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Old 10-16-2003, 02:20 PM   #1
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Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
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Question HD Partition Size's

Unwritten "Rules"

So what kind of partitions should you make? It is always a good idea to make the swap partition first so you specify an exact size for it. It is also a good idea to make seperate partitions for /, /home, and /usr. People will tell you many things about how to divide up your disk, but it really comes down to what you want. There are many good reasons to breaking it up into /, /home, and /usr. For example:

Home directories are always on their own partition and you can upgrade the distribution without having to backup the home directories.
/usr is where software goes, so you can keep that whenever you upgrade distributions.
The root directory should really remain untouched, except for the modified files in /etc and root's home directory.
Others may tell you that you must have a seperate /var partition so log files won't fill up the root filesystem or so that the mail spool gets its own partition. Really, the choice is yours. Experiment with it, you can always change it later.
Installing Slackware on a lte 5250 laptop, 20gb hd, 80mb ram.

1. Following the above rules I will have 4 partitions: Swap, Root, Home, and usr.

What size should I make each of the partitions? I read that the swap should be 2x your ram. true?

thank you for your help. I admit, im a noobi at this.

Old 10-16-2003, 09:01 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2001
Location: Atlanta,GA
Distribution: Red Hat, Mandrake
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I'm used to working on servers, and I've never run Slack, but...
Here's my typical partition scheme for a WS:
swap: 1GB
/ (root): 5GB
/usr: 5GB
/home: whatever's left...this is where your personal data will live, so make it the biggest
Old 10-17-2003, 01:08 AM   #3
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Location: Boise, ID
Distribution: Mint
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Doubling the RAM to determining the size of swap is most important for machines with limited memory, but at least in my experience it would be unlikely that you'd probably ever need to go over maybe 256 Mg or 512 Mg. I've got 256 Mg allocated to swap, and I think the max usage I've ever seen is maybe 60 or 70 Mg, but then again that's just me. For a 20 Gb drive, I'd divide it as follows: 256 Mg for swap, 2 Gb for /root, 5 Gb for /usr, and the rest for /home. I agree 100% with killjoy that /home should be the largest, as this is where all your data will be. To be honest, I wouldn't worry too much about trying to "optimize" the partition sizes - just keep things generic and within reasonable guidelines and you should be fine.

As a side comment, asking people for their opinions as to what the "best" allocation scheme is sort of like asking them what's the best song of all time. There's no right or wrong answer, it's just based on personal opinion and experience. -- J.W.
Old 10-17-2003, 01:29 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
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Thank you so much Killjoy and J.W.

I was stressing real hard over this. Afraid I would mess my install up.

I understand this is your option, but this kind of practical information is lacking in all the information I have looked at.

Now if I may, I'd like to follow this up with another question:

I understand what the swap file is for. Root is where I'm installing the Slackware distro.

/usr is for software I may add later, say Staroffice for example. /home will be for data generated by my programs; like a text document.

Now it seems to me that I will use far more disk space with my software programs than for personal data/generated stuff. Office XP is a huge program compared to the number of documents I have created and saved. It would make since to me to have /home at 5GB and /usr the rest (and largest). Why is this not the case?
Old 10-17-2003, 02:12 AM   #5
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Well it depends on your own personal plans for the PC. Keep in mind that /home is for _all_ your personal data. Some of the things I've got on my /home partition (notice I didn't say directory) include all my Email, all my music, my browser cache, any letters or other office-related documents I've written, all the files I download (including various Linux distros), etc, etc.

If you know you will be installing a lot of software, then definitely give /usr more space. As I indicated before, there's no real right or wrong answer here, as long as you don't make any extreme choices. (For instance, allocating only 200 Mg for /home, or something similar, would be a really bad choice.) Otherwise you'll be OK, seriously. -- J.W.


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