Partition Recomendations

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Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:33 am

I am attempting my first Linux install and I have 41GB to work with. I used Vista to partition my drive up to this point, so I have 41GB unallocated. Please bear with me, I have several questions. If I let Mint take control of the installation, will it confine itself to these 41GB and and make appropriate swap and root partitions? Or should I manually partition the drive for best results? And finally, I've run into the situation of Mint creating only root and swap partitions, where as many recommend creating a home partition as well. What is the best course of action here?

Any guidance as to partition sizes with a 41GB to work with would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby belovedmonster on Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:24 pm

This and many other aspects of installing and using Mint are covered in the User Guide
http://www.linuxmint.com/pub/Daryna_User_Guide-4.1.pdf (page 18 onwards)

In short, you would want to do it manually.
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Fred on Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:38 pm

Cambo105,

Greetings,

The threads below have some pretty good commentary related to your question. You might want to familiarize yourself with some of the other issues there too.

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=9470&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Fred+partitioning

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=9211&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Fred+partitioning

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=9406&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Fred+partitioning

Enjoy,

Fred
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Tue Feb 19, 2008 5:48 pm

I have a pretty good idea how I am going to allocate my partitions, but I still have questions regarding the swap partition. The rule of thumb seems to be that the swap partition should be twice the size of the RAM, but not the total not exceeding 4GB. Does this total = swap + RAM, or just total Swap GB? With my 2GB of RAM should I allocate 2GB for the Swap partition or 4GB?
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Fred on Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:59 pm

Cambo105,

It is the total of swap plus ram should not exceed 4 Gig. So if you have 2 Gig of ram your swap file need not be any larger than 2 Gig.

This is not a hard fast rule. Just a rule of thumb. The kernel will not see more than 4 Gig total so more swap in your case is just wasted space.

You might have noticed that I talked about the space needs of / root) and /home in some of these posts also.

Enjoy, :-)

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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 12:33 am

I read through those posts, and learned quite a bit, but I still have several questions.

In the user's guide, there are two partitions, one swap and one called the main partition, is this the root partition? Also I have become quite confused concerning "mount points", if "/" is assumed to be the root, what would be the mount point for the home partition?

Would a proper partitioning job look as follows? (Correct me if I am way off here)
(I am trying to emulate the format of the partition preparer in the Mint installer)
/dev/sda
/dev/sda1 ext3 / 10GB (Does this require any more identification for the mount point?)
/dev/sda2 swap 2GB
/dev/sda3 ext3 /media/sda3 29GB (is this partition home? Or do I have to name it such?)

Should I up the root to 15GB or is it safe where it is? My computer will be for nothing more serious than writing (simple) Java programs.
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:33 am

Cambo105,

Let's take your last question first. Whether your / (root) needs to be bigger or not really depends more on how big your build environment or IDE is. Unless you are talking very large programs, they won't have a lot of impact on your space needs. Not knowing what kind of IDE you will be using it would be hard for me to say what your space needs might be. If you want to go to 12 - 14 Gig for / (root) you would have to have some pretty robust tools and/or big programs to ever get in trouble, space wise.

In Linux everything is part of the file system. / (root) contains everything. /boot, /user, /etc, /home, etc. are folders that are contained in / (root). In Linux you can "mount" a folder anywhere in your storage system you wish. Your file system doesn't have to be all on one hard drive or even all on your physical machine for that matter. So you can mount your entire file system together on one partition or you can put part of it on one partition and part on another partition. In most cases, for a general purpose computer, I recommend breaking your file system up into 2 parts. Since your /home folder contains all your personal configuration files and data, I would put that on a separate partition from the rest of / (root).

Swap is a special case, and is used basically as extra ram when needed. It goes on its' own partition.

Before I can recommend a partition table I need to know what your current partitioning is. Are you keeping Vista in a dual Boot? How many partitions do you have now? How big are they? How are they numbered? Where is your unallocated space? In the middle, at the end?

I need more information to help you with the partitioning table.

Fred
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:02 am

I will be using a very lightweight Java development tool called Dr. Java, and bear in mind I am still a college student, a freshman at that, so none of my programs are very large or advanced.

I will be keeping Vista for a dual boot, and as of right now I have three partitions on my hard drive. Reading from left to right in Vista's partition re-sizer, my first partition (C:) is my main Vista partition of 100GB, the second is 41GB of unallocated space, and the last (D:) is 8.05GB, the HP_RECOVERY partition.
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Fred on Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:15 pm

Cambo105,

Let me tell you my position with Vista. I have never even seen Vista, let alone used it. So I can't express an opinion about the usability or reliability of Vista's tools. I can tell you that my experience with Microsoft's products in general has been less than stellar. :-)

I assume you have downloaded and burned the Mint 4 iso live cd image. Put that in your drive and boot it. When you get the desk top loaded look in the menu and you will find a program called "Gparted." Open that program and you will see a graphical representation of your hard drive. Confirm that you in fact have the partitions, and only the partitions, your other program said you have.

You might want to refer back to this thread, about half way down the page.

viewtopic.php?f=90&t=9470&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Fred+partitioning

If your partitions are as you said the are, you will need to get your unallocated space to the right, or to the end of your partition table. This will mean putting your recovery partition adjacent to, or flush with your ntfs Vista partition.

Please look closely at this how-to. Gparted is a powerful tool.

http://www.howtoforge.com/partitioning_with_gparted

You need to read and understand this before you try to use Gparted.

If you right click on the recovery partition you will see an option called move/resize. You want to move that partition to the left, up against the ntfs partition. Do not resize or format it. Just move it. You will now have your unallocated space at the end of the partition table.

If what you told me is correct you will have 2 partitions existing. You will want to create 3 more.

sda1 ntfs Vista existing primary
sda2 fat16/32 recovery existing primary
sda4 swap swap new Mint extended/logical
sda5 ext3 / (root) new Mint extended/logical
sda6 ext3 /home new Mint extended/logical

Note: The missing sda3 is not a typo. It is an unseen place holder for the greater extended partition.

sda4 swap 2 Gig. format
sda5 ext3 12 Gig. format
sda6 ext3 33 Gig. format

After you review carefully, and successfully commit the changes, you can run the install program and mount the partitions as I indicated. When you get to that part select manual partitioning.

Enjoy,

Fred
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:53 am

Thank you for all the information and all the help. However I am swamped with homework and its time for early midterm exams already, so I won't be able to look at this until friday or saturday. I'll report back this weekend with my findings with GParted. It looks like I am going to find a hidden partition :shock: !
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:08 pm

Unlike the other thread you linked me too, I have only the partitions that I first stated, and my drive is partitioned as follows (according to GParted)

/dev/sda1 ntfs 100GB
unallocated 41GB
/dev/sda2 ntfs 8.05GB

Although I only have 41GB to work with you recommended partitions that exceed this (47GB total), is there something I am missing?
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Fred on Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:19 pm

Cambo105,

No sir, you didn't miss anything, it was me. I miss read the amount of space you had available, my mistake. Take the difference out of /home to make it come out right. :-)

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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby MagnusB on Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:54 pm

Just to make things clear, as there seem to be some topics about partition tables.
1. Mint can install to allocated space, automagically. If you have so and so much free for it use manual if you feel up to it, but you could also use Guided, just use the slider to add so and so many % (it also shows the size) you want to use, if it have to it will resize existing partition (making them smaller, not bigger). When resizing partitions there is always a danger of loosing data, always make a backup.
2. Manual partitions is a great way to go, I always use manual (some times I even use GParted LiveCD to make my partition table, even though the root partition always have to be formated on a clean install), even if I want my entire drive to be used (mostly because 5 GB swap is a waste...). All you need is 1 swap partition and one ext3/2 partition with mount point /. If you want to make a third partition with mount point /home (for your personal data). Swap partition should be around 2*RAM, depending on your RAM. If you have 1 GB RAM or more, I would use 1*RAM, below 2*RAM. I.e. if you have 256 MB RAM, make the swap at least 512 MB.
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:23 am

Fred,
I followed you steps exactly with GParted and here is a screen shot of my results.
Screenshot--dev-sda - GParted.png
Screenshot--dev-sda - GParted.png (53.86 KiB) Viewed 1503 times


My question is, what is that mystery unallocated partition that I did not create? Should I try to move the recovery partition and resize all the others? Your thoughts?
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:25 am

As a side note, It can't be resized or moved as of right now, and the Windows vista partition editor does not recognize it. Some sort of evil MS monopoly partition perhaps? :roll:
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby MagnusB on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:29 am

Probably some leftover space, you could try expanding the nearest partitions to include those extra MB, but I would just forget them....
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:57 am

Also, is there a reason my two ext3 partitions already has used space on them? I've yet to install a thing.
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:05 pm

Just a follow up, is the naming convention for the mount point of the home drive /media/home or is something else? And is there a mount point for swap partition, this is not very clear in the user guide.
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby MagnusB on Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:22 pm

Root mountpoint: /
Home mountpoint: /home
Swap does not use a mointpoint
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Re: Partition Recomendations

Postby Cambo105 on Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:12 pm

I am happy to report than I now have linux mint running successfully on my system. Nearly everything works flawlessly (except suspend), which is surprising for a laptop. Hopefully mint continues to fulfill my expectations. Thank you for your help.
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