I'm bringing this to life again, since I'm about to make a clean install of Gloria on my desktop and while searching the Linux Mint Wiki, I found an article on howto partition and it had a link for this thread, and I thought it would be interesting if you guys just gave me your opinion on my partitioning scheme, since I'm highly unsure of it, being used to just having a separate /home partition and a swap twice bigger than my RAM.
But first, let me say I've read the previous pages on this thread, and found some interesting opinions I would like to briefly discuss.
linuxviolin wrote:Personally I would say to you not to be bored, for a home user use simply 1 partition for / (about 10 GB should be enough) and 1 for /home, both in ext3.
For swap use 1 GB maximum and I recommend to you to lower the swappiness (that depends on your memory):
"The use of the swap memory by default on Kernel 2.6.xx is set to 60% that means that the system will use intensively the swap memory. This sounds good if we have a small amount of memory (around 512MB or less) and lot of load on our PC especially if it is working as server. But if we have plenty of RAM (at least 1GB), as I do which is 2GB, and we are using our PC as desktop machine for daily use, we can change the percentage of swap to be utilized. This setting will increase the performance of Linux experience." (Vichar Bhatt)
Run at the CLI, as root:
You should see 60. Now change it to 10 (or even 0 as I did it, adapt according to your system, test):
sysctl -w vm.swappiness=10
Now is time to work for some minutes with some applications if you see that is better, you can make the changes permanent, adding this line at the end of /etc/sysctl.conf:
Well, I have to agree. A separate /home seems enough to me, the average desktop user. I don't run a server, but I do like to install new software, do some distro hopping but mainly I just listen to music, browse the web and write down some stuff. So why should I give myself an headache, creating all those partitions, when I know it's not worth it, given the circumstances. And with so many partitions, anyone is bound to be confused, and when I install or upgrade an distro, I like it to be as smooth and clean as possible, and I think the average Joe/Jane, thinks the same. If they didn't, they would probably not be reading this thread.
And very useful tip you got us there, linuxviolin! Many thanks.
I have 3GB RAM on both my desktop and laptop, and I was so worried it wasn't enough I always did a swap partition with at least 5GB. Prolly I just need 3GB, maybe less, right?
scorp123 wrote:And where should it put /home? On your Windows partition? Before or after " / "? On a separate disk? On your USB stick? On your external harddisk? .... You see the problem?
No, I can't see the problem at all!
At this point I will have told the installer I want to, for example, use the largest free contiguous space for my Linux installation.
Why can the installer take that specification, and then divvy it up appropriately between /, /home and swap?
I didn't tell the installer where I wanted my swap partition, how did it know where to put that?
You want a separate /home => you've got to define it, partition your harddrive and then tell the installer to mount your /home there.
Why? I mean, we're speaking in hypotheticals here, and we all want to make Linux better, right? Why should I have to tell it anything?
UNIX-like OS simply expect that *You* know what you do.
And this is what has to change if we want broader acceptance of Linux on the desktop.
All I know is that I'm not a dummy, and I'm not completely computer illiterate either. But the installer never even mentioned a separate /home partition. Only after installing, only then do I read both you and Clem posting that one should at a minimum have a separate /home partition!
I understand what you are saying, but isn't Mint about making things work the right way out of the box? Why can't the installer at least ask me if I want a separate /home partition?
This was a very productive discussion in my opinion, and an interesting theme that Linux users should discuss with developers, so we can all work together and make things as simple but still as reliable as possible. Aren't we supposed to evolve after all?
I know Linux is all about control and choice, but at least distros like Linux Mint should make an effort to incorporate suggestions like these on their systems, making it even easier for a new user to come into this scary and unknown world. Maybe during the install process, prompt the availability of a root account or the creation of a /home partition, if the user wishes so, but at the same time, inform the user of what they're doing, the consequences or the importance to rely on solutions like those. You know, live to the expectation, giving the hand so the user can give the first steps without falling, and when the user finally learns how to support himself enough to walk, have the option to change to a much complex and challenging distro. mintAssistant was just the tip of the iceberg, I think we should go deeper, try out something like Ubuntu Karmic's presentation screens, that let the user know, in a simple and clear language, what they're about to meet when the log in into their new system, what apps they have available, etc. Use that as a model, and make something like it, that accommodates the user's journey through the install.
And now, finally, my partitioning scheme, followed by some questions:
HDD -- 500GB
/dev/sda1: /boot [150 MB]
/dev/sda2: / [20GB, because here apps get installed, right? so I need some space]
/dev/sda3: extended partition, up and until the end of the disk
/dev/sda4: /usr [5GB, what's this for?]
/dev/sda5: NFTS (Factory_Image)
/dev/sda6: /opt [2GB, is that enough or those files get stored in / if this partition doesn't exist?]
/dev/sda7: /var [2GB, do I need this if I'm not running a server?]
/dev/sda8: /home [Rest of the disk]
/dev/sda9: swap [3GB, since I have 3GB RAM]
Supposedly I don't need /srv since I don't run a server, right?
And I already have an Windows partition, which contains a recovery image of Vista, and I think it's located in between /usr and /opt. Is there any problem with that? If there is, how can I work it out?
And can someone explain to me how do I make that extended partition? What's it for?
Hopefully I haven't got you guys bored, or actually sleeping, I just like to make my contribution to the project the way I can, giving suggestions and participating on the forum. At least for the moment, because I plan on helping much more. Thank you all guys for your time!