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ext2 is the traditional filesystem. It has no journal. Compare it to a windows FAT, but with security. ext3 is ext2 with a journal, like NTFS. This means that the filesystem keeps track of itself - handy if you have a power outage. Its faster for bigger files. ReiserFS is journaled as well. It is better for mank smaller files. I use Reiser myself. I do have a /boot partition because the instructions fron Gentoo's excellent install manual walked me through it and I now like it. It is ext2.
ext2 will require checking after so many boots, like running scandisk in win.(fsck). ext3 will do that too, but less often. The journal keeps track of where files are, so the scan is not necessary as often. Reiser is the same way.
Although a seperate /boot partition is definitely not necessary, I would suggest you consider a seperate /home partition so that if you distro-hop, you won't have to kill off all your personal files. A partition of 5-10 gigs will be huge for a "/". If you partition the rest as /home, you can change the system you use and keep your user files intact.
If you want to read the linux partitions from windows, I have heard of a utility that can read the ext systems, but nothing seems to be able to read (or write, for sure) to reiserfs. Almost nobody cares about that, but you may want to consider that when you choose your filesystem.
Another reason for a separate /boot partition is that many older BIOSes can't access disks beyond a certain size, and therefore putting your /boot partition at the beginning of the disk ensures that the kernel image is somewhere where the bootloader (which loads the kernel using BIOS functions) can get to it. Recent BIOSes don't have this restriction, though.
I think I will just do this:
swap 1 GB
/ 79 GB reiser
Do I need a /home partition? Other than being able to swap distros (I am not going to change distros anyway) with it what other purpose does it serve? Any other advantages besides that? I want to make the partitions as simple as possible because I don't like resizing.
Still deciding if I need a /boot or not....I upgrade to latest kernel everytime, so I do not want to mess with resizing a boot partition if I fill it.
p.s. the reason why a seperate /boot partition might be needed is if your bios doesn't support booting from past the 1024th cycle(all new ones do support it) or if you are using a boot loader that doesn't support a linux filesystem.(almost all do) and you would format the /boot as fat or fat32 and then the bootloader could read it.
you do not need a boot or a home, but i do recommend having a home partition just incase you want to switch distros. It couldn't hurt.
Last edited by liquidtenmilion; 07-22-2004 at 12:09 PM.
You are fine with booting past 1024 cylinder. The easiest way to backup your home folder if you don't have a home partition is to burn it to a dvd, but if you don't have that option, then i suggest making a separate backup partition. As to replacing the motherboard, as long as you use the default kerenl your os came with and didn't compile a trimmed down one yourself, you will be 100% fine. All you have to do is power down your pc replace the mb and power back on. The os will automatically detect a new mb. One thing is that you may need to reconfigure your audio or video if you use onboard a/v.
As for the backup partition. Instead of doing that, could I just use an extra hd and move it on there. Then move it back (I will probably install suse on it). I think I will look into buying a dvd burner also. Sounds like that is the way to go.
I noticed you are using debian sid. How stable is that? Do you ever loose your system for days or weeks at a time like I have heard happen?