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Old 12-19-2003, 09:46 AM   #1
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Question Where and what type of Linux partiton? (EXT2 vs EXT3, 1st or 2nd HD, etc)

Over christmas break, I decided It might be fun to put multiple OSs on my computer (P4 2.2 Ghz, GeForce 4 TI 4200, 80GB HD, 512MB DDR ). I already have Windows XP Pro, So I thought I'd try puttin Linux on here too. Especially since I'm getting a Brand new 120GB HD for Christmas, and recently obtained PartitionMagic 8.0.

Here's my first Linux Newb question:
(Bear in mind I have RedHat 9.0 CD's)

Where Should I put my Linux Partition? And What type of Partition should I use (EXT2 vs. EXT3, Primary vs Logical)? Also, does 5GB sound like enough, too much, or just right for Size of Partition? And what about this SWAP stuff i hear about?

After today or tomorrow, my Hard drive configuration will look like this:

Hard Drive 0:
|| ~80GB NTFS Partition w/ WinXP Pro || 7.8 MB Unallocated||

Hard Drive 1: (brand new drive)
|| 120 GB Unallocated ||

Both Drive are 7200RPM.
Thanks in Advance!

PS: Anyone Know what's up with the 7.8 MB unallocated on HD 0 ???
I think i've heard that has something to do with Extended partitions, which I have none!
Old 12-19-2003, 11:51 AM   #2
Registered: May 2003
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OK. I'm going to attempt to tackle this. If you want to put your Linux partition on your 80GB drive that's fine but you will have to resize your NTFS partition. Make sure you defrag it before you do anything or you may have some big problems. You will probably want to use ext3. Ext3 is a newer file system and is pretty robust. Ext2 is older and if I'm not mistaken does not use journalling. So use ext3.

Your swap partition is basically space that the computer will use when RAM starts to get low. Kinda. You want your swap partition to be double the size of physical memory you have. Since you have 512MB you should make a swap partition of 1GB.

The 7.8MB Unallocated has to do with how NTFS formats the drive. There is really nothing you can do about it so don't worry. There is always "unallocated space" at the end of a drive because of the size of the blocks I think.

5GB should be enough but you may feel a little cramped by it. It sounds like you have a ton of disk space so why not use 10 or 20?

You can put the linux file system (i.e. /, /swap, and /boot) on the second hard drive (hd1?) but you will need to install the boot loader (i.e. GRUB or LILO) on the master boot record of the first drive. If that sounds scares you then you can make a boot disk and just use that when you want to use Linux. You can also install just on the second drive I think.

When you fdisk that second drive I'm guessing you will want to use some of that for Windows so make sure you leave some of the space open for that.

Anyway, I hope this helps to shed some light on your situation.

Old 12-19-2003, 12:10 PM   #3
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use 8 gigs of space.
skip the swap-you don't need it with that much ram. you don't need a
boot partition either. if you want it simple, no swap, not boot partition either,
and ext2.
if you want to be fancy, use xfs, jfs, or reiserfs, and have and boot and swap
partitions, but you may end up having to compile a kernel to get something
working on your machine, and your fancy setup will complicate things.
if you want to get really fancy, use software raid, and have a single raid
volume split over 2 hard drives for extra thruput.
the unallocated space at the beginning and end of the drive has to do with
the fact that the fdisk parameters of the drive have nothing to do with
the drive's real internal setup. that's taken care of by the drive's controller.
the amount of space on the drive doesn't come out to an even variable
of 255 heads 63 sectors per track and however many cylinders. the
bios, or linux just tries to fit as many of the 255x63x(cylinder number)
units as it can. the drive really just has 1-8 heads unless you're running
something fancy.
anyway, you can install the linux however you want. just leave windows
at the front of the disk, so it doesn't get all confused and jealous of the
other operating systems.
Old 01-05-2004, 10:05 AM   #4
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Thanks for advice.

I just put a 500MB swap partition and the main Linux partition (/, 7.5 gigs) at the end of the first HD, and installed GRUB (which is included in the setup of Red Hat, along with LILO if you wish). Everything works pretty cool.


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