Considerations before you install

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby RestlessSoul on Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:10 pm

Hello all; Some nooby questions I'd appreciate advice on =)

I would like to install Mint alongside windows 7. I have gparted, and I was thinking of partitioning my hard drive like so;

sda1 --------- NTFS (Windows 7 Install)
sda2 --------- NTFS (Windows 7 Disk Image)
sda3 --------- Linux Mint
sda4 --------- DATA PARTITION

How big should the Mint partition be to allow for software installation and upgrades? And where should the Swap partition go?

The idea being, I use the data partition to store files apart from the OS's, and available to both. Could I Separate the home directory to sda4 and have it available to Mint AND Windows 7?

A better overall question, Do I have the right idea for formatting my hard drive, or do I have it completely backasswards?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby T J Tulley on Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:36 pm

My question too - I searched as advised in "Before you post, read this". I am expecting delivery of a new laptop with Windows 7 64-bit in a 500 GiB hard drive and 4 GiB RAM.

I shall have to use the partitoner in the Install program unless it can be done with Windows Disc Manager - presumably that's still there?

Is Mint-8 Standard edition compatible with 64-bit Win-7?

I assume that a newly-installed Win-7 will all be sitting in the first part of the drive, and not disturbed by chopping off most of the drive into new partitions? I gather that if I first make a System Rescue Disk the system can in fact be restored?

The basic question is, how much space does Win-7 and any Windows-specific software require? I was thinking of 100 GiB but will 50 be enough if my data is in another one or more partitions?

I expect to create sda2 as an extended partition, with 4 logical drives sda5, 6, 7 and 8 for data (50 GiB), / (10 GiB), swap (10 GiB), and home (30 GiB).

That will leave 300 or 350 GiB free space for subsequent versions of LinuxMint or for expansion. Backups will have to go to an external drive or via a network to my PC - experimentation ahead!

I shall be grateful for comments and suggestions, especially about space required for Windows and associated software.
Yours hopefully -

Theo Tulley.
Using a PC with 2GB RAM, 3 hdds and a 1.7 GHz Celeron cpu.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby JimQ on Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:46 pm

I' new to Linux and have been reading the forums and hopefully I understand what I read but no guarantee. To prepare myself before I do my final install of Linux Mint 8, 64 bit. I’ve come up with the following:

Hardware: i7 cpu, 12 GB ram, sda = 750GB hard drive, sdb = 750GB hard drive, sdc = 320GB hard drive, sdd = 320GB hard drive.

Thinking about using the 320GB drives in another machine unless someone has better ideas.

I assume that if I backup /home I will always have a copy of my data.

I plan on running VirtualBox to install Windows 7 and or XP to run some programs until I can completely wean myself away from Windows. This would also allow me to try different distros too.

I do video editing and plan on setting up a web server on this box with apache, php & mySql for offline web development. Also plan on doing some programming.

The swap are for partitions are for hibernation/s suspend to disk if ever needed.

After reading the information on partitions from the forums I came up with the following scheme for partitioning my disks. Any insight from the techno geeks is welcome.



Mount Point Disk Size Type Partition
/boot sda1 1gb ext3 primary
/ sda2 20gb ext3 primary
sda3 extended
/usr sda5 10gb ext3 logical
/opt sda6 5gb ext3 logical
/svr sda7 20gb ext3 logical
/var sda8 20gb ext3 logical
swap sda9 7gb swap logical

swap sdb1 7gb swap primary
/home sdb2 500gb ext3 primary


I also plan on moving my family to LM8, most computers will have 1 to 3 users, and here’s how I plan to partition their hard drive. I plan on remotely administrating them.

Mount Point Disk Size Type Partition
/ sda1 20gb ext3 primary
swap sda2 2x memory swap primary
sda3 extended
/tmp sda5 10gb ext3 logical
/var sda6 10gb ext3 logical
/home sda7 most of ext3 logical
what’s left


Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim
Linux Mint 13 x64
Motherboard: Asus P6T
CPU: Intel i7 920 2.66Ghz
Memory: OCZ 12.0GB DDR3-1600
Video: EVGA 9600GT 512MB
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby breaker on Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:57 pm

6) Journaled files systems also represent more overhead to the kernel and take more space on the hard drive for the file system structure itself. There is no advantage to using a journaled file system on a partition that will rarely be written to. /boot is a good example of this. It is almost never written to, so if you use a separate /boot partition, it should be ext2 and not ext3.


Fred, this is a great post, I wish I had found it earlier. One question, what about the new grub2, and the fact that if you are playing around with menu entries and doing the update-grub the /boot/grub dir will have a lot of usage, or is it still minimal? Without googling... I guess you are saying the cpu overhead and disk space between ext2 and ext3 is fairly significant?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby T J Tulley on Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:03 pm

Please may I join in?

I'm interested to read that you now recommend a separate data partition: - I've alway done this; it is essentially the My Documents folder of my original Windows system.

Now I've just installed Helena on a new laptop with Windows-7 and I can't paste data into that folder: I've posted a message about this in the Installation and Boot forum, and am hoping for a reply.

Yours sincerely,

Theo Tulley.
[System details given in other post - my profile signature gives my PC details and is inapplicable].
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby uberspeed on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:54 am

If I may...
I jump in and out of the linux world playing with distros, read up, install, lose interest. Last I did was Ubuntu 9.04 then upgraded in place to 9.10
I have dual boot with WinXP. 4GB of RAM and a 300GB drive on a Dell D630
When I first installed I did:
60GB WinXP ntfs
20GB ext3 /
6GB swap
215GB ext3 /home
In that home I kept all my files for both XP and Ubuntu, I don't want to lose this data obviously.
Now that I want to move to Mint, I'll go in with pmagic/gparted whichever tool and I was looking for recommendations as to swap size first, I have read all sorts of recommendations so I'd like an up to date one please. Also, should I simply blow away the 20GB partition and install Mint there, will it pick up all my data on the /home? Since I won't reformat the /home I figure my data will stay intact but I want to make sure Mint uses (absorbs/takes over/inherits?) the current /home with no disruptions. I also read I should make the swap on the end of the drive, perhaps when I go back in to repartition I'll delete the current and place it at the end to follow good etiquette.
Any and all feedback appreciated.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Silent Warrior on Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:08 am

You know your system best, of course, but I haven't had any issue with using only 1 or 2 Gb swap (on systems with 3 Gb RAM) - and Mint seems to fit in less than 18 Gb, but 20 wouldn't hurt in the slightest.
As for your /home-concerns - as long as you set the mountpoint correctly, it should show up just fine. I haven't done it any other way since 2006, so my memory is a bit dodgy on that score. :)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby uberspeed on Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:04 pm

Silent Warrior wrote:You know your system best, of course, but I haven't had any issue with using only 1 or 2 Gb swap (on systems with 3 Gb RAM) - and Mint seems to fit in less than 18 Gb, but 20 wouldn't hurt in the slightest.
As for your /home-concerns - as long as you set the mountpoint correctly, it should show up just fine. I haven't done it any other way since 2006, so my memory is a bit dodgy on that score. :)


Thanks. I went with 4GB swap and shrunk root to 15GB. Following suggestion of running system monitor to see.
I couldn't wait so I pulled the trigger and hoped for the best, figuring my reading way back when would serve me well. Home was perfect, only thing I had to do was reinstall ext driver for windows oddly.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby hardhatk-att on Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:11 am

Well, I installed Helena mint and logged in and farted around (didn't change anything) with it, logged out to log into windows to look up how to set to my network and when I went to log back into Helena I get an install error that reads "the configuration for the gnome power management have not been installed correctly" and now I can't get past the login screen. This is my first experience with Linux so go easy on me!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Dax on Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:49 am

Hi, great topic for newbies, thanks a lot ! :D

I became a happy new Linux Mint 8 "Helena" KDE CE 32-bit user just a few days ago and came across this topic, so I got doubtful about my current system and will appreciate your input.

Previously I had openSUSE on my system (for almost a year, since I finally became "Microsoft-Free" ;) ). Both 32-bit and 64-bit worked well enough for me but in the end I kept the 32-bit version due to a better and mature support (besides, as I only have 3 GB RAM, I thought that a 64-bit didn't made a lot of sense).
Since openSUSE's partition manager is very smart and powerful (according to different sources) I was thinking to keep the default partition scheme suggested by this tool (at that time) and use it now for Mint too.

Current partition scheme (250 GB HDD):

/dev/sda1 - 200 MB EFI boot
/dev/sda2 - 2 GB swap
/dev/sda3 - 20 GB / as (ext4 "ordered")
/dev/sda4 - 180 GB /home as (ext4 "ordered")
/dev/sda5 - 30 GB hfs+

All partitions are "primary" as I use a GUID Partition Table (GPT).

Mostly I use this system (XPS laptop with a 9 cells battery) for very simple everyday stuffs (none critical) and I always keep a backup for all my personal files on a couple 320 GB external HDDs.
Also, as a 2010 goal, I want to learn and become proficient on Blender 2.x (open source 3D content creation) and Drupal 6.x (open source content management platform)... just tutorials and simple things for now.

So...

After reviewing this topic, looks like my swap partition should be a 1 GB tops (or 768 MB as I also have a 256 MB nVidia chip set for video ? ).

If I manage to upgrade to a 4 GB RAM, should I better change to a PAE (36-bit) or a 64-bit Kernel maybe ? If so, what swap size would you recommend ?

Is it aright to keep “/” and “/home” as “ext4” and “ordered” both ?

For better speed and reliability Fred recommended a 10 to 12 GB for “/” on Mint 7 (under ext3). Would that still abide for Mint 8 and ext4 or do I keep my default 20 GB for it? (FYI: I'm not really a software junkie anyway).


Thank you.

Dax

Edit: Hmm... perhaps those are just too many questions and I should open a new topic for my own?
Edit2: moved to a topic of its own
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Anthorn on Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:58 am

Excellent for the Linux literate but the average Windows or Mac user will get lost at the gparted bit in 1) and will be running for the Microsoft or Apple hills! All they want to do is install it and it works. That's where Mint scores over other distros. I'm not too sure about the bit about putting the install at the top of the disk: That's what Windows does and it leaves no room for amended or extra files and they go somewhere else and that's the reason for defragging. But I'll have to investigate that bit further.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby superstargoddess on Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:29 am

Using this "guide but not a guide" as we speak. Been tinkering with Ubuntu/Linux for around a week and have tried a few different versions. Doing it up right this time and using your awesome "guide but not a guide" on partitions. :) Was just using the KDE version of Mint, but decided to go with the more userfriendly main edition since I am still a newbie and break stuff easily!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby iferdjani on Wed Mar 31, 2010 4:01 am

wait, so i've just read this thread (wish i had read it before, man i'm so impatient...). my swap is 6 gig (because my ram is 3 and i read it had to be 2x but now i know it does not have to). is this bad or just not that useful?

also if i change my linux mint lxde partition to the left, will it be considerable faster? just wondering :?
quadruple boot : WIndows 7, OS X Snow Leopard, Ubuntu 9.10 netbook remix, LInux Mint 8 LXDE RC1 !! why? because I can..
(honestly, my fav is the LXDE one) :)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby vincent on Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:37 pm

Having a huge swap isn't bad; it won't harm your system, but it is however a waste of hard drive space. It doesn't matter all that much for people with a lot of hard drive space though, but for people with older computers and much smaller hard drives, it's not a very optimal use of the limited space they have.

Also, while yes, a partition placed to the left would be faster in the sense that it's quicker for your hard drive to access, I personally don't think there's all that much of a difference. It might do more harm than good, seeing as you have 4 OS'es and a single slip with GParted could mean a long re-install process for you...if you want more food for thought though, check out this thread: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=44267
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby vincent on Sat May 08, 2010 10:23 pm

wsseet wrote:i'm sure there are more i can't see any major advantages here - but I am new to Linux
so any comments and advice welcome please


I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand what you are asking about. Would you mind kindly rephrasing your question?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby hinto on Fri May 21, 2010 9:06 am

vincent wrote:Having a huge swap isn't bad; it won't harm your system, but it is however a waste of hard drive space. It doesn't matter all that much for people with a lot of hard drive space though, but for people with older computers and much smaller hard drives, it's not a very optimal use of the limited space they have.


If you plan on running vm's (vmware, virtualbox, etc) you do want to have a larger swap than you would if you didn't OW, you start to thrash.
For instance, I have 8 gigs of real ram, I normally would configure about a 2gig swap. Since I'm running 2 vm's simultaneously on it (one configured for 2 gigs, the other, 4 gigs) I create an 8 gig swap.
(I also create dedicated vmdk files for swap or pagefile.sys)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby verian_DC on Sat May 22, 2010 9:14 am

Hello new world I've found. I am in the newbie section for reason. I just install mint 9 isadora on to a old PC that I had laying around. After reading a few of the first post I can assume I didn't not install correctly.

GT5408
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz
Chipset Intel 945G
Installed Memory 1 GB (DDR2 SDRAM) upgraded to 4 GB
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Home (no more wiped completely single boot mint only)
HDD Size 320 GB

I didn't do anything but slap in the disk and install, works great I love it so far. My question is due do that fact that I'm not dual booting should I have still created a partition with just enough space for the OS? Or am I fine just as I am.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby shane on Mon May 24, 2010 6:49 pm

verian_DC wrote:Hello new world I've found. I am in the newbie section for reason. I just install mint 9 isadora on to a old PC that I had laying around. After reading a few of the first post I can assume I didn't not install correctly.

GT5408
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz
Chipset Intel 945G
Installed Memory 1 GB (DDR2 SDRAM) upgraded to 4 GB
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Home (no more wiped completely single boot mint only)
HDD Size 320 GB

I didn't do anything but slap in the disk and install, works great I love it so far. My question is due do that fact that I'm not dual booting should I have still created a partition with just enough space for the OS? Or am I fine just as I am.

Thanks in advance.


There is nothing wrong with using the default partition scheme (one huge root partition and swap). This is the easiest way. If you want to further optimize and tweak your system, you can go for the other more complex schemes.

The most common, which you may know by now, is using a separate partition for /home. This is just so that you do not lose your personal data and settings when you reinstall since you have to format the root partition (/) when you install. It's like having Windows installed on C:\ and your files on D:\.

For now, since you are a newbie, I would suggest you keep it as it is and learn your way around Linux... and the next time you want to install, backup all your data and format your hard disk with a separate /home partition. By the time you will want to get more complex than that, you will know what you're doing or at least know where to learn about it :)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby rollup on Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:53 pm

Great thread!
I was losing hope of this forum being any use to me.
I aint very Linux Savvy but ...this thread has just upped the anti for me.
I've been on Linux about two years now and only use my puter for email forum fights youtube that kind of stuff so don't need lots of knowledge but ...I'm having a few probs and having found this thread I'm going to enjoy reinstalling my helena ...thankyou Fred.
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Partitions usage

Postby Plymouth on Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:39 am

As I've been gradually adding more apps, the /usr partition has been filling up, to the point where each time I log on, the system tells me how little space is left on /usr, and I should move some files to other partitions.

How does the installer 'know' where to initially place any newly installed software?

Is there a 'best' partition for particular apps - or more to the point, 'definite 'no-no' partitions' for speciifc apps?
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