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Mint partitions

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Mint partitions

When I first started experimenting with Linux, was advised on here to install with 2GB swap space, 10GB for the OS and reserve some for Home.
Just realised that when I installed Mint Gloria on my 10GB D partition, I can't seem to recall being given this option so I allocated too much for the swap space (it was about 3GB) and the rest for the system (ext 3). So have ended up without a 'Home' partition AFAIK. This is not a problem in practical terms because I don't store anything on the computer - I use my external hard drive and flash disks and CD/DVDs. Did I do wrong or did I miss something?
BTW have discovered how to reduce the swap space within Mint so will have a go later.
To me the partitioning business is the most daunting for the Linux beginner, but it is a learning curve as had never bothered myself with it before now.
12 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: Mint partitions

The option of a separate /home partition is a thorny one for new users, the "standard" setup will only do 2 partitions, / and /swap. The new installs tend to wipe / so if you no separate /home partition you *could* loose it, I usually upgrade and it doesn't delete the partition.But I have also several hdd's setup as different mount points do tend to modify my system as I need it.
There is NOTHING wrong with having your /home in the same partition as / (root).
It just makes it easier to change Linux distro's if you have a separate /home. But you can just copy everything off to a dvd/external drive, format and restore.
BTW why do you have such a LARGE swap partition? 2Gb seems a bit excessive, unless you have a small amount of ram, with more than 1Gb ram I wouldn't say you need more than 1Gb swap, unless you plan on using large picture files in Gimp.
If you are happy with Mint then continue as is, also there is nothing wrong either with a 3Gb swap, it is just a waste of disk space you could have used for  the system, I would leave it if it is working.
I just checked my / partition it is 20Gb with ONLY 4.3Gb used, so I wouldn't bother just leave as is.
K
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Mint partitions

for every linux user, you'll find a different view on hard disk layout.  if it's all on one partition, the only downside is if your system goes pearshaped and you need to reinstall.  you'd need to tweak all your settings again.  as biker says, there's nothing wrong with having it all on one partition.
a large swap, equal to twice the ram, is necessary on laptops that take advantage of suspend and hibernate.  the system has to store what is in ram into the swap space, which may already be holding information.  making it twice the size of ram ensures that there will be enough space.
if you need more information, google 'linux partitions' and a wealth of stuff will come up.
Not applicable

Re: Mint partitions

Thank you for information and reassurance. Swap space is excessive - the RAM is 1GB and it says it should be double. When I created it the default stopped at 3100 or thereabouts so I left it. Anyway, that can be sorted. The free space is 5.1GB and the OS 3.7GB approximately. It is working very well - very fast and a pleasure to use so will leave well alone.
As has been said, on the install of Mint it doesn't seem to give you the option of a 3rd partition - I followed the instructions to the letter.
I will have to read up on it all - particularly the mount point that is referred to as I don't really understand it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Mint partitions

try tomshardware.com for tekky information.  he's come up trumps for me on several occasions.
Waldo
Grafter
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Mint partitions

Quote from: poppy
As has been said, on the install of Mint it doesn't seem to give you the option of a 3rd partition - I followed the instructions to the letter.

Looking at the user-guide (pdf) it would seem you need to select the option to 'Specify partitions manually' (page 16).
Community Veteran
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Re: Mint partitions

All the Ubuntu installers now do a single partition (OK 2 with swap) install, unless you choose MANUAL partitioning. Wonder why it set a 3Gb swap file though.
Poppy WRT to "Mount Points" they are just the folder that the disk/partition/USB Media will connect to.
All Linux systems have one mount point of / (root) and everything follows off that,
i.e.
/
/home <----------below root
  /home/poppy <-------- this is below home
/bin
/my mount point
When you insert a usb media is is mounted under /media/NAME where NAME is the name of the media (the disk label if it has one, or something generic like 4Gb media)
You can force things to mount to specific places using the mount command (and make it automatic by editing the ./etc/fstab file as root (the user not the mount) by using sudo)
VileReynard
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Re: Mint partitions

It isn't necessary to have a swap partition
You can create a swap file with a few commands in a place of your choice.
In fact you can have both swap partitions and multiple swap files (if you want).
See https://help.ubuntu.com/community/SwapFaq for an explanation of how Ubuntu does it.
I would expect this information to be relevant to any distro.

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Mint partitions

a little history might serve to clarify the why of hd partitioning.  in the days when hds were tiny, it was common for users to separate sections of the os to different hds.  for example, /var, /tmp, /usr could go on separate partitions to prevent / filling up too quickly as those could be emptied relatively safely.
with a hard drive of 20gb, or less, it makes sense to have a swap of 1gb and the rest as one partition.  with bigger drives, it makes sense to have a /data partition in which to keep all your precious personal files.  then, if the os goes down and you need to reinstall, your data remains untouched.
i used to remaster religiously.  these days i don't bother as the os stays reliable indefinitely.  if the worst happens, it's not a big effort to reinstall, do all the necessary configuration and tweaking and soon be back to where i was, knowing that my data is safe.
VileReynard
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Re: Mint partitions

Make sure you backup that /data partition frequently! Grin

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Re: Mint partitions

Thanks for all the technical info which will be useful when/if I get round to partitioning my Dell laptop (that's another story and will no doubt have to report back before going ahead). Have set up a document with all the bits of Linux information so will transfer it over so I don't forget.
It's interesting and a steep learning curve.
I think that it is better to have a third partition for the personal docs but it's no big problem because I have all of my stuff on an external HD, flash disks and CD/DVD's. Have got into the Windows mind set that the whole thing might crash at any minute -  it did happen to me once but was lucky as I had backed everything up. 
VileReynard
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Re: Mint partitions

You might want to consider creating a separate /boot partition to store your grub and your kernels etc in.
Can usual BIOS systems handle addressing of some of these massive disks?
Creating a small partition pre-allocates a low address range.
I also suggest using creating an extended partition as otherwise you are restricted to a maximum of 4 partitions
My partition "scheme" is a bit strange (mainly because I had a disk crash, so I got one of those 1TB disks...
(The swap size is quite ridiculous of course) Smiley
Device    Boot      Size            Mountpoint
/dev/sda1  *        94MB          /boot
/dev/sda2          (Extended Partition)
  /dev/sda5        46.5GB          /
  /dev/sda6          3.7GB          Swap
  /dev/sda7        93.1GB          /home
  Unallocated        788GB
/dev/sdb1              1GB          (unused)
/dev/sdb2          48.8GB          /backup        - backups of selected mount points on disk 1
/dev/sdb3            183GB          /filestore      - music, documents, videos etc

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎16-02-2009

Re: Mint partitions

Quote from: Crucibleofevil
You might want to consider creating a separate /boot partition to store your grub and your kernels etc in.
Can usual BIOS systems handle addressing of some of these massive disks?

Not a real issue unless you have a <b>Really<b> old BIOS like more than 5 years old. Putting a 1Tb disk on to a 486 system could be fun though  Cheesy
My partition setup:-
Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/sda1  *          1        2550    20482843+  83  Linux                                                          /
/dev/sda2            2551      24060  172779075  83  Linux                                                    /home
/dev/sda3          24061      24321    2096482+  82  Linux swap / Solaris                          swap
Disk /dev/sdb: 1000.2 GB, 1000204886016 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 121601 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000ea745
  Device Boot      Start        End      Blocks  Id  System
/dev/sdb1              1      121601  976760001  83  Linux                                                      /1Tb disk one partition mounted as /mnt/stuff with symlinks to my home dir

That is something you may want to investigate poppy, symlinking. It lets you create a shortcut to an other folder/file.
e.g. I have /mnt/stuff/videos linked to /ken/Videos so my second drive containing some videos appears under my home directory.