Hello & Welcome strider,
Alright, before I get to the meat of the problem, I'll say I don't have much experience with linux at all. I am familiar with Windows, and have has a little exposure to Ubuntu, but not much. I'll try to keep it short but it's not something I'm particularly good at.
Good for you! ;)
Anyways, the world of open source has always intrigued me and I've decided to dive right in and multiboot linux on my laptop. I tried using Ubuntu before, Dual booting it onto my PC with windows XP but that didn't help me at all because in the end I never booted into Ubuntu. So I figure the only way to make myself learn linux is to go cold turky and throw windows in the trash.
I would be keeping my distance from bleeding edge distros such as Arch, Gentoo etc. if I am just beginning to learn linux. But then again, this would be your call.
I've been doing a whole lot of reading these past few days, from distro's too console commands and I'm liking what I'm reading. So I basically set out a plan for what I was going to do.
Main OS: Kubuntu
Secondary OS: Arch
Third OS: Backtrack
Fourth OS: Gentoo
The ideas behind these choices are that Kubuntu will be my main desktop OS, Arch and Gentoo will be used to learn linux and bt is there for its flexibility.
I've been asking around some other places about witch distro's will REALLY teach you linux, and I the majority of responses seem to point to Arch and Gentoo.
I've also read a lot about LFS, seems really fun and interesting but I think it's beyond my scope atm.
So as I've been planning all of its stuff by downloading everything I need, I got stuck when I went looking for information about partitioning. Basically, what I'm looking for is a cut and dry description of how I should be partitioning my drive for what I'm trying to attempt. Many of the guides I've found give you a barebones look at what I should be doing but none of the ones I've found go into specifics.
It would make your task simpler if you can partition your HD ahead of time.
You can use "Gparted". Its a software that can help you partition your HD quite easily since it has a GUI and you just have to drag & click, so to speak as you decide on how to slice your HD.
You can get a pendrive version of Parted Magic.
Gparted is included in that package. Set BIOS to boot USB and off you go!
Yes you are correct, 3 Primary & 1 Extended Partiton. You can then partition your Extended Partition into several Logical partitions. I think up to more than 50 or was it 72?
I think - from what I've been reading - is that I need 3 Primary Partitions, and 1 Logical. The first three will be used for the first OS while the rest of the OS' will be installed on the logical partitions. This is basically the level of depth the guides go into and has me literally teaming with questions about how to set this all up.
Your system will automatically assign "names" to each partition. Example /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2, and so on. If you mean "names" as in label, you can name them whatever you so wish.
What names should I be naming all these partitions?
As you install, there will be default settings of formats in the installer options. Basically, newer releases would go Ext3 or Ext4. Just stick with the default to start with.
Also what Formats? Ext1, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4 Differences?
Differences? Mmmmm.... I have to google that again...sorry.
I personally look at partitions like several different offices (partitions) in a big building (HD)
What does each primary partition do exactly?
Each office being able to function fully and independently from each other while sharing the same building (HD)
I partitioned mine so that I can have several OS and Storage Bins.
What are their purposes?
I have 9 partitions in my HD. 6 different OS and 2 Storage Bins, 1 Swap partition. You can also partition your HD for example as 1 OS and 10 different Storage Bins. 1 each for a particular purpose. (multi-media, documents, pictures, videos etc) Really depends on you.
Sizes? Granting you will just install basics, IMHO, 8 to 12 G for a linux OS would be good already.
What are the relative sizes they need to be to successfully perform these jobs?
Some have separate partitions for boot, home, etc. I partiton mine as /, and the rest as 1 partition
How many partitions does a regular OS use/need and how do I configure this?
You can only have 1 Extended (not logical) and slice them into as many logical partitons as you need. As I said I think 70+? I have to google that one. :rolleyes:
How many logical partitions do I need?
I mount all my OS in "/"
Do I need a root partition for each OS?
What is a swap partition, do I need it, size and does it need to be primary?
Can be primary can be logical. Its up to you.
Go go go!
And there are plenty more.
Just do your installations first and when you face issues in grub, you can post them in the proper forums.
Because I'm not dual booting with windows, many of the guides I've found are not particularly helpful.
This one in particular has helped a lot but has confused me a lot also.
One of the predominant things in this guide is the differences of GRUB Legacy and GRUB2. I kinda understand what I have do to get around it but it's pretty taxing on my brain because i don't understand everything 100%, just the basic idea.
Good day, mate!
Here's an example of my HD partitions:
[root@localhost ~]# fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 250.1 GB, 250059350016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 30401 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0xc5e3f820
Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 * 1 1930 15502693+ 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda2 1931 15817 111547327+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda3 15818 29555 110350485 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda4 29556 30401 6795495 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda5 9778 14512 38033856 83 Linux
/dev/sda6 3836 5224 11157111 83 Linux
/dev/sda7 5225 8475 26113626 83 Linux
/dev/sda8 14513 15817 10481663+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda9 1931 3835 15301849+ 83 Linux
/dev/sda10 8476 9777 10458283+ 83 Linux
Partition table entries are not in disk order