Partition advice, anticipating swapping out OSs.
How would you recommend partitioning a hard drive, if you thought you might want to change distros someday, but didn't want to lose the hard work you'd put into your current one?
Having played for a while with Debian, Kubuntu, openSUSE, and Fedora, I may be ready to wipe my hard drive clean and settle for now on MEPIS. But what if I change my mind later? What if MEPIS starts cranking out dog-turd distros, or stop cranking them out entirely? What if I become a Slackware nerd? I'll have put some labor into downloading software, adding users and groups, and tinkering with preferences -- and I don't want that all to disappear just because I thought using Gentoo would make me more of a man.
Can folks suggest some partitioning schemes? I'm running a 512-MB RAM, 80-GB HD, desktop-dedicated, non-server machine.
Where's user-installed software stored?
I like to think I'm not paranoid...
Originally Posted by RobinVossen
It's not about the fear of crash or data corruption. It's just about the labor involved in re-installing any programs.
What I don't understand about your first suggestion (swap, /boot, and /) -- or even about the idea (seen elsewhere) of using swap, /home, and / -- is: when I install new software (e.g., Opera, Google Earth, or w3c's Amaya), where is the program itself kept? Surely not /home?
May I use a Windows analogy? In Windows, there's a "Documents and Settings" folder that seems analogous to /home. There's also a "Program Files" folder with the .exe, .dll, and other program files not related to a specific user. That's what I want to avoid losing if I decide to change distros.
Is there a single place in the filesystem standard where user-installed software is kept? If not, in which places is stored? If so, what else is store there? anything distro-specific that would start making my new Fedora OS start behaving like my old MEPIS OS?
Thanks kindly for your suggestions. Ozar, I like your imaging tool idea: it reminds me always to back things up, a habit I'm not in.
(I'd be more inclined to play around with different partitioning schemes if it were only my computer. As is, I'm taking my family along for the ride -- so I hope to get it not-too-wrong the first time.