Considerations before you install

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby andywest on Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:15 am

Is there an idiots guide to what you lot are talking about? I'm about to embark on building/buying a PC just for LM and i would have just installed Mint on a fresh 250+gig HDD. From what i understand you set up partitions from the window that pops up during the install process. If thats true then could someone please do a step by step guide in the correct procedure in setting up partitions and swap partitions for us newbies or point us in the right direction.

I would like to get the install right 1st time if poss.

Many thanks in advance.

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:03 am

Andy,

This doesn't go exactly to your question but look at the thread below. It may be helpful to you.

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=22540

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby wildflower on Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:17 am

Hi,

Is 10-12GB for /root enough when i'm considering myself to install Photoshop? (And wine, of course)

I'm afraid of not having enough space for /root :roll:
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby rivenought on Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:26 am

I usually only have 10 GB designated for /root. Of course, I have a huge /home for storing data and goodies. So, as long as you have a separate /home, you should be fine with your plans for /root. Now, if you plan on tossing everything into that one 10-12 GB partition, then I would think it would be too small.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby billconner on Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:23 am

Partitioning the most important step in the installation. Get it right the first time and save yourself some headaches.

See this:http://billconner.com/techie/install.html

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby markfiend on Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:50 am

OK so when I installed, I let the installer do it's "guided - use entire disk" thing... before reading this thread.

Is there any way to reorganise to a sensible partition scheme without scrapping the install and starting again?

No big deal if not; after all, I only installed yesterday :lol:
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby totodigrimey on Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:02 pm

Great advice.

I was wondering if you could suggest how I partition my drive before an install?

I only have one hard drive and I was planning to dual boot off it - could this be an issue the fact I intend to put Linux on the same hard drive?

My hd is 596gig ::
my C drive partition is Vista and takes up 291gig
my D drive partition is empty and has 295gig free
I also have 10gig for an EISA

I was thinking of maybe committing 120gig to Linux but Im open to suggestions and also how to set up the install.

I have 3gig of Ram so Im guessing 2 for the swap?

Cheers for any reply.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Aging Technogeek on Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:39 pm

Dual booting on one hard drive with Windows installed first is generally the easiest way. Just install Mint on your D partition and it will automatically find your Windows and set up the Grub bootloader to dual boot.

120 Gb is way more than you need for a Linux installation. I generally use about 8-10 Gb for /(root) , 5 Gb for /home (I don't save a lot of stuff) . and a minimal swap (I have more ram than I can use so I set swap to 256 Mb). (On a laptop you want swap to be equal to or more than ram so the system can hibernate. This is not a major consideration on a desktop) You know your needs better than anyone else so set up what you think you will require.

I recommend you do a manual partition for the reasons set out earlier in this thread.

Have fun and remember you can alwys open a hew thread if you have problems. " The only stupid question is the one you don't ask."
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby totodigrimey on Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:45 pm

Thanks Aging Technogeek, thats helped me greatly and yeah its a desktop so Ill do like you for the swap then or maybe minimum a gig!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby markfiend on Thu Apr 16, 2009 5:12 pm

markfiend wrote:Is there any way to reorganise to a sensible partition scheme without scrapping the install and starting again?

'sOK sussed it. Run gparted off the live CD...
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Descendant X on Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:11 pm

Fred, I would just like to thank you for this invaluable thread. I've got a great multiple HD setup now thanks the advice of you and the others who have posted in it.

I really wish I had looked at it before I installed Mint the first time. It would have saved me a few headaches.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:00 am

Descendant X,

I am glad you found it useful, and good luck on your journey into Linux. Remember, as someone else said above, the only dumb question is the one not asked. :-)

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby T J Tulley on Tue Apr 21, 2009 1:05 pm

Thanks again for this - I said so last year!

My Mint /home/username partition contains only stuff which goes there automatically, related to software which I use, including .mozilla (which means Firefox), .mozilla-thunderbird, .tomboy and .tomboy.log. These 4 I back up, and if a new install or upgrade is required, I copy them into the new /home/username partition.

Recently I have discovered that a genealogical program which I use a lot, Gramps, also locates its working data in subfolders there, and there is clearly potential for others such as Gimp and Open Office to do the same, although files I generate are always saved elsewhere, quite apart from any backups. Maybe these too should be routinely backed up.

Nevertheless, this partition shows only 1.9 of 29 GB used - suggesting that for this pattern of use a much smaller partition will suffice. This will be reflected in the total space required for the system. Fred's initial advice about speed applies.

OTOH, I have spotted that if Hibernate is selected for closing down, a swap partition is used to store the image of the system. This can be seen from the log of restoration which appears on the screen during re-opening. It will demand plenty of space. Presumably swap space can be distributed and still used in this way?

A particularly interesting point is Fred's advice that a small swap partition adjacent to / is beneficial. Thanks again!
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 plevans on Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:09 am

I have downloaded Linux Mint 6 Main Edition and burned it to a cd. Before installing I want to get the partitioning right and have found this thread so helpful. I'd definitely like to keep my data separate from / but being a newbie, I'm confused by all the references to separate partitions for /boot, /home, /usr, /opt, /var and hope perhaps I can get some advice here.

My pc is used mainly for email, surfing the internet, writing code for and maintaining 2 websites, selling products from my website and on eBay, keeping personal and business financial records (currently w/MS Money), downloading, editing and storing photos from my digital camera and using MS Office (mainly Word and Excel). I may have a need for running some Vista programs in Linux if I'm not able to find suitable Linux alternatives.

I have the following on my system:

Disk 0: 298 GB (Windows Vista installed here)
Disk 1: 75 GB NTFS (currently used for my Vista backups)
Disk 2: 56 GB empty NTFS
Disk 3: 56 GB NTFS (this is an external USB drive currently used for my Vista data backups)

Disk 0 is partitioned as follows:

64 GB primary NTFS (Vista)
98 GB unallocated
98 GB free space
29 GB logical NTFS (documents, photos)
9 GB primary NTFS (pc came with this partition, contains Vista Factory Recovery)

From what I've gleaned from this thread I think I need the following:

swap ----Formatted as swap -----? GB
/ ----------Formatted as ext3 ------? GB
/home ----------Formatted as ext3 ------? GB
Data Partition1 (Documents, Mail) ----Formatted as ext3 ----- 2 Gig
Data Partition2 (Media) ----Formatted as ext3 ----- 10 Gig
maybe an additional Data Partition

I guess I have the following questions:

1) How much space should be allocated for the swap partition (I have 1.5 GB RAM)?
2) I'd like to split the swap partition up between all drives as Fred recommends in the first post of the thread. How do I go about doing this?
3) How much space should be allocated for / and /home?
4) Do I need separate partitions for /boot, /usr, /opt, /var, or others?
5) Do I need a separate partition for virtual/shared files (for Vista progs run in Linux)?
6) Since I have disk 2 empty would I get better performance having Linux and Windows on separate drives or from a dual-boot system on disk 0?

Thanks so much for this forum.

Patti
A Linux newbie and hopefully soon-to-be-former Windows user
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Acid_1 on Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:11 am

Hmm. Here's a good start. If you have 2GB or less of ram add a swapdisk to make it 4 (So if you have 1.5GB of ram make a 2.5GB swapdisk), and if you have 3 or 4GB make a 512-768Mb swapdisk. Then all you're going to need is a maximum of 8GB for /. I have yet to pass 6.5 and I am an installation junky. Lastly, format the rest of your free space and stick it in /home. This way you don't have to worry about wasted space. Good luck!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby shane on Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:48 am

* My first consideration would be... how confident are you in playing around with your partitions... Data loss is always a possibility and we'd like if that wasn't associated with installing Mint :D

* What kind of hard disks do you have? There are some extra considerations to make with a combination of drives... i.e. SATA, PATA, IDE... If they are all IDE, my experience has been very good. However, if you have the other 2 types, I strongly recommend you read this first: http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php ... annot_boot

* Is this your first Linux install? If it is, I would suggest you keep it as simple as possible... to avoid possible sources of problems. You can always spice it up later... in a future installation or without reinstalling if you know how. If you have the different drive types as mentioned above, I would suggest installing using mint4win... at least until you are comfortable enough with Linux to step up the game and handle possible problems with the different drive types.

Now, your questions...

1) as Fred said... not more than 2x your RAM and the total should not me more than 4GB... So in this case, your Swap should not exceed 2.5GB. 1.5GB is already sufficient for most tasks... but if you are going to be running memory intensive apps like image or video editing, then go closer to 2.5GB... otherwise, anything above 512MB should be enough.

2) All you have to do is create swap partitions on all your drives... then add a few lines to /etc/fstab.

3) the size of /home really depends on how much you want to put in it... You should have at least a few GBs to have space for user settings n stuff. For /, 10GB should be enough even with all kinds of junk installed. As for data partitions, use the partitions you use for Vista... that way you can access them from Vista as well.

4) I would suggest not creating separate partitions for /boot, etc right now... if this is your first install... keep it simple for now.

5) If you run Windows programs in Linux, you will be using Wine... which will create it's own 'C drive' (which is just a folder) in your home folder. Try finding alternative Linux apps instead... they will run much better.

6) Only one OS will be used at a time... so I don't see any difference in performance between the two set ups.

Again... if this is your first installation, try out mint4win. You can allocate as much space as you want to Mint... At least until you are comfortable enough with Linux to take it further... and be able to fix a failure to boot scenario if it happens... since you will have to fix it in Linux.

Happy Minting!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Fred on Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:28 am

plevans,

Due to your particular setup, your install has the potential to become quite complicated, for a first time install. Shane gave you some good advice. Keep it as simple as you can this time out. It matters not which internal drive you install to, as he said. Pick one of the existing blocks of unused space and format 1 swap of about 2 Gig, / of about 12 Gig, and /home of about 10 Gig. As Shane said, use your current NTFS data partitions to share/store data.

Leave optimizing your overall system as a project to be undertaken after you get a bit more Linux experience. As Shane said, we don't want to run you off by encouraging you to bite off more than you can chew the first time out. :-)

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby plevans on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:22 pm

OK, I think I’ll keep it simple for now and install Mint on Disk 0 to dual-boot with Vista. As to shane’s suggestion re. mint4win: do you think it is necessary if I’m installing everything on one disk?

I’d like to set up my partions so as not to have to reinstall programs should I need to reinstall my os. Would this layout accomplish that?

swap ----Formatted as swap -----2GB
/ ----------Formatted as ext3 ------12GB
/home ----------Formatted as ext3 ------10GB
Current NTFS data partition for shared/stored data

Patti
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Acid_1 on Fri May 01, 2009 1:13 am

Nope. Applications are kept in /bin /usr and possibly elsewhere, as well as system information regarding them. The best you can do is make a disk clone.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby shane on Fri May 01, 2009 5:36 am

mint4win does not change your partitions at all... What it does is create a virtual hard drive on one of your windows partitions. You can allocate however much space you want (as long as you have that much free space) to this virtual drive. It will not install grub, but instead it will use the Windows boot loader. And this was my main reason for suggesting mint4win. Because if Grub does not play well with your configuration of hard drives, you will not be able to boot your machine. This is why I also asked about what type of hard drives you have... and gave you that link to read. It contains what you will have to do in order to reconfigure Grub... using the Live CD.

Also with mint4win, Mint will appear as an installed application in Windows Add/Remove Programs. And you will be able to uninstall it easily from there should you later want to go for a full install. Disadvantages of mint4win are slightly lower performance because it is using a virtual hard drive on a Windows partition. There are some other minor issues that can be caused by having a mint4win installation. Otherwise, it is perfect for safely testing and learning Linux. Like I said, if you then face problems with Grub in a full install, you will at least be familiar enough with Linux to fix it. It is quite unnerving for new users to have neither Windows nor Mint booting in what was a working Windows machine... and then having to fix it using Linux with which they have no experience... I think you get my point... Just trying to avoid a bad first experience with Mint.

To install with mint4win, simply pop in the Mint CD while Windows is running and the installer should autorun.

Applications are installed in the system files of the installation... mostly /usr/ Hence having a separate /home only preserves your own files and settings during a reinstallation. I would recommend reinstalling applications after a reinstall as this will give you a cleaner system. And if you have adequate bandwidth this should be the easiest way to go about it. If you need to save on bandwidth, you can use Apt0nCD to create a repository of applications you have installed on a CD/DVD. Then, after reinstalling just add the CD/DVD as a repository and install from there. Copying over /usr/ from an old installation will be a messy affair... as some files are stored in other locations and many packages have scripts that make certain changes to the system. It is a whole lot easier to just install using the packages (from the internet or from your AptOnCD repository). This is why they are there in the first place... so it would be unwise not to use them.

Cheers.
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