Considerations before you install

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Acid_1
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Acid_1 »

Hmm. Here's a good start. If you have 2GB or less of ram add a swapdisk to make it 4 (So if you have 1.5GB of ram make a 2.5GB swapdisk), and if you have 3 or 4GB make a 512-768Mb swapdisk. Then all you're going to need is a maximum of 8GB for /. I have yet to pass 6.5 and I am an installation junky. Lastly, format the rest of your free space and stick it in /home. This way you don't have to worry about wasted space. Good luck!
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shane
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by shane »

* My first consideration would be... how confident are you in playing around with your partitions... Data loss is always a possibility and we'd like if that wasn't associated with installing Mint :D

* What kind of hard disks do you have? There are some extra considerations to make with a combination of drives... i.e. SATA, PATA, IDE... If they are all IDE, my experience has been very good. However, if you have the other 2 types, I strongly recommend you read this first: http://www.linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php ... annot_boot

* Is this your first Linux install? If it is, I would suggest you keep it as simple as possible... to avoid possible sources of problems. You can always spice it up later... in a future installation or without reinstalling if you know how. If you have the different drive types as mentioned above, I would suggest installing using mint4win... at least until you are comfortable enough with Linux to step up the game and handle possible problems with the different drive types.

Now, your questions...

1) as Fred said... not more than 2x your RAM and the total should not me more than 4GB... So in this case, your Swap should not exceed 2.5GB. 1.5GB is already sufficient for most tasks... but if you are going to be running memory intensive apps like image or video editing, then go closer to 2.5GB... otherwise, anything above 512MB should be enough.

2) All you have to do is create swap partitions on all your drives... then add a few lines to /etc/fstab.

3) the size of /home really depends on how much you want to put in it... You should have at least a few GBs to have space for user settings n stuff. For /, 10GB should be enough even with all kinds of junk installed. As for data partitions, use the partitions you use for Vista... that way you can access them from Vista as well.

4) I would suggest not creating separate partitions for /boot, etc right now... if this is your first install... keep it simple for now.

5) If you run Windows programs in Linux, you will be using Wine... which will create it's own 'C drive' (which is just a folder) in your home folder. Try finding alternative Linux apps instead... they will run much better.

6) Only one OS will be used at a time... so I don't see any difference in performance between the two set ups.

Again... if this is your first installation, try out mint4win. You can allocate as much space as you want to Mint... At least until you are comfortable enough with Linux to take it further... and be able to fix a failure to boot scenario if it happens... since you will have to fix it in Linux.

Happy Minting!
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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

plevans,

Due to your particular setup, your install has the potential to become quite complicated, for a first time install. Shane gave you some good advice. Keep it as simple as you can this time out. It matters not which internal drive you install to, as he said. Pick one of the existing blocks of unused space and format 1 swap of about 2 Gig, / of about 12 Gig, and /home of about 10 Gig. As Shane said, use your current NTFS data partitions to share/store data.

Leave optimizing your overall system as a project to be undertaken after you get a bit more Linux experience. As Shane said, we don't want to run you off by encouraging you to bite off more than you can chew the first time out. :-)

Fred
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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.
plevans
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

OK, I think I’ll keep it simple for now and install Mint on Disk 0 to dual-boot with Vista. As to shane’s suggestion re. mint4win: do you think it is necessary if I’m installing everything on one disk?

I’d like to set up my partions so as not to have to reinstall programs should I need to reinstall my os. Would this layout accomplish that?

swap ----Formatted as swap -----2GB
/ ----------Formatted as ext3 ------12GB
/home ----------Formatted as ext3 ------10GB
Current NTFS data partition for shared/stored data

Patti
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Acid_1
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Acid_1 »

Nope. Applications are kept in /bin /usr and possibly elsewhere, as well as system information regarding them. The best you can do is make a disk clone.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by shane »

mint4win does not change your partitions at all... What it does is create a virtual hard drive on one of your windows partitions. You can allocate however much space you want (as long as you have that much free space) to this virtual drive. It will not install grub, but instead it will use the Windows boot loader. And this was my main reason for suggesting mint4win. Because if Grub does not play well with your configuration of hard drives, you will not be able to boot your machine. This is why I also asked about what type of hard drives you have... and gave you that link to read. It contains what you will have to do in order to reconfigure Grub... using the Live CD.

Also with mint4win, Mint will appear as an installed application in Windows Add/Remove Programs. And you will be able to uninstall it easily from there should you later want to go for a full install. Disadvantages of mint4win are slightly lower performance because it is using a virtual hard drive on a Windows partition. There are some other minor issues that can be caused by having a mint4win installation. Otherwise, it is perfect for safely testing and learning Linux. Like I said, if you then face problems with Grub in a full install, you will at least be familiar enough with Linux to fix it. It is quite unnerving for new users to have neither Windows nor Mint booting in what was a working Windows machine... and then having to fix it using Linux with which they have no experience... I think you get my point... Just trying to avoid a bad first experience with Mint.

To install with mint4win, simply pop in the Mint CD while Windows is running and the installer should autorun.

Applications are installed in the system files of the installation... mostly /usr/ Hence having a separate /home only preserves your own files and settings during a reinstallation. I would recommend reinstalling applications after a reinstall as this will give you a cleaner system. And if you have adequate bandwidth this should be the easiest way to go about it. If you need to save on bandwidth, you can use Apt0nCD to create a repository of applications you have installed on a CD/DVD. Then, after reinstalling just add the CD/DVD as a repository and install from there. Copying over /usr/ from an old installation will be a messy affair... as some files are stored in other locations and many packages have scripts that make certain changes to the system. It is a whole lot easier to just install using the packages (from the internet or from your AptOnCD repository). This is why they are there in the first place... so it would be unwise not to use them.

Cheers.
plevans
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

I forgot to mention that I have had a little bit of previous experience w/Linux. I first installed Ubuntu to dual-boot w/Windows and GRUB worked fine. After reformatting the partition that Ubuntu was on I was unable to boot into Windows, but fixed that by restoring the MBR from a backup. So having been there, done that once I think I'd like to go for a full install. I'd like to see how Mint performs without being slowed down by running on a virtual hard drive.

Slow performance is just *one* of the issues w/Vista that started me on my search for another os. It actually began w/ Vista not playing happily w/AVG Antivrus and refusing to download virus definition updates (and forgetting to tell me). After getting infected w/3 viruses and several malwares, then spending 2 full days cleaning it up, Vista runs *sloow* and programs hang up.

So in light of that can you see any reason why I shouldn't do a full install? At this point I'm so disgusted w/Vista that I (almost) don't care if I can't boot into it.
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shane
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by shane »

My concern was that you would not be able to boot because of Grub issues... but if you have done it with Ubuntu, it should work fine in Mint as well. So, I see no reason for holding back on installing to disk. Go for it!
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

Thanks Shane, I think I will.

Do I need to use a partitioning program to set up the partitions for Linux from Windows? When I installed Ubuntu it gave me the default option or specifying the partitions manually. Does Mint install do the same thing?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by shane »

The installer in Mint is identical to the Ubuntu installer. Do your partitioning in the installer... using the manual partitioning tool. It is easy to use. Create separate / and /home partitions as described by Fred above. The default option will create only one partition which is the simplest way but makes reinstalling (if required) or upgrading more of a hassle.
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

Thanks so much to everyone for your advice. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Patti
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

I'm at the Prepare Partitions portion of my install and need to create a new partition for Mint in my hd's free space (with existing Win Vista on /dev/sda1. Should this be a Primary or Logical partition?
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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

plevans,

Well, hopefully you will be within the extended partition and can make logical partitions. You don't have enough primary partitions to cover everything. Read the post I referenced below to better understand the limits on partitioning.

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.p ... ed#p144139

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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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

I'm confused about what to do at this point.The Prepare Partitions screen shows:

/dev/sda:
/dev/sda1 -- ntfs -- (Win Vista)
free space -- 220GB
/dev/sda5 -- ntfs -- (my Vista data files)
/dev/sda3 -- ntfs -- 6GB (Vista Recovery files)

It's the free space I'll be partitioning and am confused about. With free space highlighted I am given one option, which is New Partition. That brings up Create A New Partition window where I must select Primary or Logical.

To accomplish this layout:
swap ----Formatted as swap -----2GB
/ ----------Formatted as ext3 ------12GB
/home ----------Formatted as ext3 ------10GB
...do I first create swap area partition? If so should it be logical or primary.
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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

plevans,

From the live CD desktop, look in the menu and open a program called "gparted." It is a partitioning tool. Post a screen shot of the partition table for this drive so I can see what you actually have there.

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.
plevans
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

I figured out how to take the screenshot and saved it to the desktop. Now how do I post it?
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by shane »

Use an image hosting service like imageshack.us... post it there and paste the link or embed it in the forum.
plevans
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

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Fred
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by Fred »

plevans,

Good, we are in luck, make all the partitions logical. swap, /, and /home, as was suggested earlier. :-)

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.
plevans
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Re: Considerations before you install

Post by plevans »

Thanks Fred and shane. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Patti
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