Partition Question

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Partition Question

Postby scottjge on Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:47 pm

I am still a newbie but have graduated from Windows school and am now all linux mint. I am getting ready for Mint 8 so I have been think about partitioning my hard drive the correct way when I install Mint 8.

I have a HP AMD 64 laptop with 256 gig hard drive and 4 gig of ram. When I change to Mint 8 I am going to format my drive and partition as follows;
swap ===== 256meg
/ ======= 12gig
/home ==== 20gig
rest of hard drive ==== ????

Ok this is my intended theme unless someone has a better solution. The thing that I am not sure of is; should the swap partition be the first partition on my drive sds1 , or should the / partition be first ? In other words, in what order should I partition my drive for the best efficiency and the least headaches? I am still new at this but still learning so I want to learn to thinks the correct way.

Any advice from anyone ?
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Re: Partition Question

Postby mick55 on Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:15 pm

Hi scotthge

You're going to get a lot of very different responses,
because every one has their own slant on how to partition
a hard drive.

That being said some things are universal.
If you want to use hibernate or resume, your swap partition
must be at least as large as the amount of RAM you have.
12GB for / seems about right to me.
Why only 20GB for home?
Do you intend installing other operating systems in the free space?
If not give it all to home.

A lot of people recommend putting the swap partition at the
beginning of the drive.A good idea back in the days of limited
RAM when it was continually being accessed.
With 4GB RAM it really shouldn't see much use so I would
put / at the front of the drive.

Or, you could just let the installer do it all
for you automatically. It will create and format
your partitions if you let it.

cheers
mick
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Re: Partition Question

Postby scottjge on Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:43 pm

Hi Mick,

Thanks for the reply. I have to intentions at this time to add anything else but if I ever do I thought having some extra space to play with might be nice. I don't really know why I think this way because I have nothing in mind. From what I have read, 20 gig should be enough for the /home partition, but I really don't care if it takes up the rest of the disk. I am just trying to plan ahead and I don't know why I would ever need a extra partition, it was just a thought. Would it make any difference on the efficiency of Mint if the /home partition was, say, 200 gig ?

I have plenty of ram for Mint. Right now Mint is only using 300meg of ram so I think I can put the swap partition at the end of the drive and put the / partition at the beginning of the drive.

So here is my plan unless you know of something better.

sda1 / =========== 12 gig
sda2 /home ======== rest of drive
sda3 swap ======== 300 meg

Thanks for your advise and insight.

Glenn
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Re: Partition Question

Postby mick55 on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:00 pm

Hi Glenn

Your plan looks fine but...
remember what i said about hibernate and resume/sleep.
If you are going to use those features you need at least 4GB
for your swap partition.

The good news is you can always grow your swap later if
you need to.Gparted on the live cd will do that for you.
The home partition is the key.With a separate home, re-installs
are a lot simpler.

cheers
mick
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Re: Partition Question

Postby Lantesh on Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:20 pm

Another idea you could try is a small /home of about 5gigs, and only use it for your settings, and not data. What you do is delete the typical data folders in /home such as "Pictures", "Music", and "Documents", and instead replace them with symbolic links pointing to identically named folders you keep off on another partition or even another drive all together. By doing this you are clear to format your /home partition the next time you install Mint, or any Linux for that matter, and not have to worry about your data at all.
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Re: Partition Question

Postby scottjge on Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:11 am

Ok, it looks like I am in the right ball park for partitioning my hard drive. Now I just have to wait for Mint 8 and then I will proceed as advised. Thanks for all the advice and pointers. I am armed with a little for information now for my journey into the world of Mint.

Thanks to all, I really appreciate the advise.

Glenn
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Re: Partition Question

Postby Katzedecimal on Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:42 pm

@Lantesh:

I'm thinking of doing something similar for Mint 8, since I'm thinking to try ext4 now that it's stablising a bit. I'm still very inexperienced at partitioning so not quite clear on a few things. What I would like is a separate data partition, as you (and others) suggest, separate from /. So, the things I don't fully understand are:

1) The default 'guided' installation mounts at / and makes /home part of /, not mounted as a separate partition. Are there advantages to mounting /home as a distinct partition from / or is that merely a matter of preference?

2) I understand that the / partition needs to be a primary partition and flagged as bootable. If I used a /home partition, would it be marked as primary as well, or extended? Would a data partition be primary as well? If /home was to be extended, would data be a logical partition within the extended partition? What's the most preferred way to go when going the simple route?

3) Where to mount a data partition and how to label it. Looking at the mountpoint choices available in Gparted, I see mainly /, /home, /usr, /var, /mnt, etc, without much room to customise. What's the best way to mount a data partition?

I did try making a data partition on my laptop's drive, and though it, uh, sort of works, it definitely isn't pretty :lol: So yeahhhhhh, a little help appreciated before I go screwing up my precious desktop machine :oops: Please talk slowly for the timid person, I'm not brave without hand-holding :lol:
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Re: Partition Question

Postby Lantesh on Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:10 pm

Katzedecimal wrote:1) The default 'guided' installation mounts at / and makes /home part of /, not mounted as a separate partition. Are there advantages to mounting /home as a distinct partition from / or is that merely a matter of preference?

Mounting /home on it's own partition keeps all your system settings seperate from your OS. This gives you better flexibility when it comes to upgrading to a new version of Mint, as you can choose to either format or not format /home at that time. If you don't format it then anything you leave on the /home partition will be the same in your new install. It's nice because you can pick and choose what you keep vs. what you get rid of.

Katzedecimal wrote:2) I understand that the / partition needs to be a primary partition and flagged as bootable. If I used a /home partition, would it be marked as primary as well, or extended? Would a data partition be primary as well? If /home was to be extended, would data be a logical partition within the extended partition? What's the most preferred way to go when going the simple route?

Right now I have all my linux partitions as logical partitions inside of an extended partition. It really doesn't matter. A physical hard drive is limited to I believe 4 primary partitions, and I have far more partitions than that on my main hard drive, so I find logical partitions work well.

Katzedecimal wrote:3) Where to mount a data partition and how to label it. Looking at the mountpoint choices available in Gparted, I see mainly /, /home, /usr, /var, /mnt, etc, without much room to customise. What's the best way to mount a data partition?

I typically put my swap partition first (on the outer edge of the disk), my / partition next, and then /home. Any space after that can be used to to make whatever data partitions you desire. You can set up your data partitions after you install your OS. Just leave a nice chunk of blank drive to work with later. After you are up and running you can create your data partitions with gparted, and label them whatever you want from within gparted.

Katzedecimal wrote:I did try making a data partition on my laptop's drive, and though it, uh, sort of works, it definitely isn't pretty :lol: So yeahhhhhh, a little help appreciated before I go screwing up my precious desktop machine :oops: Please talk slowly for the timid person, I'm not brave without hand-holding :lol:

I'm not sure what you did wrong. It's hard to say without knowing exactly what you did. Basically if you leave partitioned space after your install it's pretty easy to use gparted to make new partitions. It's all graphically based, so you just need to know what you are looking at.
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Re: Partition Question

Postby Katzedecimal on Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:02 am

Bumping this so I can thank Lantesh and let others know how it worked out. Lantesh's partition scheme seems to be working well for me so far, though I did have to open the /media/data partition as root and change the permissions to let my regular user account write to it :lol: But so far it seems to be working as desired, automounting the data partition and everything. Thank you, Lantesh! :mrgreen:
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Dance without senses, no message I hear
Dance without feeling, I'll dance 'til I'm numb
Dance 'til I think I can overcome" -- Melissa Etheridge
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Re: Partition Question

Postby Lantesh on Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:30 am

Katzedecimal I'm glad it all worked out for you. :D
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