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Old 08-17-2013, 12:46 AM   #1
Cocolate
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Partition Dual-Boot Properly


I am about to install my second distro on my SSD. I need to go over what I am about to do in Gparted so I dont accidentally mess it up before asking questions.

In order of partitions

Code:
/boot- ext2 - 50-100MB
/root- 1GB
(swap)- 16GB (2x RAM 8GB)
/home - size of my distro
/tmp- minimum 500MB
/usr- ext2 - 2GB-16GB depending on the amount of software packages
/var- 500MB
This is a screen shot of my current partition with Ubuntu 12.04 installed now.

http://i1276.photobucket.com/albums/...ps35cf6f91.png

Now one thing I notice is that the "extended" partition, and the "swap" partition are color coded and in the same square box to the >>right.

According to my Ubuntu Linux book I should have a:

/boot

^partition at the front of this disk. Along with that /boot partition the partition should also be an ext2. That is for partitions with data that does not change frequently.
Next is my:

/root

^Where does it go? What should this look like when I create a /root partition? According to my screent shot, is the /root partition missing? Or is it another one of the partitions listed but labeled differently?

(swap)

^This one is pretty self explanatory. Do I need another swap for another distro while dual-booting? Or should I increase the swap that is already created, if that is even possible?

/home

^Size of my distro which means this is just the space where I put my dual-boots? And then there's:

/tmp

^The book does not even list an example of this partition or give a description. It just says I should have one along with my installation. It should also be a minimum of 500MB. Maximum?

/usr

^Another partition I do not see in my current system. Also required as ext2. I believe these are partitions I can add later, but I'm not sure how much I need in relation to how many packages I'll install. This is my personal computer and I use an average amount of programs for basic everyday needs. Music/movies/gimp/downloading/reading/browsing and that would seem complete. If a minimum is 2GB then I could probably live with that. With only 94GB of space it doesn't seem like wasting space is a luxury presently.

/var

^This partition holds the bulk of the system logs, package information, and accounting data so it doesn't seem like a bad idea to make this partition mandatory with a fair amount of space. Well this is missing from my current system too.

So here are my final thoughts:
I can edit these partitions later with Gparted. So I feel that it would benefit me to do that before setting up a 2nd distro for dual-boot. Also should each of these partitions be made twice for each distro? So I can expect to split up my partition table so that there is enough space for each distro to have a swap for both distros? That will equal 32GB in my case. I dont think I need 2 swaps though, right? What about the rest though?

Last question. For the 2 partitions that are labeled ext2 does that mean the remainder of the partitions should be labeled ext4?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. It can help others in the future. I have done tons of reading the last 4 days on several subjects on Linux, and my eyes are feeling a little burned out. And yes I do plan on upgrading with another HDD and right now Im working with what I can.

Last edited by Cocolate; 08-17-2013 at 12:56 AM. Reason: mg = MB x]
 
Old 08-17-2013, 03:18 AM   #2
moo-cow
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Hi,

I'm not sure if you misunderstood your Ubuntu Linux book (title?) or if there's just plain nonsense written in there, but you do NOT need separate partitions for your Linux directories. On server systems where high availability and flexibility is a priority, directories such as /tmp, /usr and /var are typically located on separate disk partitions or even hard disks, but on desktop systems that's unnecessary (and uselessly complicated). The usual recommendation for desktops is to have just three partitions for:

- /
- /home
- /swap

Hope this helps!
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-18-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
the ber
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If I were you I would follow moo-cow's suggestion with a little modification. Do not make all kinds of partitions for /tmp and /usr and so on. If you want to install 2 Linux distributions you should make an ext4 partition for each one. You should also make a separate /home partition for your data, also formatted as ext4. But 100 GB is not very much space nowadays.

This is how I would do it, but there are also many many other ways:
1. Back up any data you might have on your system already. Use external hard drive or USB or whatever.
2. Use Gparted to reduce the size of your sda1 partition to about 30 GB.
3. Use Gparted to increase the size of the extended partition to take up all of the space freed up in step 2.
4. Create two new ext4 partitions, each about 30 GB, inside the now larger extended partition. Use all of the free space.
5. Install the second Linux distro into the second ext 4 partition. You tell it to use the same SWAP partition as the first distro. Tell it to mount the third ext4 partition as /home.
6. Afterwards you want to follow some instructions for using the same /home partition for both distributions. This one worked for me: http://www.linuxtoday.com/blog/2009/...ess-linux.html

If you aren't really confident then ask more questions. Just don't forget the part about backing up your data.
 
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:59 AM   #4
duffmckagan
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@the ber: The link that you have referred to (for using a common home directory - across multiple distributions) kinda makes sense if you are talking about mounting your data paritition to a folder inside your home directory.

In this situation, why are you asking the OP to create a seperate home paritition? By that did you mean the partition with all the data on it?

I guess for a clear understanding of the Linux File-System Hierarchy, the OP needs to follow this link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesys...archy_Standard

Last edited by duffmckagan; 08-18-2013 at 12:01 PM.
 
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
the ber
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duffmckagan: I suggested creating a separate /home partition to keep the user's data off of the system partitions. If the OP is thinking of trying different distributions then he will be better to keep his data separate from the root directories.
 
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:22 PM   #6
duffmckagan
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If the OP creates a seperate /home partition, then don't you think multiple distributions will also tend to use the same /home partition as their home folder under /?

It defeats the purpose you know, as the OP has to install multiple distributions on the system.

Instead of that, in your link, it is suggested that instead of creating a seperate home **partition**, mount your **DATA** directory to a folder inside your /home/user/data directory. In that case, if the OP install say ubuntu & CentOS the structures will be like this:

If the user creates a simple structure like this:
/dev/sda1 - Ubuntu
/dev/sda2 - Extended partition
/dev/sda5 - swap space
/dev/sda6 - Another distribution
/dev/sda7 - Data

Now, in all distributions, /dev/sda7 which is the Data partition would be mounted to /home/user/data of the respective distribution.
This way, all config files lie in their respective home directories and the data remains common.
 
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
the ber
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I see that you are right. I was playing with multiple distributions several months ago (when I knew nothing about Linux) while trying to select a substitute for XP. I was able to follow the instructions in the link without understanding what I was doing, but it worked. I've settled on LMDE now and have no more reason to try multiple distros.
 
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #8
hilyard
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Here's what I'd do:

Shrink sda1 to approx half hdd space
Delete sda2 and sda5
Create swap on new sda2 of approx 2GB (why more if PC has 8GB RAM?)
Edit /etc/fstab to point to new sda2 as swap
Reboot to make sure things are correct
Create new sda3 where new distro is to reside and install, in remainder of hdd space
Swap can be shared between distros

. . . but this is just my preference.

Last edited by hilyard; 08-18-2013 at 02:37 PM. Reason: add link
 
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:14 AM   #9
Cocolate
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by moo-cow View Post
Hi,

I'm not sure if you misunderstood your Ubuntu Linux book (title?) or if there's just plain nonsense written in there, but you do NOT need separate partitions for your Linux directories. On server systems where high availability and flexibility is a priority, directories such as /tmp, /usr and /var are typically located on separate disk partitions or even hard disks, but on desktop systems that's unnecessary (and uselessly complicated). The usual recommendation for desktops is to have just three partitions for:

- /
- /home
- /swap

Hope this helps!
Thanks. I was kicked off line for 2 days so I couldn't respond yet.

As for the rest It has made me realize adding 2 distros to a 120GB SSD is kinda ridiculous so I'm not going to bother although I can always refer back to this thread when Im ready to dual-boot which I always seem to find exciting. I'm going to purchase another 120GB SD because they fit my budget and I like their functionality. I should consider an HDD at some point. Wouldnt it be better to have an SSD AND an HDD for storage. Well these are questions I can look into when the time comes. I think a second SSD for a 2nd distro is a good start and later the HDD's can come for storage.

Thanks very helpful replies
 
  


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