How much space should I leave for a new user?

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How much space should I leave for a new user?

Postby BostonPeng on Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:24 pm

I get the feeling that I've well and truly messed up my system and am looking at another partial nuke and pave to install LMDE KDE UP5 again. I'm really thinking my KDE user account has gotten messed up so I want to create a brand new user with this install so i can selectively migrate some of my current data to my new user but I'm getting pretty tight on hard drive space. (Part of why I want to do a fresh install is I seem to have killed any chance of connecting my usb hard drive and I can't use the old drive to take some of the space off my primary drive, even running a LiveUSB session of Mint 9 KDE.) How much space would you guys recommend I clear out for this new user? Once I get things reinstalled I'll be moving files I need to keep and killing off some of the accumulated cruft but I'm looking at just over 600MB of free space on my /home partition (before running BleachBit to clear more space) and I'm pretty sure it's not going to be enough space for a fresh install.

Just to be clear, I'll be blowing away the contents of my current root partition (8.79GiB according to KDE partition manager) and not formatting my /home partition (136.15GiB). I've also got a 4GiB swap space that I'm hearing I may not even need with my 4 gigs of RAM, but I haven't confirmed that yet, and other than that I'm not able to change the sizes of any of my partitions until I can connect my usb hard drive again.
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Re: How much space should I leave for a new user?

Postby nomko on Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:45 am

About your swap size, check this post: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=117430&p=650110#p650101

And about your adventure you're starting... My opinion, best to do a fully clean/fresh install since you mention that you have the idea that 1 or 2 things are broken or messed up. Make sure you backup your important stuff/files/photo's/images/etc.

How many size an user should get? Depends on what that user is doing. Is the user just emailing and surfing the web.. 10 GB should be more than enough... is the user editing movies or photo's, then you must think of more space.
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Re: How much space should I leave for a new user?

Postby Jaws on Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:20 pm

I just checked and my /home partition and the hidden folders and files take up about 285 MB. Of course my other folders with all my precious data in the /home partition: Document, Downloads, Dropbox, Fonts, Mail, Movies, Music, Photos, Pictures, Saved (for misc. saved files) is about 67 GB, with another 17 GB of free space. My opinion is the same as nomko, backup your critical data and do a fresh install.

About swap, assuming you're NOT talking about a laptop where you may wish to use hibernate. and you are NOT a power user: e.g. multiple VitualBox guest OSs, multiple browser windows with several tabs each, loading multiple huge image files in Gimp or Digikam for editing, rendering/editing video files, running a memory intensive game... I would kick the swap space to the curb and don't worry about it.

I personally don't use a swap partition or a swap file on either my desktop or laptop. If you feel the need to have a swap partition, try a 512MB partition. You can always add another swap partition later. If your computer is constantly grinding the hard drive with swap usage, you need more RAM!

Chances are you'll never need or use the swap partition in normal everyday (non-power-user) computing. I used to check my system for memory and swap usage by typing top or free in a terminal and have never seen swap being used. BTW, I have 4GB and 3GB on my desktop and laptop respectively.

Good luck.
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Re: How much space should I leave for a new user?

Postby BostonPeng on Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:11 pm

nomko wrote:About your swap size, check this post: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=117430&p=650110#p650101

And about your adventure you're starting... My opinion, best to do a fully clean/fresh install since you mention that you have the idea that 1 or 2 things are broken or messed up. Make sure you backup your important stuff/files/photo's/images/etc.

How many size an user should get? Depends on what that user is doing. Is the user just emailing and surfing the web.. 10 GB should be more than enough... is the user editing movies or photo's, then you must think of more space.


Thanks for the link. Unfortunately I'm running (and will be reinstalling) LMDE so it isn't quite as appropriate. The folks over at Everyday Linux were talking about swap space requirements a little bit back and Mark Cockrell feels swap space is no longer needed for systems with sufficient RAM, and I think my system meets his requirements. I need to dig through some old episodes and their forums to see where they were talking about it.

Unfortunately with being unable to access my external drive I can't back up anything for now, but I wasn't going to format my /home directory anyway, just create a new user to get some fresh settings until I can migrate the data to the new account.

As far as space for the new user goes I was able to find about a gig and a half last night when I blew away some saved videos that I can resnag if I need to. Much of the space ultimately needed will be snagged from my current user space when I move the files from the old user to the new one, although I'm toying with the idea of just creating a directory in /home that can be used as a common storage space for music, images, videos, etc. But that may be more trouble than it's worth.

Jaws wrote:I just checked and my /home partition and the hidden folders and files take up about 285 MB. Of course my other folders with all my precious data in the /home partition: Document, Downloads, Dropbox, Fonts, Mail, Movies, Music, Photos, Pictures, Saved (for misc. saved files) is about 67 GB, with another 17 GB of free space. My opinion is the same as nomko, backup your critical data and do a fresh install.

About swap, assuming you're NOT talking about a laptop where you may wish to use hibernate. and you are NOT a power user: e.g. multiple VitualBox guest OSs, multiple browser windows with several tabs each, loading multiple huge image files in Gimp or Digikam for editing, rendering/editing video files, running a memory intensive game... I would kick the swap space to the curb and don't worry about it.

I personally don't use a swap partition or a swap file on either my desktop or laptop. If you feel the need to have a swap partition, try a 512MB partition. You can always add another swap partition later. If your computer is constantly grinding the hard drive with swap usage, you need more RAM!

Chances are you'll never need or use the swap partition in normal everyday (non-power-user) computing. I used to check my system for memory and swap usage by typing top or free in a terminal and have never seen swap being used. BTW, I have 4GB and 3GB on my desktop and laptop respectively.

Good luck.

Thanks for that, Jaws. I don't do multiple VMs but I do tend to have quite a few tabs open in Chrome on a regular basis, and I've been known to fire up VBox while several tabs are open in Chrome and I have a few other things running so I may want to keep a little swap space handy.
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