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Linux Partitioning Guide (new Users) A very basic guide to partitioning in linux designed for new users

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Partitioning Guide
This guide is designed for users New to Linux.

1. All Linux users run as just that 'a user'. If you are moving from Windows it is most likely that you ran Windows as an 'Administrator' (root). In Linux, any task which alters the Operating System (OS) of a Linux distro requires 'root' privileges. You will need the 'root' password to do this. Basically, this gives you temporary access to the core of your OS. This is what makes Linux far more secure than Windows.

1. That being said you will now understand that we partition the HD/'s we have accordingly. This means we can keep our 'user' (/home) files separate. Which in turn means, when we upgrade, re-install etc.. we don't need to loose all our personal data or settings because it's all located in /home.

The Basic Setup

The 'root' partition: Is represented by: /
The 'home' partition: Is represented by: /home
The 'swap' partition has no representation but is simply as format

Use your disto's Custom Partitioning to setup partitions. It is much better than allowing default values.
Typically you need to allow:
'root' : 20G
'home': as much as you think you will need (I use 80G) but have separate external storage.
'swap' 1G should be plenty.

You will most likely then, have the following:


Custom Partitioning

After booting from the install medium or starting the installer from a live desktop version. You will progress from some basic questions to a install proposal, this is a default set of values determined by the installer after it has probed your system. If you only have one HD present and Windows is installed on it â you will likely see it offers to shrink the Windows partition and use the remaining space for a Linux install. Personally, I would not recommend this option â and though it will work and you should have already done a defrag on your Windows system, I would still recommend using Custom Partitioning. In any case you should still defrag Windows!
If more than one HD are present in your machine that is fine, (but still defrag any Windows) and progress to Custom Partitioning. Once in Custom Partitioning you should see your drive(s) and existing Partitions. You can create and edit here as required. Set the format type eg: ext3 â which will probably be your choice for both / and /home (at least at the time of writing this 2008). In SuSe you will see a drop box to the right to set the mount points; as already mentioned / and /home, swap does not have a mount point. You will choose the format radio button for / and maybe for /home if it's a new install, but do not format /home if you want to keep the data already there, but still set the mount point.
It is at this point that you can also set mount points for xp or vista or other partitions. No mount point exists in the drop down, but you can fill in the box under the drop box. It will look something like:
/windows xp
or whatever you choose. Don't forget the /
Once installed, this will create a folder in the tree.
You will notice too there is a fstab options button which will open a new mini window. In here you can give Volume Labels. Which might look like this:
no / here
This will make sure that you get a nice easy to see Label in My Computer identifying the partition.
Make sure the do not format radio is checked, it should be anyway by default.

Nothing will be written yet, so don't worry. If you think everything is OK here, progress to the next step. An installation summary should appear.


The summary screen lists the basics of the installation but you can click on each heading eg: Software Packages and adjust accordingly. In my case recently on openSuSE 11, I had initally selected kde 4 at the beginning of the installation process but here added kde 3 also. You can use the summary to double check where your bootloader is going.


Commonly referred to as 'Grub'. It will be traditional be placed on the MBR of your 1st HD. If you only have one HD and Windows is installed, grub will go to the MBR of that drive. Now grub will control booting Windows. If you later remove Linux and just want Windows, you will have to restore your MBR â The best method is to use your Windows disc (if you have one!). There are other methods though they will not be discussed here.
If, on the other hand you have 2 or more HD's as I do, it is possible to set your Windows HD to 2nd boot HD and install the bootloader to the non-windows drive which should be set as 1st boot HD. You can as earlier described use space on the Windows HD to partition for Linux without altering the MBR.
It should be said that grub does not always get the settings to boot Windows quite correct and you may later have to adjust the /boot/grub/menu.lst file in your Linux installation. This file contains the commands for booting. This fact can be true in both cases, whether you have 1 or more HD's. In the latter case though, because grub is installed to the non-windows HD, a temporary work around to boot Windows until /menu.lst is correct, is to change your HD boot in BIOS to make the Windows HD 1st, and Windows will boot, as grub is now on the 2nd HD. You can change this back once you have the correct settings in /menu.lst


Once you are happy with all your partitioning and settings, proceed with installation. The entering of passwords will be required for 'root' and later the 'username' you choose. Remember them. I always de-select automatic login.

Edited by yordan
Quoted the text copied from http://forums.opensuse.org/how-faq-read-only/unreviewed-how-faq/389511-partitioning-install-guide.html (see edit history)

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Seems that you forgot the third rule when writing in our forum tutorial :

3. The Tutorials must be written in your own language. This is perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT rule of all. They should not be copied off another site (Plagiarism) and directly pasted here. Plagiarism can lead to a BAN.

Did you see how I quoted the text I copied from the rules ? I expect you to do the same thing.Copying text is not really forbidden. Simply, politeness and honesty as well as intellectual property laws ask that you quote the text you copy and give the references to the original text.
For instance, here, you should have said "This tutorial has already been presented by caf4926 on july 10th. 2008, see here : http://forums.xisto.com/no_longer_exists/ " and quoted the copied part.
Of course, quoted text gives you no hosting credits, but it proves your intellectual honesty.
I quoted the text for you today. Please, next time, do not forget to do the quoting job by yourself. Else, we will think that you are trying to cheat with the forum credit system, and this makes some mods around here get very angry. ;)

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