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Old 07-22-2004, 05:35 AM   #1
linmix
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Necessary partitions


I'm posting this here 'cos it's a question that's being asked a lot,butI haven't been able to find any satisfactory answer, and it's a pretty basic thing.

Whenever somebody asks about partitioning a dozen different suggestions are given, ranging from "one single partition" to about 10 different ones depending on your needs.

Now I know that it's a good idea to have a separate swap partition (not sure why though) and that /home gives you the advantage of not losing any of your personal files if you do a new installon top of the older one.

A seperate /usr or /usr/local isto keep apps seperatefromthemain system although I'm not sure about the advantages of this. /var seems to have to do with servers and FTP.

Why do many insist /boot should be on a separate partition?

Please amplify on any of the above.Why are certain partitions necessary, recomendable, under what circumstances, etc?
 
Old 07-22-2004, 05:47 AM   #2
Frustin
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you dont _have_ to partion like that. I do at work but at home i just have the main fs on root and the swap.
 
Old 07-22-2004, 07:59 AM   #3
bluemak
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Having a seperate boot partition is useful if your linux partition goes over the "8GB limit". Some disk drives/ BIOS will not boot the operating system if the linux partition extends beyond 1024 cylinders. (As I understand, im not an expert)
 
Old 07-22-2004, 09:11 AM   #4
linuxprogrammer
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The swap partition is required, because at the time of booting, the OS does some swappings, and as sometime your other partition may not have sufficient space for this swapping. So a swap partition is reserved for this purpose.
 
Old 07-22-2004, 09:37 AM   #5
tuxrules
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I'll share my experience with you...and hopefully it will clear out some of your doubts about partitions.

when I started out with linux few months back, I had those usual partitions, /boot, / and swap. / partition covered almost entire harddisk. I soon felt the need to try out a new distro. Also as a newbie i played with the system and had my share of install and formatting.

Although i backed up my /home it was a pain to load files from a cd after a fresh install. So as of now, I have 10 partitions on my hd*.

hda - winxp - 120 gb ntfs

hdb1 - /boot - 100 mb
hdb2 - / for RH9 - 5GB
hdb 3 - swap - 1 gb
hdb4 - extended
hdb5 - / for FC2 - 5 gb
hdb6 - / for slackware 10 - 5 gb
hdb7 - /opt - optional software that i install - 2 gb
hdb8 - /var - for http, ftp and logs (i want to run ftp and http server)
hdb9 - /usr - 5 gb
hdb10 - /home - vfat to share with windows - 12 gb

i recently created hdb10 as vfat to share between linux and winxp since i didnt want to mess with my windows drive (i dont want to buy a costly partition magic )

This may seem to be a bit intriguing thats what i think i want. One more reason for more partitions, I might want to add more packages from install cd's or web and this way I can be sure i have the space and dont have to resize partitions.

I hope i've given you a clue
 
Old 07-22-2004, 09:45 AM   #6
Frustin
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"hdb7 - /opt - optional software that i install - 2 gb
hdb8 - /var - for http, ftp and logs (i want to run ftp and http server)
hdb9 - /usr - 5 gb
"

are you saying that redhat, FC2 and slackware all share the same partions mentioned above? that optional software, i presume is compiled by you, what do you do if its not compatable with the distro you are using? recompile?

the logs in /var all get overwritten by the distros as well which may get confusing the long term because of the backup logs i.e. those that end with .1 and .2 will belong to different distros.
 
Old 07-22-2004, 09:58 AM   #7
tuxrules
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I mainly use RH9 since it fits my system the best in terms of recognizing hardware(even FC2 but sound is touch problem). I will not use those partitions for slackware since on slackware i just want to learn kernel compile and all compiling stuff. RH9 would be my primary system (i mean running a web server and ftp).

Although /home would be shared with every distro.
 
Old 07-22-2004, 12:10 PM   #8
linmix
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Bluemak that explains part of the /boot mistery. Thanks, I thought of that, but wasn't sure about Grub. Can it boot above the 1024 cylinder or the 8Mb mark you mentioned? (BTW never heard that before. Isn't that size different depending on disk geometry?)

Tuxrules I hope you're using different user names on the distro's. If not, how do you cope with the differences in config files and shortcuts to programs??

Linuxprogrammer Wouldn't a swapfile do the same thing for you?
 
Old 07-22-2004, 12:19 PM   #9
linmix
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Read something at this thread about using /boot for starting the same kernel in different distros. Not sure how to go about that though. Isn't /boot just a pointer to the kernel location?
 
Old 07-22-2004, 12:42 PM   #10
tuxrules
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As of now, I just use one user name for all distro (i'm the only one using linux).

I am not sure what you are trying to point out but to answer your question in part, I will be using /home only for storing documents, pictures, music and videos.

Now to install third party software or additional programs i can use different directories in /opt and then mount those directories in respective distros. I am not sure if this will work as I havent done it yet but I believe it can be done.
 
Old 07-22-2004, 12:45 PM   #11
stickman
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Quote:
Originally posted by linmix
Linuxprogrammer Wouldn't a swapfile do the same thing for you?
Using a swapfile (versus a swap partition) also has the added overhead of the filesystem writes.
 
Old 07-22-2004, 02:31 PM   #12
linmix
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Quote:
Originally posted by stickman
Using a swapfile (versus a swap partition) also has the added overhead of the filesystem writes.
meaning... that it makes the system slower(?)
 
Old 07-22-2004, 02:35 PM   #13
linmix
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Tuxrules Not sure I understand everything you're saying. My main concern regarding using the same user name is that there are numerous hidden files on your home partition that indicate your favourite desktop how to function, where to look for programs, etc.

This means that (theoretically?) you might have a link to a certain program on your desktop, but it will only work if you use the distro it is meant for. Otherwise it will come up blank or with an error message.
 
Old 07-23-2004, 10:59 AM   #14
bluemak
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Quote:
Originally posted by linmix
[B]Bluemak that explains part of the /boot mistery. Thanks, I thought of that, but wasn't sure about Grub. Can it boot above the 1024 cylinder or the 8Mb mark you mentioned? (BTW never heard that before. Isn't that size different depending on disk geometry?)
If grub is on the MBR it might be able to boot from a partition that goes over the 8Gb mark, I think I got it to work like this once.

However on the system I just installed I had bootmagic on the MBR and grub on the linux root partition. This was working until i resised the root partition over the 1024 cyclinder limit. I fixed this by reinstalling with a seperate boot partition under the limit.
 
Old 07-23-2004, 12:45 PM   #15
linmix
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Ok, that makes sense.

Are there other sytem parts that are put on different partitions, and for what purpose?
 
  


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