars ship with such a sophisticated installer. It's not the installer's task to plan the partitioning for you. *You* have to do this.

UNIX-like OS simply expect that *You* know what you do. This is also the same reason why working under "root" is so dangerous as no matter what dangerous command you execute nobody and nothing will ask you "Are you sure?" ... UNIX-like OS simply assume: Yes, you are sure. Or why else would you have issued the command? :wink:

Same with partitioning. You didn't define a separate /home ... so you obviously don't want one :wink: It's not the installer's (or any other program's) task to tell you what you want or not. :wink:
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Postby nelamvr6 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:31 pm

scorp123 wrote:And where should it put /home? On your Windows partition? Before or after " / "? On a separate disk? On your USB stick? On your external harddisk? .... You see the problem?


No, I can't see the problem at all!

At this point I will have told the installer I want to, for example, use the largest free contiguous space for my Linux installation.

Why can the installer take that specification, and then divvy it up appropriately between /, /home and swap?

I didn't tell the installer where I wanted my swap partition, how did it know where to put that?

You want a separate /home => you've got to define it, partition your harddrive and then tell the installer to mount your /home there.


Why? I mean, we're speaking in hypotheticals here, and we all want to make Linux better, right? Why should I have to tell it anything?

UNIX-like OS simply expect that *You* know what you do.


And this is what has to change if we want broader acceptance of Linux on the desktop.

All I know is that I'm not a dummy, and I'm not completely computer illiterate either. But the installer never even mentioned a separate /home partition. Only after installing, only then do I read both you and Clem posting that one should at a minimum have a separate /home partition!

I understand what you are saying, but isn't Mint about making things work the right way out of the box? Why can't the installer at least ask me if I want a separate /home partition?
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Postby Husse on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:22 pm

Why can't the installer at least ask me if I want a separate /home partition?

That would be a good thing - provided a complete noob understands.
There has been suggestions elsewhere that we should have some kind of "helper" - can't remember exactly what, when and where.
Possibly a few points shown after you start the installer and a suggestion to make a home partition from the installer - but leave the decision to you
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Postby nelamvr6 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:44 pm

Well, it would be nice.

Now here's a question that has risen in my mind now that I have a separate home partition:

Now that I have a separate home partition, how to I go about telling future installers that I have a separate home partition and that I would like to use it as such?

I mean, that was the main motivation for me to create a separate home partition, that when I upgrade to the next version of Mint I won't have to bother my home directory.

Do I simply let the installer create a home folder under it's new root structure and then install my partition as /home?

Or is there a way to make the Mint installer aware that my /home partition is there?
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Postby scorp123 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:15 pm

nelamvr6 wrote:Or is there a way to make the Mint installer aware that my /home partition is there?
Usually with most Linux installers you can tell them to use the partition in question as /home but *NOT* format it, e.g. use it "as is".

But your other approach would work too ... you could just install your new Linux OS over the previous " / " partition and then add your previous /home after the installation, e.g. by editing the relevant section in /etc/fstab so that it would mount /home again under the right place.
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Postby nelamvr6 on Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:44 pm

scorp123 wrote:
nelamvr6 wrote:Or is there a way to make the Mint installer aware that my /home partition is there?
Usually with most Linux installers you can tell them to use the partition in question as /home but *NOT* format it, e.g. use it "as is".

But your other approach would work too ... you could just install your new Linux OS over the previous " / " partition and then add your previous /home after the installation, e.g. by editing the relevant section in /etc/fstab so that it would mount /home again under the right place.


While I was mucking about trying to use the Mint installer partition tool to create my separate /home partition, I was met with frustration aplenty. It seems to me that the second method I mentioned may be easier. But is one method better than the other? I was thinking that I could boot the live CD, use the GParted tool to simply delete the old / partition, and then during the installation tell the installer that I want it to use the largest contiguous free space.

Am I correct in believing that a fresh installation would not have anything of great importance in the new /home folder?

Thanks for all the help by the way, I know that some of these newb question must be tiresome...
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Postby msgnomer on Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:51 am

I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
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Postby Husse on Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:10 am

some of these newb question must be tiresome...

Not at all, when they are asked with afterthought as you do :)
The only "risk" with home on its own partition is that some old config files remain and your install does not become absolutely fresh
This happened to me. After installing Cassandra the menu still said Bianca and I still have mintConfig as Control Center not the Cassandra version - I've just not cared enough to fix that :)
The ubiquity installer is good in many respects compared to other installers, but it is a bit kinky when it comes to selecting partitions
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Postby nelamvr6 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:14 am

msgnomer wrote:I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php


OK, how did you do this? Could you give me a step by step? I understand how to make partitions, that part is easy.

But I couldn't figure out how to tell the installer that a particular partition should be used as root and another partition used as /home etc.
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Postby nelamvr6 on Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:19 am

Husse wrote:
some of these newb question must be tiresome...

Not at all, when they are asked with afterthought as you do :)
The only "risk" with home on its own partition is that some old config files remain and your install does not become absolutely fresh
This happened to me. After installing Cassandra the menu still said Bianca and I still have mintConfig as Control Center not the Cassandra version - I've just not cared enough to fix that :)
The ubiquity installer is good in many respects compared to other installers, but it is a bit kinky when it comes to selecting partitions


So I should allow the installer create a new /home folder, them migrate that folder over to my partition, and then install my partition as /home?

I used this how-to to achieve my current scheme:

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/separatehome

I could copy files such as my .bashrc to a flash drive before hand and then restore them afterward.

Would I be in danger of destroying any of the data I'm trying to save?

Does the command:

find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio --null --sparse -pvd /new/


do anything more than copy files from one home directory to the new one, or will it destroy my current home folder?
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Postby msgnomer on Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:52 pm

nelamvr6 wrote:
msgnomer wrote:I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php


OK, how did you do this? Could you give me a step by step? I understand how to make partitions, that part is easy.

But I couldn't figure out how to tell the installer that a particular partition should be used as root and another partition used as /home etc.

If I recall correctly, you tell it what to mount for each partition under "Edit" during the install process. So, say you made a /home partition - you click "edit" (it might be "edit partition" - I'm not sure of exact terms) and there you will see partition size, file system type, and a drop down list of available mount points (/boot, /home, /usr, /r, etc).
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Postby nelamvr6 on Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:10 pm

msgnomer wrote:
nelamvr6 wrote:
msgnomer wrote:I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php


OK, how did you do this? Could you give me a step by step? I understand how to make partitions, that part is easy.

But I couldn't figure out how to tell the installer that a particular partition should be used as root and another partition used as /home etc.

If I recall correctly, you tell it what to mount for each partition under "Edit" during the install process. So, say you made a /home partition - you click "edit" (it might be "edit partition" - I'm not sure of exact terms) and there you will see partition size, file system type, and a drop down list of available mount points (/boot, /home, /usr, /r, etc).


Thanks, I'll give it a try next time I upgrade, which will be the next Mint release.
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Postby Husse on Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:50 am

Quote:
find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio --null --sparse -pvd /new/

A very elaborate command that I have to slowly analyze to understand :)
This
Code: Select all
sudo cp -a -v -u /home/* /mnt/newhome/
copies everything from home to newhome without changing file permissions
taken from
http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php ... st_copying
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Postby scorp123 on Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:05 am

Husse wrote:http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php/Move_home_to_its_own_partition#Copying_is_not_just_copying

A verbatim copy of what I once posted. And yet I get no credit? That sucks :(
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