LinuxMint 14 - first time installation

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LinuxMint 14 - first time installation

Postby mr_element on Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:12 pm

Hello everyone! I am planning to do a fresh beggining for my machine thus erasing every OS in my primary drive and reinstalling everyting from scratch correctly this time. Up to now my drive was torn up between Win7 , Win8 , Linux Mint 13 Maya , as well as many different iOS versions. This time it's going to be different though.

The only two options I am going to keep is Win8 and Linux Mint 14. Since I am a begginer in Linux and generally very ignorant as far as OS architecture is concerned I want to ask the following:

  • Which order is better and more suitable to go with? Windows then Linux or vice-versa?
  • Do I really need a swap partition for Linux Mint 14?
    I've been told that a swap partition serves as extra space for when the RAM fills up completely. The OS 'swaps' stuff back and forth from RAM to swap-area and vice-versa but I've read in forums that theoretically if your RAM is too big -and mine is around 16GB DDR3- then the swap area might never be used.
    Can Linux work without it?
  • Is it necessary to disconnect my other HDD(s) which exist only for storage during the installation? As I recall from my latest Linux Mint 13 setup although I already had windows on my primary drive (/sda) the first message I got was that no other OS(s) were detected - or something like that. My guess is that for whatever reason the Linux installer looked into one of my Storage-HDD and maybe it installed something there because later I couldn't get the GRUB to come up.

I'm sorry if my questions are too stupid but I'm just an amateur trying to do things right!

Kind regards,
George.
Last edited by mr_element on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LinuxMint 14 - first time installtion

Postby catweazel on Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:13 pm

mr_element wrote:[*]Which order is better and more suitable to go with? Windows then Linux or vice-versa?

Windwoes first is usually always best.
[*]Do I really need a swap partition for Linux Mint 14?

No, not with 16GB of RAM, unless you plan to hibernate then you will need swap space. I run without swap.

You can also make better use of all that RAM by mounting /tmp in fstab using tmpfs.
[*]Is it necessary to disconnect my other HDD(s) which exist only for storage during the installation?

No. If you have multiple disks just make sure that GrUB is going to be installed to the MBR of the correct device. That is, assume you have two disks, the first one containing Windwoes and it is identfied as /dev/sda. If it has two partiions you will see them as /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2. Assume that the second disk is identified as /dev/sdb and it has one partition, sdb1. When installing, Mint will want to install to /dev/sda, however you may want to keep its bootloader separate from that of Windwoes, so you must change it to install on /dev/sdb. Keep an eye open for this during setup. If you follow this pattern then you can use the key sequence of your machine's BIOS to determine the boot disk at boot time. For example, I press F12 to select my boot device.

To install GrUb to the MBR, choose a device path, such as /dev/sdb. Do not choose a partition, such as /dev/sdb1.

I'm sorry if my questions are too stupid but I'm just an amateur trying to do things right!

There are no stupid questions; there are only stupid answers.
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Re: LinuxMint 14 - first time installation

Postby mr_element on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:11 am

TehGhodTrole wrote:No. If you have multiple disks just make sure that GrUB is going to be installed to the MBR of the correct device. That is, assume you have two disks, the first one containing Windwoes and it is identfied as /dev/sda. If it has two partiions you will see them as /dev/sda1 and /dev/sda2. Assume that the second disk is identified as /dev/sdb and it has one partition, sdb1. When installing, Mint will want to install to /dev/sda, however you may want to keep its bootloader separate from that of Windwoes, so you must change it to install on /dev/sdb. Keep an eye open for this during setup. If you follow this pattern then you can use the key sequence of your machine's BIOS to determine the boot disk at boot time. For example, I press F12 to select my boot device.

To install GrUb to the MBR, choose a device path, such as /dev/sdb. Do not choose a partition, such as /dev/sdb1.


So, let's see if I got this correctly. Say that I install Windows and then I want GrUB to replace the Windows Bootloader, so that I get to choose where to boot, whenever I power on my machine. To do that, I must install Linux Mint 14 under /dev/sda1 and GrUB under /dev/sda. :?:

Btw, what you describe on the quoted text above must have happened to me the first time I installed Linux Mint 13. The GRuB must have gotten on /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc thus not appearing and I had to press F12 and either choose "linuxmint" OR "Windows Boot Manager" in order to boot into the correct OS. But that wasn't very practical for me and that's why now I am upgrading to 14 and trying to put things correctly. Thas is also, the reason why I am asking if I should disconnect the other drives. I don't recall the installation proceedure asking me where to put GrUB, I'm pretty sure it asked my only for the OS itself... :?
I'm under the impression that the installer took the initiative to decide on it's own! :P

Another thing I want to ask is this. Do I need to create separate partitions for mount points besides the one specified with this symbol "\"? I've also seen this around several forums.

Thank you for your prompt answer! Sorry for my mediocre English!
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Re: LinuxMint 14 - first time installation

Postby catweazel on Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:31 am

mr_element wrote:So, let's see if I got this correctly. Say that I install Windows and then I want GrUB to replace the Windows Bootloader, so that I get to choose where to boot, whenever I power on my machine. To do that, I must install Linux Mint 14 under /dev/sda1 and GrUB under /dev/sda. :?:


That's a different story. First, you don't need to install Mint to sda1. It can be sda2, 3... but if you want them to both visible in GruB at boot time then you will need to install GruB to the same drive where Windwoes was installed. In this instance it may be better to boot Mint from DVD or pen drive and create the NTFS partition ready for Windwoes. If you don't do this then Windwoes will grab 100Mb at the start of the disk; this 100MB of space is the most usual culprit with multiboot problems using different OSen. However, in doing this you will have to make sure that the NTFS partition starts on a 2048 sector boundary. You will see the starting sector value when you create the partition. Failure to do this will clag NTFS and make it unbearbly slow.

Get more information here: http://gparted.sourceforge.net/help.php

Btw, what you describe on the quoted text above must have happened to me the first time I installed Linux Mint 13. The GRuB must have gotten on /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc thus not appearing and I had to press F12 and either choose "linuxmint" OR "Windows Boot Manager" in order to boot into the correct OS. But that wasn't very practical for me and that's why now I am upgrading to 14 and trying to put things correctly.


Ok, yes. That would do it.

I'm under the impression that the installer took the initiative to decide on it's own! :P


It's good at that.

Another thing I want to ask is this. Do I need to create separate partitions for mount points besides the one specified with this symbol "\"? I've also seen this around several forums.


You only need root "/", however you will need swap space if you plan to use hibernation. But again, the installer should look after this for you. The trick is to prevent Windwoes creating its customary 100MB boot and crash partition, and forcing it to fallback to the way it was done in XP - bootlader in the MBR.

You may also find these helpful:
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=122276#p671453
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=122440

Thank you for your prompt answer! Sorry for my mediocre English!

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Re: LinuxMint 14 - first time installation

Postby mr_element on Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:52 pm



Yep those were very helpfull indeed. I'm ready to start installing and I hope I do things right this time!
One quick tip though. I don't know if the screenshot helps , but if it does , in a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worse) how crappy are things right now on my main drive?

screenshot.png
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