Considerations before you install

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Silent Warrior on Thu Nov 18, 2010 2:52 pm

Hyoumoku: It's generally not a problem - and is, in fact, often the recommended setup. You MIGHT run into trouble if you distro-hop a lot - configuration-files not being exactly the same, geared towards a version of app x that distribution y doesn't carry, version a of app z saving file such-and-such in a subtly different format from your next installation, maybe a conversion script is expected but not found, giving you a hard time opening this file until your version of app z is the same as the previous installation... I say MIGHT, mind you - I only ran into this just recently when I tried Fedora, notorious revolutionary, and now having switched back to Mint Julia. You shouldn't normally have to worry. I've generally upgraded between releases since Ubuntu 6.06, or whenever it was I began.
From the first week of my Linux-life I've used separate / and /home. The careful observer will note I said first week, not first install. :)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby vincent on Thu Nov 18, 2010 10:23 pm

I'd echo the advice given above, except that if you're using Gnome, definitely remove the hidden ".gconf" folder in your home directory before upgrading. Presumably, Gnome's configuration files aren't really backwards compatible, and from what I've seen, about half of the problems that users have complained about after having updated Mint (with the same /home partition) stems from .gconf, e.g. broken gnome-panel, broken app functionality (some apps store config files within gconf), etc. In fact, I'd delete most of my hidden folders before upgrading (I do keep some like .mozilla, for example, as I don't want to have to recreate my Firefox profile).

Another common mistake: if you have a / and a /home partition, make sure both are mounted with their respective mountpoints during the installation of a newer Mint release. I've seen plenty of people mount / but forget about /home...thus, they end up with a / partition containing /home, and a separate partition (the old /home partition). It's not too hard to fix though, with a bit of fstab tweaking.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Silent Warrior on Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:03 am

The .config-folder can cause a couple of issues too... Just coming back from a quick Fedora-experience, I noticed Tomboy and Banshee just wouldn't start. After poking and prodding the issue for a while, I found the .config-folder, did some 'administration tasks', and - no more problem.
So - are .gconf and .config our prime candidates for not backing up between releases/distributions?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby telenux on Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:40 pm

Sorry, I don't want to go through 13 pages.

What's the current recommendation?

I plan on booting two hard drives, one Windows drive and one Linux drive. I find multiple parttions to be a pain although I think it's okay if it's like three or four.

I already knew about the swap partition being 2x the capacity of the RAM.

My drives are these, 320GB and 500GB.

I thought I'd use the faster drive, my 320GB for my Windows and the 500GB for Linux. I'd have more things going on with the Linux drive anyway so I need a relatively large drive. I want to use Virtual Box, too, so it will only benefit from a larger drive.

If I partition the Linux drive with about two or three partitions, does that sound good? Then I'll use a large chunk of the drive for a VirtualBox setup?

The Windows drive, I'll either use one entire partition or two, so a 'C' and 'D'. Data I'll have on two separate drives, ext3/4 and NTFS, respectively.

Is this a good way or is there something better that I should try?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Edgpaez on Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:52 pm

Sounds pretty good to me...
With Linux a root, swap and /home partitions should be ok
And win will always need at least one partition besides C. Also, save yourself a lot of trouble and make /home partition (or whatever partition you choose to save docs) a FAT32 partition so that windows can read it.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Willielikesmonkeys on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:51 pm

of course nowadays with mint 64 bit you could make the sum of ram & swap 8 gb but i wouldn't suggest this if you have less than 3.5-4gb of ram
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby 74m3_G33k on Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:36 pm

telenux: As Edgapaez suggests, three partitions for for Linux install is good enough (/, swap, /home) but here are some considerations:
(i) don't make your /home partition FAT32(!?) - I can see the basic logic in allowing Windoze to read it but if you value your data why entrust it to a fragile legacy file system so lacking in functionality? Linux can read all your data on the Win install so use it to copy any data you need there as well;
(ii) use ext4 - it's been stable for ages and by default the delayed write feature is disabled now (well it is in Ubuntu...so I presume that holds for Mint too);
(iii) even Linux gets borked (especially when you're learning and playing...) so consider taking an image of your root partition with Clonezilla or a similar tool, save it to a small ext3 partition at the end of your Linux drive;
(iv) fussy people will sometimes make a separate partition for /boot (<1GB) and /var (<15GB) - the latter being a good idea for the paranoid who increase the logging on their box (logs are an excellent cure for insomnia).

Have fun!

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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Prescottech on Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:43 am

Hello, I am new here.

Have you ever sat back and thought about the old days of Unix? How long it took to get one system set up and configured? The last Linux install I did took about 10 minutes on a new system. I am blown away at the progress that has been made in the past years.
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Trying to make swap partition on 2nd drive work.

Postby martian46 on Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:48 pm

I created a swap partition with Gparted on a second hard drive but my system doesn't see it. System Monitor still shows the original 1.5 GB the install made on primary drive. Second drive is formatted same as first (ext4) bootable, with last GB formatted as Extended/Linux-Swap, same as other drive. Machine was restarted & no change. The article makes it sound like it will be recognized by the system. I'm sure there is another step involved, if not, what did I do wrong? I got the drive out of an old work station machine going to the trash. I installed it as a slave & all is well till I read this neat little trick about increasing performance.

After reading many posts about partitioning, none of which tell how to create a swap partition on another drive, I'm beginning to think this is a step that was to be done before install. I'm sure there has to be a way to do it post-install. It's an empty drive, very small (10 GB) & freshly formatted as above. Does anyone know how to make Julia see it & grab the GBs? This PC only has a half gig of memory (old, slow, P3 800Mhz, 133 memory) made from used parts (my Frankenstein as it may be). It runs surprisingly well with Julia for just goofing around on, & the 2nd drive swap partition idea sounds like a good free upgrade for this dinosaur. Because of the 8ooMhz processor speed will this even make a noticeable difference? If I'm wasting my time I can just get the space back, not worth reinstalling all for this machine, but would like to know how for future reference.

Thanx to anyone who can help!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby vincent on Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:48 am

You need to edit /etc/fstab for your new swap partition to be recognized by your system; this goes for any partition you add post-install and would like to have it recognized by Linux.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby NeptuneTech on Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:58 pm

Hi....i went through couple of pages of this thread....and read the final one....sorry if my problem has been solved earlier, but i skipped 10 pages.....

well, i just installed Linux Julia, (im using linix first time) and side by side i have windows 7 installed on it....my laptop has 320 gb harddisk, 2gb ram, out of which i have partitioned 4 drives(windows uses 3 ) and only 80 gb is seperated for LINUX......i knew that swap memory mustn't exceed more than 4 gig........but the way i installed this LINUX was somehow like this: 40 gb as swap(maybe mounted as / ) and rest 40 gb mounted as /usr/local.....i know this was a blunder made by me, and i just realised it now....
so without again re-installing LINUX, can i correct my serious mistake??? is there any way(except re-installing linux) that i can re allocate the hard disk??? im planning to make it like |2gb swap|10 gb / with ext4| 68gb as /home as ext4| how would that be???? please do send your valuable suggestions...
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Silent Warrior on Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:12 am

You should boot from the LiveCD and use GParted (or whatever other partition editor you have access to). There should be plenty of guides on how exactly this is done, I'm sure you'll find them in a heartbeat, so I won't repeat any of them.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby icyubok on Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:10 pm

After reading this post and replies, all I can say is that I must be a super newbie. :oops:
I installed Linux Mint and don't know if I made any partitions at all. :?:
How do I check my partitions?
Should I reinstall LM?
Is this even the right place to start asking questions?
Where do I start as a new Linux user?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby ninja1 on Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:07 am

Well icyubok I am a super-noob too. I installed Linux Mint 10 Julia on a P4 machine with 1GB of RAM on a 20GB hdd set up as single partition. My data is on an external HDD wich is shared (by swapping USB cable) with a Windows box. Is all that partitioning stuff related to security, or performance, or what? So far, my setup is working just fine for me. For a newbie, what's to be gained by futzing around with partitions? For an extremely modest machine, what's to be gained by futzing around with partitions? My plan is to stick with cheap small-capacity HDD for Linux OS and apps, and a 2nd larger hdd or external hdd for data. That way, the smaller hdd can be easily wiped or swapped if I want to play with other distros, and the data hdd's remain undisturbed.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Silent Warrior on Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:43 am

ninja1: You know you can achieve precisely that using partitions, right? Well, if you're going to use different drives, it'll be much simpler to designate the larger drive as its own partition, makes perfect sense.
The reason(s) for having a multitude of partitions can both be performance - I think the Arch-crew recommends a 128 Mb partition using EXT2 for /boot for maximum boot-performance - and to simplify distribution changes or upgrades. If you keep your /home (or, hell, even /usr/share/wallpapers, or whatever) as a separate partition, you won't automatically format them along with the system-files. (Of course, you need to be observant and examine disk-usage a fair bit to set up a partition-scheme that's as efficient as it can be.)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby hyoumoku on Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:16 am

I've been wondering - the starting post says to use ext3 - is there a difference if you use ext4 instead?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Silent Warrior on Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:00 am

I doubt it. It's a newer filesystem; not as proven, perhaps, but it hasn't caused me any problems yet. It's possible the first post is older than the inclusion of support for Ext4. Feel free to use either, as well as looking up information on the filesystems to make your own opinion.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby lewis.michel on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:43 am

what is ext3 and 4?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby gabranth on Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:41 pm

this is what ive got all on separate partitions so i don't have to sfill one big / partition

/boot 128mb sda5 jfs
/ 12gb sdd5 jfs
/usr 26gb sdc5 jfs
/var 26gb sdd6 jfs
/home 97gb sdd7 jfs
/tmp 4gb sdd8 jfs
/swap 12gb sda6
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Re: Considerations before you install

Postby Spark on Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:46 am

Hello i'm new to linux, so here is the question (sorry for my English).
3) Swap partitions don't need to be any larger than 2X your system ram. And, the sum of system ram and swap shouldn't exceed 4 Gig. If it does, reduce the swap partition size to get back to 4 Gig. or less. If you have 4 Gig. of ram on a 32 bit system like Mint, make a very small swap partition anyway, as the kernel expects to have a swap partition available. Not having a swap partition slows the kernel down in certain situations. For this purpose, there is no need for the swap partition to be over 256 KB at most.


Is it the kernel now still needs those swap? I just have a single hard drive, mint installed with swap partition include with the same values of my ram. I check out the system monitor resources, there is no activity from this swap, so i think why don't i just remove this partition to save some spaces. So, is it still necessary to do the tiny swap partition part in the same hard drive, Do this still affected the kernel nowadays?
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