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Automatic partitioning options


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#1 Alchemist

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 05:56 PM

What are the advantages of the multiple partition setups other than resistance to data loss in crashes? Is there any other reason to have a special partition just for your boot directory (kernel files and config) than surviving a major crash?

Also, is it possible to make automated installers accept an existing set of partitions? Or even alter the size of the automatically created partitions? Does expert mode let you control the partitions? How many other very detailed things do you have to know to use expert mode, though? ;)

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#2 Miljet

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:00 PM

If you ask 10 people what they think is the ideal partitioning scheme, you will get 12 different answers. The right answer is whatever you are comfortable with. With that is mind, here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

The only reason for having a separate /boot partition is if you play with a large number of distros. The separate /boot partition would allow you to keep the same boot files and add and remove entries as needed.

A lot of people swear by having a separate /home partition so they can reinstall/upgrade without changing any files in their home. I am apprehensive about that because all of your configuration files are kept in your /home directory. Upgrading to a newer version of the operating system often involves different, or at least newer versions, of installed programs. There is always the possibility that the old config files will either be not needed, or worse, conflict with the newer version of programs.

My personal plan is to keep partitions for two complete versions of the operating system. Whenever a new version is released, I install it to the partition that my current version is not on. I can then copy across the config files that I need and thoroughly check out the newer version before committing to it.

I don't know what distro you are considering and I can only speak for Ubuntu, but selecting manual partitioning is not any harder than using guided. Just be sure that you understand what it is that you want to do before starting.

And as a last note, you only need one swap partition even if you have multiple Linux operating systems installed.

#3 cryptodan

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Posted 25 February 2010 - 09:37 PM

I use the following:

/
/usr
/home
/var

and of course swap.

#4 BlueGazoo

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 12:09 PM

A lot of people swear by having a separate /home partition so they can reinstall/upgrade without changing any files in their home. I am apprehensive about that because all of your configuration files are kept in your /home directory. Upgrading to a newer version of the operating system often involves different, or at least newer versions, of installed programs. There is always the possibility that the old config files will either be not needed, or worse, conflict with the newer version of programs


I always thought having a small partition for Windows, and nothing but windows, is always better (about 20 Gig in Size); and have a separate partition (or drive) for everything else, including all programs.

The reason i heard, and thought, this was the better method is
  • so nothing gets installed on this partition (which always sounds good)
  • then you won't need to defrag it as often
  • the size of the partition is small so reading the hard disc is faster
  • doing a restore after a crash is faster
The downside to this is, even if you install a new program on D: (and your windows partition is C:), windows will still create a directory on C: for at least part of the new program. Having the same program on 2 drives must delay the functioning of the program.

(I'm doing a new install now. What partition should I opt for? The only "special" software i will have on this machine is SQL Server. Should that program be on a separate partition?)




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