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Old 02-25-2010, 09:52 PM   #16
themerovingian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
I would recommend Fedora for beginners, I always considered Ubuntu as "dumbed-down" and it does a few things in non-standard ways.
I use Kubuntu and I would not say it is that "dumbed-down." It can be if you keep it very basic, but for a beginner I think it is the best way to get introduced to Linux. I have tried Fedora, and while I wanted to keep it, I kept having issues with it. Not to mention YUM takes a lot longer to get and install programs than apt-get.

I am not trying to be rude, but I disagree here. Ubuntu and Kubuntu are great beginner distros and I think they can help you get used to Linux.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 02:31 AM   #17
reed9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amenditman View Post
Nothing hard about rolling release distros...I follow the recommended procedures of the developers and have had zero problems caused by the distro.
You're making my point. Something like Linux Mint, I can install for someone who is completely clueless when it comes to computer, and while it's still hard for them, they can basically manage.

But if you have to read the forums, watch out for announcements, only do package management from the console using apt-get (which last time I used Sidux, was the only officially recommended method for package management), that is hard.

Now, it'd probably be a safer and less virus-ridden world if everybody was expected to pay attention to their computer and what was going on with it, and read developer news releases and notifications. But that ain't where we are at. The expectation, the goal even, is for computer technology to achieve the nirvana of "it just works". Which at its unhealthy extreme end is the iPad-ification of technology where no one knows or cares what's going on under the hood, what issues of freedom, privacy, or security lurk in the background, and the ability to even find out is severely curtailed... alright so maybe everyone should use Sidux and Arch and Slackware and learn something about their computers.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 07:47 AM   #18
MTK358
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Still it seems to me that typing

apt-get install package

or

yum install package

or

pacman -S package

is easier than going through the huge list in a GUI package manager.

I guess that maybe a lot of new Linux users associate the Linux command line with the DOS prompt (which I agree is quite unpleasant, scary-looking, and featureless).
 
Old 02-26-2010, 08:34 AM   #19
dor
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The partitions solutions

I'm astonished to see so many replies, thank you
I'll try to provide a generic replay to all of you, since replying to each post might cause this topic to be difficult to follow.

I understand now that making a fresh new install for a major version of the distro is recommended. I also understand that there are two types of updates: rolling release (small and frequent updates) and discrete release (big and relatively rare updates / each 6 months).

I feel a lot more comfortable with the "discrete release" type of updates. I understand that creating partitions for the data alone and for the OS alone would make the upgrade process much more easier.

But which partitions should I create and for what kind of data? Ain't the partition for the OS also contains the file-system?
And how should I handle the partitions when I install two operating systems: openSuse 11.1 (the newer version isn't stable yet) and Windows XP alongside ?

I assume that the following partitions configuration would be OK (is it? please confirm):
  • 10GB for openSuse 11.1 (The 10GB are of the lowest addresses of the HDD)
  • 100GB for the ext3 file-system
  • 10GB for Windows XP
  • 100GB for the NTFS file-system (that belongs to Windows XP)

My HDD capacity is 500GB (GB and not GiB)

Some details about me:
  • I'm a Web developer and an embedded systems developer - which inducts that I'm a technical person and have some sort of understanding.
  • I'm new to the Linux world - but read theoretical stuff about the Linux world from the internet. Until now I used only Windows XP.
  • I never installed an operating system before, but want to do that by myself for the first time.
  • Although openSuse is for medium Linux users, I wish to start with it, instead with "newbies-suited" distro like Ubuntu.
  • English isn't my native language, so please ask me questions if I wrote something which you don't understand.

Thank you all
 
Old 02-26-2010, 08:47 AM   #20
MTK358
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The way you think that filesystems and OSs should be on different partitions is wrong, filesystems and OSs are not like some kind of separate entities, the filesystem is just a specification on how to to store data on the drive.

A partition cannot contain files and folders on its own, it's just an array of bytes.

A filesystem is not a program, it's just a specification for how to abstract this array of bytes into a tree of files and directories. So if you want a partition to store data, including the data that makes up an OS, it MUST have a filesystem on it.

This is a "correct" translation of your partition scheme:
  • 100GB ext3 for OpenSUSE root directory
  • 100GB NTFS for Windows

BTW, why aren't you using all 500GB? that's like wasting 300GB of your drive!

If you want to be able to keep your personal data and settings even if you reinstall Linux:
  • ???GB ext3 for OpenSUSE root directory
  • ???GB ext3 for OpenSUSE /home directory
  • ???GB NTFS for Windows

EDIT: Note that in this scheme, all installed software goes into the root (/) partition, and all your personal data goes into the /home partition. Be careful to choose a good size ratio! If your / partition is too small you will limit the amount of sowtware you can install. If your /home partition is too small, you will limit the amount of personal data you can store.

I think you should do some more reading on how partitions and filesystems work before you do this.

Last edited by MTK358; 02-26-2010 at 08:55 AM.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 08:48 AM   #21
reed9
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Quote:
10GB for openSuse 11.1 (The 10GB are of the lowest addresses of the HDD)
100GB for the ext3 file-system
10GB for Windows XP
100GB for the NTFS file-system (that belongs to Windows XP)
Just regarding the linux part, you have 110GB all told dedicated to linux. Exactly how to partition that up, depends on your needs. But, for general desktop use, a common scheme is to have three partitions.

/
/home
swap

The / or root partition, has all or almost all of the system files and installed binaries. The /home partition would just contain user specific data. Your configuration settings for firefox or whatever, your files, your spreadsheets, etc.

Swap is not always necessary these days, depending on your RAM. I don't use a swap partition on my netbook to reduce writes to the SSD drive. You can also have a swap file instead of a swap partition. If you want to be able to suspend to disk, you need swap at least equal to RAM, however.

If you wanted to install multiple distros, you would need separate partitions for their root directories, but you could share the home directory and swap.

Here is some info on partitioning.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 08:49 AM   #22
evo2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dor View Post
I understand now that making a fresh new install for a major version of the distro is recommended
That is only for some distributions: The ones that are not able to do it properly. I won't bother naming/shaming them. ;-)

Evo2.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 08:58 AM   #23
MTK358
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I forgot to mention the Swap partition. It will be used as virtual memory if you don't have enough physical memory. It must be formatted with a special Swap filesystem.

EDIT:

AFAIK the swap partition is used to store the contents of the physical memory when hibernating, so if you ever want to hibernate, the swap partition must be larger than the abount of RAM you have (please correct me if I'm wrong).

Last edited by MTK358; 02-26-2010 at 09:02 AM.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 09:13 AM   #24
evo2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
AFAIK the swap partition is used to store the contents of the physical memory when hibernating, so if you ever want to hibernate, the swap partition must be larger than the abount of RAM you have (please correct me if I'm wrong).
Actaully it doesn't have to be larger, since the data from RAM is compressed before writing it to swap for hibernation.

Cheers,

Evo2.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 09:32 AM   #25
MTK358
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evo2 View Post
Actaully it doesn't have to be larger, since the data from RAM is compressed before writing it to swap for hibernation.

Cheers,

Evo2.
And out of curiosity, what if both the RAM and Swap are full? Can it even hibernate?
 
Old 02-27-2010, 10:34 AM   #26
amenditman
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Partitioning

When I first found Linux, I used a bunch of different distros.

Every few months a new, better version was available and I wanted it. The official release notes said you could just upgrade, made sense to me, I tried it. I broke my system every time.

The forums always advocated a clean install. When going that way, no breakage.

My point?

I learned that there are a lot of config files in your /home directory which don't always work in the newer version if you don't format and re-install /home during the upgrade.

I always keep all personal data on a separate /media/DATA partition outside of /home. Then if I need to re-install I can do both / and /home.

It isn't always necessary, but the few times that it is you will be glad you kept it separate.
 
Old 02-27-2010, 10:53 AM   #27
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get a debian based distro... updating is easy with the apt-get update command... ubuntu, kanotix, knoppix, the list is endless. However you'll need a good internet connection if u want fedora .....

Go to distrowatch.com and have a look...

for multimedia support mint and PClinuxOS are best...

Goodluck
 
Old 02-27-2010, 11:00 AM   #28
evo2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
And out of curiosity, what if both the RAM and Swap are full? Can it even hibernate?
If both ram and swap are full, then the OS would crash. Normally linux will start killing process before this happens.

I guess there must be some limit on how much swap is free before hibernate can happen, but I don't know what it is. It would depend on how much ram and swap is being used and what size it can be compressed down to. And of course much voodoo ;-)

Cheers,

Evo2.
 
Old 02-27-2010, 04:41 PM   #29
dor
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Reply to all:

Thanks for your help, now I understand better.

I read about the dual-boot installation process of a Linux OS and Windows XP: It mainly requires installing Windows prior to Linux, since Windows overwrites the Master Boot Record and complicates the installation process (although it's possible to install Linux prior to Windows).

Moreover, I read about the Short Stroking approach that helps boosting performance by installing all files in the outer tracks of the HDD. But then I asked myself "Which files are accessed the most - the OS's files or my documents files?". The answer to this question would help me to properly partition my HDD. But I should also consider Windows XP's bad performance - which I'll use for playing games that (probably) require better performance than anything else on my PC.
So in the end I find myself wonder where to partition what? I mean, should I place Windows XP's files in the outer tracks, or Linux's / (root) directory, or /home directory?

About the swap partition - the PC's attached with 4GB of RAM. Should I add a swap partition anyway? I don't mind to "waste" 8 GB of HDD space, I have plenty with my external 500GB HDD.
Consider that I'll use also VMware (not for gaming purposes, unless you'll say it's possible).

While searching for a dual-boot Windows XP and openSuse Tutorial, I found plenty tutorials regarding Vista or Ubuntu. The only relevant tutorial that I found is "Installation - OpenSUSE 11.0 / Win XP Dual Boot" @ forums.opensuse.org. Is that tutorial compatible with openSuse 11.1 and 11.2 ?
Some other tutorials that I found (if someone else will ever need):

Separate replies to each:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
BTW, why aren't you using all 500GB? that's like wasting 300GB of your drive!
Indeed, that was an example, not something that I intent to apply

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
If you want to be able to keep your personal data and settings even if you reinstall Linux:
  • ???GB ext3 for OpenSUSE root directory
  • ???GB ext3 for OpenSUSE /home directory
  • ???GB NTFS for Windows
Oh, thanks! That's, with reed9's setup, what I've been looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTK358 View Post
EDIT: Note that in this scheme, all installed software goes into the root (/) partition, and all your personal data goes into the /home partition. Be careful to choose a good size ratio! If your / partition is too small you will limit the amount of sowtware you can install. If your /home partition is too small, you will limit the amount of personal data you can store.
By saying "all installed software goes into the root (/) partition" you mean /usr/bin ( or /usr/local ) ?
I can store my personal data in my external HDD, so I'll make the /home partition quite small (about 80GB).

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed9 View Post
Here is some info on partitioning.
Thanks, huge article, I'll try to read it tomorrow
That article applies to all distros, right..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evo2 View Post
That is only for some distributions: The ones that are not able to do it properly. I won't bother naming/shaming them. ;-)
Actually, if updates are the only contra for these distros, and partitioning ease the pain for reinstall, then I don't mind to use them

Quote:
Originally Posted by amenditman View Post
I learned that there are a lot of config files in your /home directory which don't always work in the newer version if you don't format and re-install /home during the upgrade.

I always keep all personal data on a separate /media/DATA partition outside of /home. Then if I need to re-install I can do both / and /home.

It isn't always necessary, but the few times that it is you will be glad you kept it separate.
Thank you! I'm glad to read incidents of an experienced user.
But where's the /media directory? I couldn't find it in the Linux's directory structure @ tuxfiles.org. Did you mean that you created that directory/partition in / (root) ?
I assume that your suggestion is to setup the following partitions schema:
  • ???GB ext3 for OpenSUSE root directory
  • ???GB ext3 for OpenSUSE /home directory
  • ???GB ext3 for OpenSUSE /media/DATA directory
  • ???GB NTFS for Windows
But can I exclude the /media/DATA directory and simply create a /media partition? (without creating further DATA directory)

Quote:
Originally Posted by t1nm@n View Post
get a debian based distro... updating is easy with the apt-get update command... ubuntu, kanotix, knoppix, the list is endless. However you'll need a good internet connection if u want fedora .....
I'm not sure what's the difference among all, but I'll try to read also about them
 
Old 02-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #30
reed9
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Quote:
But where's the /media directory? I couldn't find it in the Linux's directory structure @ tuxfiles.org. Did you mean that you created that directory/partition in / (root) ?
I assume that your suggestion is to setup the following partitions schema:
As I understand, back in the day, to mount external media, you would by convention create a mount point in /mnt. Since the advent of autodetection and mounting of external drives, a mount point based on the volume name of the external drive is dynamically created and destroyed as needed in /media instead of /mnt.

The basic process is:
*You plug in the drive, the kernel registers the device in /sys
*Udev create a device node, ie,/dev/sdb1
*The HAL daemon is notified via Dbus.
*Hal broadcasts via Dbus to listening applications, ie, nautilus, the GNOME file manager, or Thunar, the XFCE file manager, or a volume manager, like thunar-volman, or whatever GNOME uses these days.
*The volume manager dynamically creates the mount point at /media/<volume name>, or can open up your music player for CDs, or whatnot

Quote:
get a debian based distro... updating is easy with the apt-get update command... ubuntu, kanotix, knoppix, the list is endless. However you'll need a good internet connection if u want fedora .....
Most distros are based on a few main distros. Ubuntu is based on Debian, as are a few others. There are only a handful of independently developed distros, Debian, Slackware, OpenSuse, Fedora, Arch Linux, Crux, Pardus, and a few others. There are hundreds of distros that start with one of these as the base.

Debian and related distros have a longer history of allowing upgrades from one release to the next, and it generally should work. But this doesn't invalidate anything said before - a clean install is always safer. There is no reason you need a better internet connection for Fedora than any other distro. A broadband connection is ideal for any distro. Maybe the poster is referring to the fact that Debian Stable doesn't change as much as some other distros, or that they distribute a CD collection with all of their software, if you choose to get it. Any distro can be a bit of a pain without a network connection.
 
  


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