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Thread: Multi-boot partitioning advice

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    Multi-boot partitioning advice

    So, after my recent run-in with just jumping in and installing Kubuntu and losing access to Windows, I've had a think and made a plan:

    160GB WD1600YS RE (16mb cache)
    sda1 - [100GB ext3 /]
    sda2 - [60GB ext3 /home]

    160GB WD1600YS RE (16mb cache)
    sdb1 - [10GB ext3 /swap]
    sdb2 - [/75GB NTFS XP]
    sdb3 - [/75GB NTFS Vista64]

    250GB HDT7K500 (8mb cache)
    sdc1 - [25GB NTFS Vista32 OS]
    sdc2 - [75GB NTFS Games]
    sdc3 - [75GB NTFS Apps]
    sdc4 - [75GB NTFS Docs]

    500GB WD5000AAKS (16mb cache)
    sdd1 - [500GB NTFS Data]

    I think this works alright for me. Vista 32 will still be my primary OS, but I've got some space to play with others for compatibility. My data drive is already partitioned so I can't change the file system to FAT32 for interoperability - but I'm not sure I'd want to anyway. I've tried to partition my drives so they'll benefit from Zak's partitioning theory - the Hitachi is a very fast drive so I'll use that for my main OS.

    I'm not sure about the root and home partitions, I'm not used to linux so not sure how they work exactly, it's probably massive overkill really. But, I've got the space to spare. It might be worth bunging in a 50gb FAT32 partition in that drive. My intention is that Grub will load up and give me the following options:

    Vista32 (default)
    Vista64
    XP
    Kubuntu 7.10

    And that Vista won't use it's own bootloader. I'm fairly certain you can modify the boot.ini files for Windows anyway to remove other OSs. I don't know the best way to install it all, Grub would probably be happiest if linux went on last. Any thoughts? And any ideas on what tool to use to create the partitions? And what order to install the OSs?

    P.s. I have a 300gb hard disk that is going to be put in an enclosure and used as an external backup drive for my documents from now on (and in case I want to copy large amounts of files to someone).
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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    You don't need 10Gb swap file - I have found with kernel 2.6 (on Fedora) that it is very efficient in memory use. 2Gb will be sufficient. !00GB for / also seems a lot - you would be better off reducing that to about 30GB and reallocating the rest to /home.

    If you use logical volumes on your linux partition, just suse one partition and make that a LV - then you can dynamically resize them at a later date (you can do that with GPARTED) but with LVMs it is easier. Start by giving root about 15GB and home about 20GB - you can change it later. Don't forget that /boot needs its own partition outside the LVm (about 100Mb is more than enough) and you can also have teh swap file in the LVM as well, although to my mind it isn't really worth it - just allocate a small 2GB partition to it.
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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    go from oldest to newest, when installing. i.e. xp -> vista -> linux

    and no need to use fat32, linux writes ntfs fine

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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    You don't need 10Gb swap file - I have found with kernel 2.6 (on Fedora) that it is very efficient in memory use. 2Gb will be sufficient. !00GB for / also seems a lot - you would be better off reducing that to about 30GB and reallocating the rest to /home.

    If you use logical volumes on your linux partition, just suse one partition and make that a LV - then you can dynamically resize them at a later date (you can do that with GPARTED) but with LVMs it is easier. Start by giving root about 15GB and home about 20GB - you can change it later. Don't forget that /boot needs its own partition outside the LVm (about 100Mb is more than enough) and you can also have teh swap file in the LVM as well, although to my mind it isn't really worth it - just allocate a small 2GB partition to it.
    I have 4gb RAM and was advised that the swap should be at least twice the size because if you want to go into standby it has to dump the ram data into the swap, and you need to take account in case there's stuff already there.

    I probably will use 50gb of that first hdd as a fat32 partition. Though it can't store files over 6gb if im correct? I will try to access my NTFS partitions but it's not always easy from what I've read (many people not getting it to work).

    eta: oh yea and the reason I thought 100gb for / is because I don't know tonnes about partitioning linux and when i installed it automatically made just those 3 partitions. (swap, root and home)

    Quote Originally Posted by directhex View Post
    go from oldest to newest, when installing. i.e. xp -> vista -> linux

    and no need to use fat32, linux writes ntfs fine
    Oh right, thanks for that! I might just make a big logical volume for linux then so it's flexible, then I can't really make a mistake as long as I fix it afterwards!
    Last edited by Dreaming; 08-12-2007 at 07:17 PM.
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreaming View Post
    I have 4gb RAM and was advised that the swap should be at least twice the size because if you want to go into standby it has to dump the ram data into the swap, and you need to take account in case there's stuff already there.
    The suspend2 patches can store your RAM contents to a standard file, even at that, your swap only needs to be the same size as your RAM

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreaming View Post
    I probably will use 50gb of that first hdd as a fat32 partition. Though it can't store files over 6gb if im correct? I will try to access my NTFS partitions but it's not always easy from what I've read (many people not getting it to work).
    4GB is the filesize limit with vfat (fat32). NTFS access is easy with Linux, write support through ntfs-3g is also fairly easy, just make sure FUSE is loaded, and the ntfs-3g userspace driver is installed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreaming View Post
    eta: oh yea and the reason I thought 100gb for / is because I don't know tonnes about partitioning linux and when i installed it automatically made just those 3 partitions. (swap, root and home)
    It's unlikely that a root partition will use more than 20GB when you have a seperate /home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dreaming View Post
    Oh right, thanks for that! I might just make a big logical volume for linux then so it's flexible, then I can't really make a mistake as long as I fix it afterwards!
    Be careful with that though, many filesystems wont shrink at all, especially on-the-fly (although nearly all of them will grow with ease, so better to start small and grow as needed).
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    Hmm, well I've got it partitioned up, need to add windows to GRUB as they weren't autodetected (well, one vista was). But I'm having some difficulty with kubuntu atm.

    1. for some reason I can't get at the google firefox sync addon. Whether it's addon.mozilla.org or at google. Are these mysteriously blocked by default?

    2. Can't download my verisign root certificates. Timeout on server.

    3. Compiz fusion doesn't really work - but that's not a biggy

    4. From time to time it tells me I'm already running an apt-get or something, when I'm not, so I need to restart the x-server for it to be happy again. Although I can see why people say it's user friendly, so far there's a lot more fiddling necessary than windows. Guess it's fun though (he says at 3:55am)
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    Senior Member Dreaming's Avatar
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    Wahey!

    Got internet working properly now with permissions. I kind of ripped someones script off that didn't work and modified some stuff in kate then did some commands and it said lots of fancy stuff and works.

    Got dmraid working, I got fed up after linux couldn't see windows so have decided to use the windows bootloader. So my first two drives are in fakeraid0 for lightspeed (IIRC HDTach puts them at 120mb/s read), the grub atm is somewhere round there (it's working fine, since I used DMraid prior to installation), and I'm just getting kubuntu configured properly before I jump in with Windows. I think it should be fairly simple to add linux to the vista bootloader, from what I've read.

    Not sure what to do about compiz fusion, it seems to be more buggy than it's worth (taskbars disappearing).

    Anyway, I should go sleep now, xmas dinner in 3 1/2 hours
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    So, both OSs set up properly, and I'm noticing that whilst Linux is more powerful out of the box, (windows you have to hunt external apps to do functions such as batch image resizing and so on) - it's much slower! I don't know why, but just things like using the GUI in linux has a small lag, opening apps slows things down, and so on. Also even if i use dmraid to detect drives they don't show up in qtparted, though gparted gives a different picture. It's a bit bizarre.

    Haven't got my head completely round mounting yet though.
    Dreaming

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    Glad its all working properly!

    I notice some lag with applications like Opera - more so with the 2.6 kernel than the 2.4. Whether that is because Opera is badly behaved (it is a RAM hog) or because the Kernel is writing to disc, I don't know. Certainly the X server system is pretty resource intensive. But as you say, some of the standard apps are brilliant.

    If you are using it for multimedia, you might find Linux Multimedia Hacks (published by O'Reilly) interesting (although possibly a bit dated now)

    Amazon.co.uk: Linux Multimedia Hacks: Books: K Rankin

    or perhaps this

    Amazon.co.uk: Ubuntu Hacks: Books: Kyle Rankin,Jonathan Oxer,Bill Childers

    If you haven't already got one, one of the many greneral books about ubuntu (such as Ubuntu Unleased or the Ubuntu Bilbe) might be useful to you. (I haven't read/used the last one - I do have the first and I used the Red Hat 9 Bible in the same series Istarted using Red Hat 9 3 years ago - I found it invaluable at the time until I gained more confidence - it was a good foundation)



    You can alter the priority of applications (the 'nice' value) and it is possible to tune the kernel (although that is getting pretty advanced - I haven't found it a sufficient problem to go down that route)
    Last edited by peterb; 11-12-2007 at 12:35 PM.
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    Yea it's quite fun playing with it, I think the reason it seems a bit slower on the GUI front than vista is because vista uses the gpu to power the GUI. So, if you go to open an application, the cpu starts loading that into memory from the hdd, but the gui is still loaded into the vram and the gpu is running it, so there's no extra load = no extra lag.

    I'm enjoying that I'm getting used to it, at first it seems daunting (I wouldn't recommend it for someone who knows hardly anything about PCs, unless you pre-configured it and could guaruntee they wouldn't brake it), but when you start to learn about the workings of it, it becomes infinitely configurable and you can mould it to your whims. Quite nice really and I'm starting to understand the 'RTFM' philosophy. Whenever I go on the ubuntuforums, nobody tells me how to fix things, just point me to a generic 'HowTo: DMRAID' or something. But then working it for yourself gives you a bit more understanding, or something.

    I'm not sure how I got grub working, it's not even installed, BCDedit loads linux from / for me.
    Dreaming

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    Agent of the System ikonia's Avatar
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    Re: Multi-boot partitioning advice

    10 gig swap partition ????
    It is Inevitable.....


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