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Old 02-11-2004, 04:07 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Toulouse (France)
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 46

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[Theory] A multiple partition system


I have seen on some sites that it's somehow common to mount a few directories in other disk partitions.
The thing i wonder is when we have to decide which folder should be mounted on that partition, and edit the fstab file..
Because after mounting a partition somewhere, the files that were put there disappear. (sure)

For example, i wanted to mount my home directory in another disk. But i have installed linux a _long_ (not so long) time ago and now, between my personnal files and the local settings of many applications it's a holy jumble. And I think it's too late, if i had to transfer all the files in a temporary folder, then mounting the correct partition, and finally transfer the backuped files in the brend new home directory, i'm not sure it's a good idea.

So, the ideal (can we say it in english?) would be to configure this before files come installing in the considered folders, i.e. during first install. But I use Debian and i have never seen during installation a such option. It's just asked on which disk should be mounted the root directory, and the swap.

Thanks for your answers
(sorry for my frenglish)

Last edited by GruiX; 02-11-2004 at 04:09 PM.
Old 02-11-2004, 05:59 PM   #2
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Registered: Sep 2003
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Distribution: Debian
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You're right, you will have to transfer the files to the new partition before mounting it, as /home to use an example. This may seem like a hazzle but I think it's worth it in the long run since you can easily backup or move the /home directory to another hard drive if needed. It is considered "good practice".

When installing Debian you must have at least a root partition and a swap partition - this probably goes without saying. But you're right about the installer not being very talkative about the options. If you have created more partitions with the Linux partition type you will have the options to "Initialize another partition" and after that "Mount another partition", but they are not the default choices (you have to hit the down key a couple of times to see that option, perhaps?). You must first mount the root partition though.

When you choose to mount this initialized or not initialized partition you will get the question on where to mount it, and the installer describes briefly the purposes of different mount points - /usr for all software, /home for user homes, /var for things that change a lot like web content, mail and logs.

Initialization means formatting the partition (which creates a filesystem and removes all data on it) so it might be wise not to do that if you're mounting a backup partition.

It's been a while since I installed Debian (you usually only do that once on a computer) so I'm not 100% sure of the language used in the installer or the exact sequence of things, but I hope you get the general idea.

Old 02-12-2004, 02:37 AM   #3
Registered: Jan 2004
Location: Toulouse (France)
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 46

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Oki, i see
If i had created more than one ext2/3 partition, maybe the option to mount other partitions would have appeared

Thanx !


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