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Hi, I bought a Dell dimension desktop recently (2.66Ghz, 512MB DDR RAM). My hard disk has a capacity of 40 GB. I plan to format it (it now has XP, ...
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  1. #1
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    dual boot


    Hi,
    I bought a Dell dimension desktop recently (2.66Ghz, 512MB DDR RAM). My hard disk has a capacity of 40 GB. I plan to format it (it now has XP, home edition) and reinstall XP-pro and Linux (mandrake, 9.0). Instead of installing Windows and then getting into the hassles of partitioning to create space for Linux, I am of the opinion that it is better to partition first and then install whatever I want. To this end, could someone please advise me as to what size partitions should I set apart for Windows XP (with the office suite) and Linux ? Any help is appreciated.

    Regards,

    Sanjiv

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    If I would do this (which I wouldn't really, of course, since I wouldn't want Windows, but anyway), I would create these partitions:
    10 GB NTFS for Windows.
    5 GB ext3 for Linux's root partition.
    512 MB swap space for Linux.
    19.5 GB ext3 for Linux's /home directory.
    5 GB FAT32 for sharing files between Linux and Windows.

    Of course, this prioritizes Linux, but then again, this is as I would do it.

  3. #3
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    NTFS v/s FAT

    Thanks for the prompt reply. I appreciate it. Just one more question on the type of file system. You have suggested that I have part of Windows on NTFS and part on FAT32. Would you recommend having the whole of windows on FAT32 so that my entire hard disk could be accessed using Linux. I guess this would be prioritizing Linux .

    Regards,

    Sanjiv

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    (Note that I don't want to start a flame war on security.)

    There are two ways NTFS is better than Fat32. It supports file permissions, and (I'm pretty sure) it's a journalling filesystem. The file permissions can help to make the operating system more secure, provided you play it safe, turn off all non-essential services, apply patches, etc... while journalling makes it less likely that data is lost during a crash. Of course, Linux reads of NTFS are iffy and writes to it are not recommended, while Linux support of Fat32 is excellent.

    If you don't intend on keeping sensitive data on the machine, I'd make the entire Windows partition FAT32. Otherwise, I would go with DoIda2000's suggestion.

    If you're going to play games, I would make the Windows partitions bigger for storing games and the Linux partitions smaller, no matter what filesystem you pick. Linux game support is getting better, but Windows still has a much larger selection.

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    Well, NTFS is also faster than FAT32 and it's more optimized to not require defragmenation. Of course, it still doesn't beat ext3, but it's much better than FAT32 in those ways. Especially in terms of speed, where for FAT32 you need to traverse the entire cluster chain to seek in a file, while (I believe) that NTFS uses a more array-like lookup technique, like ext3.

    Also, the new version of Linux's NTFS driver reads NTFS very efficiently. Of course, you still can't write to it, but that which it supports (reads) is very efficiently implemented now.

    Ultimately, it's up to you, though. It is undubatibly easier to just keep all Windows files on a FAT32 partition, but it isn't as good as NTFS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolda2000
    512 MB swap space for Linux.
    i always thought tat the swap partition for linux is twice the value of the RAM...so shouldnt in this case be 1024MB??

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    Its optional, the algoriitm for adding data into the swap space are best used for twice the ammount of the RAM but its not a rule.
    Regards

    Andutt

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    I think, also, that they've changed it in the 2.6 MM is optimized for having as much swap as RAM, but I'm not sure about that.

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