LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 10-12-2008, 03:38 AM   #1
tonyawards
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Sabayon
Posts: 15

Rep: Reputation: 1
Initial Partitioning for XP Dual Boot w/ Room to Grow


I am new to Linux (although I’ve played with numerous Live CDs and tried to read as much as I can without real installed hands-on experience) and I believe that I want to try it first with a dual boot of Linux and XP Pro. Cold feet...

I have an 80GB HD inside an HP Pavilion dv6000z laptop (AMD Turion64/Broadcom wireless/nVidia GE Force6150) running as the administrator in a small home office XP/Vista network.

I figure after migrating all my docs to the Linux environment (approx. 22GB worth) and keeping XP for just a few apps (Photoshop, QuickBooks Pro etc.) I could give the XP side 20-25GB, maybe less (yes?) and dedicate the balance of 55-60GB to Linux.

The HP only came with their system recovery disks naturally, instead of real XP disks, and reinstalling always creates a D-drive for HP’s recovery (10+GB). I figure that I can kill that and take my chances with not being able to reinstall properly if really necessary, although by the time that might ever happen hopefully I’ll be off my Windows habit for good... Or - if Wine is a viable alternative at this point for running Photoshop and QB Pro I could dedicate the entire drive space to Linux – does anyone have experience here?

So. I have been here and all over the Net and have seen so many different ideas as to how to partition Linux that at this point I’m not sure what’s best. What I want is to have the maximum flexibility to try different distros, save my data in case of problems and/or reinstalls, etc., so I don’t believe that just the minimum number of partitions Linux requires would be enough for the future.

What do you folks think is the best way to set it up? I’m aware that I should create my new partition/s for Linux before I begin an installation with the Live CD, and that I should install Windows first if I’m going to keep it, but just how best to do all that is something I’m still not sure of. How many partitions (for /, /boot, /swap, /usr, /home, /var, etc.) and what sizes, considering my constraints above, do you think I should have?

And what’s the best way to do it – using fdisk, something else better, or let the distro resize and configure it with its own installer, or...?

Can anyone please help? Hopefully all this doesn’t sound too naive (oh yeah, and I’ve never really done any partitioning, but what the hey, gotta start somewhere), but it is a big step, though one I’m more than willing to take (finally) – I’d just like to make it as smooth as I can.

Thank you all in advance for any advice, links to relevant info online here or elsewhere I’ve likely missed, etc. I’m very eager to join you all and leave MS (and Macs, for that matter) behind forever.

Also, as an aside, for now I have narrowed my potential initial distros down to openSuSe, Mandriva, Gentoo and Sabayon (which seems to like my HP’s hardware the best, likely since it’s a DVD loaded with 4GB+ of stuff), maybe an odd list, but... I know it may not be that easy at first, but there is something I like about the inevitable learning curve with Gentoo I’ll have as a newbie that appeals – sink or swim, or emerge, or something like that.

Anyway, this post is rambling on now too long as it is... Thanks everyone, and I’ll see you soon.

Tony Awards
[/SIZE]
 
Old 10-12-2008, 04:01 AM   #2
Disillusionist
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,038

Rep: Reputation: 97
A couple of considerations.

Swap is used for memory management, as such on most systems it should be 1.5 or 2 times the amount of physical memory.

If you have around 22 GB of personal files, I would suggest that you create a /home partition that is at least 25 GB (probably closer to 30 GB)

creating a seperate /home partition means that if you re-install the OS (or replace with a seperate Linux install) you can leave the /home partition untouched and your files should still be safe (I would still advise making regular backups of your data regardless of OS and partitioning).

The only other partition that is truely required is / which you could assign the remaining space. I know there will probably be lots of criticism about just dumping everything else in / but it is possible and does create more flexibility than allocating seperate / /boot /var /tmp and /usr partitions.

The installers of most recent distributions should be quite user friendly and I would recommend that you use these for creating and formatting your partitions (especially as this is your first time)

Hope this helps.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 09:51 AM   #3
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,059

Rep: Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883
Quote:
Or - if Wine is a viable alternative at this point for running Photoshop and QB Pro I could dedicate the entire drive space to Linux – does anyone have experience here?
I think, and this is a recent development, so I am not all that certain, Wine will run Photoshop. You might question whether you really need photoshop or could use a Linux native app instead. The obvious choice would be the Gimp (/Gimpshop, if the photoshop-style interface is important to you). In some circumstances, gimp may not be for you, but could you say a few words about your use of photshop? Krita is also an alternative, although it is more recent than Gimp and still less mature/developing rapidly.

QBPro under Wine is probably more likely to be a satisfactory experience than Photoshop, but I am still a bit antsy about using any emulation-like technology for 'mission-critical' applications. Is it a requirement because you have lots of customisation that will only run with QBPro, or is it 'just what you have happened to use, so far'?

Quote:
And what’s the best way to do it – using fdisk, something else better, or let the distro resize and configure it with its own installer, or...?
Define 'better'? I've done this sort of stuff with fips in the past, but:
you could never consider it pretty (I don't think this is a consideration)
command line scares some people; I don't know why, but certainly with something graphical you get better feedback on whether you have done the right thing

'Distro (automatic) resize and configure' is probably not what you want as the sizes probably won't be suited to your circumstances, so you probably want 'guided', 'manual' or 'base your partition scheme on these suggestions' - which allow you to go in and tweak.

My suggestions are:
  • for your 'my first partitioning attempt' (sorry) simpler is better. There are some advantages with more elaborate partitioning systems, but only go as far down that road as you think that you must and don't over-elaborate.
  • Consider a separate parttion for misc data: what I mean is that if you are still unsure about whether you will use Linux or Windows for, say, photo-processing, if you put all of your photo files on a partition accesible from either, you don't have to make that decision yet. That implies something like a FAT32 partition, because it would be accessible from windows and from Linux (without add-ons; NTFS is too with add ons, but only readable without). Depends how committed you feel you can be to linux without a settling in period.
  • You don't say how much RAM you have, but go for some swap: At the very least (the very, very least) a Gig of RAM and Swap combined, and even with a Gig or more of RAM I'd want at least a Gig of Swap.
  • A separate home partition makes sense (makes things easier down the line) if you are going to be upgrading/distro hopping. /boot is a sensible possibility - it only has to be small, say 100M or so and so doesn't eat appreciably into what you left over for data.
  • You could make a case for /var, but I think I'd stop there: just use the rest for / and everything else will find its way into that. Once you specify /usr, /var you'll have difficulty if you specify one partition too small and you'll have difficulty if you specify the totality too big (not enough room for /).

Quote:
I have narrowed my potential initial distros down to openSuSe, Mandriva, Gentoo and Sabayon
Its a slightly idiosyncratic list for a relative neophyte; I like OpenSuSEand have used it and predecessors for some years, but I am surprised not to see some form of *buntu on the list.

First, select your GUI (unless you solely want cli). Then make sure that you are choosing a distro with that GUI. Then check there is a reasonable range of packages available.
Clues
  • Its too early for me to go to KDE 4, but 3.x is still fine as far as I'm concerned. If you do try 4, don't be surprised if it isn't really finished just yet.
  • More ex-windows users seem to like kde over Gnome, but Gnome is what some people like.
  • If you want smaller and fast XFCE (probably) and enlightenment (the eye-candy, but slightly left field candidate) could come into the frame. There are smaller lighter (and often, odder) possibilities too, but my advice would be to not go there yet.
 
Old 10-12-2008, 10:21 AM   #4
Quakeboy02
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2006
Distribution: Debian Squeeze 2.6.32.9 SMP AMD64
Posts: 3,277

Rep: Reputation: 126Reputation: 126
Everybody wants swap but hardly anyone uses it. If you have 1GB or more of RAM plus swap you're good unless you know beforehand that it's not enough due to your past usage patterns.

Consider how much you really want to give to XP. Do you really have 20GB of stuff you want to do over there? Would 5-10GB be enough?

Also, consider how much you want to put on your Linux boot partition. If you put only 10GB in the boot partition, that leaves the rest of the disk for data and limits the damage if you have to reinstall Linux due to a newbish bork job. Don't bother trying to split up /boot, /var, /etc, /home, and all the rest. Just install with one boot partition ("/") and a separate data partition.
 
Old 10-13-2008, 12:35 AM   #5
tonyawards
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Sabayon
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
Thank you all for responding so quickly and thoroughly. Your answers give me more to think about (like, do I really need Windows after all), and I should also elaborate a bit more here to clarify somewhat.

@disillusionist: I’ve got 1GB of RAM, so I expect that /swap could then be 2-3GB and be sufficient. If I created just a / partition besides the /home partition, what might the recommended (if that’s possible to guess) size be? I have a lot of software I have been using under Windows, but much of it is redundant, self-indulgent stuff, and I can certainly get by with a more streamlined setup in Linux and still get the work done. But I do try out a lot of things from time to time, so I’d like to leave room for more apps to come than I might initially plan on.

Is 30GB (based upon my 80GB HD) enough for a / that would be encompassing everything else within it besides /swap and /home? I can then give /home its own partition and size it at another 30-40GB, leaving perhaps 10GB (thank you for the suggestion, Quakeboy02) for a bare bones XP side. And, if Wine will work with QB Pro, then just maybe I can let Windows go altogether.

Once I clean out the XP side of all the files and uninstall the apps I will be using in Linux anyway, then, if I let the distro installation create the partitions, will it automatically resize the XP one in the process? If that doesn’t go well, at least I’ll have my data backed up already, and I suppose can just try again and install it again from there.

@salasi: I have used Gimp some and have been trying to transition to using its interface more and more. I am not a really heavy Photoshop power user, mostly use it for intermediate photo manipulation and website design, and can quite likely get by with the Gimp for almost all I do at this point. QuickBooks is more important, but if it works in Wine... or, do you know of an alternative (ideally, one that could take a data import from QB) that runs under Linux?

And it sounds as if, from what you and others are saying, that I may as well simply let it all go into / and then everything will take care of itself in the setup. Plus if I need to change the sizes of one or more of /usr, /var, /etc or the like down the road, I can do that more easily if they’re all inside the / partition to begin with, right?

And as far as using fdisk, I suppose for this initial move, if I just let the distro do it in the installation, I guess I can’t create a FAT32 for /misc, can I? That could be one more thing to encourage my leaving Windows and learning what I need to learn now. Hey, what’s the worst that could happen...?

I know that my initial distro choices are a little strange for a newbie, but I tried them all (and more) on this HP, and they all work, to one degree or another. Mandriva and openSuSE are friendlier to newbies, I know, and have lots of support. I did look at Ubuntu and Kubuntu, but just didn’t really like them, for no specific reason. As I understand it, Sabayon is more or less a GUI overlay to Gentoo that makes it more user-friendly, too, no? Plus, it found all my hardware, including my Broadcom card right away. I do like the idea of the ability to customize everything like you can do in Gentoo, though, but I realize it might be a lot to bite off at first.

How hard is it to switch distros, anyway? Is it largely a matter of saving my /home data, and installing the new distro in its respective partitions, and then going in and reconfiguring apps, desktop, etc.? (I’m sure that’s simplistic, but you know what I mean. And I did tell you I was a newbie...)

I am strongly leaning toward KDE, although the Gentoo live CD (2008) I have played with uses XFCE and it seems very responsive. I did look at ‘enlightenment’ and it does look great, but I think I might want something more mainstream with more support, etc., to start.

Ok, everyone, this is far too wordy, I know, but I am trying to cover as much as I can. I do promise to read every man page I can get my hands on so as not to bother you too much. And I thank you all very much – the Linux community has a reputation for being the best, and you are proving that to me even before I have installed it.

My Windows partition is getting smaller and smaller by the minute...


Tony Awards
 
Old 10-14-2008, 03:33 AM   #6
Disillusionist
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,038

Rep: Reputation: 97
If you have 1GB of RM then suggest a 2GB SWAP partition.

Create a 30GB /home partition for your personal data

A 25GB / partition should be enough for everything else.

This should leave approx 23GB for your Windows partition. If you have 22GB of personal files on your Windows partition, then you are going to need to move these off your windows partition before you begin.

Always ensure that the used space on the Windows machine will still fit (with some space left) on the reduced partition size, otherwise you are asking for problems with the partition resizing.

This might be a good time to rationalise the files that you have and get rid of ones that you dont want anymore, or back-up to DVD the files that you only want for reference.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 05:02 AM   #7
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,059

Rep: Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883
Quote:
I am not a really heavy Photoshop power user, mostly use it for intermediate photo manipulation and website design, and can quite likely get by with the Gimp for almost all I do at this point.
That's good; had you been a pro photographer, things would have been more difficult.

Quote:
And it sounds as if, from what you and others are saying, that I may as well simply let it all go into / and then everything will take care of itself in the setup. Plus if I need to change the sizes of one or more of /usr, /var, /etc or the like down the road, I can do that more easily if they’re all inside the / partition to begin with, right?
If they are all inside the / partiton, and the / partition has enough space, there is nothing to do; it just happens and you don't have to worry about it at all. Hence the case for the minimum number of partitions that you can get away with; further down the road (at upgrade time) a separate /home does pay you back, so certainly consider that one.

As far as QB is concerned, I don't know of an alternative for what you do; but then I don't know what you do. To take this further, it would probably be a good idea to start a new 'is there a Linux alternative to' thread detailing what you do now and what the replacement has to do.

Quote:
I know that my initial distro choices are a little strange for a newbie, but I tried them all (and more) on this HP, and they all work, to one degree or another. Mandriva and openSuSE are friendlier to newbies, I know, and have lots of support. I did look at Ubuntu and Kubuntu, but just didn’t really like them, for no specific reason. As I understand it, Sabayon is more or less a GUI overlay to Gentoo that makes it more user-friendly, too, no? Plus, it found all my hardware, including my Broadcom card right away. I do like the idea of the ability to customize everything like you can do in Gentoo, though, but I realize it might be a lot to bite off at first.
No, you have done absolutely the right thing. If you don't like the *buntus, you don't like the *buntus. If its just the brown colour, you could change that, but you might argue that if there is something you like better out of the box, just go with that.

Quote:
How hard is it to switch distros, anyway? Is it largely a matter of saving my /home data, and installing the new distro in its respective partitions, and then going in and reconfiguring apps, desktop, etc.? (I’m sure that’s simplistic, but you know what I mean. And I did tell you I was a newbie...)
Exactly. There is stuff that you'll have to re-learn, but a low-ish percentage for desktop tasks. (Well, unless you swap GUIs; that's a bit more of acclimatisation, but hardly a show-stopper). My usual reccomendation is to try something for 6 months or so and then reconsider. By then you'll really know what questions to ask and what is important to you.

Quote:
I am strongly leaning toward KDE, although the Gentoo live CD (2008) I have played with uses XFCE and it seems very responsive. I did look at ‘enlightenment’ and it does look great, but I think I might want something more mainstream with more support, etc., to start.
Well, you'll want KDE then (plus, maybe others). Some of the 'big, do everything distros' (SuSE, Fedora, Debian, for example) come with a selection of GUIs so it is easy to install them all and switch 'till you are settled on one; and you can also, e.g., run the kde applets under Gnome, or vice versa. In this 'GUI-hopping' situation this is an argument for going with one of the biggies (as opposed to, say Mint, Mepis, DSL, Puppy, which are a bit more limited in regard to GUIs - obviously this is less of a consideration once you have decide on the one and true GUI for you).
 
Old 10-14-2008, 01:55 PM   #8
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,059

Rep: Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883
I should have said this before; back up before you do anything. If I had said that before, that would have allowed me to repeat it now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyawards View Post

And as far as using fdisk, I suppose for this initial move, if I just let the distro do it in the installation, I guess I can’t create a FAT32 for /misc, can I? That could be one more thing to encourage my leaving Windows and learning what I need to learn now. Hey, what’s the worst that could happen...?
I haven't used fdisk for some years now, so I can't remember anything useful about it. You could create a fat32 parttiton and mount it as misc (or whatever you like really) under Linux and it would show up as some drive letter (probably your last used drive letter plus 1) under windows; that's not quite the same as you should, particularly if you think you are going to abandon windows, but it is certainly a reasonable option.

Most distros that I can think of come with a GUI-based partitioner that is much more reassuring for first time use. I particularly like the SuSE one (because of versatility), but they are really all adequate. If you do find a distro without a GUI-partitioner, there is also gparted http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php which comes as a Live CD and just exists to do partitioning (and, while not quite as versatile as the SuSE one, imho, has to be a lot friendlier the first time through than command line). And, remember, if you do get into a mess with what you are trying to set up on screen, you haven't made a change until you write the partition data; just abandon your changes and you will have only wasted a little time and done nothing to your data.

The worst that could happen? If you haven't backed up your data... beyond that, you could go back to windows. That would be pretty bad.

Quote:
As I understand it, Sabayon is more or less a GUI overlay to Gentoo that makes it more user-friendly, too, no? Plus, it found all my hardware, including my Broadcom card right away. I do like the idea of the ability to customize everything like you can do in Gentoo, though, but I realize it might be a lot to bite off at first.
Gentoo started off life as 'the ultimate techie distro' which (in theory) allowed you to fine tune anything that you could think of, apparently in the hope of creating a lean, mean, code-munching machine. One way or another, the project lost a bit of focus and lost its way a bit. I'm not sure it got worse, it just got difficult to say what Gentoo was about anymore. Particularly as it seemed to be that making a few big optimisations that anyone could make probably had more impact on speed than the detailed-stuff-that-goes-all-through-the-system that they were doing (enabling).
sabayon was an attempt to take the good work that the Gentoo guys had done and make it into something that installed as easily as a regular distro. I've only played with it briefly (because I didn't like the default look 'n feel).

Quote:
How hard is it to switch distros, anyway? Is it largely a matter of saving my /home data, and installing the new distro in its respective partitions, and then going in and reconfiguring apps, desktop, etc.? (I’m sure that’s simplistic, but you know what I mean. And I did tell you I was a newbie...)
Tip 1: use the distribution's repositories for applications when you can. Don't do the windows thing of looking for 'thisprogram.exe' on the web, use the package manager. (if you can't find the program at first, there are often 'extension' or 'supplementary' repositories thatyou should be configuring; look for 'partner', unsupported' or 'unstable' (debian - to debian, unstable actually means 'not quite well enough tested to make it to stable'; so its not that they know its unstable, but they aren't yet convinced that it can move to stable).
Tip 2: Everything in a unix-style os is configured via a readable file, often stored as an 'invisible' (not visible by default) .conf file in your home directory. You just need to give a few seconds thought, if you are bringing stuff back from backup whether you really want to overwrite the default conf for you new distro with the modified conf from the old one.
Tip 3: ...readable (see previous) is a big advantage...you can read it and change it with a text editor, but you'll have made a copy first...
Tip 4: don't expect it to be a poor man's version of windows. It's different, its its own thing. Windows has taught you some bad habits, and if you adapt to good habits, you'll be fine. If you want it to adapt to your bad habits, it'll be more of a fight. Sometimes, windows only gives you the bad habit to work with because good habits are inconvenient, but good habits are easier in the long term.

Quote:
I am strongly leaning toward KDE, although the Gentoo live CD (2008) I have played with uses XFCE and it seems very responsive. I did look at ‘enlightenment’ and it does look great, but I think I might want something more mainstream with more support, etc., to start.
Very reasonable, just avoid KDE 4 for a few months yet, unless you adore the bleeding edge. I'm currently hoping 4.2 will be good enough for me to jump to, but it may be 4.2.x. On really ancient hardware KDE and Gnome are poor choices for most people; beyond that it depends how you want to call the features 'n convenience v speed 'n responsiveness trade-off. (One of the things you get is choice. Right now, you probably feel that you have too much choice.)

Quote:
Ok, everyone, this is far too wordy, I know, but I am trying to cover as much as I can. I do promise to read every man page I can get my hands on so as not to bother you too much.
Actually, this one has been a positive pleasure, because I get the feeling that you will get on with Linux because you have been approaching this in a sensible fashion (as opposed to, say, downloading a .exe file for some app first and then posting to say that your linux is broke, 'cos it doesn't work.) and asking sensible questions.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 01:01 AM   #9
tonyawards
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Sabayon
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
Hello salasi and disillusionist - I am under the gun today. Thank you so much for responding in such a detailed fashion, and I'll be back tomorrow with a more coherent response, as your comments deserve it.

Until then, I'll digest your advice, and... be back soon.

I'm very happy to have found help such as yours, and I'm beginning to have an idea what I'll be prepping for this weekend...
 
Old 10-17-2008, 01:56 AM   #10
tonyawards
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Sabayon
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
Hello again, all.

The more I think about all this, the more I think I’m ready to just leave Windows behind. Honestly, how much harder can it be to spend a couple of months getting semi-conversant with Linux and the terminal than trying to live and work in two environments in a dual boot situation?

I suppose I can at least get work done inside KDE just like in Windows until I learn more about the terminal, its command lines and shortcuts. I don’t want to just use Linux, I want to understand it, from the inside out (or in my case, from the outside in, I guess) and I believe the terminal is the best way to do that.

I suppose that was what was attracting me to Gentoo and the like – it seems like in using it you must take a more hands-on approach and that would increase the learning curve. But yeah, maybe I don’t need the curve to be too steep right at first...

So perhaps openSuSE, Mandriva, or, for some reason I still am attracted to Sabayon (the latest version). Dunno. But I can’t go wrong with any of these, can I? OpenSuSE doesn’t like some of my hardware quite as much out of the box (Broadcom wireless card) and for some reason I couldn’t get the live CD version to find my Windows partition when testing, while Mandriva and Sabayon did right away, but isn’t that easy to fix once it’s really installed and not running off the CD? Or could that be a harbinger of things to come?

My nVidia 6150 seems like it’s underpowered for full-on Compiz gee-whiz with each of the distros, but that’s not all that important, not like actually doing work. So that’s not a huge issue.

Disillusionist, your allocations sound as if they make a lot of sense, and if I decide to eliminate Windows entirely, then I can simply give more to /home and /usr (for new apps, right?) and be off. It does make sense to start simple, with just a /, a /swap, and yes, a /home for security and freedom to try new things/distros.

So, say half (40GB) for /home, 3GB for /swap, and the rest (35GB) for /, just to keep it simple, and that would do it? For starters, anyway?

Salasi, it sounds as though doing it this way will simplify my life, and if I let the distro do the partitioning, without having to worry about Windows getting destroyed (since I’ll have done that already...) then it should go rather smoothly. Then I can get back to work quickly, while I get to work learning Linux on my own time.

The QB Pro new thread idea is a good one, and I believe I’ll do that. For now I can get by with using it on another box in my network, until I figure out Wine or an alternative. It’s monthly bookkeeping, mostly, not really day-to-day stuff anyway.

And thank you very much for those tips – they make a whole lot of sense!

Regarding those – if I do want to install something that’s not in the repositories and comes only as a stand-alone, what ramifications does that have?

I also have to come to grips with the concept that everything is a file (even apps?) and the freedom (and potential trouble) that implies. Is there a good resource for understanding that which you are aware of? And I guess this is where I begin to learn vi or vim, no?

Funny, the more I talk about this and look at it realistically, the less daunting it all seems. And I have all of you to thank for that, for your advice and reasoning. I’m sure I’ll be back with more threads and issues as I go, but let me just say that, largely due to all of you, Linux will shortly have a new convert (as soon as I’m sure everything is backed up...), not just another one watching and wondering on the sidelines.

Thank you all.


Tony Awards
 
Old 10-17-2008, 05:30 PM   #11
Disillusionist
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 1,038

Rep: Reputation: 97
Your partition sizes should be fine.

It should be noted that the SWAP partition is not "mounted" but this will become more apparent once you have installed and used Linux for a while.

If you need to install an application that isn't packaged for your chosen distribution, you will need to download the source code and install manually (usually following a ./configure && make && make install sequence).

To do this you will need the development tools installed (worth selecting these when you install your distribution).

Installing from source can vary from straight forward, to a search for other packages to resolve dependencies. Therefore, it is generally preferable to install a bundled application using your distributions package manager when possible.

The following may be useful for reference:

"RUTE User Tutorial and Exposition" http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz

"The Linux Cookbook"http://dsl.org/cookbook/cookbook_toc.html
 
Old 10-18-2008, 12:39 AM   #12
tonyawards
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Sabayon
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
Disillusionist, thank you for the info. That does make good sense, and I’ll certainly start with the repositories available. And learn the compiling and configuration when I really need to install something else. Step at a time. And thank you for the tip on making sure that I get the development tool packages when I install the distro.

Man, those two links are a huge resource! I didn’t know of either one and after just a cursory scan of the TOC I can tell they will be most helpful. Long past the time I may be a newbie. Note to all you other newbies out there: follow these links from Disillusionist – they have a lot of data...

Thanks again very much. I hope that I’ll be able to offer some decent advice in return to others here before too long.

Tony Awards
 
Old 10-18-2008, 05:18 AM   #13
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,059

Rep: Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883Reputation: 883
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyawards View Post
...The more I think about all this, the more I think I’m ready to just leave Windows behind.

...I suppose I can at least get work done inside KDE just like in Windows until I learn more about the terminal, its command lines and shortcuts. I don’t want to just use Linux, I want to understand it, from the inside out (or in my case, from the outside in, I guess) and I believe the terminal is the best way to do that.

I suppose that was what was attracting me to Gentoo and the like – it seems like in using it you must take a more hands-on approach and that would increase the learning curve. But yeah, maybe I don’t need the curve to be too steep right at first...
Keep the learning curve shallow at first. I wouldn't want to put anyone off learning, but you'll almost certainly find enough to keep your head busy (and it might be stuff like learning new apps, which may not have been what you wanted to learn first) without making any more of it than you need.

Quote:
So perhaps openSuSE, Mandriva, or, for some reason I still am attracted to Sabayon (the latest version). Dunno. But I can’t go wrong with any of these, can I? OpenSuSE doesn’t like some of my hardware quite as much out of the box (Broadcom wireless card) and for some reason I couldn’t get the live CD version to find my Windows partition when testing, while Mandriva and Sabayon did right away, but isn’t that easy to fix once it’s really installed and not running off the CD? Or could that be a harbinger of things to come?
Unlikely to be the harbinger thingy. Oddly, most people in most circumstances find that the SuSEs and the Ubuntus tend to do a better job of finding and configuring stuff without too much user intervention, but if sabayon works for you, why not go for it?
Quote:
So, say half (40GB) for /home, 3GB for /swap, and the rest (35GB) for /, just to keep it simple, and that would do it? For starters, anyway?
That'll work; once you've decide that you are prepared to live without windows, you've got the space to make things a little easier for yourself. Although, I would like to know what you are going to do to that will get anywhere near that amount of space for /, but, having the space, why not? (not that its trivial to use all that space for /home, but lots of high-res photo files will take a big bite all by themselves.)

Quote:
The QB Pro new thread idea is a good one, and I believe I’ll do that.
...and of course I should (always) have advised you to search for any threads that already exist first

Quote:
Regarding those – if I do want to install something that’s not in the repositories and comes only as a stand-alone, what ramifications does that have?
Really, none that'll worry you much. For stuff like dependancies, it is going to be a lot easier if you can stick to repositories. So the more extensive that your selected distros repositories are, the better, but its not really a biggie if the the software supplier has something built for your distro. You may end up with a system with several copies of libraries, but, from a big picture point of view, it isn't a big problem.

Quote:
I also have to come to grips with the concept that everything is a file (even apps?) and the freedom (and potential trouble) that implies. Is there a good resource for understanding that which you are aware of? And I guess this is where I begin to learn vi or vim, no?
I'm going for no (for me); my favourite text editor is kate (part of kde); for those times when it is inconvenient to run a GUI, I use Joe, which is a Wordstar work-alike. This is because in the dim and distant I've had to use Wordstar for significant documents, so I already knew it and its easy to use and you can type quickly with it; I guess in other circumstances I'd have gone with vim.

OK, apps can be a whole lot of files, if that is what you meant...

Quote:
Funny, the more I talk about this and look at it realistically, the less daunting it all seems.
It shouldn't seem all that daunting; now you've just got to go for it.
 
Old 10-18-2008, 04:11 PM   #14
tonyawards
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jun 2008
Distribution: Sabayon
Posts: 15

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 1
I do have one more/another question, and I donít know whether it belongs here or as a fresh thread (Iíve looked, but havenít really seen exactly my problem addressed), but...

I am preparing all my backups before killing this thing, and I have read in a few places that Linux isnít going to like my filesí and foldersí names. As in the usual mixture of upper and lower case, spaces in the names, etc. Is this true? How big a problem is it? And if it is an issue, should I try to rename all of it before I migrate my data, or afterwards, in some Linuxy fashion?

I have seen a small app out there somewhere that claims to rename everything in all lower case, and also removes spaces (replacing them with ď_Ē and so forth. I believe that itís at

http://www.download32.com/change-case-of-directory-names-software-i29907.html


and/or


http://www.download32.com/rename-files-software-i2816.html

but I have no idea if it works well, or at all. Do you have any experience with this? And what would all that renaming potentially do to the ability to access the files/folders? (Most of it is the usual mix of MS Office suffixes, image file types and saved web pages like the .mht file extension.)

And yes, salasi, I did go have a look here in linuxquestions at the QB Pro threads, and it appears there are no real easy answers for that one. Sigh. If there was some Linux-capable app that could import the darn .qbw backup format, Iíd certainly pay for that, but it appears thatís not even available (at least as far as I can find). Intuit is even worse than Redmond at keeping you in their clutches and forcing retail price ďupgradesĒ. About all I can think of to do is spend much time recreating my entire accounting setup from scratch in GnuCash or the like.

Regarding the GB allocations, now that I have decided to remove XP entirely, is a 30/50 or 25/55GB split between / and /home more realistic in terms of actual space necessary for / , including leaving room for installing additional software?

And itís good to know that I donít need to strike out right away with vi/vim. Iíve read good things about kateís abilities Ė I used notepad++ for my text editing in Windows, but I believe kate will do almost all that notepad++ will do, too.

Thank you again, and I guess Iíll go start some backing up.


Tony Awards
span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }span.jajahWrapper { font-size:1em; color:#B11196; text-decoration:underline; } a.jajahLink { color:#000000; text-decoration:none; } span.jajahInLink:hover { background-color:#B11196; }
 
Old 10-18-2008, 04:18 PM   #15
Total-MAdMaN
Member
 
Registered: May 2008
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 306

Rep: Reputation: 34
The only time you're likely to have problems with spaces in a file name is if you're using the command line, and that can easily be remedied by enclosing the file name in quotes. You're unlikely to have problems with letter case.

The partition sizing you've suggested seems perfectly fine to me.

Last edited by Total-MAdMaN; 10-18-2008 at 04:21 PM.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
partitioning dual boot kolbycrouch Linux - Newbie 1 05-04-2008 03:37 AM
LXer: Linux desktops grow and grow and grow LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 11-23-2007 02:00 PM
dual boot without partitioning... Cavendot Linux - Newbie 6 01-31-2007 08:42 PM
Laptop install... dual boot - how much room? guitarnix Linux - Newbie 2 09-17-2003 04:10 PM
Dual boot partitioning mdfarez Linux - Newbie 3 01-06-2003 05:19 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:06 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration