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I am awaiting the arrival of a new computer (some specs provided below). It will come with MS Vista installed. I would like to dual boot with Ubuntu. I would ...
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  1. #1
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    Partition/raid installation help requested


    I am awaiting the arrival of a new computer (some specs provided below). It will come with MS Vista installed. I would like to dual boot with Ubuntu. I would very much appreciate some advice on how to set up the system.

    The computer is for work and play. The Vista is pretty much for gaming and a few proprietary apps. The Ubuntu will be used for the following:

    Long computational jobs (number crunching)
    Office work (documents, spreadsheets, etc)
    Small application development (in Python)
    Data analysis (statistics, etc)
    Standard internet use (mail, web browsing, etc)
    Music/photo/data storage (lots)
    Quite a few non-distribution apps will be added (on the order of 15-30)

    There will only probably be 1 or 2 user accounts.

    I am planning on using the 2nd drive as a backup drive. Ideally, this drive would be an identical copy of the first. That is, if the first fails, I could swap them and have a bootable copy of my first drive.

    Here is my question: How should I repartition the drive and set up the system to best meet my needs and goals?

    Repartition:

    I haven't decided on the exact space I'm giving to Vista, but lets say 100GB. What partitions and what sizes (I'm very confused about sizes) for Ubuntu? I'm thinking as a minimum I should have /, /boot (for the dual boot), /home, and /swap. Given the number of non-distro apps I'll be using, should I include a /usr/local partition? If so, is a /usr partition suggested? Would a /tmp partition help with the computational jobs? File system types and sizes and partition types (primary, etc) would be great.

    Backup:

    Someone suggested I look into setting up the drives as a Raid 1. Is this doable with a dual boot? If so, would that make a copy of drive 1 on drive 2 whether I'm in Vista or Ubuntu? If not, is there a way to do that? Do I need to make any special partitions for Raid to work? Is there a good step-by-step setup guide for Raid (or whatever backup system people suggest)?

    Note: I am not afraid of computers, but I am VERY new to linux (I barely understood what I typed above), so step-by-step instructions and small words would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    -----------------------------------------
    System specs

    Motherboard EVGA X58 based chipset with DDR3, PCI Express, 3-way SLI!
    Processor Intel® Core™ i7 processor i7-920, quad 2.66GHz cores, 8MB Cache, 4.8 GT/sec
    DDR3 Memory 6GB DDR3-1333 Triple Channel Premium Memory with Heat Spreader (3x204)
    PCX Video 1GB Radeon HD 4890 GDDR5, PCI-Express
    Hard Drive 1 1TB Hitachi 7200rpm 16MB Cache SATA 300 w/NCQ
    Hard Drive 2 1TB Hitachi 7200rpm 16MB Cache SATA 300 w/NCQ
    Operating System Genuine Microsoft® Windows® Vista Home Premium 64-bit SP 1

  2. #2
    Linux Guru gogalthorp's Avatar
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    Don't see a real need for a separate boot partition. You need a swap partition tradition says 2X memory. Ubuntu be default only installs swap and root. I suggest a separate home. This allows saving of personal data and settings if you need to reinstall. I assume the "lengthy calculation" are also memory intensive and may generate lots of temp files. So either give root lots of space or a separate tmp partition might make sense it really depends on exactly what you intend.

  3. #3
    Linux Engineer Segfault's Avatar
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    Following traditions is nice indeed. Following common sense and some knowledge may sometimes prove to be even better.
    There is absolutely no need for swap with 6 GB memory.

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