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Installing Linux on this HDD


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#1 Winterland

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 07:34 AM

Hey everyone.

 

So, I'm going to blow up my machine and go 100% Linux. No more dual-booting for me.

 

Due to the nature of my work, I'll always have access to (at least) 2 Windows machines (Desktop + LT) in the event that I absolutely need something Windows-based, which seems unlikely.

 

I've been test-driving several distros at work over the past 2 months in Hyper-V and am not a complete noob, so I'm no worried about blowing everything off my current machine but needed / wanted to ask this one question before I install.

 

Because I've been playing with several distros over the course of the past couple of years, my current HDD (which is a hot mess, I'll grant you) looks like this:

 

Winterland%20HDD_as%20of%20July%202016.p

 

If / when I drop my ISO disc in and install, will I have an option to blow off all these partitions and install using my entire HDD?

 

I'm test-driving Linux Mint 18 - even as I type this - and found a driver for my Brother HL-L2380DW printer, which was one of my main concerns.

 

And yeah, I've backed everything up...and have back ups of the back ups.   :thumbup2:

 

FYI, the only real runner up was Kubuntu, which is what I've been running in my current dual-boot setup and which is flashy and cool.

 

 

So there you go. Do I need to do some other formatting for this HDD or will the Mint ISO take care of that for me?

 

Thanks.

 

Winterland

 


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#2 shelf life

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 08:01 AM

Pretty sure any distro will give you that option to wipe the entire HD and install the OS.

You can also use the free g-parted (or others like it) to prep a HD before a installation.

 

https://www.linuxmint.com/documentation/user-guide/Cinnamon/english_18.0.pdf

 

http://gparted.sourceforge.net/


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#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 08:16 AM

I would partition the drive so as to give you a separate home partition. By creating a separate home partition you can do a complete reinstall of the OS and not worry about your data and settings.


Edited by JohnC_21, 30 July 2016 - 08:29 AM.


#4 Winterland

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 11:01 AM

Pretty sure any distro will give you that option to wipe the entire HD and install the OS.

You can also use the free g-parted (or others like it) to prep a HD before a installation.

 

 

That's what I thought, but have not done a full-on install before so I appreciate the info and the links.

 

 

I would partition the drive so as to give you a separate home partition. By creating a separate home partition you can do a complete reinstall of the OS and not worry about your data and settings.

 

JohnC_21 - Is this something that I need to do before hand or will there be an option to do so during the Mint full install?

 

Looking over the manual that shelf life provided, I see where "Mint requires a partition of at least 9GB and that the default size for a swap partition is 1 to 1.5 times the amount of RAM available on the computer"  <<  not sure if this is different than what you are recommending or the same.

 

 

Thanks for the quick & information-filled responses!


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#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 11:16 AM

It is much easier to create a separate home partition before hand. There are discussions on whether there is a need for a Swap partition if you have a lot of RAM. I would wait for one of the Advisors for instructions on partitioning manually before install. 



#6 Winterland

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 11:44 AM

Great. Thanks for the heads up.

 

I'll wait for Cat or Nick to stop on by and say, "Hey Winterland, why don't you do this first..."

 

Generic info in case anyone else does a drive by.

 

My machine's basic specs:

 

HP Desktop p6-2143w

 

AMD A6-3650 APU w/ Radeon HD Graphics   2.60 GHz

 

(Currently) running Windows 7 Home Premium  64-bit

 

8 Gigs of DDR3

 

 

Nothing wrong with the machine, it actually runs like a dream, I'm just tired of Windows and this whole Win 10 roll out thing.

 

I've backed up all of my Docs, Pics, Music, Video, etc and also have my Recovery Discs were I ever want to go back.

 

I feel like all my ducks are in a row, just need to know best way to pull this Linux trigger. 

 

Winterland


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#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 11:45 AM

With 8GB of RAM I doubt you need a Swap file but I defer to the Advisors. 



#8 Winterland

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 12:04 PM

With 8GB of RAM I doubt you need a Swap file but I defer to the Advisors. 

 

Yeah, with everything I've been reading I thought the same thing, but I too, will defer to the Advisors.


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#9 pcpunk

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 12:35 PM

Winterland, I'll share with you a great video that will do just what you need.

 


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#10 sinister_midget

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 12:57 PM

I'm not an advisor by any means. But I've used linux for a few days, give or take.

 

I always use a swap. Always. I currently have 8G installed. I also have 3G swap. I've seen this thing use up almost all of the RAM and swap and still slow down a bit. (Sure, I'm hard on my machines. This one runs Plex and XBMC full time. It once had Emby - formerly Mediabrowser - and will again someday. Plus Owncloud. That's in addition to being a desktop, doing all of my downloads, etc.) If you have the disk space, it's always better t be prepared in advance than to have to adjust later if/when you find the resources just aren't enough for what you're doing.

 

Just my opinion..........



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 01:28 PM

Out of the box distros have a swappiness setting that is too high for a desktop with a lot of RAM. It's set at 60 and should be set lower, but again, I will defer to the Advisors on this.

 

60 meaning linux will use the Swap file if you are using about half of your RAM. 



#12 sinister_midget

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:24 PM

Just for the heck of it, I set my swappiness to 10, cleared swap and did ordinary things (typed a script or two, looked up a couple of things on the web, etc). Nothing fancy.

 

In about 5 minutes, I had this:

 

kcsmart@the-cloud:~$ free
                                  total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:                        7639       7405        234        376         10        670
-/+ buffers/cache:      6724        915
Swap:                        3071          6       3065
 
My system load shows this:
 
 top - 14:16:18 up 5 days, 23:18,  3 users,  load average: 0.07, 0.22, 0.34
Tasks: 317 total,   2 running, 311 sleeping,   0 stopped,   4 zombie
%Cpu0  :  1.7 us,  0.7 sy,  3.3 ni, 93.3 id,  1.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
%Cpu1  :  0.7 us,  0.7 sy,  1.7 ni, 97.0 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
%Cpu2  :  1.3 us,  0.3 sy,  2.3 ni, 96.0 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
%Cpu3  :  0.7 us,  0.7 sy,  3.0 ni, 95.7 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
 
That's just as I copied. A couple of minutes before that the current average was 0.11.
 
Again, I have a couple of media servers running, too. But neither one is really doing very much at the moment other than sitting mostly idle (I'm not using it, the wife is asleep, it's not updating or downloading anything). So they aren't really stressing things.
 
I'll keep my swap.
 
But to each his own, and whatever works best for you. I've never had a situation where my swap wasn't used at all on an actively-used machine, even without the extras this machine runs. But most of the others are/were lower spec, too. So they were prone to needing more assistance just for ordinary things.
 
My only point is that there aren't too many hard and fast rules, situations vary, usage varies, personal habits vary.
 
My Intel COMPUTE stick has 2G with 2G swap and the swap's not being touched. But that's just sitting there doing nothing at all right now. Nothing more than a keyboard, mouse and monitor hooked up. I may eventually move Emby and Plex to that. But it currently does nothing at all. Except I do updates on it every few days. Once I put it to use I expect that to change. It might even mean I need to redo a few things.


#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for that informative post. I guess we will see what the Advisors say on the idea of a Swap. I have it on an old computer dual booting Ubuntu and XP.



#14 DeimosChaos

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 03:45 PM

Since you have a bunch of different partitions, the first thing I would do is boot up gparted and wipe/format the drive. Then if you want to create a separate /home partition, which I also suggest doing, you can do all that inside gparted as well. Makes it a bit easier when running the installer and you won't have to mess around with creating / destroying the partitions in the installer "advanced" section.

Also you can install gparted on the live disk before running the install. Open a terminal and type:

apt-get install gparted

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#15 sinister_midget

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 04:35 PM

One word of advice. Make your home partition big. Your OS partition, or root, won't need to be nearly as big as /home will. I have all sorts of things still installed (several old kernels, a bunch of programs I don't use any more, about every font I could find, 6 or 7 different browsers, 2 media servers and the leftovers of another, etc) and I still only use about 25G of the root partition. My /home on the other hand has 291G used on it. Excessive perhaps, but it illustrates where most of the space needs to go.






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