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Old 09-08-2004, 07:42 AM   #1
blotch
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primary or logical partitions?


Hello All,

I've built a computer to install and learn Linux. I installed Windows 98se first, to enable me to install the drivers for the cdrom drive, etc, and then partitioned the hard drive into three, c, d, and f, using Partition Magic.

The idea is that I leave Windows on partition c, put Slackware on partition d and Vector on partition f, thus giving myself a triple boot computer.

Now, having waded through dozens and dozens of queries on dual and triple boot machines, I'm left not quite sure if I've partitioned the drive properly. I have partition c as a primary, ( with an extended partition as a primary also), and two fat 32 drives, d and f, as logical partitions.

Will it be okay to install Slackware and Vector on logical partitions? Or have I somehow got to create three primary partitions (in which case I may not need the extended partition)?

Lastly, will the installation of two other OS's interfere with the operation of my Windows OS, assuming that I get the installs right, of course?

Many thanks,
 
Old 09-08-2004, 07:55 AM   #2
Cedrik
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I have slackware root installed on a logical partition for my part, no problem.

I don't think your installed OS will collide with windows, although you can always do some error that will do, say if you don't take precaution when using programs like rm and wildcards (*), dd or some disk utilities.

Also, by curiousity, what is your drive size ?

Last edited by Cedrik; 09-08-2004 at 07:56 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2004, 08:43 AM   #3
resaguk
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Hi,

It's not clear from your original post what "type" of Slackware you are installing. By this I mean, are you installing Slackware 10.0, zipSlack or bigSlack?

If it's zipSlack or bigSlack then a FAT32 partition should be ok (I don't use either of them though, so please don't quote me). If you are going for a full Slackware 10.0 install though you will need to use fdisk (as supplied on the first Slackware install disc) to create a swap partition (for virtual memory) and (at least) one Linux partition for the installation. But you can get more detail on this if you need it quite easily!

Let us know exactly what you're installing and how much disk space you have in "d" (which you'll have to start calling /dev/hda5 or something very similar soon!) and I'm sure there's lots of advice waiting for you!

An alternative you might want to consider trying to get a taste of Linux is Knoppix (http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html), which:

1. Will let you use a version of Linux that boots directly from a CD.
2. Comes with lots of software installed.
3. Does an excellent job of automatically detecting your hardware.

For the cost of the CD you burn it to (15pence?) it's a great investment and can serve as a very gentle introduction to Linux. Do not be fooled by the fact Knoppix sits on just one CD, the software on that one CD includes equivalents to Adobe PhotoShop, Microsoft Office 2000 and many other applications (including the best waste of time in the world, ever, Frozen Bubble)! I use Knoppix with a USB key to run Linux on my work Laptop whenever I'm not actually at my desk : o) and it's fine for a quick'n'dirty penguin fix without having to install software that my employer would call "unapproved" as they gave me my P45.

However, if you want to learn a LOT about Linux (and computing in general) in a short space of time and don't mind typing (as opposed to pointing and clicking with a mouse) to set-up your system then Slackware is THE way to go.

hth
 
Old 09-08-2004, 09:10 AM   #4
blotch
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Hi, Cedrik and Resaguk,

Well, my hard drive is 40gb and I've divided it into three partitions of 10gb each, leaving 10gb unallocated in case I need it later. .

I didn't realise that there were different flavours of Slackware. I opted to buy Slackware 10, under the impression I was getting the latest updated version. Quite what I'm doing I don't know, as you've probably realised.

My idea, originally, was to use Vector, which is based on Slackware, and supposedly easy to use, to get me started, while I played about with Slackware to pick up the basics of Linux. Hope I'm not being too ambitious!

I've ordered Knoppix, now, as I've realised that I can take the CD round to friends to help wean them away from Windows. I don't approve of Bill Gates or his erratic software.

I'll look up how to use fdisk on the Internet and bung in Slackware 10 on drive d - or /dev/hda5 as you put it.

very best wishes to you both,
 
Old 09-08-2004, 09:37 AM   #5
gbonvehi
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Edit: I posted again after waking up, i didn't read fully this is already said.

Hi blotch, zipSlack and bigSlack are "special" Slackware distributions that can run on a fat partition, what you want to use is plain Slackware 10
You'll need an extra partition for swap (which you can share between different linux distributions), give it 500mb of space.

Last edited by gbonvehi; 09-08-2004 at 09:40 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2004, 10:17 AM   #6
resaguk
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Hi blotch,

As gbonvehi says, zipSlack and bigSlack are just versions of Slackware that can be run from a FAT32 partition. Slackware 10.0 is the "latest and greatest" version that's available on a disk. So don't panic, you've got what you need!

For partitions I really can't recommend enough that you set up a swap partition (type 82 in fdisk) and then two normal Linux partitions (type 83). Make one of these partitions about 2GB (this will be your /home partition) and the other one should then be the remainder of the 10GB space you have. The reason for this is simple, while playing with Linux you WILL break things, at least you will if you are playing properly (everyone does this, so don't worry about it, just be ready for it!). Having a separate /home partition means that when it comes to re-installing all your settings and personal data (e-mail inbox, etc.) will have survived intact!

There are lots of guides on how much swapspace is the right amount, consensus seems to be between 1, 1.5 or 2 times the amount of RAM you have installed. More is, well, more in this case (and if you've got 10GB spare then 512MB-2GB for /swap is nothing!).

There are guides all over the place on how to install Linux. Shilo's guide (one of the "sticky" posts to this forum) is a good place to start. Another good place is http://www.bitbenderforums.com/vb22/showthread.php?postid=311808 which has a step by step description of how to use fdisk. Likewise put http://www.n0dez.com/slackware/ on your bedtime reading list!

Between them and here you should have a fairly easy time learning (and you will be learning!).

Best of luck.

Last edited by resaguk; 09-08-2004 at 11:22 AM.
 
Old 09-08-2004, 01:07 PM   #7
blotch
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Hi Fellas,

You've given me some good information here which will be very useful. However, I need something a little more basic at the moment.

I tried to install Slackware 10 but found that Linux won't boot from logical partitions and I need to change my d and e to primary partitions. It's to do with the fact that Linux won't boot from logicals. At least that's the way I figured it out.

But I couldn't work out how to do this using the cfdisk program that comes on the Slackware Installation disc no 1. Any ideas?

Now something probably stupid. When trying my best I kept ending up at the command line: root@slackware:/#
and I couldn't work out how to get away from it. The commands 'exit' and 'quit' and 'back' did nothing. I was stuck. I had to use the reset button on the computer to reboot from the CDROM. What am I missing here?

Cheers,
 
Old 09-08-2004, 01:26 PM   #8
Cedrik
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did you try :

startx

when you have the prompt
root@slackware:/#

Again, my system is on a logical partition and it boots fine.

Did you played with the active/non active flag for that partition ?
 
Old 09-08-2004, 03:09 PM   #9
blotch
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Hi Cedrik,

Yes, I played with the 'bootable' flag: that's where I got the response that msdos wouldn't boot from a logical partition. Now msdos is probably part of the Windows installation I used and mentioned earlier.

I'll try startx. I can't do it while I'm using this old computer as I have to switch the monitor, power cable and mouse and keyboard cables over to the new one before I can use it.

However, I have the impression that startx opens up a sort of Windows like Gui. I would be reluctant to do that when I hadn't managed to get the installation put in correctly up to that point.

Best,

Blotch
 
Old 09-08-2004, 04:09 PM   #10
Cedrik
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I have the impression that startx opens up a sort of Windows like Gui

It is called a window manager, you can change it with :
xwmconfig

Please read the documentations in your CDs or in www.slackware.com as it looks like you enter in a new world now.

Last edited by Cedrik; 09-08-2004 at 04:11 PM.
 
Old 09-09-2004, 04:36 AM   #11
resaguk
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Hi blotch,

Are you just trying to reboot your computer/shut it down after using the CD to install it?

If so just use the "three-fingered-salute" (ctrl-alt-del) to reboot your pc. While it's rebooting you can then shut it down by holding in the power button for 5s.

As for your partitions - am I correct in thinking you've not put anything on your "e" partition yet? If so, then you can always just delete "d" and "e" (and the extended partition they live in) using fdisk or cfdisk and then create a couple of primary partitions (you can have up to 4 in total on a disk) for installing.

As I said before the amount of space you use is up to you. To give you an idea of what's possible with two disks, one 40GB and one 160GB I have the following setup on the multimedia server in our house:

Swap space:

/swap 768MB [I have 384MB RAM]

Reiserfs [for my Slackware install]:

/boot 50MB
/home 4GB [I have 4 users quota'd to 1GB each]
/var 2GB
/opt 2GB
/tmp 2GB
/ 7.something GB [the remainder of the 40GB disc once everything else is on it!]
/export/cdbackup 40GB
/export/dvdbackup 120GB

FAT32 [These are redundant and I'm thinking of making the space into something more useful, /export/mp3s perhaps?!]:

/transfer 16GB (I used to use this for transferring data between windows and Linux before I got my install fully sorted out)
/windows-install 6GB (Now unused!)

if you forget what's on the 160GB disk, basically /export/* then what's left is my 40GB disc. You can see I've used about 18GB for the Slackware install, but that's too much really and I only did it because I had so much space to play with (at one point there was another 20GB harddisk in the server too!). For an initial install you can probably easily get away with 2GB for /home and then 8GB for / the other partiitions are there to make reinstalling simpler and to help with system security, but that's something you need to read and decide about yourself (http://www.c2i2.com/~dentonj/system-hardening and http://www.slackwarepl.eu.org/content/view/53/ [unfortunately the oldschoolphreak site has been taken offline, and this is the best "mirror" of it I could find] are good places to start)

hth

Last edited by resaguk; 09-09-2004 at 05:18 AM.
 
  


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