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I am a relative newcomer to Linux. I recently installed Suse 10.0, 64 bit edition to dual boot with WindowsXP 32 bit edition. I used the partioner provided with Suse to create a 40 GB partition for Windows XP and used the rest of the hard drive (approximately 71 GB) for Linux. I find that Windows XP occupies almost 14 GB even though I have little installed by way of additonal software, while the Linux installation occupies less than 5GB. I am trying to understand why Windows XP occupies so much space.
I would also like to find out how much the swap partition should be for Linux. I have 2 GB of RAM and at present the Suse installation has set the default Swap partition to 1GB. I understand that one can set the Swap partition to be twice the amount of installed RAM. However some posts also suggest that generally the Swap should not be set to more than 1GB. What would be the most appropriate Swap partition for my installation?
Also, I would like to eventually remove Windows from this computer and run Linux exclusively, once I am comfortable with Linux. Can this be done without disturbing the existing Linux installation? Can I use the partitioning utility in the Suse installation to delete the Windows partiton altogether and reclaim the disk space for Linux? Can this be done in a safe way?
Thank you so much for anybody who can help.
The 2x Ram rule is generally for older systems. You may find that your 2GB of RAM makes it so nothing is ever going to the swap file (there are ways to monitor how much swap is used, but I'm no expert on that - try google). Generally, a newer system won't need more than 512 MB, if it ever even access it at all. Now my old Celeron 400MHz with 256MB of ram uses a significant part of the 512 MB swap I have allocated...
And once you're ready to get rid of Windows, you can definitely just delete it using suse's partition manager and format it for linux space or separate out partitions, or install another linux distro.
Oh, if you're not dones etting up, you should probably have a shared FAT32 partition to share files between linux and windows. How big depends on what you want to share. I have friends who share large amounts of mp3's so they can listen on windows or linux, so their drive is like 100GB all FAT32. Me, I only have a 5 gigs that I pass documents back and forth.
The issue about swap is very debatable. I have 1 gig of ram on my main system and a 1 gig swap file. My swap is hardly ever used even though I usually have lots of apps running at the same time. For a desktop system with 2 gigs a 4 gig swap file would be overkill in my opinion and I think I gig is quite sufficient. As for the Windows partition, you can always reformat it from within Suse and use it for something else.
If you don't have it already, you might want to consider using the Logical Volume Manager. By having your partitions managed in LVM, when it comes time to remove Windows you can easily expand your existing volume to include the new space.