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-   -   Dual boot on new hardware... very new. (

Bobtheguy 09-21-2005 05:25 PM

Dual boot on new hardware... very new.
Good day all,

I would like to do a Linux dual-boot on my computer, but I have a couple of questions (mostly involving partitions). I currently have one partition that is composed of two 160 GB SATA-II hard drives in a RAID 0 config. This has Windows XP Pro x64 loaded on it on an NTFS partition. I have 2GB of RAM. I also have an AMD X2 4400+.

Here's the questions: 1. With that hardware config what would be the best distro for a Linux newb like myself?

2. How many partitions do you think that I will need?

3. What size should those partitions be?

4. Where should I put stuff like my 20GB of music so that I can get to it from either OS?



My PC:

AMD X2 4400+
Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe
Silverstone Zeus 600W PSU
2 SATA-II WD HD's a la RAID 0
XFX 7800 GTX
Creative Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro
LeadTek Winfast PVR 2000
Logitech MX 3100
Logitech QuickCam
MGE Quantum
Windows XP Pro x64

linuxles 09-21-2005 07:14 PM

The answers to this are varied, and I'm sure someone will chime in with the latest distro of the moment. But I'm going to point you in the direction of Fedora Core 4. Mainly cause it is a fairly mature distro and cause the user community is huge! You'll have help in more places than you can look.

Also every conceivable package has probably already been compiled for it... It's a walk in the park to install practically any package nowadays using YUM or APT (ie: synaptic), there really is no way easier to keep your system updated with the latest goodies and security patches. Especially if you use the repositories from "freshrpms" and "DAG".

Now for the filesystem sizes:

/boot = 100MB
/root = 10G minimum (20GB would be better) (system files go here)
<swap> = equal to your physical ram
/home = 10-20GB for all of your user files!
/music = (fat32) for sharing music between linux and windows

Yes you could set it all up on one partition, but that makes it harder to manage down the road. Also should you decide to reinstall or try another distro, you get to keep your /home & /music partitions intact (do not format) - just format and reinstall the other partitions and you are back in business...


Bobtheguy 09-21-2005 10:42 PM

So about all of that extra space?
Anybody can feel free to keep answering the main post, but I still have a question with that reply. So we have carved out that 72.1GB for linux and the shared FAT32 partition, but what should I do about the rest? Should I leave the other 200+ GB for Windows? I got a lot of spare space that I'm not sure that Windows will use, and I want to avoid multiple partition resizes. So really this becomes an addendum: 5. What FS should I give all of the extra space to in order to best plan for the future?

My girlfriend uses this computer too and I know that she won't be keen on ever parting with Windows, just due to comfort and the availability of programs. I'm pretty sure that I will want a working copy around at all times too for those programs that don't have a Linux version. So, I guess what I a mgetting at is that I think that Windows is on this computer for the long-haul and I want to make sure that both OS's will have room to expand in the future without messing with partition resizing (if I can avoid it).

Once again, thanks,

linuxles 09-22-2005 04:02 PM

You never mentioned how much you already had allocated to Windows, so I just gave you a ballpark figure of what I would set as a minumum for /home.

Typically I will assign the remainder of the disk to /home after everything else has been divied up. This is where the bulk of your data will end up once you start using the system.

You may also want to make your fat32 /music partition larger to account for future growth...

You could also store a copy of your music folder in /home and rsync the two directories. This way you'll have a backup in case the fat32 partition becomes corrupted, or some other strange thing happens...

Also leaving free space on the end of the hard drive is not a bad thing, as you can always create a new partition and add it to the filesystem as your needs change. Say for instance you get into video editing, you could then create a partition called "video" and mount it anywhere in your filesystem... You could do this on the fly without having to reboot.


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