Partitioning tips and ideas?

Discussion in 'Linux Hardware' started by dyo1, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    I'm planning to install "LXLE" on a 500 GB EXTERNAL HDD (its going to be on USB 2.0 most of the time, so probably no blazing speed here).
    The OS that I will use requires minimum 8GB space, and 256 MB RAM, could someone give me tips or ideas on how to setup the partitions, and do I really need the "swap space", and if yes - how much?

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  2. pane-free

    pane-free Active Member

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    Best Answer
    part-ex_dual-boot.jpg
    swap is shared
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  3. VitalkaDrug

    VitalkaDrug New Member

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    How much RAM do you have? How much RAM need for your applications? I think, if you have less than 8GB of RAM then you should use swap with size from 1 GB and up to 4GB. Otherwise use swap with a minimum size (256 MB - 1 GB) for insurance. The leaks of memory are happening from time to time...

    About partitioning for data. I think, if you don't have any special requirements then use a one big partition for a root. Generally the more detailed partitioning they make for special needs, like for servers for example. For desktop machine just store all data within one partition.
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  4. WharfRat

    WharfRat Member

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    I don't mean to confuse things here as I'm a new member of this forum, but there is an advantage to having a limited root partition and that's primarily for quick image backups/restores. I used gentoo for several years and that certainly came in handy when the system flew south after doing a major upgrade.

    Also having a separate home partition facilitates an easier re-installation of the OS or another distro preserving files/settings in the home.

    Most automated installations should setup a default swap partition for you. For hibernation support it's recommended that it be 2X physical memory, although I've heard arguments to the contrary. However that amount has always worked well for me and disk space isn't as tight as it used to be years ago.

    Good luck ;)
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  5. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    I will be running on 896 GB RAM machine most of the time, but sometimes with less RAM machines (~512), I think 499 GB space (root) and 1 GB swap would be enough, but wouldn't all that HDD head going from the left to right make it lag?
    I also want to know if I can boot USB3.0 device from USB 2.0 port, because I have a USB3.0 flash drive that (as I said in the other posts) hangs at system start-up and nothing boots up.
    (shet, I think I used the report button, sorreh)
  6. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    That's good, but I want a LOT of space, I still have all the time I want (no work), so if I want to backup, I would watch some TV while it does it's job, in other words time (by space) isn't my problem
  7. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Yeah, you did. That is fine though. I was looking at the reports and banning spammers and then I saw your report and realized you used "report" instead of "reply". At first, I was wondering what VitalkaDrug could have possibly done bad.:D
  8. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    @dyo1 As for the forum question, here is my partitioning plan. I think you have a typo when stating your amount of RAM. If you had almost a terabyte worth of memory, then I would be at your front-door to take it from you.:p

    500GB (if your hard-drive uses the GPT partitioning table): (my system uses a scheme like this)
    boot-bios - a few megabytes (some systems require a boot-bios partition at the beginning)
    /boot/ - 4GB
    / - 40-60GB
    /home/ - 30-40GB
    Data partition - 70GB or more
    another data partition - 70GB or more
    something else if you want - X GB
    2 swap - each equal to your RAM size (better speed enhancement with two rather than one)


    500GB (MBR):
    boot-bios - a few megabytes (primary)
    / - 140+ GB (primary)
    Data partition - 70GB or more (primary)
    another data partition - 70GB or more (primary)
    something else if you want - X GB (logical)
    2 swap - each equal to your RAM size (logical)
  9. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    Thanks, now I need more questions :D
    -How can I find on a brand-new USB external HDD if it uses MBR or GPT?
    -Why would I need boot-bios, how does it work and what does it help for?
    -What is data partition?
    -Why should I use logical?
    -Why would I need /boot/ and /home/ for?
    *RAM turns back to MB instead of GB*
  10. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    To determine if a disk is GPT or MBR use gdisk:
    Code:
    gdisk -l /dev/sdb
    where sdb is the drive you want to check.
    Boot-bios is probably for storing grub. Either for UEFI or a system-independent installation of grub.
    I am assuming the data partition is for random data not to be kept in /home
    Logical partitions allow you to have more then 4 partitions on an MBR disk. Which is nice.
    /boot would be where grub/kernels/initramfs files are kept. Sometimes keeping this folder on a seperate partion can help you diagnose problems and save your system. /home is where users keep their personal files (pictures, music, documents, etc)

    Really, the only partition you ABSOLUTELY need is root (/). Some people also like to have a swap partition, though you can use a swapfile instead.
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  11. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    2x1GB swap memory (both primary)
    Data partiton option not found, assuming it's the same as/in the ROOT,250 GB root memory (I think primary would be better for root)
    1 GB for /boot partition, because I don't know how much memmory it needs (Logical I guess...)
    The rest space which is 245 GB should go to the /home partitons,(Primary as well)

    Since I was able to save files on /root while running on LiveUSB, why would I need /home for?
    And isn't there any disadvantage on Logical-type partitions?
  12. pane-free

    pane-free Active Member

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    Best Answer
    part-ex_dual-boot.jpg
    swap is shared
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  13. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    -How can I find on a brand-new USB external HDD if it uses MBR or GPT?:
    You can use Gparted to reformat the partitioning table. WARNING: All data will be lost during formatting.

    -Why would I need boot-bios, how does it work and what does it help for?

    Ryanvade answered this for you. Some systems need it ad others do not. If you have never heard of it, then your system does not need it. Thanks @ryanvade ;)

    -What is data partition?
    Like Ryanvade said, this is just a partition of personal files you may not want in home.

    -Why should I use logical?
    On a storage device using MBR, you can only have up to four primary partitions. The rest are logical partitions. When using the GPT partitioning table, a partition is a partition. There are no "logical" or "primary" partitions.

    -Why would I need /boot/ and /home/ for?
    This is easier for backups or using multiboot systems. If my system becomes corrupted, I can reinstall Ubuntu and keep my home folder and its config files. If an update contains a bug, I can easily reinstall my OS and keep my personal settings, files, and Firefox addons and bookmarks. That is how I reinstall my system, like a boss :cool:. :D

    For further reading -

    Partitioning Tables - http://www.linux.org/threads/partition-tables.4895/
    MBR and GPT - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GUID_Partition_Table
  14. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    Thanks for your time creating this post,you made it kinda easy for a noob to understand :D but the "current" questions are different:
    Since I was able to save files on /root while running on LiveUSB, why would I need /home for?
    And isn't there any disadvantage on Logical-type partitions?

    Also - thanks for your help :)
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  15. pane-free

    pane-free Active Member

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    /home allows adequate storage space for personal files; also, on reinstall or on installing another different distro, user may save all files for use with installed/reinstalled OS simply by leaving /home as-is and not formatting it.

    One disadvantage of partitions within an extended partition (logical partitions) is that one cannot have a logical / (root) partition recognized by LILO (major reason I like GRUB2) boot loader.

    For example, in the above partition table image, a slackware distro may be installed first on /dev/sda4 and LILO installed on it (the root partition), then a Debian- or 'buntu-derived distro installed on /dev/sda1 and GRUB2 installed in the MBR -- then both distros will be in the startup GRUB Menu (or do an update-grub, if not)
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  16. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    Thanks for the info, can I leave the root with 10 GB only and /home with 80 % of the HDD space?
    I mean will I have any 'low disk space' problems?
  17. pane-free

    pane-free Active Member

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    Now I feel like you're playing me . . . are you sure not the puppy dude? lol!
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  18. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    The dude, or the puppy's dude? :p
    Nope, I'm not, I just found the image cool...and the story.
    Puppy Linux is cool, but I'm sticking with LXLE, until it makes me angry.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  19. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Well, @pane-free already did a great job answering your question. However, I do have extra information to provide you.

    When using logical drives, some operating systems will not boot off of them, so GPT is the best choice for multi-boot systems. Also, it is easier to manage the partitions when they are all primary. Having primary, logical, and extended partitions can get confusing. I prefer to follow the KISS Principle - "Keep It Simple, Stupid". There are other advantages to using GPT instead of MBR, but that alone can be a deep discussion.

    Also, keep in mind that "/root/" and "/home/" are to different folders. Some newbies start to think that "/root/" and "/home/" are the same since they have a similar purpose. The Root user's home folder (/root/) is kept on the same partition as the OS. I have never seen someone place /root/ on its own partition, but it is possible. (Also, try not to confuse Root user with /root/ or with the root [as in "/"])

    If you are saving file's in the Root user's home folder (/root/), then you may not need to worry about /home/. However, you should only be logged in as Root when it is necessary. Otherwise, you could accidentally cause system damage. I hope this helps.

    If you have more questions, you may want to consider making a new thread if the questions start to shift from the original question/topic. Enjoy the website!
  20. dyo1

    dyo1 New Member

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    My question is still about partitioning (root to be exact).
    Do I need a lot of space on root (/), if I give all of it to /home?
    That's the only thing that I'm wondering. :)
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  21. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    / should have at least 20-30GB

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