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Old 04-21-2004, 09:51 PM   #1
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Partitioning for Multiple OS's

I have several questions which may be of general interest to newbies. All have to do with partitioning a second hdd to run multiple OS's on the same machine, for development purposes only.

I have a fast machine which already has Win2k (and a lot of development) on the primary hdd (call it hda, size only 20G). I have added a second hdd (call it hdb) which I will partition so as to install Win2003, Red Hat, and Suse. Obviously I will need at least 3 partitions, plus possibly a fourth for swap and a fifth for shared data.

Each partition must hold the OS plus db software (probably Oracle). However, both the OS partitions and the shared data partition will hold only small prototype (development) data, not full production data.

Although I realise I can later re-partition (e.g., PartitionMagic), I'd like to do it right the first time.

1. What is a reasonable amount of space to give each partition ? (I'm thinking 10G for W2003, 10G for Red Hat, 10G for Suse, remaining 50G for data/swap/etc.)

2. What file system is recommended ? (Are Linux NTFS drivers stable ? Or should I just use FAT ?)

3. The MBR will remain on hda. On Hdb, do any of these OS's require any of their files to be placed (mandatory) at the beginning of hdb ? If so, should I create a small partition at the beginning of the drive for this purpose ? How big ? Which file system ?

4. Even if the answer to #3 is "No," should I set aside space at the beginning of Hdb in case I later want to switch drives, i.e., boot from hdb ? How much space ? Which file system ?
Old 04-21-2004, 11:22 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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1. Nothing inherently wrong with that.
2. From what I've heard, FAT is better for file sharing. I use ext3 for my Linux-native partitions, but ReiserFS is also good. It depends on whether you'll be holding a lot of small files or less bigger files.
3. You don't really need a /boot partition. If you want one, 32Mb is standard. If the Win2k drive is primary master, though, I think you'll need to install grub or lilo on that drive's mbr in order to multiple-boot.
4. The problem with /boot partitions for multiple systems is that you will need one primary partition for W2003, one for swap, one extended partition to house the logical Linux partitions, which leaves you with only one more. If you want you can always leave 50Mb or something un-partitioned at the beginning of the hd. It's not that much space.


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