Re-install question with proper partitioning

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Inoki
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Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:33 pm

Guys,

on a fresh install you can get the structure of folders, like you install / on one partition and /home on another one, or as you choose, but will your structure remain with all files intact if you plan to upgrade?

E.g. you installed like this: / on one disk, /home with all documents on another one, now you plan to re-install following the same pattern, so you assign again / to programs and /home to the previous /home partition without erasing all the files on that partition, will those files stay and will they be usable?

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by AdamS » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:38 pm

1 Gb to 2 GB swap

the rest to root / .

Thats all that needs done. Don't complicated the simple lol.

upgrades etc will go just like always.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:40 pm

AdamS wrote:1 Gb to 2 GB swap

the rest to root / .

Thats all that needs done. Don't complicated the simple lol.

upgrades etc will go just like always.
Yer but when you don't assign /home somewhere I believe it stays on the / partition and you end up having two times the same folders, like Documents, Music, Video, Downloads and so on >.>
Last edited by Inoki on Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by AdamS » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:42 pm

who told ya that ?

Not true lol.

Ya only have the personal folders per the accounts used.

1 account 1 set of folders.

single docks pics music downloads etc per user.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by AdamS » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:49 pm

In truth, every power user has his own way. You can ask this question and get 50 answers to another way lol.

I have installed Linux on nearly 670 systems, I like simple and effective.

Never had an issue, simple to back up home data etc.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:51 pm

Nobody told me, I just wasn't sure, coz this happened to me previously.

On previous upgrades after a clean install of linux when I assigned / on one partition and on the other one /home with folders like Documents, Music, Video, Downloads. A new update was issued so I decided to upgrade. I installed only to the partition labeled /, the other one with my documents was untouched and contained the structure from previous install, i.e. Documents, Music, Video, Downloads and so on.

That's why I ask, if during another installation when I just re-assign /home with all those folders to the second partition that holds all my personal data, will it just use the existing folder structure there without any impact on the contents of those folders and avoid duplicate folder structure?

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by AdamS » Fri Jul 01, 2011 2:56 pm

Interesting, yet to see this behavior my self.

There is utterly no harm in setting up a separate home folder. Hard part is deciding the amount of space you will need for home. Reckon thats why I just keep it all together.

But what your talking about, never seen this happen after a upgrade. Sounds like changes were made some where not intended.

edit, little google action answered this for me.

If home folder is encrypted and you failed to decrypt before the upgrade. This is when this happens.

I Never encrypt the home folder, I try to keep life simple for my clients. Thus why I have not seen this before.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:07 pm

Neither do I encrypt the folders, it's just I don't want to lose files, obviously, that's why I ask if I assign it without telling the installer to format that partition, just use it as /home again the files would remain intact and usable as before.

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by AdamS » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:10 pm

Yes, upgrade should just use the file structure as is.

Sounds like to me you did a side by side install.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:14 pm

Not really side by side, it's just like I used to do with Windows, keep one partition totally intact by always having Windows on C: and documents on D: and I always only installed on C: so I had all folders on D: intact and could normally use my files.

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by AdamS » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:19 pm

I see what your saying.

What I do is a backup of my home data and install then recover home data as needed from a backup partition.

Easier then trying to guess the size you will need for home.

Yes I also did the same for windows lol.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by SimonTS » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:29 pm

As AdamS stated, there are as many opinions on how to do an install as there are people with opinions...

Personally...

One Windows 7 partition - I cannot get away from needing that for some things, so it is sat there.
One / partition (20GB) for each distro I install - currently running 7 different distros for testing and learning.
One swap partition (10GB) - I have 8GB RAM and this way I know I have enough swap, even though my system never actually uses it and I never hibernate)
One NTFS formatted partition (300GB) which all my documents are on - N.B. This is not installed as /home

I install the whole distro into / and then set up symbolic links (easy as pie to do) from the /home folder to my NTFS partition - this way each distro shares the same documents, including e-mail and firefox settings etc. If I ever need to re-install I know that I will never overwrite my documents, and I just run a rolling backup on a weekly basis.

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:42 pm

Guys but I wouldn't set new sizes for partitions. :) Everything would stay the same, just upgrading to a newer distro without formatting anything but the / partition. :)

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by edwardr » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:03 pm

E.g. you installed like this: / on one disk, /home with all documents on another one, now you plan to re-install following the same pattern, so you assign again / to programs and /home to the previous /home partition without erasing all the files on that partition, will those files stay and will they be usable?
If you assign /home to the previous /home partition, and DO NOT CHECK the format option, then the installation will use your previous /home partition as the new /home partition and all of your files will show up. Any hidden configuration files for programs from your old installation will also remain, so if those programs are present in your new installation, when you run those programs they will run with your old configurations. This is usually not a problem.

If you check the option to format the /home partition, then all of your files will be erased.

PLEASE BACK UP your previous /home folder before doing the new installation, just to be safe.

By the way, I do what SimonTS mentioned and keep all of my music and pictures and whatever files on a shared NTFS partition with symlinks from /home/music, home/pictures, etc. to the shared NTFS folders.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:02 am

If you assign /home to the previous /home partition, and DO NOT CHECK the format option, then the installation will use your previous /home partition as the new /home partition and all of your files will show up. Any hidden configuration files for programs from your old installation will also remain, so if those programs are present in your new installation, when you run those programs they will run with your old configurations. This is usually not a problem.
PLEASE BACK UP your previous /home folder before doing the new installation, just to be safe.
That being said I take it you're still suggesting that it'd be best not to touch the "/home" partition at all, because one can't be 100% sure something wouldn't go wrong and rather would do it this way (like I always did before):

- install new version of mint only to the previous "/" partition
- after installation install PYSDM (Storage Device Manager) to mount the other partition on startup via the program
- use e.g. Ubuntu Tweak to assign the default folder locations (i.e. Documents, Music, Video and so on) to the ones on the "/home" partition, which was untouched during the installation / upgrade process.

Because I have no means of doing a backup of all those files, since I don't own an external HDD e.g. I always used to keep my files on a separate partition which always remained untouched during any installation process thus remained safe from deletion / alteration.

I just want to avoid the above mentioned process I'd have to go through, i.e. PYSDM and Ubuntu Tweak to assign connections to partitions, because I want both my partitions to be detected on startup with no harm done to the contents there.

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Tue Jul 05, 2011 3:37 am

Also, my other question is, will this work for other DEs as well? E.g. I'm a long time Gnome user, but if for some reason I'd decide to install XFCE, does XFCE follow the same pattern / have the same folder structure? According to what edwardr said:
edwardr wrote:If you assign /home to the previous /home partition, and DO NOT CHECK the format option, then the installation will use your previous /home partition as the new /home partition and all of your files will show up. Any hidden configuration files for programs from your old installation will also remain, so if those programs are present in your new installation, when you run those programs they will run with your old configurations. This is usually not a problem.

If you check the option to format the /home partition, then all of your files will be erased.

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by edwardr » Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:37 pm

If you already have your files backed up on a separate partition then you are ready to start with the installation.

What you said here:
- install new version of mint only to the previous "/" partition
- after installation install PYSDM (Storage Device Manager) to mount the other partition on startup via the program
- use e.g. Ubuntu Tweak to assign the default folder locations (i.e. Documents, Music, Video and so on) to the ones on the "/home" partition, which was untouched during the installation / upgrade process.
sounds similar to what I do with having data folders on a separate partition, except I use the terminal to set up the automounting of the partitions and re-directing the folder locations for Documents, Music etc instead of those programs you mentioned, so I am not familiar with how they work.

The other DE's all use the same file structure, so anything we say about "/" and "/home" etc would work with Xfce, LXDE etc.
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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Thu Jul 07, 2011 3:21 am

edwardr wrote:except I use the terminal to set up the automounting of the partitions and re-directing the folder locations for Documents, Music etc instead of those programs you mentioned
Could you post the command for the partition to auto-mount at startup? Thanks! :) I figured there are three easy ways to assign folder structure:

1) via re-writing the ~/gtk-bookmarks file
2) assigning folders via Bookmarks in Nautilus / Thunar / any file manager
3) Ubuntu-Tweak

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by SimonTS » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:16 am

4) None of the above...

As I said in my earlier post, I have a separate partition (250GB approx) which hold all my Documents, Download, Music, Pictures, Videos (to follow the default labeling of Linux) as well as my E-Mail (.thunderbird) folder. I don't have anything else from the /home directory on there as symbolic links, although you could if you so choose.
The reason I do it this way is that I have a Windows 7 partition for a couple of applications and to support family and friends with Windows, Mint 10 as my main OS and then Mint 11, Bodhi Linux, Fedora 15, Liquid Lemur and OpenSUSE all as test distros. All of the Linux distros are able to point to the same locations on the NTFS partition, so if I am running some tests on Liquid Lemur (for example), and want to pick up my e-mail, I just run Thunderbird and it connects to the same local store as my main Mint 10 OS does.

To mount this partition automatically at startup I simply put an entry into the /etc/fstab file telling it what to mount, what to call it and what permissions. If you are planning on using an EXT4 (or similar partition) for your data storage then this is still the easiest way to do it (and it will teach you something about partitions, rather than just using someone else's software to do it), but the entry will be different of course.

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Re: Re-install question with proper partitioning

Post by Inoki » Thu Jul 07, 2011 4:33 am

SimonTS wrote:4) None of the above...

As I said in my earlier post, I have a separate partition (250GB approx) which hold all my Documents, Download, Music, Pictures, Videos (to follow the default labeling of Linux) as well as my E-Mail (.thunderbird) folder. I don't have anything else from the /home directory on there as symbolic links, although you could if you so choose.
The reason I do it this way is that I have a Windows 7 partition for a couple of applications and to support family and friends with Windows, Mint 10 as my main OS and then Mint 11, Bodhi Linux, Fedora 15, Liquid Lemur and OpenSUSE all as test distros. All of the Linux distros are able to point to the same locations on the NTFS partition, so if I am running some tests on Liquid Lemur (for example), and want to pick up my e-mail, I just run Thunderbird and it connects to the same local store as my main Mint 10 OS does.

To mount this partition automatically at startup I simply put an entry into the /etc/fstab file telling it what to mount, what to call it and what permissions. If you are planning on using an EXT4 (or similar partition) for your data storage then this is still the easiest way to do it (and it will teach you something about partitions, rather than just using someone else's software to do it), but the entry will be different of course.
I prefer to use software for the task since I'm no tech-guy and most casual PC users aren't either.

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