PCLinuxOS 2010 will be my first installation of a Linux operating system and I have a number of questions about partitioning, specifically dealing with partition sizes, location on the disk, formatting, and mounting. So that you can help me easier I listed my computer's specs below.
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS4 mother board, 4-1GB sticks of Corsair DDR2 800 RAM, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4 GHz CPU, Corsair 620 watt modular power supply, EVGA GeForce 8800GTS Video card with 350MB on board DDR3 RAM, LiteOn SATA CD/DVD burner, 2- 250GB Western Digital Caviar Blue SATA hard drives, 1- 640GB Western Digital Caviar Black SATA hard drive, Klipsch THX 2.1 speakers, Windows XP Pro
At the present time I have Windows XP Pro installed on one of the 250 GB hard drives. The two others are empty. It is my intention to install PCLinuxOS 2010 on the 640 GB HD and have it dual boot with Windows XP on the other drive. I do not wish to share any data. At a later date I will either uninstall Windows XP for a Linux Gnome distro (most likely), or just add Linux and have three operating systems. Having never installed a Linux OS I need some feedback, so here is my preliminary idea for partitioning. Much of this is a guesstimate. How does it look?
Name Device Mounting Point Type of Partition File System Size of Partition
GB | MB
Boot /dev/sdb1 /boot Primary ext2 or ext4 150MB
Root /dev/sdb2 / Primary ext4 5GB
User /dev/sdb3 /usr Primary ext4 30GB
/dev/sdb4 NA Extended NA
Optional /dev/sdb5 /opt Logical ext4 10GB
Variable Data /dev/sdb6 /var Logical ext4 5GB
Temporary /dev/sdb7 /tmp Logical ext4 5GB
Home /dev/sdb8 /home Logical ext4 500GB
Swap File /dev/sdb9 swap Logical NA 2GB
Unallocated Whatever room is left on the drive (approx. 40GB)
1.) Would the older ext2 filesystem still be preferable to use over the newer ext4 journaling filesystem in the boot partition (/boot)?
2.) Is 150MB a proper size if I'm likely to have only a few kernels? (default, pae, and possibly one other should I ever like to try my hand at building one)
3.) Since I installed WindowsXP first where will the MBR be kept? If it's in Windows can I move it easily to Linux? Remember, someday I want to uninstall M$.
4.) Because I'm installing so many partitions is / (root) at 5GB too large?
5.) /opt, /var/, and /tmp were all rough guesses. Too large? Too small?
6.) At 500 GB /home is huge, but in it I will keep photos and music. Should they have separate partitions too?
7.) Because I have 4 GB of RAM on my computer I thought 2MB of Swap would be enough. Correct
8.) Can you have more than one swap file? If so does it make much of a difference, and how do you set it up?
9.) Do backup files ever get their own partition?
Forgive me for the number and type of questions I have but in my reading there were a number of conflicting opinions and ambiguities I would like clarified. I'd really like to get this right BEFORE I install. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I would VERY MUCH like to hear how the experienced users in this forum partition your hard drives.
Tom Wyker (aka wyzwyk)