Partitioning a hard drive

Ralph W. Reid rreid at
Mon Nov 25 07:01:58 EST 2002

Glenn Ervin staggered into view and mumbled:
>I was just reading on a how-to page about getting ready for installing
>It mentions partitioning a hard drive, and I wanted to get some feed back on
>whether any of you wish you had done it differently.
>I have a second hard drive, which I intend on dedicating totally to Linux,
>drive D, which is 8 GB in size.
>>From what I read, it seems that I want at least 3 primary partitions.
>Unless I am mistaken, I want one to be no more than 80 MB, and one no more
>than 500 MB.
>* Should I have 4 primary partitions?
>P.S., I still have not decided which distro I am going to use, and I am
>about to get to that part of the documentation.  I am considering Emacspeak
>for the speech part.

I installed Slackware 8.0 on a system earlier this year, and made one
of the partitions a little smaller than I probably should have.  The
documentation indicated that installing all of the software would
require about 2 GB as I recall, so I set up the boot partition with
about 2 GB of space.  Unfortunately, this did not leave me much room
for installing large packages in the future, so I have probably set
myself up for a lot of extra hard drive repartitioning at some point
in the future.

My talking box uses Slackware 8.0 with Speakup--a nice, smooth running
set up.  I set up the boot partition on this system to be about 3.5
GB, so I have a little room for expansion.

Both systems have 3 partitions on them:

1.  Boot partition--contains all of the system software and extra
utilities.  I considered setting up a separate partition for /tmp,
but these systems do not get huge quantities of multiple users
playing...uhm...working all at once, so I decided that leaving it on
the boot partition would be okay for now.

2.  /home--user accounts, ftp directory trees, and archiving.  I made these partitions large because I know that given enough time, I will probably
produce a lot of data.  If the root partition gets too full on either
system, I suppose I could set up some symbolic links to hidden
directories on these partitions if I need to, but that would be a
temporary fix at best--best to repartition the drive if things get
that full.

3.  swap partition--system swap area.  The documentation I read
indicated that I should make a swap partition twice the size of main
memory, up to 128 MB.  Both of these systems contain 64 MB of RAM,
and I was pretty sure that little if anything would be done on either of them to force large amounts of swapping.  I just wanted to get the numbers
close to what was suggested while recognizing that the exact values
were not too critical, so I wound up with 169 MB of swap on one
system, and 120 MB of swap on the other.  The system with 169 MB of
swap space might be used for some simple graphics work later on, so I
felt comfortable making the swap space a little larger.  Anyone who
is considering setting up swap spaces much larger than this might
want to think about how much time might be required to transfer all
of the data between main memory and the swap partition on the hard
drive--if lots of swapping is anticipated, perhaps installing some
more RAM would be a better solution.

I hope this rambling helps a little.  Have a _great_ day!

Ralph.  N6BNO.  Wisdom comes from central processing, not from I/O.
rreid at
Opinions herein are either mine or they are flame bait.
SLOPE = (y2 - y1) / (x2 - x1)

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