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Old 05-25-2017, 03:49 PM   #1
AAGaming
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Partitioning with more than 1 phisical drives


What I have is 1x 120GB SSD and 1x 1TB HDD.

In Windows (which I am using now) I have set up theese drives into 2 partitions for each drive, where on the HDD I store my personal files, but on SSD I store files which are more likely to be permanent, because an SSD is mainly meant to be used as a read-only drive and not as a storage for temporary files (which would decrease the lifetime of the drive).

I have read that the root(/) partition (which would be obvious to be put on the SSD) doesn't require as much space(about 20GB) as I got available,so the question is, what should I use the leftover space for (if I was to install linux), if I would put /home and swap(which would kill my SSD in terms of usage via writing) partitions on the HDD?

Another question would be what else does linux store in the root partition except the OS itself, since to me it seems that most of the files (including app files) are stored in the /home directory(as hidden directories)?

Also I would like to know how to move files from an existing partition on the HDD(NTFS) to /home partition(which I would create during linux installation on the HDD)? I know that I would have to shrink the existing partition, then create /home partition, then copy files to it, shrink the existing partition again, enlarge the /home and copy files again until all of them have been fully moved. But I would want to know what tools(apps) should I need to use and how would I do it.

Last edited by AAGaming; 05-26-2017 at 06:42 AM.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 07:09 AM   #2
rtmistler
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Hi AAGaming and welcome to LQ.

I would actually consider leaving the SSD mostly unpartitioned for now. Use a space, such as 4G, 8G, or 20G for your root, and leave the remainder unpartitioned for future use, once you feel you have a better idea what you'd like to do with it.

One example is that you could decide to multi-boot various distributions of Linux and then you could install them such that each of the roots for all of those distros will reside in xxG partition chunks on this SSD. Depending what size you choose, you could have many boot options available.

GParted is an excellent tool to consider using for examining partitions and adjusting their size. What I'd recommend is to find a distribution where you boot it as a live distribution and then use something like gparted to examine and adjust the drives you have.

The cp command has always been fine for me. I see other people use rsync, I've never used it.

Perhaps as you get started, you'll have more detailed questions. My suggestions are that you can "stage" this without making changes, by way of booting live, running a partition tool, and determining what your next steps would be. If you have additional questions once you've done some further exploration, happy to offer some additional thoughts.
 
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:28 AM   #3
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAGaming View Post
Another question would be what else does linux store in the root partition except the OS itself, since to me it seems that most of the files (including app files) are stored in the /home directory(as hidden directories)?
It is generally only the user-specific personal configuration files for applications that get stored in /home. The applications themselves, and their system-wide configuration and data files, are stored elsewhere in /.

If your data partitions on both the SSD and HDD are using the NTFS filesystem then you can access these when running Linux, and so can use them for both Windows and Linux (adding relevant entries to your fstab is a good idea on the Linux side).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAGaming View Post
Also I would like to know how to move files from an existing partition on the HDD(NTFS) to /home partition(which I would create during linux installation on the HDD)? I know that I would have to shrink the existing partition, then create /home partition, then copy files to it, shrink the existing partition again, enlarge the /home and copy files again until all of them have been fully moved. But I would want to know what tools(apps) should I need to use and how would I do it.
I don't think you need to copy any files at all. Use the shared data partitions as described above.

Personally, I would set up a 20GB / partition on the SSD and a 20GB /home partition on the HDD (much more than is probably required but you have plenty of space and you don't want to be mucking around the in the future with expanding partitions). The size of the swap partition on the HDD will depend on how much RAM you're using and whether you're ever going to hibernate etc.

Both the /home and swap partitions will need you to create space on the HDD if the entire space on that device is currently attributed to partitions.

If you want to take a slightly more advanced and nuanced approach, you might also want to create additional partitions on the HDD for purely Linux data (i.e. data where, for example, the file permissions are important) and one for VMs (if you're planning to be using VirtualBox, VMWare etc. to create Virtual Machines). However, it's probably better to take the simplest approach for the moment and then make additional changes as you gain more experience and recognition of your requirements.
 
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:40 AM   #4
remma12
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If your NTFS drive just contains data that you access then, rather than shift all that to /home, you could always keep it as NTFS and mount it somewhere. Personally I've always had a mnt/data folder it started life as NTFS but now I've done away with windows it's EXT4

just don't forget to install your distro's package to handle NTFS writing, for arch it's ntfs-3g but may well have a different name on different distros
 
Old 05-26-2017, 07:49 AM   #5
yancek
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20-25GB should be more than adequate for a root partition unless you intend to install massive amounts of software. As pointed out above, most softwae is NOT installed in the /home/user space but elsewhere in the root partition.

Are you referring to moving/copying some type of personal data files from windows to Linux? Not sure I understand the logic here. Create the data/home partition before or during the install, boot into Linux and copy your data. You can create the partitions you want during the install and also format them, a separate /home partition or a separate /data partition whichever you choose to copy these files to.

Two things which might be useful that you haven't mentioned, which version of windows and which Linux? Newer systems use UEFI and if you have a newer windows using UEFI and don't install Linux UEFI, you're going to have boot problems.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 07:52 AM   #6
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remma12 View Post
If your NTFS drive just contains data that you access then, rather than shift all that to /home, you could always keep it as NTFS and mount it somewhere. Personally I've always had a mnt/data folder it started life as NTFS but now I've done away with windows it's EXT4

just don't forget to install your distro's package to handle NTFS writing, for arch it's ntfs-3g but may well have a different name on different distros
Just a note that ntfs-3g is provided by default in some distros e.g. Mint.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 08:14 AM   #7
michaelk
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In addition, it is not true anymore that a SSD is to be used as a read only drive. With the latest SSD technology there is no need to be concerned with write endurance.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 09:37 AM   #8
AAGaming
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Quote:
I would actually consider leaving the SSD mostly unpartitioned for now. Use a space, such as 4G, 8G, or 20G for your root, and leave the remainder unpartitioned for future use, once you feel you have a better idea what you'd like to do with it.
That's what my main question is actually about, because I can't think of anything else to put on it. I don't think that I'm gonna put / use multiple distros on one machine and dualboot seems too excessive for me.

Quote:
Two things which might be useful that you haven't mentioned, which version of windows and which Linux? Newer systems use UEFI and if you have a newer windows using UEFI and don't install Linux UEFI, you're going to have boot problems.
I am currently running on Windows 10 (probably would have guessed that, because of Microsofts policy) and planning on swapping to Linux Mint MATE latest release (simply don't like the look of Ubuntu nor Cinnamon). Also I should mention that english is not my native, but I understand it quite well. What I don't get is what you mean by Linux UEFI (how do you tell which distro / release uses UEFI and which BIOS)?

Quote:
In addition, it is not true anymore that a SSD is to be used as a read only drive. With the latest SSD technology there is no need to be concerned with write endurance.
I have an older SSD from 2013, so I have to be thoughtful on what to put on it. Also my setup (system) is not the most stable, because I have a mix of AMD, Nvidia, Asrock and Corsair going on.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 09:51 AM   #9
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAGaming View Post
That's what my main question is actually about, because I can't think of anything else to put on it. I don't think that I'm gonna put / use multiple distros on one machine and dualboot seems too excessive for me.
What I would suggest is that you merely install one Linux distro, and then install VirtualBox on that distro to play around with other distros if you want to.

Personally, when I switched over from Windows 7, I maintained a dual boot Windows 7 / Mint system for several months, gradually transferring over all the software functionality I had to either Mint or to a Windows 7 VM I set up in Mint (the latter if I couldn't find a satisfactory Linux replacement for a piece of software I ran).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAGaming View Post
I am currently running on Windows 10 (probably would have guessed that, because of Microsofts policy) and planning on swapping to Linux Mint MATE latest release (simply don't like the look of Ubuntu nor Cinnamon). Also I should mention that english is not my native, but I understand it quite well. What I don't get is what you mean by Linux UEFI (how do you tell which distro / release uses UEFI and which BIOS)?
Mint 18.1 fully supports UEFI

https://www.linuxmint.com/rel_serena_mate.php

I personally am running Mint 18.1 MATE so will be here to help if you have any questions/problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAGaming View Post
I have an older SSD from 2013, so I have to be thoughtful on what to put on it. Also my setup (system) is not the most stable, because I have a mix of AMD, Nvidia, Asrock and Corsair going on.
See the link I posted above for Nvidia-specific info to help the installation procedure go more smoothly.
 
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:24 AM   #10
AAGaming
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So, in summary what you all are suggesting is to shrink both NTFS partitions on both phisical drives. Then during installation create a 20GB partition for root(/) on SSD leaving the left over space untouched and creating /home(20GB) and swap(8GB - my RAM size) partitions on the HDD also leaving left over space untouched.

Am I right?

Quote:
See the link I posted above for Nvidia-specific info to help the installation procedure go more smoothly.
Thank you hydrurga for warning me about problems on Nvidia.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 10:35 AM   #11
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAGaming View Post
So, in summary what you all are suggesting is to shrink both NTFS partitions on both phisical drives. Then during installation create a 20GB partition for root(/) on SSD leaving the left over space untouched and creating /home(20GB) and swap(8GB - my RAM size) partitions on the HDD also leaving left over space untouched.

Am I right?
Yes, more or less. Personally I like to create the empty partitions *before* I install any operating system. That way I have more control over what goes on and leave less decisions to the intelligence of the installer.

I also have a policy which many may think is over-cautious. If a partition is going to be increased or decreased in size then I will use a Windows partition manager if that partition is NTFS, and a Linux one if it is ext4. I've just found that there are less problems that way. So, in your case, I would use either the Windows 10 partition manager or boot off a MiniTool Partition Wizard disk, depending on whether the partition I was going to modify would be mounted or not. I would probably also make partition images to an external media in case things go wrong (unlikely, but possible).

Before I suggest what I personally would do, can you list the partitions that you currently have on both disks, in the order that they appear on those disks? You can run the Disk Management tool on Windows to provide this info (run Diskmgmt.msc).
 
Old 05-26-2017, 10:44 AM   #12
AAGaming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrurga View Post
Before I suggest what I personally would do, can you list the partitions that you currently have on both disks, in the order that they appear on those disks? You can run the Disk Management tool on Windows to provide this info (run Diskmgmt.msc).
Click image for larger version

Name:	Capture.PNG
Views:	38
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ID:	25115

Will this attachment(image) do for you?
Almost forgot about the partitions Windows automatically creates.

Last edited by AAGaming; 05-26-2017 at 10:46 AM.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 10:44 AM   #13
beachboy2
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Smile

AAGaming,

This is one solution for a Linux only system using a small SSD and a large HDD:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...d-drive-36892/

You may find it of use.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 10:53 AM   #14
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAGaming View Post
Attachment 25115

Will this attachment(image) do for you?
Almost forgot about the partitions Windows automatically creates.
Perfect, thanks. It was good that I asked because I had mistakenly taken from what you said that you had two partitions on each disk.

The first thing that you need to decide is whether you are going to dual boot Windows 10 and Linux, at least for a while, or have only Linux installed in the new setup.
 
Old 05-26-2017, 11:06 AM   #15
AAGaming
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Quote:
This is one solution for a Linux only system using a small SSD and a large HDD:
The problem is that my SSD is way bigger in capacity than necessary.

Quote:
The first thing that you need to decide is whether you are going to dual boot Windows 10 and Linux, at least for a while, or have only Linux installed in the new setup.
This was a hard decision, where in an earlier post I said I won't doualboot, then had second thoughts, but in the end, since I won't have to do any important schoolwork for 3 months, I will choose to go fulltime linux. It all should be just to format (delete partitions) on the SSD and create root(/) instead.

You could also post the dualboot option for other members who would prefer it instead.

Last edited by AAGaming; 05-26-2017 at 11:10 AM.
 
  


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