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Hi all, I am trying to come up with a partitioning scheme for myself and have been looking for suggestions for the same on the net. But I am now ...
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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Partitioning scheme rationale


    Hi all,

    I am trying to come up with a partitioning scheme for myself and have been looking
    for suggestions for the same on the net. But I am now left with a nagging question:
    why create a primary partition when a logical partition (within an extended partition)
    will do just as well?

    I understand that primary partition is indispensable in some cases. In particular,
    one can only boot from a primary partition. Fair enough. I can see the point of giving /boot
    its own primary partition.

    But then I have come across schemes like the one below:
    /dev/sda1 -> /boot
    /dev/sda2 -> swap
    /dev/sda3 -> /root
    /dev/sda[5+] -> for /home, /var, /usr etc..

    In the above example, given that there can be only 4 primaries in the MBR, why would I want to
    give swap and root their own primary partitions? Doing so would leave no primary partition
    free for me to install another OS and/or Linux distribution. There must, therefore, be some
    tangible advantage to doing so to offset the loss of future option. But I can't figure out
    what they are...

    Thanks for your help
    Abhinav.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome !

    Linux does not need any Primary Partition and there is no need of separate /boot partition too unless you are planning to setup server or use LVM.

    If you are planing to install Linux in Desktop then /, /home and SWAP partitions are enough. None of these including /boot, if any, require Primary Partition.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks Casper,
    It seems that at least the distributions I have (pardus & opensuse) do behave as you say. They manage with just one extended partition (with logical sub-partitions). I guess I can now see why distributions choose this scheme.

    But if all distributions need one extended partition by default (that is, no manual partitioning) and there can only be one of that, then wouldn't each distro overwrite any previously installed distro? If yes, then thats sad because while two distros fight for one partition, the hugely annoying Vista gets to sit pretty on two (or three). The unfairness of it all bothers me.

    Btw, why would it be better for a server to have a /boot primary partition and not a logical one? I am only concerned with desktops. But your statement about servers made me curious.

    Thanks again
    Abhinav.

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  5. #4
    Super Moderator devils casper's Avatar
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    Installers of all distros doesn't care about partition type.
    If you have Primary Partition setup, Linux installer will work fine and if you select Logical partitions, it won't complaint there too.
    I have Windows XP + 5 Linux distros in my test machine.

    1 Primary Partition for Windows OS
    2 Primary Partitions for Data Sharing
    5 Linux distros in Logical Partitions. You can create 64+ Partitions in single Hard disk.
    Btw, why would it be better for a server to have a /boot primary partition and not a logical one? I am only concerned with desktops. But your statement about servers made me curious.
    Its recommended to create separate /boot partition for Production Machines and in most cases, Server is one those. Separate /boot partition will allow you to boot up in rescue and customized mode easily.

    As I mentioned earlier, there is no need to create /boot partition Primary unless one is using LVM. Grub doesn't support LVM and one has to create /boot for that.
    It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
    New Users: Read This First

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