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Old 08-26-2002, 08:20 PM   #1
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Question How many patitions do I need for my big hard drive?

I have a computer system with a hard drive of 60 GB of space and with a 256MB of RAM. I plan to install SuSE 8.0 on that system. From my reading of different sources, I realize that I can partition my hard drive at least into 5 parts:

(1) /boot (??? 8 - 16MB within the the first 1024 cylinders of the hard drive)

(2) swap (approx. 256 MB)

(3) / (??? MB for the root)

(4) /home (approx. 200MB/user)

(5) /usr (??? I guess depending on how much software I want)

Now, my questions are:

(a) Is using these five partitions very typical in installing a Linux OS on a big hard drive? I don't plan to use up all 60GB of space just for SuSE 8.0; I think I would like to assign perhaps 20GB for the OS. Can anyone tell me if there are any other better ways to partition my hard drive for optimazation?

(b) How much space do I really need for /boot?

(c) How much space do I really need for the root / ? If I install KDE and GNOME, should I have a sperate partition of /opt for them? But how much space should I assign for /opt?

Old 08-26-2002, 08:36 PM   #2
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There are some benefits of splitting up the OS into different partitions, such as speeding up access to certain areas that are used most frequently (in a web/mail server setup, for eg), and such. However, it can sometimes be a bit of piggery-jokery to get it right for your setup. If you're unsure as to the amount of space you'll need for the various bits, you could get away with a single large partition for / (and then another partition for the swap... and it's unlikely that you'll need more than 100Mb if you have plenty of physical ram).

In answer to your questions, though:
a) Yes. My setup uses seperate paritions for /, /boot, /home, /usr and swap.
b) That depends on how you're going to be using your machine. You need at least enough space for the kernels of the linux system you plan on booting. If you're only going to have 1 linux system on this machine, then you can have a very small /boot partition. If you're going to have more than 1 linux setup on this machine, then a larger /boot partition is needed.
c) Um... don't know. I don't bother with a /opt...

Old 08-27-2002, 08:27 AM   #3
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Actually there are several threads floating around that may help you to see how different people setup their partition schemes...

Mine, I do alot of messing around with different distros and such, so I like to chop up my hd and give seperate partitions for / and /home, and that's it. If I were to start from scratch again, I would also give a seperate for /boot, but I am too lazy to do that right now.

I also have seperate partitions for filesharing between distros, and Winbloze, and they are /mnt/fat32a /mnt/fat32b /mnt/fat32c AND /mnt/winbloze for my NTFS partition.

It's really up to you how you do it, and Thymox gave some good ideas for you to think about (webserver, and such). So decide what you will be using this box primarily for, and see if you need seperate partitions for all your data (probably not).

Old 08-27-2002, 08:35 AM   #4
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Give the poor (L)users more room
Old 08-27-2002, 10:04 AM   #5
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Drop the seperate partitions scheme altogether to save you headache later down the road.

"(a) Is using these five partitions very typical in installing a Linux OS on a big hard drive? I don't plan to use up all 60GB of space just for SuSE 8.0; I think I would like to assign perhaps 20GB for the OS. Can anyone tell me if there are any other better ways to partition my hard drive for optimazation?" For a few distros, it's a must to seperate them. For most, it's optional. Especially in the early 90's, it was very common. Fast forward to today, it's one big / (root) and you're done.

I can recommend another way that my friend and I use.

[ 10gig - ext3 ] [ empty ] [ 10gig - fat32 ]

You could install SuSE on the first 10gig. Trust me. Most distros require 1.5g more or less. The empty space is for future when you want to experiment with other distros or even OSes. The last 10gig will save you a lot of trouble in term of file sharing between Windows and Linux and backing up files. Yes, I back up my Linux files on fat32. Why? I can burn them to CDR(W) hands down on Windows. That's what my friend asks me to do once in a while.

If you don't like it, that's cool.

Have fun.


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