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afn15029 05-25-2011 04:12 PM

New Member from Central Florida - Needing Partitioning Advice
Hello--I'm new to this forum, but not to Linux. I presently use Puppy Linux v3.01 (oldie but goodie) and have been Microsoft-free for over 4 years. I've previously been "Weeble" on Groklaw if anybody remembers me from there.

The main reason I'm joining at this time is because I want to expand my horizons. My use of Puppy began as a make-do because of the crumbling reliability of the Win95 system I was using, and I still use it in the simple LiveCD configuration with a small e2fs-based storage file. I want MORE.

I intend to set up a newer computer with a more comprehensive distro of Linux, preferably in a dual-boot mode so I can use SOME Windows software that meets needs I can't readily meet with my known Linux software. I'm presently considering Ubuntu for starters. I'm looking for particular partitioning advice, and hope someone here can help.

A long time ago I remember reading that there was a way to set up Linux partitions so that the core OS, temp files and such would be in one partition, while the home directory, apps installed and other "keepers" would be in another. The idea was to be able to change distros relatively painlessly by wiping the first partition and installing the new distro (say, changing Ubuntu for PCLinuxOS) and being able to go to work right away because the apps, home files and such that had been previously installed were in the other partition.

I want to know 1) which standard Linux directories would fall into the first category, and which into the second? 2) How large should the first partition be to accommodate anything from DSL or Puppy to Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora or any other large distro without wasting a lot of space that would not likely be used? I have a variety of hard drives ranging at least to 160GB (all EIDE), so I'm not looking to really squeeze space--I just want to be judicious. 3) In setting up a dual-boot, I'm considering placing Linux on one HD and Windows on another. Knowing how cantankerous OS's can be (particularly MS Windows), does it matter on which physical HD that Linux or MS Windows is installed? Or will they load smoothly either way (I plan to use GRUB as my boot manager)?

Thanks for your input. I'll be posting this on the appropriate forum as well.

TobiSGD 05-25-2011 04:26 PM

Welcome to LQ !!

1.) Everything except /home is in the first category.
2.) With 20 GB you should be on the safe side. Of course Puppy will use only a small part of that, but for a full size distro with many additional programs installed it will be sufficient.
3.) Install Windows on the first harddisk, Linux on the second and Grub on the bootsector of the first harddisk. Windows can be a bit picky when not on the first harddisk.

stress_junkie 05-25-2011 04:29 PM


Originally Posted by afn15029 (Post 4366872)
I'll be posting this on the appropriate forum as well.

You shouldn't post a question more than once.

For anyone that is interested the second posting is here:

ramram29 05-25-2011 04:40 PM

Forget dual boot. Virtualization is the way to go. I recommend to only install Linux and then run Windows as a virtual machine whenever you need it. That way you don't have to restart and dual boot but instead you can run both operating systems at the same time. Look into virtualbox.

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