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Old 06-21-2005, 10:12 AM   #1
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Registered: Jun 2005
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Hello everyone,

I am a new Linux user and I have some questions that may sound stupid but are really important to me.
First, I want to know why I have to create a root partition when installing Linux on my computer.

I'd also like to get a link to where I can know what the various system files are for e.g the ext3 and the swap system files.

Finally, I want to know the function of RAID option that shows up at the partitioning part during installation process and what a Boot loader is.
Answers to these questions or a link to where I can learn more will be appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Old 06-21-2005, 10:30 AM   #2
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A root partition is like your "C" drive in windows. It is where all your system files are stored. The disk is divided into separate partitions. For Linux, there are typically at least two partitions. One is the root partition, the other is a swap partition that functions as virtual memory. You can make many more partitions if you like, but it isn't necassary and probably makes things more confusing for a new user.
Old 06-21-2005, 12:36 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Omaha, NE, USA
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m_yates handled the "root partition" well.

As for file systems, swap is used for just that: swap space. Anytime the OS needs more RAM than you have installed, it can use the swap prtition like (very slow) RAM. Other filesystems include:
  • ext2 -- the old standard *nix filesystem.
  • ext3 -- the "new" standard *nix filesystem. Basically it is ext2 with journaling added.
  • ReiserFS - another journalling file system
  • XFS, JFS, etc. -- more journalling file systems.
Most users use ext3, or Reiser, but the other systems have their niches.

RAID - Do you have a RAID system? I would assume that's why the option is present. (Which distro, by the way?)

BootLoader - This is what handles the bootup of your computer. It is very small, residing the the "boot sector" of your primary hard disk, and tells the computer what program(s) should be run when it boots. Windows XP uses "ntloader", a proprietary bootloader that can only boot into Windows (without some knowledge in how to change it). Linux uses lilo or grub, depending on the user's desire at installation. Both of these can handle any number of Linux distros *and* Windows easily.


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