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Old 10-31-2002, 09:21 PM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2002
Distribution: Debian GNU/Linux...hopefully soon...
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Question Newbie Installing Debian3 on m68k w/250M Partition Needs help creating swap partition

Hello. I am a total newbie to Linux, and I am trying to install Debian GNU/Linux 3 (Woody). I am at the stage where it says I need to create a swap partition. I have 250M of free space on my spare partition. I don't know how to wipe the partition and create a main Linux partition, and swap partition, on the 250M space.
I know Debian isn't recommended for newbies, but I really wanted to try it. I know 250M isn't much, but it's all I can spare. I hope to do a minimal installation. (a desktop would be awfully nice too, though, if at all possible) I am using the mac-fdisk partitioning utility included in the installer. Any help at all with this installation would be greatly appreciated. Also, could someone tell me where I can find total-newbie-oriented Debian documentation? The stuff included on the CD isn't very specific. It just says stuff like: 'you should create a swap partition' I need to know EXACTLY how to do that. I don't know all these command lines, but I am more than willing to learn. Thanks.
Old 11-01-2002, 08:28 AM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Denmark
Distribution: OS X
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When you are in the installer press alt+f2 (or what key on the mac) to go to another terminal. log in as root (if you are not already locked in, canīt remember how it works in the install) Then start cfdisk . Itīs the partiniotating tool that debian install uses. Itīs pretty easy too use, so go on from there.

About the amount off swapdisk, i have 128 MB of real ram, and a swap partition on 256 MB, and never had any problems with it. For instance right now, my load looks like this, with kde3, evolution & galeon running:

total used free
Mem: 123 117 5
Swap: 243 84 158

And KDE is REAL heavy, when it comes too ram, when i used fluxbox, i rarely used the swap.

Docs: look at the debian website
Old 11-01-2002, 08:45 AM   #3
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Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
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you need a swap partition or swapfile twice the size of the physical ram on the machine with a 2.4 kernel configured for agressive swapfile use. However this only means that you need it if you are planning to use all of the physical ram without losing performance.

This will not likely affect you at all since you will not be using no where near the maximum amount of memory. 250 MB sounds like plenty.

in linux you will make a swap partition

fdisk is good for that. You need to know the device the partition is on

fdisk /dev/hda

m for menu

p to view partitions

you will see a gap in the start and end numbers, this is your free space. If there is none you can identify the 250 MB partition and use d to delete it, (note it's location, also check after using d to be sure you did the right one. Don't worry changes don't take effect until you write them with w.)

n to create a new partition

you will be creating in a logical partition if your free space is contained in the partition labeled as Ext'd (most likely)

l for logical

check first cylinder offered, should be correct if it's the first free space. enter to accept or type the correct start for the free space.
enter to accept the end. (will be the end of the free space offered, change if necessary)

p to view partitions again

t for type..
choose the partition you just created
l for list of types, you want type 82 Linux swap (just type 82 and press enter)

w to write the changes (fdisk will exit)
you will need to reboot for the changes to take place in the kernels partition table(reboot and check that fstab is updated and all is corrrect)

run this after reboot
make sure you have the right partition
mkswap /dev/hda6

the partition you created needs to be added to /etc/fstab

/dev/hda6 swap swap defaults 0 0

run this

swapon -a

Last edited by DavidPhillips; 11-01-2002 at 09:37 AM.


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