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Old 04-30-2004, 03:04 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Slackware/Mandrake/Debian (sarge)
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Best Partition Setup - new linux user

Ok, I'm going to go ahead and reinstall linux, because I'm having a few problems (stalling) as I said in my other thread. Previously I'd read that it's best to set up seperate partitions (not sure why) for different things and I'd like to know what I need.. and, hopefully, how to set it up in mandrakes install portion. I think I can probably manage the basics (I had no problem resizing ntfs partition and making a linux ext2 and swap filesystem).

Anyway, I want to put some of the linux games on here (like UT2k4 and NWN since I have them both) so I'll need a significant amount of dedicated HD space. I just need to know how I'll want to split it up..

Thanks for any help.

EDIT: Going to try to refine this a bit. Basically I don't want to screw up any games I install if I can in case I need to reinstall mandrake again if I mess it over sometime. So what's the best partitioning for me to have to do the least work (aka no reinstalls of huge things) if I have to do it over again.

Last edited by xanas3712; 04-30-2004 at 03:07 AM.
Old 04-30-2004, 03:10 AM   #2
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well, no one here can say what is best....we all have our own
ways of setting partitions......... I have these, and have had no
problems at all...........
the above are ext2
/stuff   vfat--windows partition
Old 04-30-2004, 03:12 AM   #3
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Well I say that because all I had was / and /swap so anything would be an improvement over that as when I format everything will be lost.. just looking for opinions.. thanks.

Also I'm sure this is going to sound stupid but I'm guessing /home = home folder.. how do you actually make sure that it uses the home partition for the home folder..
Old 04-30-2004, 03:57 AM   #4
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My 2 cents:

1. By default, every partition will exist under the root partition (aka the / partition) unless you explicitly call it out separately. Defining separate partitions can be useful for several reasons, particularly if you've got multiple drives in the machine and want to divvy up where you put things, or if you want to force a given partition to work within a specific size constraint.

2. As long as you've got at least 256Mg RAM, set the swap partition to be a max of 256Mg. The old "swap should be twice RAM" only applied during the days of Pentium 133's with a whopping 16Mg RAM and the like.

3. I'd definitely suggest creating /home as a separate partition, ideally on a separate disk drive. Each user you create will have an individual subdirectory within /home. Stuff you save will default save to that directory (ie, your home directory) unless you explicity tell Linux to save it elsewhere. The beauty of having /home exist as its own partition is that you can do a complete reinstall without wiping out any of your own personal data. The amount that rocks cannot be understated.

4. If you want to go overboard, you can partition the way I do (which is overkill but it works for me). Note: This is just my way, you should choose your own; and these numbers are for a box with a single 80G drive. I've got another box with 2 drives and use a similar partitioning scheme but with some of the partitions on the first drive and others on the second drive.

/dev/hda1 = /boot 100Mg Primary
/dev/hda2 = swap 256Mg Primary
/dev/hda3 = / 2G Primary
/dev/hda4 = [....]
/dev/hda5 = /usr 16G logical
/dev/hda6 = /tmp 2G logical
/dev/hda7 = /var 2G logical
/dev/hda8 = /root 2G logical
/dev/hda9 = /home 55G logical (approx)

Lastly, you should Search for other threads here at LQ for partitioning suggestions; they are numerous. Ask 50 people what the "best" scheme is and you are likely to get 50 different answers. -- J.W.
Old 04-30-2004, 04:36 AM   #5
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Well you do not have to re-install linux just to re-partition linux. All you have to do is make a backup and then start spliting partitions. Mandrake is easy for this. A program called fips can split the partitions. Just make sure you have enough space to split the partitions.

You should use ext3 or Reiserfs. There are a lot better if you accidently turn off the computer or something bad happens. I use XFS for most of my partitons.

The reason why splitting linux in seperate partitons or putting it on different hard drives is it makes it easier to backup. Another reason is if one directory (usually /var) is taking up a few kilobytes and expanding more every second, it will then eventually stop. Third reason you may want to install another linux distribution to try out. Fourth, to increase performance by putting certain directories on seperate drives. This creates parallel processing.

When you mount a partition, you have to point it to a directory. For example
mount -t ext2 /dev/hd5 /home

or in /etc/fstab

/dev/hda5 /home ext2 defaults 1 2

What this means LINUX will mount /dev/hda5 on /home which is located under / (aka root directory). The / have to be mounted first for this to work. In LINUX, you have the ability to put users directories anywhere you want other than /home. By default most LINUX distributions puts users in /home.

You can find work arounds in LINUX if you know how to use symbolic links.

You can increase performance by placing swap and var in the front of the drive. If you specify /var to be 2 GB you are wasting a lot of space. Something around 256 MB to 512 MB is good enough. For /boot unless you want to get fancy with bootsplashes, 100 MB or 150 MB what Redhat recommends for /boot is too much. Something around 16 to 32 MB is good enough. Mine is about 16 MB and its not full at all.


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