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linux partitioning & sizing questions (Mandrake 10.1)

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I've entered this for help from MandrakeExpert, but seeing as I'm only trying the free service, I've no idea if/when anyone will see it. I've picked up a fair bit of info from scouring this forum, so asking for a little help seems like a good idea smile


Setup: Athlon XP-M 2500+, 1GB RAM.

HD1, 3 FAT32 partitions (10GB, 30GB, 16GB),

WinXP SP1 on boot partition.

HD2, 2 NTFS partitions (70GB, 70GB),

8GB unpartitioned free space at start of disk.


Aims: To install Mandrake 10.1 into the 8GB of free space on HD2.

To have a dual boot system.


Issue: Uncertain space/partitioning requirements.


Currently, my Windows OS and entire set of applications use under 5GB of space, so given the lack of any set guidlines in the docs I've been using (http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/fdoc.php3) I assume 8GB should be reasonable for Linux and a lot of packages. At the partitioning section, DiskDrake offers "Erase entire disk", "Use the free space on the Windows partition", neither of which I think applies to me, so I went for "Custom disk partitioning".


After looking in a confused fashion at the amount of filesystems to choose from for a while, I decide "auto allocate" sounds sensible. This informs me I don't have enough space available to auto allocate, with seemingly no indication of how much space it actually does want. Next up, I tried "create" (I think this was the option), which rather promisingly created a reasonable sounding partition (ext2 or 3), around 1.5GB in size, and it even added "/" to it as a mount point. Bouyed by this seeming success, I hit create again, which created a swap partition (around 1GB), and I carried on until it created 3 or 4 more partitions including /usr, /home, and finally /tmp as mount points, and my 8GB was fully utilised. Formatted my new partitions and carry on to the next section.


Next, at the "Select packages" stage, I found myself stuck as I can't install everything as the required space is too large for that available (I presume from the size it's looking to install in /usr?), nor does the installer allow me to return to the partitioning section. So, remove a load of packages just to allow things to continue, finish install, and start again.


So, I am going to start from scratch. What I have had a very hard time finding info on (I have spent a couple of hours searching google, making little headway) is, what partitions & filesystems *must* I have, in which order, with which mount points, and what size. Here are my thoughts so far:


As I understand it, at the very least I need a partition to add "/" as a mount point, and I need a second partition for use as swap. I may also need a small partition to mount "/boot", at the start of the disk. If I create these, in this order, in the unallocated space on HD2:


1. /boot, ext3, 32MB (a guess - have seen recommended sizes of 10-150MB)

2. swap, swap, 1GB (same size as RAM?)

3. /, ext3, 6.95GB


Would that be reasonable as the absolute basic requirements? I'm not missing anything essential just to get everything I want installed? Regarding the partition for /boot, what would this be useful for? Would the *only* things that would reside in there be GRUB/LILO?


Just getting somewhere would be great, I'm finding it very frustrating to be stuck at what I was hoping would be a simple step. Sorry if this is over long, I just wanted to try include as much detail as possible!

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doing your homework pays off and right now it really shows!


/boot will contain the bootloader [lilo/grub] and the kernel(s) [which includes

the initial ramdisk (initrd), kernel symbol table, kernel config, and the kernel itself]


I'd make /boot about 80MB.


The rest of your disk layout plan is just fine as is. Wouldn't change it.


Keep in mind that because you have already used 2 of the 4 'primary' partitions

on HD2, that the new partitions must all three be part of an 'extended'

partition encompassing all 8GB you have set aside.


Also keep in mind the system boots off of HD1 and because you want to dual boot

you need to ensure you install the bootloader in the MBR of HD1.




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Reasonably clear, thanks. All up and running to the level I was hoping to achieve, so mission accomplished for the moment. Now to go looking for info on how to launch different window managers so I can play around with them (only had experience with Windowmaker on *nix based systems before now), and how to get a wireless network card with no official Linux drivers up and running - should be fun smile

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And what exact card make and model of wireless card, as well as revision number do you have? The revision number may be important for knowing what exact chipset is on the card.

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Netgear WG311 v2 in my case. Not the best supported chipset (meant I couldn't use the madwifi drivers), but thanks to the very useful ndiswrapper (http://ndiswrapper.sourceforge.net/) I was able to get up and running using the XP drivers. Recommended.


However, I am having some difficulty with simple networking (crossover cable from NForce2 ethernet port to XP laptop, though it's not quite that straightforward) and a few other things, but I'll ask the questions seperately when I work out what it is I want to ask.....


How I can happily manage the seemingly more complicated stuff, yet have no luck with the (theoretically!) easy stuff is beyond me smile

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