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OK, say you had a 140GB Hard drive, and XP was using 70Gb. I'd make the following partitions: 100Gb - Windows XP - NTFS (ready there, no changes) 40Gb - ...
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  1. #21
    Linux Newbie danvds3's Avatar
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    OK, say you had a 140GB Hard drive, and XP was using 70Gb. I'd make the following partitions:

    100Gb - Windows XP - NTFS (ready there, no changes)
    40Gb - split into:
    1Gb - Linux Swap - SWAP (new change)
    39Gb - Linux Partition (/) - ext3 (new change)

    That's all you should need, I don't reccomend making /home etc. because It limits how much you can install to 5gb, I tried this and ended up just using / so there's much less limits.

    I have a Dell computer, which includes a diskchecker (fat16) and a system restore tool (fat32). This is my partition setup:

    sda1: ???Gb - System Diagnostics - FAT16
    sda2: 108Gb - Windows XP - NTFS
    sda3: Extended Partition
    - sda5: 1.08Gb - Linux Swap - SWAP
    - sda6: 39Gb - Ubuntu - ext3
    sda4: 1/2Gb - Dell System Restore - FAT32

    Something like that anyway. Had to create extended and logical partitions thanks to Dell's lousy non-CD restore solutions. Nothing like 1999 and earlier. Now they cheaply get out of everything. Do you even think they pay for these operating system copies???? (Dell do, theres a little shiny hologram of licence from microsoft)

    Anyway, I reccomend GParted for a partitioner (it's free, and live CD, so no sluggish-ness of other environments such as metacity or windowsnessness)

    As for the installer, always choose Manual, and choose your new partition, then set the mount point to '/'. choose the resize to it's fullest setting and finally click OK (ignore any messages telling you that Windows will not like the cluster size, unless Windows will be accessing the Linux partition several times (which is unlikely). NEVER choose 'use whole hard drive' unless you want to wipe your drive. I would advise you also keep any default factory partitions like Dell system restore. Any unidentifiable partitions that aren't XP or linux, will most likely be factory-built partitions, and can help you get out of sticky situations. So don't be too hasty to delete them, I suggest you just make an extended partition if you haven't got room (You can only have 4 physical partitions).
    Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
    George S. Patton

  2. #22
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    Wow thanks danvds3! You just said everything I needed to know in one post! Before reading this, I went on and installed Ubuntu (not doin Debian anymore), and (luckily) did exactly what you just said. You swiped away my fears that not creating /home as a separate partition was somehow bad.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdSquareCat View Post
    You swiped away my fears that not creating /home as a separate partition was somehow bad.
    Try the one-partition-scheme and if you have a problem in the future you will understand that it is a bad strategy. If you have bad blocks in the root area, you will loose /home as well. If a rootkit gets in your system, sometimes the only solution is reinstalling the system. What will you do with /home which will be many GB to backup? If your system becomes unbootable, because of a mistake you did operating in the / partition...?
    Making two partitions is common sense. So make a / partition large enough if you plan to install many apps and secure your /home partition putting the options nodev,nosuid in /etc/fstab and you are done.
    The problems usually occur in the root area. So in the worst case, you will have to only reinstall the system without touching the /home.

  4. #24
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    Oh, I see. I will have that in mind. Thanks for the warning.

  5. #25
    Linux Newbie danvds3's Avatar
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    g.ivannov - You've made a good point actually. As much as Linux viruses are very uncommon, You also need a bigger Hard Drive. If you take a look at my Partition setup above, Splitting up 30Gb for a / and /home would waste so much space. I have a tendancy to install a lot of programs. What does windows do? It only utilises one Partition. EdSquareCat is new to Linux and will most likely install many Programs to begin with, as he is new. It's just instincts to. When he's got a better knowledge of Linux, Maybe a seperate /home partition would be good, as he'll probably start storing important data like music and pictures.

    As for me, I'll stick to the / partition only, as Ubuntu is sort of my 'getaway'. Most data of mine is either on the Windows Partition, or on my trusty thumb drive.

    Thanks for the tip though... I'll keep that in mind.
    Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
    George S. Patton

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    Another problem is that the upgrades of the system are not always successful. They never worked perfectly for me and I prefer a fresh install of the new version.

    Besides that, as the computer becomes old, you can switch to a lighter distro keeping the money for your holidays and not for Dell...

    So /home (sweet /home) is absolutely necessary. Well, that's my point of view. Anybody do as they like...

  7. #27
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    Hey, this is my first post...

    But yeah, im in the same circumstance as EdSquareCat
    Ive downloaded Backtrack2.0 and want to install, but dual boot with XP
    Is it possible to just create the SWAP and ext3 drive, 512MB for SWAP and 60GB for the linux '/' drive? Will that work ? i do i need to redo the whole computer [i dont have XP Disc - moved house & lost ]

    I Hope that will work

    and i agree with g.ivannov with the /home directory, Save all your shizzle there and just basic progs on '/' Then, you can remove that system and try other Linux systems aswell, without losing your valuable shizz

    illuz1oN™

    Hope you can help =]

  8. #28
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    "To each his own..." -- but, based on my experience - I would suggest the following:

    * DO create a separate partition for your personal data (i.e. - '/home') - whatever the operating system ('D:' in Windows) - DO NOT allow the "mixing" of OS and your personal data in the same partition.

    * If you are using Windows, make ['D:', from above] a FAT partition. Leave the system ['C:'] partition in its native format ('NTFS').

    * DO NOT "share" Windows data space ('D:') and Linux user-account space ('/home').

    * DO create a separate partition for '/tmp'.

    * Creating extra partitions for /boot, /root, /opt, or /var is optional, and is usually only done by more experienced users for performance or other reasons.

    * DO NOT create separate partitions for any system directories not mentioned above unless you really know what you are doing - and for some of them, even if you really know what you are doing (in which case, you would know why you shouldn't ).

    * Creating a SWAP partition is not going to hurt too much if you have a large enough disk drive -- the only question that remains is about performance. If you are a Linux beginner - general rule - accept whatever suggestion the install suggests (If no suggestion is made, create SWAP equal to amount of RAM you have - up to 1G -- if you limit to half a G, that will work, too... ).

    In as much as any of this is repetitious of other people's suggestions, then --- perhaps, you should take their advice...

  9. #29
    Linux Guru bigtomrodney's Avatar
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    Something I just remembered but reminded by CodeRoot: NEVER make /etc a seperate partition. This is where your system configuration lives so if you can't read it at boot you won't be booting

  10. #30
    Linux Newbie danvds3's Avatar
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    G0t-Root.net, It is OK to create a Linux Partition (/) only, but make sure your SWAP partition is at least 1Gb. As a beginner, / only is fine, but later on, I suggest you use a /home partition. The others aren't compulsory, especially with newer Linux Distros/Builds.

    Yes you can install linux without wiping your entire disk. There's a handy little tool called 'GParted'.

    GParted Live CD ISO

    Simply burn the ISO to CD, slap it in your Drive, Restart your PC and you can do whatever you like. Remember, Linux partitions are ext3/ext2, Use ext3. Resize your Windows Partition, leaving some space. Remember that The darker shading of your XP partition is the used part. So leave a bit extra. Use that free space and split into two (1Gb SWAP and the rest as ext3). Then you can split that for the /home (personal files), and the / partition (make sure you have enough for programs and updates. (I would say 10gb, everyone goes around saying "5Gb is enough". No, wrong, it's never enough. I ran out very fast. Don't think about naming the partitions. Just 2 ext3's and 1 swap. You can set the mount points in your Linux install.

    Once done, click 'Apply' then reboot. Remove the CD, and Install Linux from A Live CD/Installer CD.

    EXTRA NOTES / IMPORTANT

    - If you are resizing a Windows Partition, always defragment before entering Gparted.

    - After the resize, boot into windows and let Diskchk run.

    - Make sure you leave at least 5Gb extra for windows (I left 39Gb).

    - As mentioned in previous posts, I suggest keeping any OEM Partitions (like dell's system restore).

    - If needed, put your Linux partitions in an Extended Partitions. Then create the linux partitions as 'Logical Partitions'. - Remember, You may only create 4 physical partitions.

    If you need any more help, don't hesitate to ask.
    Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
    George S. Patton

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