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Old 08-30-2007, 09:38 PM   #1
justasmallcup
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Install DSL on root or swap partition??


Hi,

I'm new to DSL, and am having trouble installing it on my laptop. I've got an HP Pavilion ze4420, ram 186MB, hard drive 40GB. After booting from the LiveCD, I created two partitions: root (hda1, type 83, primary, 37GB) and swap (hda2, type 82, primary, 300MB).

That is all fine. Where my trouble comes in is with the GRUB loader. I get error 15 (17?) that says "Cannot mount selected partition". Is this a problem with which partition I am installing DSL onto? Following the instructions on the DSL wiki, I believe my "target partition to hold image" is supposed to be the swap partition. But, it so far has not worked.

Perhaps I am doing something wrong? Each tutorial is slightly different, and each has steps that are confusing. Please help!!

JASC
 
Old 08-30-2007, 10:07 PM   #2
justasmallcup
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nevermind! I figured it out. Used Frugal install instead.
 
Old 09-12-2007, 01:12 AM   #3
PaganHippie
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Just for the record, you can't install anything on a swap partition. It's swap space -- virtual memory, and not actually part of the Linux file system,

Glad your frugal install worked for you, but for future reference, if you're working with only 2 partitions and one of them is swap space, you will always have to place your files in the non-swap partition.
 
Old 09-24-2007, 04:00 PM   #4
rafkid
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Talking ooops for bumping

sorry to bump this - how many partitions would u go for if u were to install DSL?? I have a compaq presario 1277 of ancient vintage with 64mb of RAM and a four gig hard drive - I would love to install linux of whatever flavour on this providing I could run an IM program and pick up emails POP3 and surf - this is for chum - any suggestions welcome - ty for reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaganHippie View Post
Just for the record, you can't install anything on a swap partition. It's swap space -- virtual memory, and not actually part of the Linux file system,

Glad your frugal install worked for you, but for future reference, if you're working with only 2 partitions and one of them is swap space, you will always have to place your files in the non-swap partition.
 
Old 09-24-2007, 04:49 PM   #5
PaganHippie
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Well, when it comes to partitioning, I'm basically lazy, and would set it up very simply -- one '/' for the entire filesystem and one 'swap' usually about twice the size of physical RAM. If the distro you want to install wants to set things up its own way, I'd suggest letting it do so, otherwise my rule of thumb is swap=2xRAM, root=all the rest.

Now, having said that, if you were setting up a system where you would have a lot of personal files, and you want to preserve those files between multiple Linux installs (say, you're testing several distros and don't want to re-create all your personal data every time), a separate partition for /home is very helpful. A /home partition is also very helpful in the case of a major system crash, as it's often more possible to recover your personal data files when they are on their own partition.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by PaganHippie; 09-24-2007 at 04:50 PM.
 
Old 09-24-2007, 08:22 PM   #6
Blue60
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On my old Dell CP I just have a / partition and a swap my swap is 256mb and my / is 3.74Gb but then i only have 32mb of ram and DSL runs fine.
 
Old 09-25-2007, 03:37 AM   #7
rafkid
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Thumbs up thanks for the replies

Thank you for this - it sounds like sound advice - the next n00b Q from me is...............if I make a partition /home at install distro time - does the distro "know" it is for "my" files? Do all distros recognise the /home partition as the place where my user files will reside? Grief I have just read this back to myself, I would never guess for one minute I have used computers since 1977 - an analogue Packard used to work out the area under a curve for those that want to know. Anyway the two responses here have rekindled my faith in forums - thank you for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaganHippie View Post
Well, when it comes to partitioning, I'm basically lazy, and would set it up very simply -- one '/' for the entire filesystem and one 'swap' usually about twice the size of physical RAM. If the distro you want to install wants to set things up its own way, I'd suggest letting it do so, otherwise my rule of thumb is swap=2xRAM, root=all the rest.

Now, having said that, if you were setting up a system where you would have a lot of personal files, and you want to preserve those files between multiple Linux installs (say, you're testing several distros and don't want to re-create all your personal data every time), a separate partition for /home is very helpful. A /home partition is also very helpful in the case of a major system crash, as it's often more possible to recover your personal data files when they are on their own partition.

Hope this helps.
 
Old 09-27-2007, 10:00 PM   #8
PaganHippie
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When you create a new user, either during the install or later, that user's 'home' directory is created under /home. For example, let's say you've created a new user 'fred'. Any personal files associated with 'fred' will be in the directory /home/fred, and every time fred logs in, he will be placed in that 'home' directory. If you then create another user, 'barney', that user's personal files will be in /home/barney, and any time barney logs in, he will start off in that directory. With a separate /home partition, both fred's and barney's files will reside within that partition. AFAIK all modern Unix-like operating systems (GNU/Linux, Solaris, BSD, even what's left of Unix System V) use this setup for user files.

Clear as mud?

Analog computers... damn, I haven't even seen one of those since college ('78-'82)! Showing my age, I guess....

Last edited by PaganHippie; 09-27-2007 at 10:08 PM.
 
Old 09-28-2007, 03:29 AM   #9
rafkid
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Smile Ectopia the home of the linux sage

Another post of true erudition from ectopia.............is it as tight in there as I imagine? The walls not too constricting?

Anyway - as a follow on as it were.

So in our ideal install on a system we are happy to "blast" the hard drives/s on: we have several partitions that we nominate during installation as /, /swap and /home ???????? Are there any more that would be useful to name? Like /pictures - perhaps?

So come the day when we tire of said wannabee distro we can over install a new distro and thereby preserve our accumulated data? Safe in the knowledge that up until the latest install all our user data is in /home ??????? I kind of understand that - it is reasonably intuitive, my concern though is that I thought I had this before I installed FC7 on my monster machine only to find it has zapped everything in favour of an lvm................sobs uncontrollably into his milk. I presume there is some damn thing I am not appreciating about install time that tells the installation routine to preserve original data? I bet that is too simplistic.

Did you know I have spent hundreds of hours trying to get to grips with linux in order to leave Mr Gates behind in my life for ever always to be thwarted by some linux limitation of a particular distro, or by some total lack of knowledge on my part. I bet this is all off topic as well - ho hum thank you for reading.

You are a nice peep for being so available btw and I want to thank you for it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by PaganHippie View Post
When you create a new user, either during the install or later, that user's 'home' directory is created under /home. For example, let's say you've created a new user 'fred'. Any personal files associated with 'fred' will be in the directory /home/fred, and every time fred logs in, he will be placed in that 'home' directory. If you then create another user, 'barney', that user's personal files will be in /home/barney, and any time barney logs in, he will start off in that directory. With a separate /home partition, both fred's and barney's files will reside within that partition. AFAIK all modern Unix-like operating systems (GNU/Linux, Solaris, BSD, even what's left of Unix System V) use this setup for user files.

Clear as mud?

Analog computers... damn, I haven't even seen one of those since college ('78-'82)! Showing my age, I guess....

Last edited by rafkid; 09-28-2007 at 03:30 AM.
 
Old 09-28-2007, 01:58 PM   #10
PaganHippie
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Ah, Ecotopia... where the air isn't brown! I live in coastal northern California, up in redwood country. The pace of life is slower here, it's not as crowded, there's wildlife, the wild blackberries are in season.... You just have to not mind lots of rain.

* * * Intermission * * *

Well, if you're going to go to the trouble of creating a separate /home partition, you've pretty much committed yourself to manual partitioning from that point forward. If you let a new distro 'have its head' and re-partition/re-format the drive, then yes, you could very well lose your previously-created /home. It's also probably best to use a well-established filesystem type, such as ext2 or ext3, on any partitions you want to keep, to be certain that your next-installed distro will be able to mount and read them. Fortunately, ext3 seems to be the default fstype for most current distros.

Now, having said all that, various distros' install routines can be very different indeed and thus it's hard to generalise about them; but the newer ones, at least that I've futzed about with, seem to be getting better about asking if you want to re-use existing partitions, and whether or not(!) to re-format them. Myself, if I'm trying to preserve the contents of a partition through a re-install, I never trust the automatic partitioning scripts and just do that bit by hand.

I personally wouldn't bother creating a special /pictures partition, as it's far more likely that your pics will reside in a place like /home/username/pictures, so the files would already be in the /home filesystem, and thus already in the /home partition. I suppose you could do it if you wanted to... Linux would allow it... but why bother?

Or you could just be lazy as I usually am and put everything in '/', making sure to backup any files you want to keep to CDs or DVDs before a re-install; then, of course, you have to copy everything back onto the HD again. Come to think of it, it's probably wise to backup your keeper files anyway, even if you're planning to re-use /home, just as insurance.

Glad to be of help....
 
  


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