Originally posted by melinda_sayang
1. you need swap in different partition. Period.
Linux will allow you to run a swap/paging file just like Windows NT. There is no necessity that you have a swap partition. It is simply "the way things tend to be done" with home linux setups. If you have a gig of ram, you won't ever use it anyway. I have never seen it use more than 850 mb of ram before.
The necessity of separating partitions is non-existent on all counts on a home machine. There is no reason you cannot run everything on one giant partition. And in fact that may be more efficient and easy to manage.
3. I usually install programs to /usr/lib since that's where Mandrake puts most things anyway. /opt is generally empty these days. Youl could install everything there. Or, you can install stuff to lots of places. I install most programs into my /home directory since I am the only user. You can start any software from anywhere as long as there is a symlink to it in /usr/bin
4. You can just do a find on the name of the file and then rm the directory. Linux has no registry. So, the directory with all of the files is pretty much self contained for user-installed software. You might have to then manually tweak your MIME and other settings in your X setup, though, if they have this program in their config files.
5. An ATI card, huh? Depends on the distribution. Using the driver probably won't improve 2d performance much, but it will improve it some. On Mandrake 10.0, when I installed the nvidia driver, the 2d performance for office apps improved. Screen draws were eye-catchingly faster. However, it should run OK without it.
What do the directories mean?
/boot = stuff you use to boot
/bin = binary files that run the OS and shell
/var = variable size files like system logs
/usr = all sorts of crud
./bin = more binary files and libraries
./lib = libraries and some program directories and files
./local = supposed to be for programs only for this machine - but some programs go there
./local/bin = some programs like to live here.
/etc = configuration files
/opt = optional software you might like to install (sometimes dead empty)
/lib = library files
/mnt = mount points for cdrom, floppy, tape, usb devices, windows partitions, etc.
/dev = system device files (everything is a file in Linux)