LinuxQuestions.org
Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 12-08-2003, 12:05 AM   #1
drxsmurf
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2, Slackware 10.0
Posts: 51

Rep: Reputation: 15
Whats the best way to partition a hard drive?


I dont know much about partition linux, but i know that you shouldn't lump everything together in the same partition, as you would do with windows. What directories should have dedicated partitions?

I've googled on this for hours, but to no avail. Sorry if this is a noob question.
 
Old 12-08-2003, 12:14 AM   #2
ferrix
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

Rep: Reputation: 31
Actually these days, and for a desktop system, it is quite OK to dump almost everything into just one partition. Of course if you're going to use swap, that is going to be a separate partition. Some people (and some installers) will also make a /boot partition at the beginning of their HD....
There are reasons for making separate partitons for /var (so you don't fill the whole disk with logs), or /home (so you can reinstall your system while preserving your /home), and so on, but on the whole I find it's more trouble than it's worth. These days I usually partition my disks very simply: /boot, /swap, and / for everything else. Works just fine.
 
Old 12-08-2003, 12:24 AM   #3
drxsmurf
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2, Slackware 10.0
Posts: 51

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Is that a wise idea if i am considering dual booting with windows XP and Gentoo? Sorry if my questions seem stupidly simple
 
Old 12-08-2003, 12:29 AM   #4
Demonbane
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 1,796

Rep: Reputation: 47
Yea I agree with ferrix, having one big / is good enough for a desktop system.
Partitioning shouldn't affect anything as long as your bootloader is configured properly.
 
Old 12-08-2003, 12:33 AM   #5
ferrix
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

Rep: Reputation: 31
Well it doesn't really matter if you're double booting or not - Windows will sit in its own partition and how you distribute Linux over the remaining space is up to you. I'm just not sure whether getting into Gentoo at this point is a wise idea. Especially if you *really* don't want to lose your Windows system - I'd think twice about trying to double-boot with Gentoo if I were in your shoes
 
Old 12-08-2003, 12:46 AM   #6
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL
Distribution: Funtoo
Posts: 6,926

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally posted by drxsmurf
Is that a wise idea if i am considering dual booting with windows XP and Gentoo? Sorry if my questions seem stupidly simple
If I may interject something - have you looked at Installing Gentoo available from http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/handboo...?part=1&chap=1 ?

There is a section (4.b. Designing a Partitioning Scheme) which will answer those questions specifically for your Gentoo install.

This document alone makes me what to try Gentoo. I would highly recommend that you print this document and use it while installing Gentoo. If you do, you'll undoubtedly have a wonderful install of Gentoo, and a good experience using that distro afterwards. This is the best install guide I've seen so far. I can't imagine why it's not highly acclaimed in these forums. Maybe it is, and I've not read those posts.

 
Old 12-08-2003, 01:45 AM   #7
ferrix
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Ultima, Blag, KateOS, PCLinuxOS, Frugalware
Posts: 216

Rep: Reputation: 31
Gentoo does have an excellent documentation. All the same, if at all possible I'd pick a system that isn't mission critical for that first attempt
 
Old 12-08-2003, 02:02 AM   #8
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL
Distribution: Funtoo
Posts: 6,926

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally posted by ferrix
Gentoo does have an excellent documentation. All the same, if at all possible I'd pick a system that isn't mission critical for that first attempt
Since we're free to offer our opinions here - drxsmurf, just back up your Windoze data and go for it! It's quite obviously not his first attempt if he lists Mandrake in his cp.

When I setup my workstations, I partition like this ->

/boot
swap
/
/home
/var
/usr
/tmp

Where they go and size depends upon your hard drive(s), how you intend to use your system, and security issues. With my *nix experience I've found it's as your sig says
 
Old 12-08-2003, 02:42 AM   #9
drxsmurf
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2, Slackware 10.0
Posts: 51

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Yeah I have tried Mandrake a couple of times, with pretty good luck. The only reason I want to try Gentoo is because of the great things i hear about it.

Thanks for the tip on the Gentoo Documentation...I've been reading through that guide now for a few hours. Gentoo looks like a very good distro, with some fresh ideas.

I have to admit, reading some of these replies makes me a little nervous. My current setup, however, gives me a little bit of breathing room. I've got two drives, one 120GB and one 40GB. The 40GB is where i have windows currently installed, which i plan on resizing -- ten GB to Linux, 30GB to windows. All of the things that i need to backup (document, multimedia content) are already backed up on the 120GB drive. So unless the Gentoo install can find a way to eat that harddrive, Im not too worried. (Should I be?)


Thanks for all of your help.

Last edited by drxsmurf; 12-08-2003 at 02:47 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2003, 03:51 AM   #10
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL
Distribution: Funtoo
Posts: 6,926

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally posted by drxsmurf
All of the things that i need to backup (document, multimedia content) are already backed up on the 120GB drive. So unless the Gentoo install can find a way to eat that harddrive, Im not too worried. (Should I be?)
No, I don't think so

These other guys may be more experienced than I, but the only advice on this I could give is don't automount any of your Windoze drives. Especially not read/write.

I tried RedHat in 1999 and gave up after a couple of months. This year, in June, I tried it again. My Windoze data drive was automounted, and I don't remember all the details, such as how I set this up, or if the system basically did it, or what. However, one day I was trying to set something up in RH, and online, when I heard one of my drives churning away. I didn't know what was happening. It went on for about one minute, then slowly stopped. Well, about 2 days later I rebooted to do a newsletter in PageMaker under Windoze 2000. I clicked on my E:\Data drive and there were no files! Somehow, over 17GB of data had mysteriously disappeared. I don't know if some cracker did this, or if I somehow did it while running RH. No matter, I don't automount any drives anymore.

Shortly after this I went from RH to Debian, because RH was just too bloated, and the RPM system is very problematic. RH, to me, is M$ Jr.

You may read the Reviews section here in LQ. The one thing that I hear that's supposedly hard about Gentoo is package management. And most guys say Slackware is just as fast, and easier to use. I worked with Debian for about 5 months and finally tried Slackware. It's much easier to get things going in Slack, and I'm now a happy Slacker

That's my

 
Old 12-08-2003, 07:45 AM   #11
Scruff
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Stoughton, MA
Distribution: Gentoo x86_64 & PPC
Posts: 949

Rep: Reputation: 30
Gentoo is a lot of fun and teaches a lot. The documentation is stellar!

My opinion on the partitioning scheme is this: At least create a seperate /home partition. This is where all your personal desktop and applications settings go, as well as documents you create etc. It makes it tons easier if you ever need to re-install. After you finish a re-install, basically everything looks and acts as it did before, other than the system settings which go in /etc. /etc is a good directory to keep tight backups on. I've read you can't put /etc on it's own partition because the system needs to access it before it would actually get mounted.
 
Old 12-08-2003, 08:22 AM   #12
ksd
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: lost in Eastern Kansas,USA
Distribution: FC3,Slackware ,ubuntu
Posts: 130

Rep: Reputation: 15
I think its better to have one partition..I dont even have the boot partition.I have got win98 on one partition..for stuff like games kazaa..which I badly miss in Linux....and some backup..so..its always better to have some space ie 2/3rd's of your HardDrive..if not less to windoze and the remaining to Linux.I like Slackware to the utmost extend.but still is not in a position to get free of windoze..reasons might be immaterial...Hope this helps!
 
Old 12-08-2003, 06:44 PM   #13
drxsmurf
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2, Slackware 10.0
Posts: 51

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally posted by Chinaman
No, I don't think so

These other guys may be more experienced than I, but the only advice on this I could give is don't automount any of your Windoze drives. Especially not read/write.


What exactly does automount mean? I know that i should have Windows installed first (which i do). Then would it be alright to put Gentoo on the same drive? I mean, would lilo or something screwup my MBR? I've never dual booted and Im not sure how to do it. I don't mind reinstalling windows, but EVERYTHING on the second drive must remain intact, as it is around 50GB worth of music, video, and software.
 
Old 12-08-2003, 07:00 PM   #14
Bruce Hill
HCL Maintainer
 
Registered: Jun 2003
Location: McCalla, AL
Distribution: Funtoo
Posts: 6,926

Rep: Reputation: 128Reputation: 128
Quote:
Originally posted by drxsmurf
What exactly does automount mean? I know that i should have Windows installed first (which i do). Then would it be alright to put Gentoo on the same drive? I mean, would lilo or something screwup my MBR? I've never dual booted and Im not sure how to do it. I don't mind reinstalling windows, but EVERYTHING on the second drive must remain intact, as it is around 50GB worth of music, video, and software.
Automount means that a partition is mounted automatically when you boot the system. When you read the Gentoo information it will tell you about this somewhere, I'm sure. Since your data on the second drive (/dev/hdb) is critical, be certain that it's not automounted. If you don't know before the install, just check the file /etc/fstab after you install and it will tell you if and how it's mounted.

As for LILO in the MBR, if you follow the instructions you won't have a problem. LILO is very efficient, and it will not mess up your Windoze boot. It will just add a file to your MBR (master boot record) that will allow you to choose between your different OSes when you boot. This method of booting is preferable to a floppy boot, which takes a coon's age!

Since you say "EVERYTHING on the second drive must remain intact," don't put anything you install on /dev/hdb and you'll be okay.

NB: The master drive on the primary IDE controller is /dev/hda and the slave drive on the primary IDE controller is /dev/hdb. The master drive on the secondary IDE controller is /dev/hdc and the slave drive on the secondary IDE controller is /dev/hdd.

 
Old 12-08-2003, 11:12 PM   #15
stuNNed
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: Gentoo/Ubuntu
Posts: 134

Rep: Reputation: 15
can i suggest a separate partition for /home, that way if you have to reinstall Linux you can preserve data there....

Gentoo documentation is by far the best I've encountered.

Also, if you plan on putting winxp on the same hard drive, might I recommend making sure winxp is on the first partition.

Btw, does anyone know if I were to get a second hd and put winxp on it, i.e. it would be /dev/hdb, could I set up GRUB to boot it even though it will be /dev/hdb instead of /dev/hda?
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best way to partition my hard drive QzarBaron Linux - General 6 06-23-2004 02:49 AM
What is best way to partition you hard drive? sunday2 Linux - Hardware 4 05-16-2004 05:24 PM
New Hard Drive, How to partition Philbert Linux - Newbie 1 01-06-2004 01:16 AM
How do I partition a hard drive? yzrider210 Linux - Newbie 8 12-14-2003 04:07 PM
cannot seem to partition my hard drive boo_reefa Linux - Software 1 06-16-2001 07:48 AM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:29 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration