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  1. #1

    Partitioning Questions; where to put Xubuntu, Crunchbang, etc.?

    Okay so I'm brand new to Linux. My first Linux OS was Crunchbang as of a few days ago. I like it very much. But I figured I might put Xubuntu and perhaps even Fedora on my machine as well, and as soon as I can find someone with a MAK I want to put either Win7 or Win8 on there too. It's a netbook; Atom N2600, but with a 120GB SSD and 4GB RAM. So far with Crunchbang it's been pretty snappy. I can play youtube videos and kongregate games without a hitch.

    But that's besides the point, my issue is I don't know ANYTHING about partitioning. Partition-wise here's what's on my SSD so far:

    -----sda1 (ext4) 115,127 MB Size 5876 Used

    -----sda5 (swap) 4904 MB 0 Used

    Now it seems like I'm supposed to leave swap alone, as that's a backup for RAM, right?

    But what about the rest of it? Should I take sda1 and subdivide it, like for instance make a partition called sda2 and put Xubuntu in that, and put Windows in sda3? Or should separate OS's have separate letters altogether, like Xubuntu in sdb and Windows in sdc? I really don't know what's the best way to do this.

    And furthermore, what's the best way to go about doing this? Can I use gparted to do this or should I let Xubuntu lead the way as I install it? I tried that way and it gave me the option to install Xubuntu alongside Crunchbang (Debian) and then it asked me to divide up the available space on the SSD, with the default being 57 GB for one half and 57 for the other.

    But I didn't know for sure which side would be Xubuntu and which side would be Crunchbang and I didn't know how I'd go about dividing the larger portion further once I needed to install another OS.

    Also does every OS need to be in a partition formatted as ext4?

    I really just don't understand all this.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    You can get more human readable info on partitions mounted with the command: df -h
    Could you run the command, as root: fdisk -l(Lower case Letter L in the command) and post it here?
    I expect sda1 is the largest so you would need to resize(shrink that partition) so that you have room on the disk to create another partition or more. If your swap is on sda5, then you probably have a second primary, sda2 being used as an Extended partition so you will be able to create two more primary partitions. I would suggest your delete swap (re-create it later), resize(shrink) sda1 then create a primary partition for windows, a third primary for one of the other Linux distributions then use the fourth primary as an Extended partition which uses the rest of the disk and create logical partitions inside the Extended.

    Use gparted on a CD to do this.
    The dirve/partition names like sda1, the sda refers to the first hard drive, the (1) is the partition number and the systems do not need to be on separate drives.
    Any Linux can be installed on a logical partition, windows must have at least its boot files on a primary partition.
    When you install windows, it will overwrite the master boot record without asking or informing you of this so if you want to boot the other systems, you will need to reinstall Grub. So if you want to install windows, do it first and then the other Linux distributions.

    With Xubuntu, you need to select the install option which gives you the widest selection/control, probably listed as 'Something Else'. If you don't have that, select Manual or Expert. You should probably read up a little on Grub2 for Ubuntu as well as Fedora as the Fedora Grub options are different than Ubuntu.

  3. #3
    Great info so far yancek! Here's my fdisk stuff:

    Disk /dev/sda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders, total 234441648 sectors
    Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
    Disk identifier: 0x000d43c9

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 2048 224860159 112429056 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 224862206 234440703 4789249 5 Extended
    /dev/sda5 224862208 234440703 4789248 82 Linux swap / Solaris

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Tucson AZ
    If you have Xubuntu on a CD/DVD, boot it up and type: sudo gparted in the terminal to check to see if it is available. It is on Ubuntu CD/DVD, not sure. You might go to the gparted site and download it and burn it as an image and boot it up. You should not try to manipulate partitions from a running system, leads to a lot of potential problems.

    First step would be to delete the swap on sda5, then delete the Extended partition sda2. You can then create another primary partition for windows, not sure but you may need two?? Then use the last primary partition to create an Extended partition and create your logical partitions for Xubuntu and Fedora and save 2-4GB on which you can create a new swap partition. Probably would be best to install the Grub bootloader of Xubuntu to the master boot record. It should detect the other installs and put a menuentry for them in the boot menu.

    Fedora may not be a good choice if you are new to Linux. It's installer is a lot different than others and although it is one of the more popular distributions and has the most recent software, it is not stable at all. It exists as a test version for Red Hat so when you use it, you are basically volunteering to be a beta tester for Red Hat.

  6. #5
    Thank you!!! That's what I needed.

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