Partitioning worries

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by edward.ij, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. edward.ij

    edward.ij New Member

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    Hi I'm looking at loading a Linux distro possibly Debian not entirely sure tho onto a computer. I was reading a tutorial about loading it and it talked about partitioning the hard drive into four sections, a 'swap' section, a 'boot' section, a 'home' section and a 'usr' partition. This seemed complicated to me and I wasn't daring is there anything I need to be careful of here and with a 150 Gb hard drive and 3 Gb of RAM how much space to apply to each.
    (I don't feel the need to dual boot as there is another computer in my family that is loaded with window that I can use when I want to)
    Thanks in advance! :)

  2. subtender

    subtender New Member

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    Hi - - no need to do any complicated partioning at all, especially in your case where you don't plan to dual boot. Just let the Linux distribution of your choice claim the entire drive. The two "distro's" I have the most experience with are OpenSuse and Kubuntu.

    Either one is great and will provide you with the option to overwrite windows, which will result in automating the partioning process. By the way, even if you dual-boot, you don't need to do a complex repartioning of your hard drive.

    A simple setup of one Linux file type (such as ext4, ext3, reiser, XFS, etc.), and one small swap drive (equal to about 1% of your HD capacity) is all you need. Most swap partitions these days are between 500meg and 2 or 3 gigs in size.

    But, back to the main point, just let Suse or Kubuntu do the work for you during the install process. It's super easy that way as long as you're not using a new system with Windows 8 (because of BIOS/UEFI/Secure Boot firmware changes).
    edward.ij likes this.
  3. edward.ij

    edward.ij New Member

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    Thank you! So if I partition 2 GBs to the swap drive I can then leave the rest for everything else? And you suggested multiple names and I was wondering would any of them do or do they all mean something?? Sorry I really have no knowledge at all! Thanks again!
  4. subtender

    subtender New Member

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    Re your first question - yes, the majority of people running Linux have one large "Linux File Type" partition, and one swap partition. Most swap partitions are between 500 meg on the low side, and 5 gigs on the high side. Linux doesn't need as much swap space as it used to, because the size of HD's has increased so dramatically over the past 5 years, and it's almost rare that swap is accessed. A couple gigabytes for many systems is ample.

    Re your second question, I just listed a few of the common Linux file system types. Ext4 is the most common now, and I suggest you select that as your default. But others exist, including some that are still "experimental" (btrfs, reiser4, etc.).

    As you may know, Windows uses NTFS (new technology file system) by default, although it also supports FAT16 and FAT32. The USB flash (aka pen, thumb) drives usually use FAT32, which is fine, as Linux can read and write to Windows file systems as well as native Linux file types.

    If you obtain a "Live Linux CD" - I'd recommend starting out with Kubuntu 12.4. The most recent release of Ubuntu/Kubuntu is actually 12.10, but 12.4 is a LTX (Long Term Support) release, and generally wil serve you best. I like Kubuntu for many reasons, but one of them is - - for Linux newbies, the interface is "very similar" to Windows 7 (or XP), versus Windows 8. So, the learning curve is considerably easier if you're already used to win 7 or XP. Be sure you know how to download and burn a valid "ISO Image". If you have any question about that, let us know. Once you insert the Live CD and startup Kubuntu (which, by the way is a relatively slow process on a live CD), you'll see an icon on the desktop that will start the install process. If you have a good cable or DSL internet connection, the install will also pull in the latest updates. All in all, it takes about an hour to install (give or take 15 minutes).

    You might want to review "distrowatch.com" for info on all things Linux (in addition to this forum), and read up more on all the specific distros available. You might be amazed at all the choices. If you can read, and follow basic instructions, you can setup Kubuntu (as well as several other starter Linux distros). Good luck.
  5. subtender

    subtender New Member

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    Yes, all you need are two partitions - one for your main files and one for swap. I recommend using ext4 as your default Linux file type.

    Also, based on your two posts, I would not suggest Debian for you. It's for folks that have some technology background and experience with OS's (operating systems). So, a good starter distro would be Kubuntu (as it's based on Ubuntu, the leading Linux distro for new users), and because it uses a windows type interface similar to XP/win7.

    Further, I would also suggest for you to go to websites (in addition to this forum) such as distrowatch.com where you can do a lot of reading to increase your knowledge. Especially read the distro documentation sush as wiki's and user guides.

    The install process can be VERY easy, for users like yourself that want to replace Windows with Linux by using the entire drive. Kubuntu's Live CD will walk you through that - but it never hurts to do some pre-reading on these sites.

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