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Old 10-21-2003, 02:37 PM   #1
AlThor880
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Partitions and Multiple Distros


Hi, I'm looking for some information on how to go about installing multiple distributions onto a single hdd that will share a home directory and a directory of media files. I have the intention of using this box to serve these media files on my LAN so I can grab them with my other computers when needed, but only have the files take up space on the one HDD (would delete from other computer when not needed). I was just wondering what would be a good way to set up the partitioning of this harddrive (hda), my thoughts are:

/hda
/hda1 : boot (grub/lilo) (size = ?)
/hda2 : root (distro 1) (size = ?)
/hda3 : root (distro 2) (size = ?)
/hda4 : home (size = ?)
/hda5 : media (size = 20-30 gig)

would this setup work? and what sizes should I make each partition? (60 gig HDD). I intend to run Redhat 9 as one of the distros, maybe slackware as another, and I would like to try to set up Gentoo as well. Would I just simply have each distro intall to it's respective root partition and mount /hda4 and /hda5 as home and media?

Thanks alot for any help =)

-Althor880
 
Old 10-21-2003, 02:47 PM   #2
david_ross
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Yes - that should work fine. When you create users on the second distro it is a good idea to keep the uids the same so you can still access the same files.
 
Old 10-21-2003, 02:50 PM   #3
aaa
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Boot should be tiny (~20mb), the roots for each distro should be given alot each, and the size of the home depends on how much you're gonna sit at this computer (if alot, give it alot). Don't forget swap, which shouldn't be more than 500mb. Search this forum on this topic for more info.
 
Old 10-21-2003, 03:12 PM   #4
AlThor880
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Ahh, thank you very much, I forgot about swap =p

so it would look something like this:

/hda (60 gig)
/hda1 : boot ( ~20 mb )
/hda2 : swap ( ~500mb )
/hda3 : root1 ( ~8 gig ) (less if third distro installed)
/hda4 : root2 ( ~8 gig ) (same^^)
/hda5 : home (~15 gig )
/hda6 : media (~25 gig )

Plus or minus a few gigs here or there to account for the 60 gig, maybe with variation in the different distro's root partitions. Any further input or reccomendations would be very appreaciated.

Thanks =)

Althor880
 
Old 10-21-2003, 03:42 PM   #5
aaa
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Whoa, don't forget about primary/extended/logical partitions! There can only be 4 primary or extended partitions (/dev/hda1-4). An extended partition is a primary one that can carry logical ones (/dev/hda5+). Make an extended partiton to carry some of the 6 partitions you need. They can carry up to 11 logical partitions.
 
Old 10-21-2003, 03:47 PM   #6
AlThor880
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Ooh, good point, So I'll guess I'll have my home and media partitions in logical partions so:

/hda
/hda1 boot
/hda2 swap
/hda3 root1
/hda4 root2
/hda5+
/hda5(um a?) home
/hda5(b?) media

I remember using logical partitions with fdisk before, so I'm sure I can figure it out. Are there any partitions (root, boot,swap) which can't be on a logical partition?

-Althor880
 
Old 10-21-2003, 04:19 PM   #7
aaa
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An extended partition counts as one of the primary ones. So this might be your arrangement:

/hda
/hda1 boot
/hda2 root1
/hda3 root2
/hda4 Extended << /hda5 swap << /hda6 home << /hda7 media

hda is the primar master ide device, hdb is primary slave, hdc is secondary master...and so on.

Edit: All partitions can be logical (though I think boot may depend on what bootloader you're using).

Last edited by aaa; 10-21-2003 at 04:20 PM.
 
Old 10-21-2003, 04:38 PM   #8
AlThor880
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Great thanks for the clarification =) I hope this all works out, but it's gonna be a little while till I can test it out as I'm at school now and need to have ye olde box delivered =p

-Althor880
 
Old 10-22-2003, 12:14 AM   #9
2damncommon
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Since Linux is perfectly happy with logical partitions, perhaps:
hda1 = swap
hda2 = boot
hda3 = extended (all others in here)
 
Old 10-23-2003, 10:20 PM   #10
beolach
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I have been wanting to do this same thing, and this thread has been very helpful in answering the questions I had (just about exactly the same as the OP); but one thing is confusing me.

Why would I need a seperate boot partition? My current config is something like:

/hda - Bootloader installed here (MBR)
/hda1-4 - M$ Windows crap - mostly games
/hdc1 - Linux root
/hdc2 - Linux /home
/hdc3 - Linux /usr/local
/hdc4 - Linux swap

I recently replaced my old 20GB Linux hard drive (/hdc) with a new 120GB, and I am planning on trying out several new distros with the extra space. My quick search on partitioning tips found this thread, which answered all my original questions, but introduced this new question. Is the boot partition mentioned in the thread just the place to install the bootloader? As I use the MBR on my other drive, I don't think I would need a seperate partition just for booting, but I'm not sure if that's what the intention for having a seperate boot partition is.

TIA,
Beolach
 
Old 10-24-2003, 07:51 AM   #11
aaa
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A boot partition is useful if you're going to try out several distros. You can also set it as read-only so you won't accidentally mess up anything.
 
Old 10-24-2003, 07:17 PM   #12
beolach
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How is it useful for multiple distros? And what would be installed on it that would benefit from being ro? For that matter, what would go in a seperate boot partition at all?

Also, if somebody w/ experience in this wanted to write a (mini-?)HOWTO on The Linux Documentation Project on testing multiple distributions on one box, I think it would be appreciated. TLDP has answered almost all questions I have ever had, but as far as the current issue goes this was the most info they had, and while somewhat helpful, it is rather unstructured and incomplete.

Thanks for the answer aaa,
Beolach
 
Old 10-25-2003, 09:22 AM   #13
320mb
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ha ha, you want to see fstab madness? I have Slack 9 and 9.1 and win98se spread across 3 drives in same box.........sindows 98se is used for games mainly.......
Code:
/dev/hdb9        swap             swap        defaults                                     0   0
/dev/hdd6        /                ext2        defaults,noatime                             1   1
/dev/hda9        /Linux           ext2        noauto,defaults,noatime,owner,users,exec     1   2
/dev/hdd7        /var             ext2        defaults                                     1   2
/dev/hdb11       /home            ext2        defaults,noatime                             1   2
/dev/hdb10       /Music           ext2        noauto,defaults,noatime,owner,users,exec     1   2
/dev/hda6        /Stuff           vfat        noauto,defaults,noatime,owner,users,exec,rw  1   0
/dev/cdrom       /mnt/cdrom       iso9660     noauto,owner,users,exec,ro                   0   0
/dev/fd0         /mnt/floppy      auto        noauto,owner,users,exec                      0   0
/dev/sda4        /zip250          auto        noauto,owner,users,exec,rw                   0   0
devpts           /dev/pts         devpts      gid=5,mode=620                               0   0
proc             /proc            proc        defaults                                     0   0
Code:
/dev/hdb9        swap             swap        defaults                                     0   0
/dev/hda8        /                ext2        defaults,noatime                             1   1
/dev/hdb7        /home            ext2        defaults,noatime                             1   2
/dev/hdb8        /var             ext2        defaults                                     1   2
/dev/hdd5        /Xtra            ext2        noauto,defaults,noatime,owner,users,exec     1   2
/dev/hda6        /Stuff           vfat        noauto,defaults,noatime,owner,users,exec,rw  1   0
/dev/cdrom       /mnt/cdrom       iso9660     noauto,owner,users,exec,ro                   0   0
/dev/fd0         /mnt/floppy      auto        noauto,owner,users,exec                      0   0
/dev/sda4        /zip250          auto        noauto,owner,users,exec,rw                   0   0
devpts           /dev/pts         devpts      gid=5,mode=620                               0   0
proc             /proc            proc        defaults                                     0   0
 
Old 10-25-2003, 11:24 AM   #14
acjt
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PHP Code:
df
Filesystem           1K
-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda8              2682732    732284   1950448  28% /
/
dev/hda9             13919856   8056216   5863640  58% /usr
/dev/hda10             9767184   3716508   6050676  39% /home
/dev/hda11             1710828    830880    879948  49% /var
/
dev/hda12             2931732   1172444   1759288  40% /opt
/dev/hda14             6835408   4677012   2158396  69% /usr/portage
/dev/hda15             4714896   3138476   1576420  67% /home/other
/dev/hda5             10231392    267720   9963672   3% /windows/d
none                    516552         0    516552   0
% /dev/shm 
Oh, I also have /boot (/dev/hda6).
I have this already (gentoo installed).
I also have a spare partition (/dev/hda13) with 10 gig on it and I want to install redhat on it. However I'm just unable to work out how this is done.
I know I have to enter details in /etc/lilo.conf to boot the kernel but I don't really understand how it knows what partitions to use etc. (like how does it know to use /dev/hda13/usr rather than /usr (on /dev/hda9)??
 
  


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