Do I really Need a /boot partition

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sunewbie
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Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by sunewbie » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:54 am

In manual partitioning, when I click on Mount Point, I have also come across /boot partition generally about 100 MB. Do I really need this boot partition.

Also can you please explain other option in manual partitioning.

I generally create 3 partitions

/ - root
/SWAP - 2x times RAM
/home

and I am able to dual boot with XP (of course i have 2 NTFS partitions - one for Installating XP and other as a common data. Can somebody please explain whether do I need a boot partition and other mount points like /usr. I am the only one using my PC. There are no other users.

Thanks
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by Kimiko_0 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:32 am

Separating /home from the rest of the directory tree is only really necessary if you want to share it between installations of distros.

A swap partition/file can be unnecessary in these days of cheap RAM. For example, I used to have 8GB of RAM, and never saw it used completely. Swap space was never used. Of course, it depends on what you do with your computer. Editing huge files (art, photos) or collections of files (compilation, mail server) can make swap space useful.

A separate /boot partition is necessary if you have your main directory tree on a filesystem that GRUB's first stage doesn't understand, such as software RAID (mdadm).

A drawback of having separate partitions for all sorts of stuff is that you could run into trouble when one of the partitions runs out of space. Or waste space by allocating more than is needed for a certain part of the directory tree.

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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by sunewbie » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:46 am

Kimiko_0 wrote:
A swap partition/file can be unnecessary in these days of cheap RAM. For example, I used to have 8GB of RAM, and never saw it used completely. Swap space was never used. Of course, it depends on what you do with your computer. Editing huge files (art, photos) or collections of files (compilation, mail server) can make swap space useful.
Thanks for help, but I have heard that Linux Kernel needs SWAP partition. Even my swap does not gets used.
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by Kimiko_0 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:13 am

I don't have any swap space allocated (partition or file) and Linux runs just fine without it.

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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by sunewbie » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:23 am

I found this info in point number 3 Considerations before you install

So you may only need one partition.

anyways thanks for the reply.
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by AlbertP » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:33 am

You do not need a /boot partition. But you can't just delete the partition when it is already in use.
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by lmintnewb » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:34 am

Do you need a /boot partition ... Imo nope, I never do it, so never bothered learning all that much about it really, generally have a 3 install ( 3 gnu/nix OS's +XP) rule of thumb that I've mostly kept to. Think the most I've ever done was 4 at one time. Got to where it seemed a tad silly having 5 OS's on one PC. Anyway long story short ... Have always put everything for 1 gnu/linux os into one partition / <root and have zero problems. So /boot ... my vote is nope. Would only seem like extra headache for no real gain.

My 2 cents on swap, I don't see the harm in it and have always set up a swap partition. Think swap is necessary for hibernation to have any hope of working and for those of us without bottomless RAM can even be useful and/or needed at times. Think of it as virtual RAM. I mean wheres the harm in a small swap partition when most folks have 2-3-500gb or more hdd's anyway ? Each gnu/Linux user is free to config stuff however they see fit though ... One of the many great things about the software imo. Set it up any way you prefer.

Link about swappiness, while on the subject.
http://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxt ... o-high:-Ub

Note: Btw, ya only need 1 swap partition in a multiboot. All 3 OS's I have here happily share and use the same one. If I installed 10 more, they'd all happily share that same swap too. Though of course doesn't hurt to do 20-30mins of googling up on the topic, not at all difficult though. ie. "Share a swap partition" and etc on google.

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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by sunewbie » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:07 pm

Thank you AlbertP and lmintnewb

The way I am going , I may too end with 4 or 5 distros soon.

Regarding Swap, since I will be running only one distro at a time :D, so like common /home, common /swap is enough I guess, unless you really want to do some weird R & D :D

I raised technical question, because Fred is the one who is respected by others and has many posts.

thanks for the link.
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by AlbertP » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:09 pm

Yes, if you want to hibernate multiple distros at the same time you'll indeed run into weird swap problems. By the way it is not /swap as the swap is not mounted as a folder. It is not just a regular partition containing files.
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by sunewbie » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:15 pm

I never hibernate. Still I can donate 2 - 4 GB partition to SWAP from two 320 GB HDD (one for data and one for OS)
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by lmintnewb » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:50 pm

Welcome, I tend to babble a bit when posting ... Mention one thing, feel compelled to mention or clarify summin else. Sounds like you're on a good course. Mint puts out a ton of diff software, nothing wrong with trying stuff out to see what you like the most. LM seems to be taking the something for everyone approach, from gnu/nix newbs to command line nix ninja's. Never know w/o trying and a 10gb testing partition you can set up in a couple mins using gparted/etc ... doesn't hurt imo. For more reasons than I care to type, but one such situation I could see is trying before you buy ( upgrade ) kinda deal.

Many people want the latest greatest. Can't see how it'd hurt to install that puppy onto said testing partition and give it a real test drive. Upgrading is a pain in the doink, could see how it'd be adviseable to make sure this or that is really whatcha like and runs well. Before having to fully commit and spend a ton of time and headache on it. Longggg before the support cycle for the software they're using and often happy with even runs out. Just saying, personally don't see anything wrong with the dipping toe in pool approach, lol.

Also wasn't saying the guy above who doesn't use a swap is wrong. He knows how he uses his pc, how he likes it and how he wants things setup. Nothing wrong with that. Part of the wonders of gnu/Linux and opensource. Your pc, your way. Even if that's just not wanting to be beholden to M$ to watch youtube vids etc.

:D
Last edited by lmintnewb on Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by jackmetal » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:23 pm

If you're not using LVM or software RAID, etc...then a separate boot is not needed or required.

I always have a separate /boot partition, but then again, it's needed because I prefer to use LVM for my storage management. :-)
I typically have a 200MB /boot and use LVM to handle all the rest (/, swap, /home and any other filesystems I may need separate for Data/Media or something).
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by lmintnewb » Sat Dec 10, 2011 2:22 pm

doh ! Dratz foiled again !

lol ... thats the thing about your pc, your way and gnu/Linux. Guessing it's darn near impossible to cover every persons situation. Try to be thorough and keep it simple or share interesting or useful stuff I've learned from admittedly limited experience. We gnu/Linux users have to stick together and help each other out afterall, at least should imo, lol.

But it's obvious one size doesn't fit all, one size may apply to or fit most in general though. Also seems like the 2 guys with 10 posts or less here may be new to the forums, but not new to tech. Could easily know as much or more than I do, that's for sure.

Generally why I always find stuff on my own, google the ulitimate tech support tool. Whenever running up against a problem or have a question, search engines have always been my 1st stop. In this case stuff like, benefits of having a separate boot partition, why use a separate boot partition, separate boot partition +linux, boot partition so forth and so on. Am 100% sure folks already know that anyway. Think this thread turned out to be a good one. Ahhhh bless gnu/Linux! ... Your pc, your way.

:D

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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by jackmetal » Sat Dec 10, 2011 3:15 pm

lmintnewb wrote: Ahhhh bless gnu/Linux! ... Your pc, your way.

:D

@lmintnewb

Amen, to that! :-)
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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by Kimiko_0 » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:49 pm

Oh, and "the guy above who doesn't use a swap" is actually a woman. Kthx.

The reason I chose not to make a swap partition on this system is that I have 16GB of RAM in it, and it already never saw use back on my previous PC with 8GB of RAM. I could always create a swap file if needed.

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Re: Do I really Need a /boot partition

Post by lmintnewb » Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:09 pm

lol ... well glad to digitally meetcha both. Sorry about the guy thing, ya know I have no way of knowing and so just assumed.

16gbs of RAM !?!?! Yowza ... you definitely have no shortage, plenty of servers with much less ! Well just didna wanna be rude and happened to notice the replies.


tc.

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