Considerations before you install

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Husse
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Husse »

is itsomehow possible to have multiple distro's installed to one "/" partition?
No!
That said I think scorp123 once stated it is possible, but not worth the while and needs great skill (way over my head :))
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by dlkreations »

illus wrote: Amazing thread. Thank you to all the contributors for such an informative thread. I do have a question for Fred regarding his suggestions for 32 bit systems and swap space allocation: Does your above philosophy apply to 64 bit installations as well?
I am running the x64 version of Felicia, and I followed this thread as well. So when I created my swap, I only used 256MB for it. I am running with 4GB of ram, and so far, I have had no hiccups with performance. I went as far as creating separate partitions for each of my Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Downloads, just for the sake of when Felicia x64 becomes final, I won't have to worry about re-doing everything.

Thanks as well for an amazing and informative thread!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by dlkreations »

illus wrote:Thanks for that dlk. So now I have set up my partitions and set up their mount points. I have another question:

When I installed x64 Felicia 6, by default...all of those directories that the partitions were mounted on (/usr, /var, /opt, /home/illus/documents, etc....) their permissions were set to root by default. Owner is set as root, folder access create and delete files, and group was set as root as well. Is this correct? Should I change all these permissions to my user so I don't have to access them as root all the time? My real concern is compromising security.

I have already gone and changed all the permissions to my user...but I just wanted to come here and make sure I did the right thing, or perhaps to see if I did the wrong thing by changing the permissions.

Thanks in advance.
I had to change the permissions on those partitions myself, but to be honest I don't know about the security part of it, as I am pretty much new to this myself. But if you set the permissions just for your user and you do not share the computer with anyone else, I am sure you will be fine, as the permissions will be available to your user only.

Maybe someone with more experience can answer this question better.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by darco »

dlkreations wrote:
illus wrote: Amazing thread. Thank you to all the contributors for such an informative thread. I do have a question for Fred regarding his suggestions for 32 bit systems and swap space allocation: Does your above philosophy apply to 64 bit installations as well?
I am running the x64 version of Felicia, and I followed this thread as well. So when I created my swap, I only used 256MB for it. I am running with 4GB of ram, and so far, I have had no hiccups with performance. I went as far as creating separate partitions for each of my Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos and Downloads, just for the sake of when Felicia x64 becomes final, I won't have to worry about re-doing everything.

Thanks as well for an amazing and informative thread!
Since no one from the LM team replied to quote above on whether the swap amount pertains to the 64 bit system, I am going to follow dlkreations advice.
thanks
darco

p.s. I have 4gigs of memory
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Husse »

Since no one from the LM team replied
We have to know there is something to reply to :)
When the installed RAM is pretty large (I don't want to start an argument about the size :)) which is what should be the case if you use a 64-bit system, swap becomes more or less irrelevant
However I have read on more than one occasion that Linux wants to have a swap so a "pro forma" swap of say 256 MB should be ok
The code in the 32 and 64 bit versions is basically the same (apart from the obvious difference)
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by darco »

I have 4gigs of mem running LM X64.....was wondering if this step is needed in tuning the swap file:

Swapping/Swappiness

Swappiness takes a value between 0 and 100 to change the balance between swapping applications and freeing cache. At 100, the kernel will always prefer to find inactive pages and swap them out; in other cases, whether a swapout occurs depends on how much application memory is in use and how poorly the cache is doing at finding and releasing inactive items.

The default swappiness is 60. A value of 0 gives something close to the old behavior where applications that wanted memory could shrink the cache to a tiny fraction of RAM. For laptops which would prefer to let their disk spin down, a value of 20 or less is recommended.

* First we have to gain access to your /etc/sysctl.conf file.

sudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf

* Just scroll to the bottom of the page and add the tag listed below. The number you want depends on how much ram you have and what you do with your system. Please read the about above this to make your decision. I have mine set to 0 on a dual core laptop with 1 gig of ram and have seen no issues and a good performance gain.

vm.swappiness=0

thxs, x64 rocks.....

darco
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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

When you are using a 64 bit system the amount of memory you need for a given workload will be aprox. 20 to 30% higher than with a 32 bit system. To use a 64 bit system when you have installed RAM of < 4 Gig. is probably counter productive. Of course that depends on your workload too. If you ever go to swap in a 64 bit system when you wouldn't on a 32 bit system, any performance gains you would have from a 64 bit system will be nullified. 4 Gig of RAM puts you on the dividing line so to speak. If your work load never goes to swap the 64 bit system will be faster.

As far as swap on a 64 bit system, I don't feel comfortable giving you a rule to go by. I have read a number of different, conflicting recommendations on this subject. I think the best thing to do is to keep the swappiness low and have a small swap file no more than 25% of your RAM. Your workload really starts to play a bigger role in determining the swap file size on a 64 bit system. For most desktop users I would be surprised if you would ever get into swap with 4 Gig or more of RAM. If you are running less than 4 Gig. of RAM you probably shouldn't be using a 64 bit system anyway.

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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by srkelley »

Is there an option that can be activated during the install that will allow for the operating system to fully run from memory? My current machine has no hope in the world of ever doing that, but I hope to upgrade to a much more capable box later in the year. it'll have more than enough ram to do so.

Are there also special steps needed for programs to load fully in to memory or will that happen automatically?
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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

srkelley,

I don't know of a specific, practical way to make that happen. But having said that, Linux is much more intelligent about managing memory than Windows. The more memory you have installed, the more system files and programs will wind up in RAM.

EDIT: I would also suggest using a program called "preload." This really makes a difference in the loading speed of programs, if you have the memory to support it.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

Andy,

This doesn't go exactly to your question but look at the thread below. It may be helpful to you.

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=22540

Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by rivenought »

I usually only have 10 GB designated for /root. Of course, I have a huge /home for storing data and goodies. So, as long as you have a separate /home, you should be fine with your plans for /root. Now, if you plan on tossing everything into that one 10-12 GB partition, then I would think it would be too small.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by markfiend »

OK so when I installed, I let the installer do it's "guided - use entire disk" thing... before reading this thread.

Is there any way to reorganise to a sensible partition scheme without scrapping the install and starting again?

No big deal if not; after all, I only installed yesterday :lol:
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by totodigrimey »

Great advice.

I was wondering if you could suggest how I partition my drive before an install?

I only have one hard drive and I was planning to dual boot off it - could this be an issue the fact I intend to put Linux on the same hard drive?

My hd is 596gig ::
my C drive partition is Vista and takes up 291gig
my D drive partition is empty and has 295gig free
I also have 10gig for an EISA

I was thinking of maybe committing 120gig to Linux but Im open to suggestions and also how to set up the install.

I have 3gig of Ram so Im guessing 2 for the swap?

Cheers for any reply.
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Aging Technogeek
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Aging Technogeek »

Dual booting on one hard drive with Windows installed first is generally the easiest way. Just install Mint on your D partition and it will automatically find your Windows and set up the Grub bootloader to dual boot.

120 Gb is way more than you need for a Linux installation. I generally use about 8-10 Gb for /(root) , 5 Gb for /home (I don't save a lot of stuff) . and a minimal swap (I have more ram than I can use so I set swap to 256 Mb). (On a laptop you want swap to be equal to or more than ram so the system can hibernate. This is not a major consideration on a desktop) You know your needs better than anyone else so set up what you think you will require.

I recommend you do a manual partition for the reasons set out earlier in this thread.

Have fun and remember you can alwys open a hew thread if you have problems. " The only stupid question is the one you don't ask."
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totodigrimey
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by totodigrimey »

Thanks Aging Technogeek, thats helped me greatly and yeah its a desktop so Ill do like you for the swap then or maybe minimum a gig!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by markfiend »

markfiend wrote:Is there any way to reorganise to a sensible partition scheme without scrapping the install and starting again?
'sOK sussed it. Run gparted off the live CD...
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Descendant X
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Descendant X »

Fred, I would just like to thank you for this invaluable thread. I've got a great multiple HD setup now thanks the advice of you and the others who have posted in it.

I really wish I had looked at it before I installed Mint the first time. It would have saved me a few headaches.
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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

Descendant X,

I am glad you found it useful, and good luck on your journey into Linux. Remember, as someone else said above, the only dumb question is the one not asked. :-)

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on the menu. Liberty is an armed lamb protesting the electoral outcome. A Republic negates the need for an armed protest.
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T J Tulley
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by T J Tulley »

Thanks again for this - I said so last year!

My Mint /home/username partition contains only stuff which goes there automatically, related to software which I use, including .mozilla (which means Firefox), .mozilla-thunderbird, .tomboy and .tomboy.log. These 4 I back up, and if a new install or upgrade is required, I copy them into the new /home/username partition.

Recently I have discovered that a genealogical program which I use a lot, Gramps, also locates its working data in subfolders there, and there is clearly potential for others such as Gimp and Open Office to do the same, although files I generate are always saved elsewhere, quite apart from any backups. Maybe these too should be routinely backed up.

Nevertheless, this partition shows only 1.9 of 29 GB used - suggesting that for this pattern of use a much smaller partition will suffice. This will be reflected in the total space required for the system. Fred's initial advice about speed applies.

OTOH, I have spotted that if Hibernate is selected for closing down, a swap partition is used to store the image of the system. This can be seen from the log of restoration which appears on the screen during re-opening. It will demand plenty of space. Presumably swap space can be distributed and still used in this way?

A particularly interesting point is Fred's advice that a small swap partition adjacent to / is beneficial. Thanks again!
Yours hopefully -

Theo Tulley.
Using a PC with 2GB RAM, 3 hdds and a 1.7 GHz Celeron cpu.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

I have downloaded Linux Mint 6 Main Edition and burned it to a cd. Before installing I want to get the partitioning right and have found this thread so helpful. I'd definitely like to keep my data separate from / but being a newbie, I'm confused by all the references to separate partitions for /boot, /home, /usr, /opt, /var and hope perhaps I can get some advice here.

My pc is used mainly for email, surfing the internet, writing code for and maintaining 2 websites, selling products from my website and on eBay, keeping personal and business financial records (currently w/MS Money), downloading, editing and storing photos from my digital camera and using MS Office (mainly Word and Excel). I may have a need for running some Vista programs in Linux if I'm not able to find suitable Linux alternatives.

I have the following on my system:

Disk 0: 298 GB (Windows Vista installed here)
Disk 1: 75 GB NTFS (currently used for my Vista backups)
Disk 2: 56 GB empty NTFS
Disk 3: 56 GB NTFS (this is an external USB drive currently used for my Vista data backups)

Disk 0 is partitioned as follows:

64 GB primary NTFS (Vista)
98 GB unallocated
98 GB free space
29 GB logical NTFS (documents, photos)
9 GB primary NTFS (pc came with this partition, contains Vista Factory Recovery)

From what I've gleaned from this thread I think I need the following:

swap ----Formatted as swap -----? GB
/ ----------Formatted as ext3 ------? GB
/home ----------Formatted as ext3 ------? GB
Data Partition1 (Documents, Mail) ----Formatted as ext3 ----- 2 Gig
Data Partition2 (Media) ----Formatted as ext3 ----- 10 Gig
maybe an additional Data Partition

I guess I have the following questions:

1) How much space should be allocated for the swap partition (I have 1.5 GB RAM)?
2) I'd like to split the swap partition up between all drives as Fred recommends in the first post of the thread. How do I go about doing this?
3) How much space should be allocated for / and /home?
4) Do I need separate partitions for /boot, /usr, /opt, /var, or others?
5) Do I need a separate partition for virtual/shared files (for Vista progs run in Linux)?
6) Since I have disk 2 empty would I get better performance having Linux and Windows on separate drives or from a dual-boot system on disk 0?

Thanks so much for this forum.

Patti
A Linux newbie and hopefully soon-to-be-former Windows user
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