Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Linux Partition Setup

Hi All,

I have been playing with Linux since my college days. The most difficult part - told by my friends then, Juniors afterwards and my colleagues now is that - Linux installation is difficult. This is the biggest reason said after "Linux is complicated".

I feel that people who tell that Linux Installation is difficult, the difficulty comes during the partition setup of an Linux Installlation.

Thanks to my assembler Ananth Ram - who once gave me a brief, short but very good memorable partition setup guide. This is not any book - but his guidance.

Please do the following - without damaging your hard disks.

[I take a non-SATA HDD - size to be a default 80 Gb one, Windows in Fat32 and Linux in Ext3]

I. For a blank/formatted HDD

1. Linux Only

Simple, leave the partioner to take the guided disk space or the full space method.

2. For both Linux and Windows along with Swap space

First - Primary partition - with say 20 GB for Windows - formatted in Fat32
Second - Primary partition - with say 15 GB for Linux - formatted in Ext3
Third - Primary partition - with 2 times x your RAM size - formatted as Swap space
Fourth - Extended partition
Fifth, 6th 7th et al... Extended partitions with as much space required...which becomes your D, E, F drives

After this :

Windows C drive - /dev/hda1
Linux - /dev/hda2
Swap - /dev/hda3
Extended - /dev/hda4
Windows D drive - /dev/hda5
and so on....

II. With a full HDD without Linux installed anytime

[I dont accept this methodolgy. But still I would like to tell this way. Implementing it or not is left to the user]

1. To only install Linux [since MS Windows is already installed]

Free up a partion say your - G drive - by backing up all the data in it.
Delete this partition using your Windows Manager
Finally install Linux into this free space.

Please do not do anything to your C drive or to the place where your Windows is installed.

III. Other ways

There are many other ways of installing Linux.

1. A seperate /boot partition way:

For the very first method explained above, you can have one more Primary partition that would be as /boot with say around 500 MB space. Rest remains the same. But dont forget to install your GRUB into this boot partition.

2. A seperate /home/ partition way:

Whenever you are a great fan of Linux Distros like Fedora or Ubuntu - you may want to follow this methodolgy.

Since the release cycles of these Distros are like 6 months, if you may want to upgrade your versions all time, then go for this.

Installing Linux:

1. /home/ - primary {Even will do inside an extended partition too} say with 20 GB
2. /root/ - primary {Even will do inside an extended partition too} say with 10 GB
3. /usr/ - primary {Even will do inside an extended partition too} say with 5 GB

Unix(s) like FreeBSD and OpenSolaris go by this method along with a more detailed automatic file installation procedure.

Do mail me at ananth.gouri@gmail.com for any further help or specific help related to "partitioning"

Hope this post helped you.

[Any damage done to your HDD during the implementation of this post - is no where related to my blog post.]

Ananth Gouri

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