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I currently have WinXP installed, and am moving to Slackware (I have had some work with linux before, so I think I'm really for it)... but would like to duel boot. I have a copy of Partition Magic 8, so I was planning on resizing my NTFS partition into 4 partitions (40GB total):
- the main NTFS partition for Windows - 25GB
- a vfat or fat32 so that I can transfer files more easily between the OS's - 2 GB
- linux swap - 512 MB
- main ext3 file-system for linux - 12.5GB
Does this sound good, and is there anything I'm missing? (and is the swap big enough?)
Thanks in advanced,
That looks fine but you may want to split the 12.5GB into multiple partitions for /, /boot, /var, /usr and /home. Depending on what you use he system for you may want to allocate less to the NTFS and more to the vfat partition - it depends on what you use your HDD for, data or programs.
well, both, but mostly as just a desktop computer... and why would I want to split the different dir's into different partitions (in your opinion)?... the vfat will mostly just be a transfer partition...I don't think I will store much in it other than a little bit of documents
acid_kewpie is right - just use PM to create free space for linux then use fdisk to create the linux ones.
Creating several partitions can improve performance as it reduces the defragmentation (although ext3 is pretty good anyway) It also allows you to unmount partitions if you want to do maintainace on them etc.
ok, cool... and, saying I have 12.5 GB to play with, how would you manage the partitions for the /, /boot, /var, /usr and /home (in terms of size)... I really have fotgotten how everything's laid out (it's been 2 years since I've done serious linux stuff)
cool... here's my new layout (I just rememebered I had an extra 20GB, so this adds that):
OS Type Size (MB)
Win NTFS 25672
(/boot) EXT3 256
(/) EXT3 2056
(/var) EXT3 1024
(/home) EXT3 6144
(/usr) EXT3 12288
(swap) LinuxSwap 1024
Both VFAT 8192
(and yes, the spacing if off, but hope you can read it)
That is more than enough an will work fine - Another option you may wish to condider is leaving enough free space to install an alternative linux distro so that you can compare them and find one that suits you best.
yeah, well, I've actually used linux before, just it's been a while (it's all comming back to me ) so I might do that later, but I've used redhat and mandrake before, and I'm itching for a bit more control
I use Partiton Magic to resize or create partitons. fdisk is ok, but I prefer doing those tasks in PM. It helps having the color coded graphics of the partitions and the unused space. It also allows me to view the contents of a partiton before deleting it (prevents deleting the wrong one). PM does not format Linux partions it only creates them. When I next run the Red Hat installation program, I use Disk Druid to format and select a mount points for each partiton.
You may already know this but, you can only have a maximum of 4 primary partitons per hard drive. To create more partitons one of the primary partions must be replaced with an extended partiton. The extended partiton can contain many logical partitions. PM creates either type in a very user friendy way. Operating sytems such as Windows, DOS or Linux as far as I know can usually only be booted from a primary partiton. If you have a /boot partion it would need to be a primary partiton. If you do not have a /boot partition the "/" partiton would need to be the primary partion. All other partitons including swap can be of either type.
It is usually recommended that the boot partiton be placed below cylinder1023. Apparently, some versions of Linux on some computers can be placed beyond cylinder 1023. A couple of years ago I used Sytem Commander to move Windows ME up slightly to make room for a small primary /boot partition as my 1st partion. Windows ME did not seem to mind being moved. I am less certain about moving Windows XP because too many changes can cause it to think it is on a different computer and make you call Microsoft for help in reactivating Win XP. That probably will not happen however. Sytem Commander is very similar to PM and is made by the same company. I have used both.
Some Linux users prefer prefer having just 2 or 3 Linux partitions and others prefer more. Either way will work and there are pros and cons to either approach. If you make your partitons the wrong size, don't wory, PM will easily resize ext2, ext3 or ReiserFS Linux partitons. I recently enlarged my /usr partition which was too small. I have the DOS version of PM by the way because I do not want to be dependant on Windoze for anything. Use either PM or fdisk and however many partions you want!
By the way, using the df command I found out how full some of my Linux partitons are:
/boot 13,235 Mb used on a 512 Mb partion
/ 242,948 Mb used on a 4 GB partion
/usr 3 Gb used on a 6 GB partiton
swap It does not say how much is used on that partiton
/mnt/stuff about 600 Mb used out of 4 Gb
The /mnt/stuff partion is a partition that I created for storing miscellaneous documents and other stuff. I have several different Linux distros installed and have access to that partition from each. I use the same user ID number for my log-in name in each distro so that I will have the correct permissions for access from each. That detail is probably different than how most users set up their partitons. I have several Linux distros installed because I have not decided which I like best. I plan to also try using slack!