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Old 06-24-2004, 08:01 PM   #1
Cheechi
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swap partition


i searched around the forum but didn't find anything quite like my question. as you read this assume two things: 1) i am very knowledgeable about Windows in general, especially XP and will try to do everything the 'windows way' (and probably screw everything up) if you don't give me EXPLICIT instructions, and 2) i am setting everything up using PartitionMagic 7.0 (and not fdisk)

i am trying to decide between installing LindowsOS 4.5 and Mandrake 10 to dual boot an existing XP Pro installation. i currently have the hard drive in two partitions, 15GB for C: (XP OS) and 60GB on D: (XP Programs/data/etc). i will be using Ghost to transfer these two partitions to a bigger drive (depending on the money, either 120, 160, 200, or 250GB). the size of the disk does not matter because only one partition would be affected, my current D: drive will acquire everything i don't use for the rest.

how do i set up a swap partition in each OS?
can the swap partition be FAT32?

if i can make a FAT32 swap then i can make a 2GB partition and use it as my paging directory in XP also, so i minimize the unavailable space from both OSes. each OS will be installed on 15GB and i'll use my current drive (once it's empty) to experiment with using different partitions for /home, /etc, / and maybe a few others, as has been recommended by a Slackware user friend of mine.

i will choose NTFS over FAT32 on all partitions except that swap partition, because i have many large files and i like the speed. also i like the ability to have read-only while i learn linux better, so i don't accidentally erase my music or pictures, and also in case i need to let someone use my computer i know they can only do limited damage if i turn my back.

please don't tell me why i should use one of these two over the other, i am planning on installing both on different boxes later on, this question pertains to the ability of either to setup this type of swap for use in dual boot situation.
 
Old 06-24-2004, 08:07 PM   #2
Dark_Helmet
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1. Both Linux distributions can share a single swap partition
2. No, you cannot make a linux swap partition formatted as FAT32. You'll need at least two "swap" partitions: 1 for Windows, and one to share between both Linux distros.
 
Old 06-24-2004, 08:12 PM   #3
Cheechi
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if i were to dual boot between Mandrake and Lindows, i could make only one swap partition then? i only have 3 computers, and no room for a fourth. i'm not touching my win2k box cause it's my fileserver and it doesn't like it when i even look at it. dual booting is pretty important to getting all the OSes i want to use. also, if i install both Linux partitions onto one drive, which LILO would boot and would it work?
 
Old 06-24-2004, 08:29 PM   #4
Dark_Helmet
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Both Mandrake and Lindows can share a single swap partition no matter how you set up the configuration (dual-boot, triple-boot, quad-boot, etc., etc.) You could make two swap partitions, but it would be pointless. You only need one.

I'm a little lost though now. Are Mandrake and Lindows sharing a box by themselves, or sharing it with Windows (a triple-boot system)?

If it's a triple-boot, then the boot loader might have problems booting Windows. There have been a few threads posted about that here on the forums to resolve the issue. If this is the case, then you can choose not to install LILO at all and use a boot disk. You would need to have a boot disk for Lindows and Mandrake. There is another option that would require only one boot disk, but I won't go into it unless you need to know.

When LILO comes up, it gives you the option of which operating system to boot, and if you don't give it any input in a specific time, then it will boot the default. You specify through configuration files which operating system will be your default, and it's easy to change from one to another.

When installing the distros, more than likely, the second distro you install will recognize there is another distro installed. It should configure LILO to display an entry for the other distro. In other words, the second distro should set things up with a reasonable configuration. You might want to change the default later (the second distro will probably choose itself as the default). Also note, there is another boot loader: grub. I don't know which boot loader Mandrake or Lindows uses.
 
Old 06-24-2004, 08:54 PM   #5
michaelk
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I do not know if works with XP but here is the howto for windows 95/98. It is an old howto

http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Swap-Space.html#toc6

Windows XP uses a swap file i.e pagefile.sys and linux normally uses a swap partition. It is possible for linux to use a swap file but the OS runs faster with a partition.

Swap and memory utilization are quite different in linux. For most desktop systems 512MB of swap is sufficient. If your running a heavy used mail, web server etc then you probably need more swap. linux will buffer and cache data in unused memory so if you have lots of RAM your swap usage for the average user will be low. With large hard drives 512MB is a very small percentage of disk space so IMHO I do not see the advantage of sharing swap with windows.

Windows will automatically configure swap during the install. I have never messed with changing its settings in XP.

With Mandrake since you are creating the partitions ahead of time you will need to select expert mode and then select the partition for the mount point and swap as desired.

Mandrake by default installs lilo but grub is an option. I am not familar with lindows and do not know which it uses.

Last edited by michaelk; 06-24-2004 at 08:57 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2004, 09:01 PM   #6
Dark_Helmet
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I stand corrected about sharing swap. I didn't know you could do that. Although, it does sound like a bit more work than it's worth.

Learn something new everyday...
 
Old 06-24-2004, 09:08 PM   #7
Cheechi
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as to how many OSes would be on the same drive: two at most. i would prefer to have each OS on its own box, and just network them all, but it's not possible.

changing registry values allows the windows paging 'file' directory to be remapped; to an unused or empty directory if desired. i thought of consolidating the two so i could save as much disk space as possible, i'm trying to put as much data onto that D partition as possible so i can use the drives i have for backup i need to backup my system way more often and ghosting it is the only way i've been able to not forget/put it off/find an excuse not to.

you guys have been quite helpful, right now i'm using Lindows on my 'test drive' which also has XP loaded onto it- no problem dual booting now. i tried installing Mandrake to this disk also but when Lilo (Lindows' lilo btw) came up it had XP and Lindows only, no Mandrake. i open the mandrake drive as i would any other folder, but can't seem to see it on boot. i have two separate disks (each NTFS) which Lindows can only 'see' one of in its file browser, but as i load my playlist as a directory into XMMS and then quick restart, i can open XMMS and listen to my music on one drive while browsing the other. very odd, any suggestions on this one?
 
Old 06-24-2004, 09:27 PM   #8
Dark_Helmet
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It's not the number of OSes on one drive, it's the number of OSes in one machine. Sure, a machine can have a 1:1 hard drive to OS ratio, or possibly 3:2. For the purposes of booting a given OS, the number of drives don't matter so much. You would still be "triple-booting" by having Windows on one drive, and two Linux distros on the other. Not trying to nit-pick. Just trying to clear up terminology in case you post another thread. Others (like myself) might get a little confused and offer inappropriate advice if they don't correctly understand the situation.

Anyways...

It looks like you'll need to make changes to your LILO configuration by adding an entry for Mandrake manually. The default location for the file is /etc/lilo.conf. It's a plain text file which you can open in any text editor. You'll need to read about its format though. To do that, open up a terminal/command line/console/whatever Lindows calls it, and type man lilo.conf. Two things:
1. You will need to be root to make changes to the file
2. If the man page for lilo.conf is a bit cryptic, you might find some useful threads here by searching for lilo.conf. There may also be some useful How-Tos at The Linux Documentation Project

Once you've made changes, you'll need to re-run lilo itself. Lilo will read the configuration file, and update the MBR to reflect the changes. Again, you can read documentation in the system by issuing man lilo. The threads/how-tos will undoubtedly spell out in great detail the whole process.
 
Old 06-24-2004, 09:38 PM   #9
Cheechi
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alright i came up with another part to this question: i was under the impression that most stuff that works in Debian will work on Lindows. i'm an adamant believer in not having to pay for otherwise free stuff, so i tried to install Opera (from their own site) and DScaler (from a file a friend gave me). i have many Linux friends who don't seem to be able to answer me about Lindows or Mandrake, because they all use more advanced distros (Gentoo, SuSe, Debian, and Slackware between the 5 of them). they all recomended i try both 'newbie' distros to see what it's like, then they all went on vacation!

anyway, i think i'm done ranting. how_do_i install stuff on Mandrake, please pleaaaaase walk me through this process as if i'm really stupid. i'm nearly about to give up on Lindows cause they seem to me to be copying MicroSoft a bit tooooooo much in the fact that software they don't get paid for doesn't work well. something about that troubles me. also, as far as Mandrake is concerned, which is better to start out with between KDE and GNOME?
 
Old 06-24-2004, 09:44 PM   #10
Dark_Helmet
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Deciding between KDE and GNOME is personal preference. From a usability perspective, they are pretty much identical. If you must have eye candy, KDE is the way to go.

Now, about installing software... it depends on what kind of file you downloaded. What was the extension? rpm? .tar.gz?
 
Old 06-24-2004, 09:52 PM   #11
Cheechi
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if you would please walk me through rpm, tar.gz, binary, and whatever else (QT something... if i remember correctly). i believe the one i tried on this Lindows was a tar.gz and then i tried to dpkg it.... and lindows basically did something that resembled XP's explorer.exe dying and restarting itself. not sure what happened but my 'taskbar' disapeared and all the filder windows went kaboom. also, i tried using both Woody and Sarge... both seemed to do nothing. i have no idea what most of these terms mean either

also, what's the difference between all of thses, and which is easier to install/better in general?

Last edited by Cheechi; 06-24-2004 at 09:55 PM.
 
Old 06-24-2004, 10:24 PM   #12
Dark_Helmet
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Well, it would be hard to give a step-by-step explanation for every possible method of installation. In addition, a lot of software will come with instructions of its own that deviate from the standard. Always, always, always read any README or INSTALL files included with any software you download.

Here are the basics...

RPM - Red Hat Package Manager file (this is not Red Hat specific; it's just named that because Red Hat developed the system)
If the file has ends with .rpm, then you install it using the rpm program. In general, the routine would be something like this:
1. Download the package
2. Open a command line
4. Become root (command: su -)
3. Change to the directory you downloaded the file
4. Install the package (command: rpm -i filename)
5. Handle any errors/dependencies that show up
6. Return to regular user (command: exit)

.tar.gz, .tgz, or .tar.bz2 - Compressed collection of files: usually source code or a binary
1. Download the file
2. Open a command line
3. Change to the directory you downloaded the file
4. Decompress the file.
4a. For .tar.gz or .tgz, issue the command: tar xvzf filename
4b. For a .tar.bz2, issue the command: tar xvjf filename
5. The previous tar command probably created a new directory to put the files in. Move into that directory
6. Read any and all README and INSTALL files for software-specific instructions
7. Install the software
7a. For source code, you will have to compile the software yourself. There is a "normal" way to do this that might not apply depending on the README and INSTALL files.
7a-1. Command: ./configure
7a-2. Command: make
7a-3. Become root (command: su)
7a-4. Command: make install
7a-5. Return to regular user(command: exit)
7b. For a binary, there is usually an install script that the README or INSTALL files mention. Run that script by executing: ./scriptname

That might look complicated, but it really isn't. If you run into errors during an install process, you can search Google using the error text or post a new thread here with the error message.

I'm not familiar with dpkg, but it seems obvious it's a package manager similar to Red Hat. I don't know if it uses a specific file format or if it works with rpms. To my knowledge, there is no package manager that works with a source code or binary collection of files (e.g. "rpm -i somefile.tar.gz" will not work). In addition to rpm and dpkg, there are other package managers available, such as apt-get, and urpmi. I think Mandrake uses urpmi, but I'm not sure.

Package managers make installing and removing software a little easier than installing from source code or straight binaries. They record what files are stored where. With source code and binaries, it's a little more complicated, and not so easy to remove the software in some cases. The benefit from source code is that you compile it on your machine, and it is "custom-fit" in a way for your setup. For binaries, well, that's the drawback of using closed-source types of software. You either have to track the install yourself, or trust that the uninstall utility provided (if there is one) will properly clean things up.

Last edited by Dark_Helmet; 06-25-2004 at 04:31 AM.
 
  


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