Installing over another distro

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Installing over another distro

Postby Wesdog on Fri Apr 18, 2008 1:20 pm

I have sabayon installed on my second hard drive a 120gb model. I just made a couple of small partitions for it to try out sabayon and wasnt happy at all with it (long story). I would like to install linuxmint on to this hard drive and use most of the hard drive. I would like to leave a 50GB or so partition to share files between linux/windows something like a fat32 or ntfs (can you use ntfs in linux Im a noob). This is for mp3's and movies and whatever else I may want to use on both systems.

Is it best just to use gparted to repartition the hard drive and install linux mint that way? Is that the best program or is there a better one.

When I installed sabayon I lost part of my main hard drive 160GB model. For some reason it formatted a 36GB section of the hard drive and made it 100mb so I have to figure out how to get that space back also without messing up my main 127GB windows partition. I am 100% sure I never chose to format anything on hda0 (my main drive). Some of this can be frustrating but at the same time its fun to explore and learn about new things and how to do things in a new/different way.

How is the best way to set up my linux install. What sizes should I make the partitions based on about 108GB of room on the drive. Dont ask me why its a 120GB drive but only 108 shows up on anything. Maybe I can get the few missing GB back that would be great if I could. So if you can let me know the best size for the different partitions mint will need that would be great. And maybe some pointers about how to get my 36GB back on hda0. Linux and the shared space will be on hda1 the old drive. Also is there a certain way I should set up the jumpers on the drives? I think the 160 is set to master and the 120 is set to cable select. They may both be cable select I havent looked in a while. I know this is more than one question but they arent big ones. Any help and advice is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Wes
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Sakonim on Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:35 pm

I recommend you use the partitioner provided by the mint installer ( I think its gparted). Choose the option to manually partition your second drive when the option comes up. Delete all your partitions on that hard drive and start from scratch in my opinion. Then create the root ext3 partition (the mount point is "/"), a swap partition which is commonly recommended to be twice the size of the amount of ram and finally the 50gb ntfs for exchanging files with windows (mint can read and write to ntfs). The size of the partitions apart from the swap really depends on you. I don't understand why you have lost 36gb from your main drive. You'll have to look into it with partitioning prog, maybe use the gparted that comes withthe livecd but please be careful and back up all important information. You shouldn't have to mess about with jumpers or anything I don't think.
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Zwopper on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:06 pm

...well...
If you have a separate home partition I recommend that you keep that one, otherwise create one.
/ 10GB
Swap Your ram size x 2
The rest /home
That's my setup.
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Sakonim on Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:08 pm

Zwopper wrote:...well...
If you have a separate home partition I recommend that you keep that one, otherwise create one.
/ 10GB
Swap Your ram size x 2
The rest /home
That's my setup.


Yeah , saves a lot of hassle later on.
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby MagnusB on Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:20 am

If you got 512 MB of RAM or more, do NOT use 2xRAM, that is an extremely conservative thumb rule which only apply to computers with low RAM. I generally use 1 GB swap on my 2 GB RAM computer, but I will reduce this to 512 MB when I rearrange it the next time.
As for using a separate /home partition, I would rather recommend a setup Fred came with.
When manually editing your partition, set the mount point of the /home partition to /home/username/Data (or similar)
That way you don't get any of the settings folders on that partition and can easily keep it without any issues when upgrading or switching distro.
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Zwopper on Sun Apr 20, 2008 8:59 am

MagnusB wrote:If you got 512 MB of RAM or more, do NOT use 2xRAM, that is an extremely conservative thumb rule which only apply to computers with low RAM. I generally use 1 GB swap on my 2 GB RAM computer, but I will reduce this to 512 MB when I rearrange it the next time.
As for using a separate /home partition, I would rather recommend a setup Fred came with.
When manually editing your partition, set the mount point of the /home partition to /home/username/Data (or similar)
That way you don't get any of the settings folders on that partition and can easily keep it without any issues when upgrading or switching distro.

Well if one is planning on use any ACPI functions ie sleep hibarnate etc. ram size x 2 makes it easier and faster.
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby MagnusB on Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:18 am

x2 is still conservative... You only need larger swap than RAM if you want to use hibernate, you can even use it with less swap than RAM. x1.5 should be plentiful if you want those functions, and I personally don't use them as they are still a bit buggy in Linux (and I usually have no need for em as well).
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Zwopper on Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:15 am

MagnusB wrote:x2 is still conservative... You only need larger swap than RAM if you want to use hibernate, you can even use it with less swap than RAM. x1.5 should be plentiful if you want those functions, and I personally don't use them as they are still a bit buggy in Linux (and I usually have no need for em as well).

Once again personal taste and needs I guess.
I only use a laptop that I dock, both at work and at home, so instant hibernation is a must, and it works like a charm, no data loss or reboot as of yet.
This is how 80% of the people at my office work, so like I said, it's a matter of personal taste and needs.
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Fred on Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:41 pm

Wesdog,

The reason for keeping the swap size to a minimum is for speed. The smaller the partition, the faster it is. It really servers no purpose to have a 2 Gig swap with 512 MB ram. It doesn't hurt anything except the speed when using swap. As far as the hibernation load the only thing you save with hibernation is the ram contents so 1 Gig of swap is plenty to save the contents of ram plus any swap that might have been in use when hibernation was invoked. That just shouldn't be an issue.

i have some reading for you if you want to take the time to explore your options further. Look at the link below and follow the links in that thread.

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=11502

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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Sakonim on Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:31 pm

MagnusB wrote:As for using a separate /home partition, I would rather recommend a setup Fred came with.
When manually editing your partition, set the mount point of the /home partition to /home/username/Data (or similar)
That way you don't get any of the settings folders on that partition and can easily keep it without any issues when upgrading or switching distro.


I don't quite understand that. Won't all of /home (apart from /home/username/Data) end up in the root partition?
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby MagnusB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:21 am

Linux handles partition differently than Windows (Fred is the resident partition table expert, but I'll try to explain).
First Linux uses a root partition mounted at /, while all other partitions (except swap) will be mounted in a folder within the root partition. So if you set a partition mount point to /home/username/Data, the folder will exist within the root partition, but all data stored in that folder will be on another partition, if that make sense...
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Zwopper on Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:55 am

MagnusB wrote:...but all data stored in that folder will be on another partition, if that make sense...

Or on another physical drive if you want... 8)
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Sakonim on Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:54 pm

MagnusB wrote:Linux handles partition differently than Windows (Fred is the resident partition table expert, but I'll try to explain).
First Linux uses a root partition mounted at /, while all other partitions (except swap) will be mounted in a folder within the root partition. So if you set a partition mount point to /home/username/Data, the folder will exist within the root partition, but all data stored in that folder will be on another partition, if that make sense...


I understand but if you want to save your user settings shouldn't you create a partition specifically for /home? If you wiped your root partition to reinstall your OS, for example, everything in /home will be lost apart from the stuff in /home/username/Data, wouldn't it?
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby MagnusB on Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:00 pm

Yes, but keeping these settings can also cause unforeseen issues and complications, especially when upgrading. Or sharing a /home partition with another distro.
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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Fred on Mon Apr 21, 2008 4:33 pm

Sakonim,

It is easy enough to backup your /home config files to your data partition. You can even use rsync or "unison" to keep your backup file up to date.

Then when you reinstall you can move the config files you wish to keep, like .mozzila, which hold all your bookmarks, back into the new /home.

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Re: Installing over another distro

Postby Sakonim on Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:39 pm

I see what you mean. Thanks for the explanation fred and magnus
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