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Old 03-07-2011, 11:38 PM   #1
jim_d
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Registered: May 2010
Posts: 50

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Comment on partitioning strategy?


I'm planning to partition a new hard drive to dual-boot Mint+Mepis. I've read partitioning tutorials and posts, and want to check my understanding--I'd appreciate input from an experienced person.

For 500GB hard drive, dual-boot Mint+Mepis:
--Mint: / root partition for OS; /home partition for ease of upgrading
--Mepis: same as Mint
= four partitions

And:
/swap partition to be shared between Mint+Mepis
/shared partition for shared data
= two partitions

Total = six partitions

Since four primary partitions are allowed, I should use three primary partitions and one extended partition containing three logical partitions.

Is that correct?

If so, what should go where? I assume there's an optimal strategy--Should each /root of Mint+Mepis go in a primary? What should go in the other primary, and in the three logicals? Or maybe I don't need three primaries?--use two primaries and four logicals?

Any suggestions about partition size for /root OS? With 4GB RAM, should swap file = 8GB?

Am I thinking about this correctly?

Thx for input--
 
Old 03-08-2011, 01:11 AM   #2
tommyttt
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Registered: Oct 2009
Location: Federal Way, WA
Distribution: openSUSE 11.4 x86_64, openSuSE 12.1, Fedora 15
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Hi Jim D;

Quote:
And:
/swap partition to be shared between Mint+Mepis
/shared partition for shared data
= two partitions

Total = six partitions

Since four primary partitions are allowed, I should use three primary partitions and one extended partition containing three logical partitions.

Is that correct?
Yes, that would work. Here is what I did that is similar.

My partitions: Drive size = 500 GB
Number Size Mount File Flags
Point System
1 41.9GB /windows 7 ntfs type=07
2 15.7GB /shared-win ntfs type=07 << shared between windows and linux
3 41.9GB /BSD ext3 type=83
4 400GB Extended extended type=05
5 370MB /boot ext3 type=83 << I use a common boot which requires editing
6 4294MB swap linux-swap type=82 << /boot/grub/menu.lst
7 21.5GB /downloads ext3 type=83
8 10.7GB /source ext3 type=83
9 52.6GB /temp ext3 type=83
10 33.6GB /SuSU 11.4 ext3 type=83
11 31.5GB /SuSE 11.3 ext3 type=83
12 8390MB /opt ext3 type=83
13 238GB /Common ext3 type=83

/home/user is kept in root (/) for each distro with symlinks to data and common
configuration files/folders in /Common (Documents, Pictures, Music, etc.). One
needs to ensure that each user has the same UID in each distro for this to be
efective. This allows for new installs and upgrades without loosing personal
data (but back it up anyway). This also saves space as the symlinked directories
are the ones which tend to grow huge.

You also have to be aware of version variations between distros. When this
occurs, the config files should remain in /home/user.

The above partitioning allows me to use a common /boot partition. I use legacy
Grub as the bootloader which I must occassionally edit when testing a new distro.
If you do this, be sure to back up the /boot partition (actually, I backup
everything before any install or upgrade to be safe).

Tom

Last edited by tommyttt; 03-08-2011 at 01:13 AM.
 
Old 03-08-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
kevinbenko
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Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Fargo, North Dakota
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I've been using LVM (Logical Volume Management) since about 2006, and the only problems I've had with it were self-inflicted (when a command-line application warns you that doing something is not a good idea, listen to it!).

I've got "/" and "/boot" as legitimate physical partitions, with a bunch of logical volumes mounted on "/".
 
Old 03-08-2011, 09:28 AM   #4
jim_d
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Registered: May 2010
Posts: 50

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Thx for info.

I recall reading it's best to put the OS /root in a primary partition, because primaries are closer to the center of the hdisk so the reads are faster. Is this significant?

tommyttt, as a newb, your setup looks complex but I think I get it. I want to keep my setup as simple as possible while I learn, so will deal with symlinks later.

Would it be safest to make all my partitions ext3? I've seen this recommended. This hdrive is Linux-only.

Is a 30GB partition for each OS adequate?

So if I make Primary1-Mint and Primary2-mepis each 30GB; make Primary3=Extended and put /home-Mint, /home-mepis, swap, and shared, as logicals in Extended. Does this seem reasonable?

I'm not clear how unused disk space works. I'll have alot of extra space on this 500GB drive, as I don't have many video/photo/music files. Should I have a partition for future use, if I want to try an additional distro?
 
Old 03-09-2011, 03:08 AM   #5
JZL240I-U
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Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Distribution: openSuSE 42.1_64+Tumbleweed-KDE, Mint 17.3
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You might also think about a dedicated /boot partition with a boot loader for all later distros, like it was described here: http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...tition-698193/. Size about 100 - 150 MB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_d View Post
...I recall reading it's best to put the OS /root in a primary partition, because primaries are closer to the center of the hdisk so the reads are faster. Is this significant?
I never noticed a measurable effect, but if you feel better about it ... at least it can't hurt. (I hope ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_d View Post
...Would it be safest to make all my partitions ext3? I've seen this recommended. This hdrive is Linux-only.
I suggest ext4. That is faster particularly during the obligatory file system checks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_d View Post
...Is a 30GB partition for each OS adequate?
It is excessive . You will have a shared data partition, after all. 10 GB will do comfortably from my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_d View Post
So if I make Primary1-Mint and Primary2-mepis each 30GB; make Primary3=Extended and put /home-Mint, /home-mepis, swap, and shared, as logicals in Extended. Does this seem reasonable?
Yep. With the adjusted size and possibly a /boot partition, as suggested above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim_d View Post
I'm not clear how unused disk space works. ... Should I have a partition for future use, if I want to try an additional distro?
It doesn't "work" at all. It just awaits future use. You can partition it any time you like, now or later or just ignore it. It is more sensible to create partitions according to your actual needs at the moment you need them in the size you need and with the file system of your choice. HTH.

Last edited by JZL240I-U; 03-09-2011 at 03:13 AM.
 
  


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