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Old 08-16-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
liphysicist
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sizing partitions to dual boot Fedora 17 with Windows 7


Hi. I am installing Fedora 17 to a Win7 laptop. I read a reasonable introduction to partition planning on the Fedora Project website and believe I have a reasonable plan for sizing the linux related partitions. But before I shrink my windows partition too small and screw something up... How small can I shrink the partition which houses Win 7?

I have a 320 GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. I was planning (based on a combination of what it said in the installation guide on the Fedora Project page and things I found googling "partition size" about people using up the space in their partitions and having wished them a little larger) the following:

Shrink windows partition to 200 G

create 100G for root
create 1G for boot
1G home
and two swaps of 6G each

(I have to do the math on the binary/commercial gig discrepancy to figure out more exact numbers, but that's the ballpark).

Will this do anything terrible?

I have always done linux stuff at work on computers set up by more computer savy personnel. This is my first time setting it up myself. I will use the windows for personal recreational stuff (facebook/baby pictures/home budget stuff but no games) and the linux for some moderate computational chemistry (that's why I thought of possibly setting up two swaps).

Does this sound like I have at least a reasonable idea, or am I so far off the mark that I should put this off? I've wanted to do this for years, but it's a chicken/egg thing. I feel like I don't know enough to be doing things like this to my computer, but I don't think it's possible to learn it without just doing it.

Thank you in advance. I will, of course, answer questions for more information that I should have but forgot to include in my request.
 
Old 08-16-2012, 09:14 PM   #2
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liphysicist View Post
Hi. I am installing Fedora 17 to a Win7 laptop. I read a reasonable introduction to partition planning on the Fedora Project website and believe I have a reasonable plan for sizing the linux related partitions. But before I shrink my windows partition too small and screw something up... How small can I shrink the partition which houses Win 7?

I have a 320 GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. I was planning (based on a combination of what it said in the installation guide on the Fedora Project page and things I found googling "partition size" about people using up the space in their partitions and having wished them a little larger) the following:

Shrink windows partition to 200 G

create 100G for root
create 1G for boot
1G home
and two swaps of 6G each

(I have to do the math on the binary/commercial gig discrepancy to figure out more exact numbers, but that's the ballpark).

Will this do anything terrible?

I have always done linux stuff at work on computers set up by more computer savy personnel. This is my first time setting it up myself. I will use the windows for personal recreational stuff (facebook/baby pictures/home budget stuff but no games) and the linux for some moderate computational chemistry (that's why I thought of possibly setting up two swaps).

Does this sound like I have at least a reasonable idea, or am I so far off the mark that I should put this off? I've wanted to do this for years, but it's a chicken/egg thing. I feel like I don't know enough to be doing things like this to my computer, but I don't think it's possible to learn it without just doing it.

Thank you in advance. I will, of course, answer questions for more information that I should have but forgot to include in my request.
Fedora is my personal favorite distro and I'm sure you'll love it. Be sure to check in with FedoraForums.org after your install for support and tips and tricks.

Quote:
create 100G for root
create 1G for boot
1G home
and two swaps of 6G each
You should use 15-20GB for root, 8GB for Swap, and all the rest for /home. The /home is really the critical part because all your files (downloads, documents, user settings, etc) live here. Also, you can upgrade to new releases or new distributions without losing any of your files (or settings).

Whatever you decide is ultimately up to you but I learned the hard way over several years how important the /home partition really is.
 
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:33 PM   #3
guyonearth
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LOL...1gig for home? Are you kidding. 20gig root, 78gig home, 2 gig swap. There's no real need for a separate boot partition in most cases.
 
Old 08-16-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
liphysicist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thund3rstruck View Post
Fedora is my personal favorite distro and I'm sure you'll love it. Be sure to check in with FedoraForums.org after your install for support and tips and tricks.



You should use 15-20GB for root, 8GB for Swap, and all the rest for /home. The /home is really the critical part because all your files (downloads, documents, user settings, etc) live here. Also, you can upgrade to new releases or new distributions without losing any of your files (or settings).

Whatever you decide is ultimately up to you but I learned the hard way over several years how important the /home partition really is.
Thanks. I wonder why my info on /home was so off. Is it a typo or something? It's in the installation guide suggestions on the last few releases of Fedora.

But I'm up and running now, so thanks
 
Old 08-17-2012, 05:03 AM   #5
TobiSGD
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Some guidelines:
- depending on how much software you want to install a /-partiton about 20-25GB is in almost any case more than sufficient. Keep in mind that this may change if you are handling large files (like DVD-images) in your /tmp directory
- if you want to use the Hibernate feature your swap should be at least the size of your physical RAM, if not 1-2GB should be sufficient (why do you want to have 2 swap partitions?). Rules of thumb like "Your swap should be twice as large as your physical RAM" are simply false.
- depending on how you want to use your laptop it may make sense to not have a separate /home partition, but use the space that you wanted to dedicate to the /home partition for another partition formatted as NTFS for use as a shared data partition for both OSes.
- IIRC, for Fedora a separate /boot partition with enough space is necessary for version upgrades (like from Fedora 17 to Fedora 18)
 
Old 08-19-2012, 12:44 PM   #6
liphysicist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
Some guidelines:
- depending on how much software you want to install a /-partiton about 20-25GB is in almost any case more than sufficient. Keep in mind that this may change if you are handling large files (like DVD-images) in your /tmp directory
- if you want to use the Hibernate feature your swap should be at least the size of your physical RAM, if not 1-2GB should be sufficient (why do you want to have 2 swap partitions?). Rules of thumb like "Your swap should be twice as large as your physical RAM" are simply false.
- depending on how you want to use your laptop it may make sense to not have a separate /home partition, but use the space that you wanted to dedicate to the /home partition for another partition formatted as NTFS for use as a shared data partition for both OSes.
- IIRC, for Fedora a separate /boot partition with enough space is necessary for version upgrades (like from Fedora 17 to Fedora 18)
Sorry to bring this up again, but I was out of town a couple of days.
Thanks for the advice.

My reason for wanting 2 swaps is based on a very unscientific observation.
I always used computers set up by other people. My calculations frequently crashed on two of the five computers in our lab. My calculations never crashed on the other three. The first two had one swap, the other three had two. (My advisor set his own computer up with three. Which, for all I know could just be naivety.) They had the same RAM and hard-drive space and were using the same OS. But I have to admit, I can not recall any other details about how they were partitioned. Therefore, I don't know with certainty that the extra swap was what kept the computations from getting stuck. But it's a mental notion I can't shake.
 
Old 08-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #7
novabrahm
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Windows Partition

Quote:
Originally Posted by liphysicist View Post
Hi. But before I shrink my windows partition too small and screw something up... How small can I shrink the partition which houses Win 7?
You can go way smaller than 200 GB with no problems. I used a dual-boot system for a while with 50 GB for Linux, 80 GB for Windows, and the rest for files. 80 GB was plenty, and I had quite a few games installed too. However, I did have to expand it to about 100 GB not too long ago.
 
Old 08-19-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liphysicist View Post
Sorry to bring this up again, but I was out of town a couple of days.
Thanks for the advice.

My reason for wanting 2 swaps is based on a very unscientific observation.
I always used computers set up by other people. My calculations frequently crashed on two of the five computers in our lab. My calculations never crashed on the other three. The first two had one swap, the other three had two. (My advisor set his own computer up with three. Which, for all I know could just be naivety.) They had the same RAM and hard-drive space and were using the same OS. But I have to admit, I can not recall any other details about how they were partitioned. Therefore, I don't know with certainty that the extra swap was what kept the computations from getting stuck. But it's a mental notion I can't shake.
All my systems have only one swap partition and they never crash (except when I am doing things wrong). I really doubt that the number of swap partitions correlate with those crashes, may be it was the size of the swap partitions.
I never heard that a system crashes because of the wrong number of swap partitions.
 
Old 08-19-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
chrism01
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Agreed; if you need a lot of work space for the computational chemistry to run, then you probably just need a larger swap partition, but one big one is fine; no need for multiple.

The argument about the sizes of the '/' partition vs /home depends on where your SW installs.
Personal stuff may download into /home/<you>, but a SW pkg will likely install elsewhere and therefore end up on '/' partition.
For a home system with one disk, you could just have 2 partitions: swap & '/'.
You just need to keep an eye on the disk space eg see the logrotate tool.
 
Old 08-19-2012, 06:37 PM   #10
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
All my systems have only one swap partition and they never crash (except when I am doing things wrong). I really doubt that the number of swap partitions correlate with those crashes, may be it was the size of the swap partitions.
I never heard that a system crashes because of the wrong number of swap partitions.
Same here.

All of my systems have one swap, and honestly most of them have enough RAM where I just set swappiness=0 and it never gets used anyway. The only one that ever crashes is the one on which I'm currently battling some memory issues (unsure whether it's memory module issues or memory controller issues, either way it has nothing to do with swap).

The number of swap partitions will never matter. If the total amount of swap space is causing the system to crash, then you really need to look into getting more RAM for the system.
 
  


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