Considerations before you install

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby gychang on Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:40 pm

shane wrote:What an interesting thread!

Fred, you said in one of the posts that one could leave some space unallocated and then add it to another partition when the need arises... am i right?

how do we do this?

for explanation's sake... lets say we have a hardisk partitioned like so

sda1 - swap - 1GB
sda2 - / - 8GB
sda3 - / 20GB
sda4 - unallocated - 10GB

now if / is full and we need more space how can we add the unallocated space to / ? or only part of it...?


exact question I had...

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:53 pm

gychang and Shane,

Usually you would not be trying to increase the size of the root partition, if your data stores are isolated either in a separate /home partition or in one or more data partitions. Data is the thing that is hard to forecast, which grows and grows and grows. Your program complement can be reasonably forecast and planned for when laying out the partitioning in the beginning. So this would be a rare need.

Having said that, if you need to do what your example demonstrates I would suggest you use the latest stable version of the Gparted live cd iso partitioning program. We need to make a couple more assumptions here to make it complete. We will assume the first 3 partitions are primary partitions with the 10 Gig. being unallocated.

sda1 - swap - 1GB
sda2 - / - 8GB
sda3 - / 20GB
unallocated - 10GB

With Gparted you can shrink or grow partitions. Let's say you wished to add 5 Gig to the root partition. You would add 5 Gig of the unallocated space to sda3. You would then shrink sda3 by 5 Gig. putting the new unallocated space between sda2 and sda3. You would then grow sda2 by the 5 Gig of unallocated space now located between sda2 and sda3. Viola, your root partition is now 5 Gig. larger than when you started.

Please note that if you are using UUIDs, they will have changed on sda2 and sda3, so they will have to be corrected in your /etc/fstab file. Also, don't expect to accomplish this task in 5 or 10 min. The time required to do this depends on how much data you have on sda3, the speed of the hard drive, and the amount of installed RAM.

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby piratesmack on Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:29 am

Fred:
Finally got around to reading this whole thing.

Great info, thanks!

Your second partition method with separate data partitions sounds like a good idea. I think I'm going to reinstall my OS and do something similar.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby fAnTA on Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:13 pm

This post looks informative but still doesn't really mean much to me :) can you go one level back? i.e. trying to explain it to your grandmother or something? not that I'm not PC savvy, I'm just not Linux savvy at all, I know more about Swahili than swap partitions :)

Yes my intention is to learn as much as I can so I know what I'm doing and the best methods etc, I have toyed with the idea of installing linux for a long while then I heard about Mint and being able to install initially via windows. Great idea! although I've hit an iceberg after the install process, I guess I'll post in a separate post :)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Tue Dec 23, 2008 5:19 pm

fAnTA,

Yes please post in a new thread. Go ahead and think of any questions you might have. The only stupid question is the one that isn't asked. :-)

I will do my best to try to enlighten you to the best of my ability.

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby dudo on Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:36 pm

Great reasonable article Fred!

The reinstall & upgrade hint will save my guts in the future :idea: . Other points are great of use too.

Thank you very much.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby srkelley on Thu Jan 01, 2009 12:52 pm

Thanks Fred, you've taught me a lot. Is it possible to make these partitions after a system has already been installed? I think separating the files and folders after install may make the system unuseable, I'm n9ot sure, but if it's possible to make up for my mistakes then I would love to.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:23 am

srkelley,

It is hard to say what can be done with your system at this point. If you are space constrained and you have lots of data, then depending on what you currently have it could get rather complicated. As a general observation it is usually better to wait until you need to do something to your system anyway, like an upgrade to a later version and/or changing or adding a hard drive, and then rebuild your system from scratch.

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby srkelley on Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:23 am

Wouldn't a new "/" partition need to be created for each distro, or is it somehow possible to have multiple distro's installed to one "/" partition?

I'm guessing no since os specific stuff is saved there and there would/could be conflicts right?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Husse on Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:59 am

is itsomehow possible to have multiple distro's installed to one "/" partition?

No!
That said I think scorp123 once stated it is possible, but not worth the while and needs great skill (way over my head :))
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby illus on Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:45 am

Fred wrote:
3) Swap partitions don't need to be any larger than 2X your system ram. And, the sum of system ram and swap shouldn't exceed 4 Gig. If it does, reduce the swap partition size to get back to 4 Gig. or less. If you have 4 Gig. of ram on a 32 bit system like Mint, make a very small swap partition anyway, as the kernel expects to have a swap partition available. Not having a swap partition slows the kernel down in certain situations. For this purpose, there is no need for the swap partition to be over 256 KB at most.



Amazing thread. Thank you to all the contributors for such an informative thread. I do have a question for Fred regarding his suggestions for 32 bit systems and swap space allocation: Does your above philosophy apply to 64 bit installations as well?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby dlkreations on Mon Jan 26, 2009 1:11 pm

illus wrote:Amazing thread. Thank you to all the contributors for such an informative thread. I do have a question for Fred regarding his suggestions for 32 bit systems and swap space allocation: Does your above philosophy apply to 64 bit installations as well?


I am running the x64 version of Felicia, and I followed this thread as well. So when I created my swap, I only used 256MB for it. I am running with 4GB of ram, and so far, I have had no hiccups with performance. I went as far as creating separate partitions for each of my Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Downloads, just for the sake of when Felicia x64 becomes final, I won't have to worry about re-doing everything.

Thanks as well for an amazing and informative thread!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby illus on Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:21 pm

Thanks for that dlk. So now I have set up my partitions and set up their mount points. I have another question:

When I installed x64 Felicia 6, by default...all of those directories that the partitions were mounted on (/usr, /var, /opt, /home/illus/documents, etc....) their permissions were set to root by default. Owner is set as root, folder access create and delete files, and group was set as root as well. Is this correct? Should I change all these permissions to my user so I don't have to access them as root all the time? My real concern is compromising security.

I have already gone and changed all the permissions to my user...but I just wanted to come here and make sure I did the right thing, or perhaps to see if I did the wrong thing by changing the permissions.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby dlkreations on Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:11 pm

illus wrote:Thanks for that dlk. So now I have set up my partitions and set up their mount points. I have another question:

When I installed x64 Felicia 6, by default...all of those directories that the partitions were mounted on (/usr, /var, /opt, /home/illus/documents, etc....) their permissions were set to root by default. Owner is set as root, folder access create and delete files, and group was set as root as well. Is this correct? Should I change all these permissions to my user so I don't have to access them as root all the time? My real concern is compromising security.

I have already gone and changed all the permissions to my user...but I just wanted to come here and make sure I did the right thing, or perhaps to see if I did the wrong thing by changing the permissions.

Thanks in advance.


I had to change the permissions on those partitions myself, but to be honest I don't know about the security part of it, as I am pretty much new to this myself. But if you set the permissions just for your user and you do not share the computer with anyone else, I am sure you will be fine, as the permissions will be available to your user only.

Maybe someone with more experience can answer this question better.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby darco on Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:21 pm

dlkreations wrote:
illus wrote:Amazing thread. Thank you to all the contributors for such an informative thread. I do have a question for Fred regarding his suggestions for 32 bit systems and swap space allocation: Does your above philosophy apply to 64 bit installations as well?


I am running the x64 version of Felicia, and I followed this thread as well. So when I created my swap, I only used 256MB for it. I am running with 4GB of ram, and so far, I have had no hiccups with performance. I went as far as creating separate partitions for each of my Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Downloads, just for the sake of when Felicia x64 becomes final, I won't have to worry about re-doing everything.

Thanks as well for an amazing and informative thread!


Since no one from the LM team replied to quote above on whether the swap amount pertains to the 64 bit system, I am going to follow dlkreations advice.
thanks
darco

p.s. I have 4gigs of memory
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Husse on Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:47 am

Since no one from the LM team replied

We have to know there is something to reply to :)
When the installed RAM is pretty large (I don't want to start an argument about the size :)) which is what should be the case if you use a 64-bit system, swap becomes more or less irrelevant
However I have read on more than one occasion that Linux wants to have a swap so a "pro forma" swap of say 256 MB should be ok
The code in the 32 and 64 bit versions is basically the same (apart from the obvious difference)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby darco on Fri Feb 06, 2009 2:40 am

I have 4gigs of mem running LM X64.....was wondering if this step is needed in tuning the swap file:

Swapping/Swappiness

Swappiness takes a value between 0 and 100 to change the balance between swapping applications and freeing cache. At 100, the kernel will always prefer to find inactive pages and swap them out; in other cases, whether a swapout occurs depends on how much application memory is in use and how poorly the cache is doing at finding and releasing inactive items.

The default swappiness is 60. A value of 0 gives something close to the old behavior where applications that wanted memory could shrink the cache to a tiny fraction of RAM. For laptops which would prefer to let their disk spin down, a value of 20 or less is recommended.

* First we have to gain access to your /etc/sysctl.conf file.

sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

* Just scroll to the bottom of the page and add the tag listed below. The number you want depends on how much ram you have and what you do with your system. Please read the about above this to make your decision. I have mine set to 0 on a dual core laptop with 1 gig of ram and have seen no issues and a good performance gain.

vm.swappiness=0

thxs, x64 rocks.....

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:14 am

When you are using a 64 bit system the amount of memory you need for a given workload will be aprox. 20 to 30% higher than with a 32 bit system. To use a 64 bit system when you have installed RAM of < 4 Gig. is probably counter productive. Of course that depends on your workload too. If you ever go to swap in a 64 bit system when you wouldn't on a 32 bit system, any performance gains you would have from a 64 bit system will be nullified. 4 Gig of RAM puts you on the dividing line so to speak. If your work load never goes to swap the 64 bit system will be faster.

As far as swap on a 64 bit system, I don't feel comfortable giving you a rule to go by. I have read a number of different, conflicting recommendations on this subject. I think the best thing to do is to keep the swappiness low and have a small swap file no more than 25% of your RAM. Your workload really starts to play a bigger role in determining the swap file size on a 64 bit system. For most desktop users I would be surprised if you would ever get into swap with 4 Gig or more of RAM. If you are running less than 4 Gig. of RAM you probably shouldn't be using a 64 bit system anyway.

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby srkelley on Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:19 am

Is there an option that can be activated during the install that will allow for the operating system to fully run from memory? My current machine has no hope in the world of ever doing that, but I hope to upgrade to a much more capable box later in the year. it'll have more than enough ram to do so.

Are there also special steps needed for programs to load fully in to memory or will that happen automatically?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:07 am

srkelley,

I don't know of a specific, practical way to make that happen. But having said that, Linux is much more intelligent about managing memory than Windows. The more memory you have installed, the more system files and programs will wind up in RAM.

EDIT: I would also suggest using a program called "preload." This really makes a difference in the loading speed of programs, if you have the memory to support it.

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