LinuxQuestions.org
Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
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 06-01-2004, 06:46 PM   #1
jrdioko
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2002
Distribution: Debian 6.0.2 (squeeze)
Posts: 944

Rep: Reputation: 30
Question Laptop Installation, Partitions, and XP


Hello to all.

I've spent some time experimenting with Linux before, but it's been a while, so I'm back in the forum. I'll be heading off to college in the fall, so I purchased an IBM T41 laptop that just arrived in the mail. My plan is to get Slackware 9.1 and Fluxbox up and running and use that as my primary operating system. I apologize in advance for the basic questions and my ignorance, but I want to be sure I get everything right since I'm not just "playing around" with Linux anymore.

Basically, I need to know the first steps I need to take to get this up and running. I want to keep XP on the system (in case something I need to do in college... proprietary programs for example... require windows), but in as small a partition as possible. First, how much does XP professional require just to run? I'll probably give it that plus an extra gig or two of space. Also, what is the process I need to go through to install Slack on this? It's my understanding that the partitions are still vfat until I start up the system (which I haven't done yet), so can hope I get the right button to let me into BIOS the first time and boot right into the install disks (and resize then), or should I let it convert the system to NTFS and then use ntfsresize. Does the slack install program have a partitioning tool that will resize vfat partitions? I just want to plan and understand what I'll be doing during the first bootup to avoid problems later.

I also wanted to know about this "hidden area" on the hard drive that is involved with XP. I called and ordered the recovery disk so I know I can successfully delete that free space, but what is the right way to go about doing this. Do I assign that free space as part of a partition and then format it, or what is the correct way to deal with the "hidden area"?

Finally, I have a few more general partitioning questions. I know that these types of questions have been asked before and I have done research on this, but I just wanted to know if anyone had any advice specific to my case.

First, I've read widely varying instructions for how to choose the size of your swap partition. I have 512 mb of ram, I'll be using Slackware/Fluxbox for general purposes (internet, word processing) rather than as a dedicated video editing machine or something like that. It sounds from the research I've been doing that I really don't need more than 512 mb or so of swap in this situation, but I wanted to know what others thought.

Since it's never possible to shrink a Linux (ext3) partition once things are on it (or, at least that's how I understand it since you can't defrag files to free up space at the end of the partition to allow a resize), would it be a good idea to create a 1 gb or so vfat partition to allow sharing between Linux and Windows (since it appears that's the only way it's possible short of burning a CD, rebooting, reading the CD...)?

I don't see any reason why I need more than a '/swap' and a '/' partition. I haven't seen anything that has really convinced me /usr, /boot, /tmp, etc. are necessary as separate partitions, and this is a 40 gb drive, so I just planned to have a small XP partition, swap, maybe 1 gb for transfers, and the rest as root. Is there anything obvious I'm missing here, or does anyone have any general advice for me about partitioning this? What else should I plan before taking the plunge and turning this thing on.

Thanks in advance,
Johnathan
 
Old 06-01-2004, 10:20 PM   #2
bruno buys
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Rio
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,509

Rep: Reputation: 46
Hi friend!
Just a few thoughts, about your situation. I'm not a slack user, no specific advice. Also notice that there can be different solutions to this. I'm just giving my opinion.

*********
First, how much does XP professional require just to run?

Well, to keep it small, you can assign some 5 or 6 GB to Xp.
********

********
It's my understanding that the partitions are still vfat until I start up the system (which I haven't done yet), so can hope I get the right button to let me into BIOS the first time and boot right into the install disks (and resize then), or should I let it convert the system to NTFS and then use ntfsresize. Does the slack install program have a partitioning tool that will resize vfat partitions? I just want to plan and understand what I'll be doing during the first bootup to avoid problems later.


Why don't you keep them fat? This way both linux and xp will have read-write acces to them.
If you need to resize, use PartitionMagic. PM is very good, completely reliable. Ntfs is quite problematic, under linux.
********

********
First, I've read widely varying instructions for how to choose the size of your swap partition. I have 512 mb of ram, I'll be using Slackware/Fluxbox for general purposes (internet, word processing) rather than as a dedicated video editing machine or something like that. It sounds from the research I've been doing that I really don't need more than 512 mb or so of swap in this situation, but I wanted to know what others thought.


512 is more than enough for your swap. Some people would even say there's no need for a swap at all, with 512MB.
*********

*********
Since it's never possible to shrink a Linux (ext3) partition once things are on it (or, at least that's how I understand it since you can't defrag files to free up space at the end of the partition to allow a resize), would it be a good idea to create a 1 gb or so vfat partition to allow sharing between Linux and Windows (since it appears that's the only way it's possible short of burning a CD, rebooting, reading the CD...)?


A fat partition is indeed a good idea. But, don't you already have one?
*********

*********
I don't see any reason why I need more than a '/swap' and a '/' partition. I haven't seen anything that has really convinced me /usr, /boot, /tmp, etc. are necessary as separate partitions, and this is a 40 gb drive, so I just planned to have a small XP partition, swap, maybe 1 gb for transfers, and the rest as root. Is there anything obvious I'm missing here, or does anyone have any general advice for me about partitioning this? What else should I plan before taking the plunge and turning this thing on.


Spliting these dirs into partitions can be a good idea in specific scenarios: the /usr dir is an often-accessed one. If you put it on a separate partition, in the begining of the disc, you can improve performance. Also, the /var dir is often written with logs. You can prevent it from using all disc when you put it on a separate partition (server scenarios). But the most valuable tweaks of these, is putting your /home on another partition. This way, you are better protected against some fs failures (remember, fs failures are restricted to their own partitions). And also, you can preserv your data when upgrading distro, you can share homes if you have more than one linux on your machine, etc...


Well, you can leave xp in the first 5-6 GB of your disc and use the rest for linux and for shared data. If I were you, I would use Partition magic to resize your current Xp partition. PM is great. shrink it to 5-6 and leave the rest unformatted.
Then, boot the slack cd and use fdisk to format the rest.
A possible disk layout would be:

hda1 winxp 5-6GB primary fat32 (?)
hda2 / slack 5-6 GB (using slack native fs)
hda3 swap 512MB
hda4 extended ~27GB
hda5 logical /home 5GB
hda6 logical shared data winxp/linux fat32 22GB

Hope it helps!

Last edited by bruno buys; 06-01-2004 at 10:22 PM.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 02:09 AM   #3
tomhemba
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: Seattle
Distribution: Fedora
Posts: 23

Rep: Reputation: 15
I have a 30gb dualboot laptop with windows XP and Fedora Core 2.

I found that a nice way to set it up is to give XP, ntfs, about 8.5 gb but you could comfortably get it down to about 6. I give linux 5.5 gb and that seems to work fine. Earlier I tried linux with less - I think it was 4gb - and I filled it up only to find that it would no longer boot into the windowing system (i.e. 'x'). That was not a pretty picture. I use 1gb for swap (double the ram although I've heard you can use less). The rest of my hardrive is a vfat partition that I use to store all my personal files. This is nice for 2 main reasons. First both XP and linux can read the files partition and second, when you want to upgrade linux you can do a clean install and just leave you files partition as is. I was not able to find a way to mount the vfat partition at /home as I would like to and still be able to log on as user - so I mount it at /home/files and that works fine.

I would recommend Partition Magic - that's what I used and then you don't need to stress about your first boot or subsequent changes etc. Also check out the System Rescue CD that is a bootable cd with a Partition Magic clone (QT Parted) on it. This is probably what I would try if I were to set my system up again. I believe this works with ntfs:

http://www.sysresccd.org/

Good Luck!

Thomas
 
Old 09-02-2004, 07:38 PM   #4
jpgillivan
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: oh
Distribution: Mandrake 10
Posts: 22

Rep: Reputation: 15
I have XP and Mandrake 10 installed. XP is using a NTFS file system. The Mandrake install very nicely was able to resize the partition (in expert mode) and Mandrake automounts the NTFS partition and is able to read it.

As for the windows programs. You could try to run them in Wine or check out Crossover. Crossover is included with Xandros Deluxe but it cost about $100. I think you can get Crossover for about $40. Crossover claims to run programs like Dreamweaver and MSOffice with no problems. Xandos OC is free if you want to test it out. Good Luck!
 
  


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
Suse 10 cannot see my partitions on HD during installation nikoz SUSE / openSUSE 3 11-16-2005 02:38 PM
installation partitions and sizes in 9.1 jessj SUSE / openSUSE 5 06-01-2005 07:33 AM
laptop partitions config mmiranda Linux - Laptop and Netbook 0 12-24-2004 07:15 AM
Slackware Installation - Partitions! dodz Linux - Newbie 1 05-31-2004 11:07 PM
Partitions for slackware installation Ed-Slack Slackware 13 01-01-2003 09:03 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 AM.

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