Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

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mike acker
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Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by mike acker »

any suggestions for a Best Practice for Disk Partitions?

should there be 1 Primary partition with 3 extended partitions?
1 - /
2 - /home
and
3 - /swap

evidently about 30 GB is enough for 1 and 3;
2 could be whatever -- let's say we split up a 1TB drive -- make /home = 400 GB,--

this would leave space for a second primary partition -- which could be 500 GB for a Windows install

there seem to be as many views on this as there are essays so I was hoping we have a recomendation for a Best Practice to get started on
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Fred Barclay
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by Fred Barclay »

That looks pretty good to me.

My setup:
24 GB /
84 GB /home
5 GB swap

/ and swap add up to 29 GB; just 1 GB short of your value.

I use GPT so extended/logical partitions are not a worry for me, but considering your scenario, keeping Mint inside an extended partition makes sense. :) That is--your disk used the MBR scheme, right?
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austin.texas
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by austin.texas »

mike acker wrote:any suggestions for a Best Practice for Disk Partitions?

should there be 1 Primary partition with 3 extended partitions?
First, you can only have 1 extended partition (containing multiple logical partitions). There is no such thing as "3 extended partitions".
Next, "Best Practice" would be NO extended or logical partitions. I don't have any extended partitions, and never have had.
An extended partition is a work-around construct which is more fragile than a primary partition. If any of your logical partitions are corrupted, you lose all of them. That is not true of primary partitions.
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Pierre
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by Pierre »

under win-xp - you could do the whole lot with just primary partitions,
but with win-7 - that sometimes wants a boot partition as well,
and that now needs Five partitions - unless you don't use a separate /home - that is.

the actual size(s) does really depend on the size of your HDD.
but - above mentioned size is quite reasonable.

my HDDs traditionally are quite small, and so are usually sized at about half of those mentioned.
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by BigEasy »

Best practice? It is very personal. I always have just one partition. See no reason for me to have seperately /, home, swap.
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by Pjotr »

Opinions differ and will continue to differ. I hereby predict that no consensus will be reached on a "best practice". :mrgreen:

My take: just two partitions. One for root and one for swap. Root preferably on a primary partition; only on a logical one when unavoidable.

Reasons:

1. I consider a separate /home to be an unnecessary complication, because you need *external* backups of your documents anyway. Granted, it makes re-installing a bit easier, but how often do you have to re-install?
Furthermore, a separate /home causes less than optimal disk space allocation, which is especially annoying on small drives.

2. In my opinion a separate swap partition is needed because a. I think it's useful when my system can swap under extreme duress and b. I don't want the junk in the swap polluting my root partition (so I don't want the swap to be a file on my root partition, like in Windows).
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by BigEasy »

Why you afraid swap file in root? You dont trust Linux's file input-output relatability? 8)
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by Moem »

Pjotr wrote: I hereby predict that no consensus will be reached on a "best practice". :mrgreen:
I believe that we can reach a consensus about this being a sensible prediction. ;-)
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mike acker
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by mike acker »

thanks for all the notes and input guys!

failing a "Best Practice" perhaps a Beginners' Recommendation could be possible ?

the reason I ask is: when my Win7 box died I replaced the Hard Drive with a 1TB WD and installed a fresh copy of LMDE(2),-- hoping to run Epson Perfection V500 scanner and Canon DPP using WINE . Neither of these worked out . I replaced the LMDE(2) with a regular dist. of MINT 17.3 -- and, using WINE plus the PlayonLinux WINE-front end -- I got closer -- but no Cigar . My guess the usual trouble -- a non supported Window call.

My last effort then was to install a Win8.1 OEM -- and of course this reformatted the disk as NTFS . the Win8.1 OEM failed as I couldn't get the proper support for the monitor installed . I had started with an HP 1440x900 which my wife discarded -- and which works perfect in Linux -- but the Win8.1 OEM did not offer the 1440x900 resolution as an option . So,-- I went and bought a nice Samsung 1920x1080 monitor -- which is basically the standard monitor these days -- and the Win8.1 OEM didn't offer that resolution for that monitor either. A messed up match on resolution would be totally unacceptable for the Canon DPP application,--

probably I should not have bought the OEM dist. dunno but this whole Win mess feels a lot like throwing good money after bad.

so, I went back to re-install LMDE(2)

however: the LMDE(2) installer doesn't partition the disk automatically like the std. dist. does and left me looking at the partition screen feeling pretty dumb ( and needing to learn how to partition a disk )

I've since re-loaded the main Dist. of MINT 17.3 -- which is running great -- but leaves me with a bad feeling about Windows apps,--

I now have one Windows system running -- my wife's Win7 -- and -- the MSFT/maintenace process could knock that one out -- just as it did mine . which would leave one critical program,-- that being Turbotax.

I'll try Turbotax under WINE today. If that works I think I can live with work-arounds on the other two .
Last edited by mike acker on Fri Feb 12, 2016 7:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by srq2625 »

This is one of the most religious questions in the Linux world. Given (n) responders, you are likely to get at least (n+1) answers. So, let me add mine to the mess:

Considerations:
  • Is this a laptop or desktop computer?
  • If a desktop, there will be much less need for hibernation which, in turn, greatly decreases the need for a swap partition/file.
  • Will you want to hibernate the computer anyway? No - see previous
  • If a laptop and you want to hibernate, then a swap partition/file will be required
  • If you don't want to hibernate then the amount of installed RAM enters into the question of whether a swap partition/file is needed. The more installed RAM on the computer, the less the need for swap. I have 16GB installed in my desktop computer and when I did install with a /swap partition I NEVER made use of the /swap. On an older laptop with just 2GB, I have, once in a great while, needed the /swap.
  • The use to which you will be putting the computer. Things like editing of video/audio/photos require much more RAM resources and may cause computer to go looking for swap. If you don't do these things, the need for swap is greatly reduced. I've two computers with 8GB or more RAM on which I do photo editing and I've never needed swap; on my last re-install (when I moved to LM), I decided to skip the /swap completely and have yet to have a problem.
Given the stated desire to dual-boot with Windows (the version of Windows, as was pointed out above, does impact on things):
  • If Windows 7 (or later), first partition of approx. 100MB, else .... skip this
  • Windows install partition - at least 50GB, better if at least 100GB as Windows is space hungry and more so as one moves from Win7 to Win8 to Win10
  • /swap - if desired (see above)
  • / (also, sometimes mistakenly called the "root" partition) this is where the Linux system is installed. LM can be installed in something under 9GB (IIRC), but it's happiest if you give it some breathing room. I typically give it at least 20GB - space is cheap and undersizing this partition leads to all kinds of headaches.
  • If, as a result of the above decisions, you still have only 3 partitions defined .... you can either create a partition for your personal data or for another Linux distro or just leave it unallocated for later use.
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by srq2625 »

mike acker wrote: I now have one Windows system running -- my wife's Win7 -- and -- the MSFT/maintenace process could knock that one out -- just as it did mine . which would leave one critical program,-- that being Turbotax.

I'll try Turbotax under WINE today. If that works I think I can live with work-arounds on the other two .
IIRC - there's an on-line option for TurboTax. If so, that would be color-blind with respect to one's operating system.
mike acker
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by mike acker »

the system is a desktop-- and older HP Pavilion: 4core AMD cpu; 6 GB RAM . 1 hard-drive only . CD/DVD; the MoBo won't boot from USB; although it will load from DVD

it's pretty lame-- although there are un-used SATA ports on the MoBo the 250W power supply does not have another power connector for a SATA HD

this machine is a reserve system; standby in case one of our primary computers dies

I'm down to about plan n+1 at this point. If Turbotax doesn't run under WINE I'll buy a basic Win8.1 laptop to serve as a stand-by.

another possibility would be to attempt to load the Win8.1 OEM ISO image in Virtualbox. BUT: It would probably exhibit the same bad behavior. Even though a video driver was included on CD with the Samsung monitor the Win8.1 OEM would not accept it. It acted like it has installed it -- but still did not offer the 1920x1080 resolution

Both LMDE(2) and MINT 17.3 function perfectly with this monitor so there is clearly nothing wrong with the monitor

perhaps I should learn how to cuss in Finnish
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by Fragezeichen »

mike acker wrote: My last effort then was to install a Win8.1 OEM -- and of course this reformatted the disk as NTFS . the Win8.1 OEM failed as I couldn't get the proper support for the monitor installed . I had started with an HP 1440x900 which my wife discarded -- and which works perfect in Linux -- but the Win8.1 OEM did not offer the 1440x900 resolution as an option . So,-- I went and bought a nice Samsung 1920x1080 monitor -- which is basically the standard monitor these days -- and the Win8.1 OEM didn't offer that resolution for that monitor either. A messed up match on resolution would be totally unacceptable for the Canon DPP application,--
Have you downloaded and installed the appropriate graphics driver under Windows?
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by mike acker »

Fragezeichen wrote:
{snip}

Have you downloaded and installed the appropriate graphics driver under Windows?
yes: after installing the driver from the CD I sent Win out to look for a driver. It reported I had the best one installed. It might be the Samsung monitor -- maybe I should have bought a Dell -- but: I don't think so: it has the same problem with the HP 1440x900 monitor

there could be something proprietary in the MoBo BIOS,----- installing a graphics card might fix the problem. the on-board graphics are the usual AMD/Radeon
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by Portreve »

These days, I have no specialized needs in view of how good system performance generally is.

Back in the day, I used to like to take a swap partition and put it on a separate physical disk.

Then again, I used to have a few hard drives connected and would dedicate certain kinds of tasks to certain areas. Like, if I had a drive that I was creating and deleting mad files to, and thereby creating a fair amount of disk fragmentation, I would be able to eventually evacuate files and then just nuke-n-pave that drive instead of worrying about defragmentation.

But now... my needs have become pretty straightforward and basic, and I just don't do things that require too much specialization.
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by lgt791 »

I usually make 3 partitions on the os drive. Onw for the os , one for the swap , and one for the data. Most of the time i use a 500 giger for this . So i would have 1- ext4 , 1-swap , 1-NTFS .
I have other nachines which run windows .Now on a 500 giger i would use 50 for ext4 , 3 for swap , and the rest for data storage and files. that way if I want to reinstall or put another version os all i have to do format the ext4 partitin and format it to what ever and install. And on linux i usually just install everything to / . I have not had any problems so far using this set up .
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Re: Disk Partitions -- Best Practice ?

Post by Habitual »

Nothing has changed for me in 8 years.

20-25 G for /
/swap # 16G here, what's the point? But I make one.
/home # the 'rest'
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