LinuxQuestions.org
Latest LQ Deal: Linux Power User Bundle
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 05-02-2011, 07:54 PM   #1
Chiff
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2010
Location: NSW, Australia
Distribution: Trying A Few
Posts: 21

Rep: Reputation: 0
How Many Partitions Should One Have


Hi,

I have 250 Gig HDD on a Asus Netbook. My Question is this:

I want to be able to have 1-2 Distros
1 Swap File of about 5-6 Gig (I have 2 Gig Ram)
An area for all my files so that I don't have to keep re-installing them of my eternal hdd's.

What is your opinion and how should I set it up.

Am I best using xfce and which distro would run the best and fastest.

Thank YOU heaps for your kind assistance.

Chiff.
 
Old 05-02-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,148
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiff View Post
1 Swap File of about 5-6 Gig (I have 2 Gig Ram)
For a normal used home system way oversized. If you want to use hibernation (suspend to disk) you should have as much swap as you have RAM. 5-6 GB will never be used on a normal system, and if you intend to load up the RAM in that way you will get a performance loss that will make you think about buying extra RAM. I would recommend 2GB if you want hibernation, elso you should be more than fine with 1GB.

Quote:
What is your opinion and how should I set it up.
I would go for this setup:
Primary Partition:
/dev/sda1: 15-20 GB for /-partition of your main distro

Extended Partition: Rest of the disk, contains following logical partitions:
/dev/sda5: 2GB swap
/dev/sda6: 200GB for your data-partition
/dev/sda7: spare partition for installing a second distro
 
Old 05-02-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,148
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiff View Post
Am I best using xfce and which distro would run the best and fastest.
You can set up every distro to run fast. Which DE you should use depends mainly on your RAM. With 256MB or more you will be fine with XFCE, more than 512MB and you should be fine with Gnome, 1GB and more and you should be able to run KDE4. But if you want something really snappy than stick with XFCE even if you have more RAM. I see from your distro field that you run Ubuntu, so I would think that Xubuntu is worth a try.
 
Old 05-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
t2000kw
Member
 
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 16
You'll have lots of opinions on this one.

I use 1 small one for swap. It should be about as large as your RAM size, less if you have lots of RAM. I use 2 GB.

I use a \ partition of about 20-25 GB and a \home partition of 30-40 GB.

You probably don't want to use the same \home partition for multiple distros, definitely not the same / partitions. If you share the /swap partition, you don't want to use any power saving function on your PC that saves to disk. If you then shut down and boot to a different distro, you may have some problems.

If you're a download junkie, you'll want lots more space on the non-swap partition.

If you have a recently produced desktop, you can buy hard drives cheap and change the bootable drive so that you don't have to have multiple OS's on the same drive to keep them all separate. It's not an expensive option, but you can put them all on the same 250 GB drive if you really want. I have Win 7 and Linux Mint Debian Edition (locked to stable Squeeze for now) on the same laptop 500 GB drive.

One other option you may want to try is to install a USB version of a Linux distro. There are some ready to install onto USB drives and most PCs of late will boot to USB. USB drives are cheap and it's a way to try out another distro without installing it on your drive.

If you don't want to install the same programs in multiple distros, just stick with one distro. Otherwise, you'll probably have to install the applications in each distro to make sure the packages all match and work together.

By any chance, if you have Win 7 installed (or Vista) and also install a Linux distro, consider using Easy BCD for your boot manager and install GRUB or GRUB2 on the / partition of your Linux distro(s). If you don't, and if you make changes to your partitions using the Windows partition manager, you'll be screwed since GRUB won't know about the partition changes and it will refuse to boot. At least, that happened to me.

You sound like you have some idea of what you're doing, and it sounds like you won't be using Windows, but if you do,remember that Vista and 7 have a separate boot partition in addition to the OS partition, so keep track of your partitions and their order and size. I make mine different enough sizes that it's easy for me to know which is which.

Hope that helps. If you have lots of room, feel free to use more GB for /home and /. Your /home partition will probably be bigger then the /.

Donald

Last edited by t2000kw; 05-02-2011 at 08:23 PM. Reason: because I can
 
Old 05-02-2011, 08:38 PM   #5
Chiff
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2010
Location: NSW, Australia
Distribution: Trying A Few
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks heaps

What type do I format my Data area to ? /Home ?

Should I use 32 bit or 64 bit distros ? My machine is 64 but I did read somewhere that unless you have 4 gig ram use 32 bit? Is this right ?

Thanks heaps for all your imputs.

Chiff

Last edited by Chiff; 05-02-2011 at 08:41 PM.
 
Old 05-02-2011, 08:47 PM   #6
t2000kw
Member
 
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiff View Post
Hi,

Am I best using xfce and which distro would run the best and fastest.

Thank YOU heaps for your kind assistance.

Chiff.
Sorry, but I didn't address the speed issue.

If you want speed, and you don't care about the look and feel of your desktop environment, any of these lightweights should work:

http://www.linuxlinks.com/article/20...1/Desktop.html

You can install more than one desktop in a distro. Then, at the login, you can choose which one you want to use. I did that with several of these and ended up staying with Gnome because that's what I'm used to and prefer. It's the best for ME but not for everyone. KDE would be my second choice (a close one at that), but neither Gnome nor KDE will be your speediest desktop.

If I remember correctly, FWVM was OK, as was Xfce, but it comes down to what you like, the learning curve, and how easily you can do what you want to do in your desktop environment.

Sinc eyou seem to have the space, why not use one of your distros to install multiple desktops in and see which one works best for you, maybe choosing a blend of features and performance.

I don't remember how to do this, but I could probably do it again easily enough. I believe you just install a desktop, then it shows up as a choice in the login menu. There's information on each distro forum or even here if you need help with that.

Donald
 
Old 05-02-2011, 08:49 PM   #7
Chiff
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2010
Location: NSW, Australia
Distribution: Trying A Few
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
32 bit or 64 bit distro ?
 
Old 05-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #8
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,148
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852
Depends on what you want to do with that machine. If you will be in multimedia editing, 3D rendering or other "number crunching" I would go for 64 bit. For lighter purposes, like office-work, surfing the net or watching videos you will be fine with 32 bit.
It also depends on your peripheral hardware, for some devices (printers, some webcams, etc.) there are no 64 bit drivers.
 
Old 05-02-2011, 09:04 PM   #9
Chiff
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2010
Location: NSW, Australia
Distribution: Trying A Few
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thank You so much for ALL your kind help. I really appreciate it heaps.

Cheers

Chiff.
 
Old 05-02-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
t2000kw
Member
 
Registered: May 2007
Posts: 55

Rep: Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiff View Post
Thanks heaps

What type do I format my Data area to ? /Home ?

Should I use 32 bit or 64 bit distros ? My machine is 64 but I did read somewhere that unless you have 4 gig ram use 32 bit? Is this right ?

Thanks heaps for all your imputs.

Chiff
Again, just MY opinion here. I use EXT4 formatting for my /home and / partitions. You can use EXT3 if you prefer. The former is supposed to have some sort of a safety net in the file writing system to make it more certain that nothing gets botched if something bad happens.

As for 32 or 64 bit, I chose 32 for Windows and Linux just because some programs may have issues with 64 bit. hey may have worked out any bugs related to this in Linux but in Windows it's still an issue a few years after the introduction of the Windows 64 bit OS (Vista, then 7).

In theory, a program that is runs in 32 bit mode SHOULD be handled by a 64 bit OS without a hitch.

This information may be dated, but there at least USED to be some problems with 64 bit Linux distros:

http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/lin...bit-linux.html

Google is your friend here. I only picked the top result above, but there's plenty more available to read. There should be some to read in any distro's forum or here, too.

If you are running a limited system, you probably want to stick with 32 bit. Since I'm no expert on this one, I'll defer to anyone who has more knowledge on this.

As for the amount of RAM determining whether to use 32 or 64, your'e limited to 4 GB of RAM in Linux. In Windows, if you use 32 bit, you can't address more than a little over 3 GB of RAM (it's less than 4, so any more than it can address is wasted). With 64 bit Windows, it's not limited to any reasonable degree for most of us.

So if you use 64 bit, you can use less, but with 32 bit, you can't benefit from more, so I don't see it being part of your decision making process unless you plan to use MORE than 4 GB in Linux (or Windows). The link above addresses that, too, and it was true before Windows Vista, so it must be a hardware limitation of 32 bit OS's.


Donald
 
Old 05-02-2011, 09:18 PM   #11
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,148
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852
Quote:
Originally Posted by t2000kw View Post
As for the amount of RAM determining whether to use 32 or 64, your'e limited to 4 GB of RAM in Linux. In Windows, if you use 32 bit, you can't address more than a little over 3 GB of RAM (it's less than 4, so any more than it can address is wasted). With 64 bit Windows, it's not limited to any reasonable degree for most of us.

So if you use 64 bit, you can use less, but with 32 bit, you can't benefit from more, so I don't see it being part of your decision making process unless you plan to use MORE than 4 GB in Linux (or Windows). The link above addresses that, too, and it was true before Windows Vista, so it must be a hardware limitation of 32 bit OS's.


Donald
You are not limited to 4GB with a 32 bit Linux. You can use a PAE enabled kernel which can use up to 64 GB. I do this on my laptop because I don't want to bother with a multilib setup (running 32 bit only applications in a 64 bit environment) on that machine. That is a little bit more complicated on Slackware than on the easier distributions like Ubuntu, where this is automatically handled by the package manager.

Quote:
This information may be dated, but there at least USED to be some problems with 64 bit Linux distros:
Yes, I think this is a bit dated. When it comes to software I had no issues with 64 bit systems for the last three years in Ubuntu, Debian, Arch and now Slackware. This may be different with some hardware that has no 64 bit drivers, but I don't have such.
 
Old 05-03-2011, 03:15 PM   #12
salasi
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Location: Directly above centre of the earth, UK
Distribution: SuSE, plus some hopping
Posts: 4,064

Rep: Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894Reputation: 894
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
For a normal used home system way oversized. If you want to use hibernation (suspend to disk) you should have as much swap as you have RAM. 5-6 GB will never be used on a normal system, and if you intend to load up the RAM in that way you will get a performance loss that will make you think about buying extra RAM. I would recommend 2GB if you want hibernation, elso you should be more than fine with 1GB.
Rules of thumb for swap (swap = 2x RAM, or whatever), for normal operation, don't actually work, unfortunately. I have certainly seen a laptop with 1G ram use 2.5G swap. At that point, the laptop became intolerably slow and needed to flush and re-start...or more ram, which it eventually got. For hibernation, you can certainly need more swap than the amount of ram.

Given that you aren't short of disk space, I'd go for two 2.5 G swap partitions and if it ever becomes an issue, you could stop using one for swap, and start using it for something else. But, I'll guess that you will never find it to be an issue.

If you are intending booting more than 1 Linux distro, and only have a single user, my advice would be to have a data or documents partition and use that from both of your distros, mounted under /home (so each distro will keep its own .whatever files under its own /home, which needn't be a separate partition).

@t2000kw
Quote:
If you share the /swap partition, you don't want to use any power saving function on your PC that saves to disk. If you then shut down and boot to a different distro, you may have some problems.
Logically, this should never be a problem. If you hibernate one distro, when you restart, it will restart that OS without giving you the chance of chosing the 'wrong' distro. I suppose if you have a crash, which probably won't happen, and you then decide to boot into the wrong distro, that could be problematic, but why would you do that (as opposed to maybe re-starting from a live CD to fix things, if that ever proves to be necessary)?

Quote:
...I use EXT4 formatting...
I believe (without ever having done any formal benchmarking) that there is a speed advantage in using ext4 over ext3, so for many applications, chosing ext4 over ext3 seems like a no-brainer.
 
Old 05-03-2011, 03:25 PM   #13
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,148
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852
Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
Logically, this should never be a problem. If you hibernate one distro, when you restart, it will restart that OS without giving you the chance of chosing the 'wrong' distro.
I think you are confusing hibernation with Suspend-to-RAM here. If you hibernate a system at next boot it will go through the normal start-up procedure, including BIOS-post and bootloader. It is the kernel that will restore the previous system state, but the kernel has to be loaded first by the bootloader. So you can choose to run a different distro.
 
Old 05-05-2011, 02:40 PM   #14
Chiff
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2010
Location: NSW, Australia
Distribution: Trying A Few
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thank You ALL so much for your kind advice.

I installed Xubuntu and followed your Setup.
Primary Partition:
/dev/sda1: 15-20 GB for /-partition of your main distro

Extended Partition: Rest of the disk, contains following logical partitions:
/dev/sda5: 2GB swap
/dev/sda6: 200GB for your data-partition
/dev/sda7: spare partition for installing a second distro

All appears to be working just fine.

So if the Main Distro mucks up I can re-do it without hurting the SDA6 formatted to /Home. Is that correct ?
 
Old 05-05-2011, 02:50 PM   #15
TobiSGD
Moderator
 
Registered: Dec 2009
Location: Germany
Distribution: Whatever fits the task best
Posts: 17,148
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852Reputation: 4852
Yes. But keep in mind, if you install a second distribution and also want to use /dev/sda6 for your /home-partition (Linux is case-sensitive, it is neither SDA6 nor /Home) you should use a different user-name. Otherwise it can give a mess with the configuration files stored in your users home-folder.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[SOLVED] Is it safe to resize my Slackware partitions after removing my Mint 10 partitions? Robert.Thompson Slackware 19 02-18-2011 12:47 PM
Change primary partitions to logical partitions AND migrate their data? chickenlinux Linux - Hardware 10 04-04-2010 05:31 PM
windows killed my partitions! no linux partitions found on this computer. The MJ Linux - Software 10 01-05-2007 09:31 AM
Question on creating more partitions than default ones, i.e. /home,/root partitions casmac SUSE / openSUSE 1 12-20-2006 06:02 PM
how do I add partitions to drives that have Logical Volume (LVM) partitions? The MJ Linux - Software 5 08-17-2006 07:15 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:18 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration