First Time Linux Install Q

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First Time Linux Install Q

Postby mrogovin on Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:19 pm

Hi. Here is my first newbie question. I have a 160GB hard drave with windows xp. Single partition NTFS. All my files take less than 50 GB. I wanted to create a dual boot system, and see how I like linux. If I like it, I would get rid of windows and expand the linux partition, but I want to keep 50-60 GB for Windows now. During install, I am offered the option of creating a new linux partition, but to do so deletes existing partitions. I do not want to lose what I have. Is there a way of shrinking the existing partition and keeping its data? The disk was defragged.Thanks
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby Jaws on Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:15 pm

Is there a way of shrinking the existing partition and keeping its data? The disk was defragged.


Shrink the C: partition when in Windows. You shouldn't lose data but it's best to have backups. Install Linux in the remaining space by creating ext4 partitions. There's plenty of info here on the forum and searching the 'net for partitioning schemes.
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby mrogovin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:13 pm

Thanks. Next question: I have a system that has 1GB RAM, unallocated space on the now partitioned drive of about 70GB. The installation manual says reserve 1.5x RAM for a swap partition, so that is easy, 1500MB. It also says 6GB minimum, but how musch should I allocate to to root (/) and how much to /home? Note that most data (video, word processing files) will be on a network drive to make sharing easy. I'd appreciate any suggestions on the best way to partition the disk between the three required partitions (or are there others?)
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby mrogovin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:45 pm

Additional info: there would be 4 users, but they do not need separate partitions from my standpoint
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby TheDynamicHamza21 on Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:59 pm

mrogovin wrote:Thanks. Next question: I have a system that has 1GB RAM, unallocated space on the now partitioned drive of about 70GB. The installation manual says reserve 1.5x RAM for a swap partition, so that is easy, 1500MB. It also says 6GB minimum, but how musch should I allocate to to root (/) and how much to /home? Note that most data (video, word processing files) will be on a network drive to make sharing easy. I'd appreciate any suggestions on the best way to partition the disk between the three required partitions (or are there others?)



I suppose you mean 6GB for Mint Install. My experience that unless you install huge amount applications (over 50 [I installed over 20 and my 14GB / partition only is only using 5GB]) you will only need 10 - 15GB. Since you'll have four users you could err on the side of caution and use 20GB.

I can't help with partition schemes since I'm the only user of my system and have only partitioned have /,/home/swap. However I would advise using virtualbox in windows or install mint for limited time to use virtualbox in Linux, to test drive how the different partition schemes may work.
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby mrogovin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:23 pm

Thanks. My remaining question is what is /home for and why does it need a separate partition? That was not clear in any of the docs I read.
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby xenopeek on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:48 pm

/home is the folder where each user's home folder is located, where all your personal files are stored. Such as your documents, music and pictures, but also your settings and preferences for all the programs you use. It is normally, except for /tmp which is for temporary files, the only place where a user has permissions to write or modify files.

The Linux Mint installer will automatically create a swap partition for you, and a / partition for everything else. You do not need a separate /home partition, or do manual partitioning, unless you want to. Some users have a separate /home partition so when they later install a newer version of Linux Mint, they can do so while keeping all their files on /home intact. However, it happens that the preferences and settings files that are also then on /home can cause problems because those might not be compatible with the newer versions of applications you will be using. On the plus side, if the preferences and settings files are not causing any problems, you won't have to configure your applications again later.
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby homerscousin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:48 pm

I did create separate boot, root and home partitions when I started using Mint 13 Cinnamon last year on a new hdd. Did a clean install (format boot and root and leave home intact) of Mint 13 KDE a few months later. Did a clean install of Mint 14 KDE last month. This hasn't been a problem for me. Just seems easier to keep my home partition intact than to try and back up everything I don't want lost. Plus, I just don't have a backup drive right now.
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby xenopeek on Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:54 am

Okay, so some users do get a false sense of security with a separate home partition. You still need to make regular backups of your important personal files, as hard disks can and do fail unexpectedly.
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Re: First Time Linux Install Q

Postby mrogovin on Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:56 am

thanks to all!
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