How To: Partition your Hard Drive.

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nelamvr6
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Postby nelamvr6 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 8:02 am

scorp123 wrote:
nelamvr6 wrote: If this is the case, is it possible to make this the default behavior for the Mint install routine?
Sure, we could change it so that every Windows partition gets automatically formatted and deleted (too bad if you wanted to keep it). Or we make /home use 80% of your second hard disk (too bad if you don't have one). ..... :wink:

You see the problem, yes? No installer can replace human intelligence. *YOU* have to tell it what you want. To correctly guess the "right" partition scheme (and what is "right" or not is a hot topic in it self) for each and every user and each and every system is impossible. The other problem I see: Even if the installer did suggest to create a separate /home partition I fear it would confuse the heck out of newbies. Chances are also they'd get the sizes wrong, e.g. make /home too small because they don't realise yet what they need it for. Or they make " / " too small ... or they by accident delete their Windows partition because they thought they could re-use the same partitions and settings under Linux ... and and and.

It's better if the user informs himself and then decides for himself what he wants to do.

nelamvr6 wrote: when I asked the Mint installer to do the right thing it gave me a / and a swap, and nothing more.
See above. You want a separate /home? Then tell the installer.

If you think this is "unfriendly" try the Solaris installer for contrast ... it will overwrite whatever it finds and take no prisoners and show no mercy to whatever is on your harddisks. And it will enforce it's partitioning scheme: e.g. per default slice 0 is always root " / ", slice 1 is always swap, slice 2 always covers the entire disk from first sector to the last sector and is reserved for Solaris-internal use (this by accident also makes sure that normal partition programs get confused like hell when they see that the third partition overlaps with the rest ... but this is "normal" here!), slice 3 is always /export, slice 4 is always not really defined, slice 5 is always usually used for /opt, slice 6 is always /usr, and slice 7 is always /home ... and there are always exactly these 8 partitions, slices 0 - 7 on each Solaris disk. Not more. Not less. And nothing else .... usually.

Trust me, you don't want the Mint installer (or any other Linux installer) do this to you. Being able to tell the installer about your partitioning wishes is precisely what you as home user want. An installer that would enforce the "right" partitioning scheme whether you want it or not would make you very unhappy.


Well, I tried to tell the Mint installer that I wanted a separate Home partition, but I was met with a very obtuse interface. In order for me to do this, I had to know a whole lot more about Linux than the average newb does, and though I'm not exactly a newb I had some troubles.

As it is right now, the Mint installer automatically makes a Root and a Swap partition, correct?

My part consists of telling the installer how much of my disk I want it to use, whether I want to resize the windows partition, use the largest free contiguous space, or take the whole drive, correct?

So within those constraints, why cant the Mint installer take the space I've assigned it, using my "human intelligence", and then use that space to make at least a /, /home and swap partitions?

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scorp123
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Postby scorp123 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:50 pm

nelamvr6 wrote: So within those constraints, why cant the Mint installer take the space I've assigned it, using my "human intelligence", and then use that space to make at least a /, /home and swap partitions?
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? You want a separate /home => you've got to define it, partition your harddrive and then tell the installer to mount your /home there.

The installer as it is right now gives you a working installation which is OKayish for most newbies ... but it isn't "optimal". Having a proper partitioning scheme with separate /boot, /usr, /var and /home partitions would be ideal. But not even professional products that cost several thousand dollars ship with such a sophisticated installer. It's not the installer's task to plan the partitioning for you. *You* have to do this.

UNIX-like OS simply expect that *You* know what you do. This is also the same reason why working under "root" is so dangerous as no matter what dangerous command you execute nobody and nothing will ask you "Are you sure?" ... UNIX-like OS simply assume: Yes, you are sure. Or why else would you have issued the command? :wink:

Same with partitioning. You didn't define a separate /home ... so you obviously don't want one :wink: It's not the installer's (or any other program's) task to tell you what you want or not. :wink:

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Postby nelamvr6 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:31 pm

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?

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Postby Husse » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:22 pm

Why can't the installer at least ask me if I want a separate /home partition?

That would be a good thing - provided a complete noob understands.
There has been suggestions elsewhere that we should have some kind of "helper" - can't remember exactly what, when and where.
Possibly a few points shown after you start the installer and a suggestion to make a home partition from the installer - but leave the decision to you
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nelamvr6
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Postby nelamvr6 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:44 pm

Well, it would be nice.

Now here's a question that has risen in my mind now that I have a separate home partition:

Now that I have a separate home partition, how to I go about telling future installers that I have a separate home partition and that I would like to use it as such?

I mean, that was the main motivation for me to create a separate home partition, that when I upgrade to the next version of Mint I won't have to bother my home directory.

Do I simply let the installer create a home folder under it's new root structure and then install my partition as /home?

Or is there a way to make the Mint installer aware that my /home partition is there?

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Postby scorp123 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:15 pm

nelamvr6 wrote:Or is there a way to make the Mint installer aware that my /home partition is there?
Usually with most Linux installers you can tell them to use the partition in question as /home but *NOT* format it, e.g. use it "as is".

But your other approach would work too ... you could just install your new Linux OS over the previous " / " partition and then add your previous /home after the installation, e.g. by editing the relevant section in /etc/fstab so that it would mount /home again under the right place.

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Postby nelamvr6 » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:44 pm

scorp123 wrote:
nelamvr6 wrote:Or is there a way to make the Mint installer aware that my /home partition is there?
Usually with most Linux installers you can tell them to use the partition in question as /home but *NOT* format it, e.g. use it "as is".

But your other approach would work too ... you could just install your new Linux OS over the previous " / " partition and then add your previous /home after the installation, e.g. by editing the relevant section in /etc/fstab so that it would mount /home again under the right place.


While I was mucking about trying to use the Mint installer partition tool to create my separate /home partition, I was met with frustration aplenty. It seems to me that the second method I mentioned may be easier. But is one method better than the other? I was thinking that I could boot the live CD, use the GParted tool to simply delete the old / partition, and then during the installation tell the installer that I want it to use the largest contiguous free space.

Am I correct in believing that a fresh installation would not have anything of great importance in the new /home folder?

Thanks for all the help by the way, I know that some of these newb question must be tiresome...

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Postby msgnomer » Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:51 am

I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
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Postby Husse » Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:10 am

some of these newb question must be tiresome...

Not at all, when they are asked with afterthought as you do :)
The only "risk" with home on its own partition is that some old config files remain and your install does not become absolutely fresh
This happened to me. After installing Cassandra the menu still said Bianca and I still have mintConfig as Control Center not the Cassandra version - I've just not cared enough to fix that :)
The ubiquity installer is good in many respects compared to other installers, but it is a bit kinky when it comes to selecting partitions
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Postby nelamvr6 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:14 am

msgnomer wrote:I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php


OK, how did you do this? Could you give me a step by step? I understand how to make partitions, that part is easy.

But I couldn't figure out how to tell the installer that a particular partition should be used as root and another partition used as /home etc.

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Postby nelamvr6 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 10:19 am

Husse wrote:
some of these newb question must be tiresome...

Not at all, when they are asked with afterthought as you do :)
The only "risk" with home on its own partition is that some old config files remain and your install does not become absolutely fresh
This happened to me. After installing Cassandra the menu still said Bianca and I still have mintConfig as Control Center not the Cassandra version - I've just not cared enough to fix that :)
The ubiquity installer is good in many respects compared to other installers, but it is a bit kinky when it comes to selecting partitions


So I should allow the installer create a new /home folder, them migrate that folder over to my partition, and then install my partition as /home?

I used this how-to to achieve my current scheme:

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/separatehome

I could copy files such as my .bashrc to a flash drive before hand and then restore them afterward.

Would I be in danger of destroying any of the data I'm trying to save?

Does the command:

find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio --null --sparse -pvd /new/


do anything more than copy files from one home directory to the new one, or will it destroy my current home folder?

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Postby msgnomer » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:52 pm

nelamvr6 wrote:
msgnomer wrote:I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php


OK, how did you do this? Could you give me a step by step? I understand how to make partitions, that part is easy.

But I couldn't figure out how to tell the installer that a particular partition should be used as root and another partition used as /home etc.

If I recall correctly, you tell it what to mount for each partition under "Edit" during the install process. So, say you made a /home partition - you click "edit" (it might be "edit partition" - I'm not sure of exact terms) and there you will see partition size, file system type, and a drop down list of available mount points (/boot, /home, /usr, /r, etc).
Jess

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Postby nelamvr6 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:10 pm

msgnomer wrote:
nelamvr6 wrote:
msgnomer wrote:I used the gparted live cd first to do the partitioning and then I ran the mint live cd to install. Doing it that way was incredibly easy.

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php


OK, how did you do this? Could you give me a step by step? I understand how to make partitions, that part is easy.

But I couldn't figure out how to tell the installer that a particular partition should be used as root and another partition used as /home etc.

If I recall correctly, you tell it what to mount for each partition under "Edit" during the install process. So, say you made a /home partition - you click "edit" (it might be "edit partition" - I'm not sure of exact terms) and there you will see partition size, file system type, and a drop down list of available mount points (/boot, /home, /usr, /r, etc).


Thanks, I'll give it a try next time I upgrade, which will be the next Mint release.

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Postby Husse » Mon Aug 13, 2007 4:50 am

Quote:
find . -depth -print0 | sudo cpio --null --sparse -pvd /new/

A very elaborate command that I have to slowly analyze to understand :)
This

Code: Select all

sudo cp -a -v -u /home/* /mnt/newhome/
copies everything from home to newhome without changing file permissions
taken from
http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php ... st_copying
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Postby scorp123 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:05 am

Husse wrote:http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php/Move_home_to_its_own_partition#Copying_is_not_just_copying

A verbatim copy of what I once posted. And yet I get no credit? That sucks :(

Husse
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Postby Husse » Mon Aug 13, 2007 7:33 am

Poor scorp :)
I'll give you cred :):)
Even if I don't think it is a copy :lol:
But you gave me that copy command :lol:
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nelamvr6
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Postby nelamvr6 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:59 am

Well I appreciate it Scorp, and I'll give you cred too! :D

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Postby ElEdwards » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:17 am

Scorp, you've been more help to me than you'll ever realize!! :)

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Postby Lolo Uila » Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:49 pm

I'm ready to allocate some more space for Linux on my big tower system. I'm currently using a single 80GB drive for Linux, which I will probably still keep for /home, but I'd like to use some of the other drives for space-hungry things like music and video files (the tower has 6 drives totaling 1.5TB of storage).

I've seen talk about creating mount points (partitions) like /home/Videos or /home/Music, but would a /home/Videos mount point automatically be used as storage for things saved to my /home/Videos folder (which is actually /home/trp/Videos in the Linux file system)?

If not (as I suspect) what needs to be done to accomplish this?

Would creating a /home/trp/Videos mount point do it?

I figure I could do it with sim-links. Could fstab be modified for the same result?

Any other way to accomplish this?

Trying to examine my options here and learn a little more, so I appreciate any info and suggestions.

Aloha, Tim

FYI: Current system
80 GB Linux drive (75G actual capacity)
Primary partition
2 GB /
Extended Partition
8 GB /usr
60 GB /home
3 GB /var
2 GB /swap

I'm planning on repartitioning two 320 GB SATA drives (298 GB actual) something like below, but I'd also like to make room for my Linux Music, Videos and Downloads folders in here somewhere.

SATA-1 (Windows boot drive)
36 GB NTFS Windows boot
2 GB Linux /swap
260 GB NTFS Windows data

SATA-2 (Linux boot drive)
2 GB /
16 GB /usr
4 GB /opt
4 GB /var
2 GB /tmp
270GB NTFS Windows data

and I will expand the /home partition to fill the 80G drive.

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Postby scorp123 » Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:18 am

Lolo Uila wrote:I figure I could do it with sim-links.
I do the exactly same thing here.

I have a /home directory .... and somewhere there is a /data directory. Inside /data there is a directory called after my username which fully belongs to me (it has the same permissions as my home directory), and then underneath it I have directories such as 'Movies', 'Music', 'Photos', and so on.

/data
/data/scorp
/data/scorp/Movies
/data/scorp/Music
/data/scorp/Photos

...

Now, how does that stuff get into my $HOME directory? Sym-Links!

Inside my /home I have this:

/home
/home/scorp
/home/scorp/Documents
/home/scorp/Documents/Movies => /data/scorp/Movies
/home/scorp/Documents/Music => /data/scorp/Music
/home/scorp/Documents/Photos => /data/scorp/Photos

...

So your diskspace-hungry files can absolutely be on another disk partition, that's no problem. Just place your stuff on another mount point inside a directory which 100% belongs to you (not the mount point itself!) and then sym-link to it.


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