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Old 03-24-2008, 10:30 PM   #1
floyd2466
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partitioning drive


Hi guys!
Complete beginner with virtually no knowledge of PCs, so please bear with my dumb questions!
Want to try out various versions of Linux before deciding which one is best suited to me and need a few answers:
1- If I want to try out, say 2-3 different versions, do I need to partition my hard drive 2-3 times and install the different versions on each partition, or can I just partition it once and install a version one at a time, run it for a while, then delete it and replace it with another version?
2- My hard drive is actually already partitioned into a C drive and an E drive. Is it simple to re-partition the E drive to make room for Linux? How do I specify which drive to partition?

Actually, I have already run Ubuntu and Linux Mint (and about to try ZenWak) on Live CD, but want to see what they feel like when properly installed...
 
Old 03-24-2008, 10:57 PM   #2
Slokunshialgo
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Are you planning on doing the partitioning from the command line, or from a GUI installer? if command line, you can do the partitioning using cfdisk, or, if not available, fdisk. (cfdisk is just a nicer front-end for fdisk). Run man cfdisk or man fdisk to get more info, but they're fairly straightforward with their help menus. Many GUI installers have easier tools, but without knowing the distro, I cannot give specifics.

As for what to do for partitioning, if you want to be able to choose between different ones on boot, then make a partition for each, if you are only going to be using one at a time, then you only need one partition, then format it every time. To edit a partition table, do something like cfdisk /dev/hda, or whichever drive is the one you'll be working with. You can delete the one partition then make new ones. My suggestion would be as follows, using hda as my example drive:
hda1 - keep as Windows
hda2 - Main install drive, about 10-20 GB, depending on what you can spare. Mount as /
hda3 - Home partition, use whatever is left over after making everything else* Mount as /home
hda4 - Swap partition. usually double the amount of RAM you have in your system. try for 1-2 GB minimum, if you can spare it

* I suggest a separate home partition from your root system, as if you keep changing it becomes a good place to store files. Just keep in mind, however, that since settings will get stored here, it can cause problems between distros. Just rename your home folder before making a user on a new system, then copy the files you want into your new one.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 12:34 AM   #3
onebuck
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Hi,
Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd2466 View Post
Hi guys!
Complete beginner with virtually no knowledge of PCs, so please bear with my dumb questions!
Want to try out various versions of Linux before deciding which one is best suited to me and need a few answers:
1- If I want to try out, say 2-3 different versions, do I need to partition my hard drive 2-3 times and install the different versions on each partition, or can I just partition it once and install a version one at a time, run it for a while, then delete it and replace it with another version?
Yes, you can create one partition for the install partition. Most installs allow you to re-format a partition thus a new install. If not you could always use a LiveCD and format the partition before the next install. Do a 'man mkfs' or 'LINUX MAN PAGES ONLINE'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd2466 View Post
2- My hard drive is actually already partitioned into a C drive and an E drive. Is it simple to re-partition the E drive to make room for Linux? How do I specify which drive to partition?

Actually, I have already run Ubuntu and Linux Mint (and about to try ZenWak) on Live CD, but want to see what they feel like when properly installed...
If you have used Ubuntu then reboot it and use the cli. From the cli as root do a 'fdisk -l' to get the current partition information. You should see something like;

Code:
~# fdisk -l

Disk /dev/hda: 122.9 GB, 122942324736 bytes
16 heads, 63 sectors/track, 238216 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 1008 * 512 = 516096 bytes

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/hda1   *           1       19842    10000336+  83  Linux
/dev/hda2           19843       23811     2000376   82  Linux swap
/dev/hda3           23812       25796     1000440   83  Linux
/dev/hda4           25797      238216   107059680    5  Extended
/dev/hda5           25797       29765     2000344+  83  Linux
/dev/hda6           29766       41671     6000592+  83  Linux
/dev/hda7           41672       47671     3023968+  83  Linux
/dev/hda8           47672       55609     4000720+  83  Linux
/dev/hda9           55610       75451    10000336+  83  Linux
/dev/hda10          75452       95293    10000336+  83  Linux
/dev/hda11          95294      115135    10000336+  83  Linux
Maybe not that many partitions but notice the '/dev/hda1', that is the first partition on device 'hda'. You can modify the partition(s) on a drive with 'fdisk'. Do a 'man fdisk' while you have the Ubuntu up.

The only thing you should see for a difference with a LiveCD and a installed distro is the speed or response.
 
Old 03-25-2008, 10:46 AM   #4
simplicissimus
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Registered: Mar 2008
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vmware player

If you want to try out many distributions, than you should start installing any one of them (choose blindly or go for the one that installs the most smoothly), then install the free VMware Player to run most common systems and distributions as a virtual system.

This is much easier than re-installing on real hardware which will constantly mess up your boot information, unless your experienced enough to handle that.

Regards,
SIMP

Fedora Development

Last edited by simplicissimus; 04-02-2008 at 05:59 AM.
 
  


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