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Old 08-16-2006, 01:07 PM   #1
axathebraxa
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partitioning my hd installing debian from xp


Hi -

I've decided to make the move from XP to linux and I decided on Debian because I'd rather go with something a little more complicated than ubuntu so that I can learn about the system etc. After four tries I finally burned the .iso to a cdrom and it started up ok. In the installation I had one problem with DHCP protocol - so in xp I deselected the option "Register this connection's addresses in DNS." Considering this is for internet connection, will I even need this until I finish the install?

Then it asked me to partition the harddrive and I really didn't know what to do there. It was partitioned into (in mbs) fat16 49.3, ntfs 365, fat32 3.4, freespace 8.2. Is this the default windowsxp partitions? My harddrive is 34gb and I have 512 ram. I was thinking (after some research) that about 500mb would be good for swap, but then other than that I don't really know what to do. I'm using a single-user laptop where I use a lot of storage for mp3s, use openoffice a good amount, do a lot of internetting, use image editing programs (gimp), and occassionally like to play games usually on emulators. Should I use lvm to do it for me, and how do I do that since I'm faced with the partitioning during the installation? How does this setup sound - /root 150mb, /home 100mb, /swap 500mb, /var 2gb, /temp 50mb, /usr the rest of it?

I'll be using the first two Debian disks and then fetching whatever else I need from the internet. I use wireless, will Debian easily be able to connect to the internet after install? Thanks for your help.

stephen
 
Old 08-16-2006, 02:34 PM   #2
rickh
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Back off a little bit. Instead of messing with the dvd's which are out of date anyway, get the Etch Beta 3 Netinstall .iso here, (about 100 MB). Install from that using a regular ethernet connection. When you get to the part about formating the disk select "Manual." The installer will allow you to first delete any current partitions, then set up new ones. My recommendation: 1 GB /root; 250 MB /swap; 1 GB /tmp; 4 GB /usr; 3 GB /var; and the rest /home.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 02:42 PM   #3
pmoroney
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In the unix world, the /usr partion is supposed to be for software, and the /home partion user files. Yeah - I know - it sounds backwards, but it is what it is. The /home partion is where by default user files are stored & user directories are created off the /home partion. If you create multiple accounts on the box, you will see muliple directories named off the /home partion. And finally, another key thing is you need to be root to write to the /usr partion. Mortal users cannot write to the /usr partion.

-Swap should be one to two times physical ram.
-The temp partion should be name /tmp - I generally use 100-200 meg for this partion.
 
Old 08-16-2006, 11:46 PM   #4
RMLinux
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In my experience i used the Sarge 1 from there you can do all try to read this CD in XP and automatically load the README...From there you will read PARTITIONING IN LINUX...

It is somewhere 25%,,,30% partitioning space....you need to type how many space do you need in your current WINDOWS XP..

it look like this the prompt: 6.4G.................................................... you type here the space your windows need....and automatically the installer move your current partition and look for the freespace..this freespace result is now your new partition..hope it helps

Last edited by RMLinux; 08-17-2006 at 01:43 AM.
 
Old 08-17-2006, 07:41 AM   #5
tnandy
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Why do you need so many partitions? I'm using Fedora Core 3, and I have only 5 partitions for a dual boot system. The first partition is for Windows. The next three partitions are for Linux: 1) a relatively large root directory (/); 2) boot directory (/boot), 100MB; 3) swap space, 1GB give or take. The last partition is shared space between Linux and Windows. I format this last partition vfat (FAT32) and have to fix the file /etc/fstab so Linux users can write to it.

I've read that having a separate /boot partition isn't really necessary any more; that it's a legacy of the way Linux used to work. Mine is separate because that's still the way it installs by default. However, I always specify the sizes of my partitions because I want that level of control.

If you separate each of the directories you mentioned into their own partitions, you could end up with a lot of wasted space on the hard disk. If you have only one root partition, when you save a file or install a program, no matter what directory it is going into, the space is drawn from a single pool. If you have several partitions, you must very carefully choose how much space to give each one. For example, suppose you have a 1GB /usr directory and a 1GB /home directory. If you save too many files, you will use up all the limited space in the /home directory, while there may be plenty of free space in the partition you set up for the /usr directory.
 
Old 08-17-2006, 08:38 AM   #6
pmoroney
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While legacy, breaking the harddisk into several partions is among other reasons, for security purposes. A common way to exploit a unix / linux box is to get something that will write huge log files. Log files are stored on the /var partion - if the exploit causes the /var partion to fill up & the box to crash, you can still boot the box - if only in single user mode. If you have /var & /root on the same partion, and that partion fills up, you won't be able to boot the box - see yeah, drive home safe . . .

Speaking of wasted space, the /root partion definitely does not have to be 1 gig - depending on the distro - 2-300 meg is enough.
 
Old 08-17-2006, 09:59 AM   #7
rickh
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Quote:
Speaking of wasted space, the /root partion definitely does not have to be 1 gig - depending on the distro - 2-300 meg is enough.
300 MB would be about absolute minimum for me. I always keep two complete kernel images (current and last previous). Also newbies are really good at doing something that will fill it up which locks up there system and totally freaks them out. I figure a little extra won't hurt and disk space is cheap as long as you're not wasting a whole lot. /tmp could be smaller, too, but it saves me changing the default location for temporary files on apps like k3b, where it's likely that I'll want room for a cd-image.
 
Old 08-18-2006, 09:57 AM   #8
axathebraxa
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Ah it erased my post because I linked to another site. grrr

Thanks everyone for your replies. I've decided to set up a dual-booting system with xp and debian sarge (3.1). So far when I'm started installs to see what came up, I've had problems with my ethernet wired card (broadcom 440x 10/100 integrated controller) which is quite broken so I use wireless, but it keeps trying to connect with the ethernet card even though I've disabled and uninstalled it. Also there might be a problem with my video card (Nvidia GeForce FX Go5200). These were only problems when I was trying to use live cds though, the only thing that was iffy in the debian install is that it can't connect to the internet, but since I'm doing it from cd I think I'll be fine until I get the os up and running. I was thinking of repartitioning thus:

NFTS (xp) 18gb, ext3 (sarge) 9gb, fat32 (shared) 9gb, /swap 1gb, boot 100mb, var200mb, tmp 50mb

How big does ext3 need to be to fit sarge, because I'd like to have some of that space on fat32. Does boot need to be at the beginning of the drive? ext3 is taking the place of /home for me in this set up, and /root and /usr will just be under / because I won't be needing lots of individualized settings. Of course if I want to change distros, which I suspect I will, I'll have to redo stuff but I'll probably just want to get rid of xp at that point. Otherwise I think it's pretty sweet and dandy.

After I do this and I start getting used to linux I'd really like to set up my own web server and host a website and a dns server from my computer. one step at a time I guess though.
 
Old 08-20-2006, 12:07 AM   #9
axathebraxa
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I never thought I would be glad to boot up XP. For the life of me I couldn't get Debian to recognize my Broadcom WLAN BX4306 or whatever wireless and my ethernet card is broke. I tried to figure out how to install ndiswrapper but I guess I didn't have the kernel source installed whereever it was supposed to be installed and after a few hours of trying to figure it out I just gave up. Now windows is crappily installed and I have to go find a driver for my nvidia card.

I first tried to repartition with the qtparted on the linux system rescue cd but for some reason, at some times it doesn't allow you to create or modify partitions so instead of just having three partitions I looked for another prog and ended up trying Partition Logic. I ran it and when I tried to resize NFTS it froze n(!) and I lost xp and ick. So I used to the repartitioner on the debian install cd and that did it ok but then I couldn't get my wireless working - and I really need it in the coming two weeks. Anyway I would not suggest that anyone use partition logic and qtparted seems to not support using more than a few partitions. I used the debian partitioner to actually set it up like I wanted it, more or less, so now I can install another OS I think. I might wait until I'm a little more settled down and don't need free craigslist access. Oh xp, how ugly you are.
 
Old 08-20-2006, 08:29 AM   #10
baikonur
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Using 3rd party software to partition drives is generally a bad idea.
I always use the installer, Linux or Windows, for partitioning. The Linux installer for the linux partitions and the windows installer for the Windows partitions. Then, when I need to change my scheme, I use the fdisk program of whatever OS it is that I wish to create a new drive for. (Yes, there is a linux fdisk, too.)
It won't care which file system is there right now. It just overwrites them. Windows doesn't even SEE the Linux file systems. It sees the partitions, but claims them to be empty... *grr*
 
  


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