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"Mark Knecht" 05-02-2008 04:41 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
My Windows Vista laptop ate the big one from M$ and died under the
weight of Windows Update. The hardware seems to check out fine
overnight so I'm going to finally do dual boot on this machine like I
wanted to when I bought it.

Data:

80GB hard drive
2GB DRAM

Questions:

1) What's the recommended order to install dual boot today. I prefer
to go Gentoo first, XP second. Any issues?

2) What recommendations do folks have about splitting an 80GB drive
up. I'm thinking of maybe 50-60GB for Gentoo, followed by Win XP using
20-30GB at the end of the drive. Partitions? I'm considering:

sda1 -> /boot = 50MB
sda2 -> swap (unsure whether I should dedicate 4GB to this. That's 5%
of my drive and I won't likely ever use all of 2GB or RAM.)
sda3 -> /var = 2GB
sda4 ==extended
sda5 -> / balance of Linux side, say 55GB
sda6 == Windows drive C:

Any and all comments and ideas welcomed.

Thanks,
Mark
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Etaoin Shrdlu 05-02-2008 05:01 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
On Friday 2 May 2008, 18:41, Mark Knecht wrote:

> Data:
>
> 80GB hard drive
> 2GB DRAM
>
> Questions:
>
> 1) What's the recommended order to install dual boot today. I prefer
> to go Gentoo first, XP second. Any issues?

Yes. XP will blow away the MBR and replace it with its own MBR, so, to be
able to boot linux again, you'll have to boot with a livecd, chroot, and
re-install grub (or lilo). On the other hand, if you install windows
first, and linux last, you will have no problems when you'll have to
configure grub: just add another entry for booting a non-linux OS.

> 2) What recommendations do folks have about splitting an 80GB drive
> up. I'm thinking of maybe 50-60GB for Gentoo, followed by Win XP using
> 20-30GB at the end of the drive. Partitions? I'm considering:
>
> sda1 -> /boot = 50MB
> sda2 -> swap (unsure whether I should dedicate 4GB to this. That's 5%
> of my drive and I won't likely ever use all of 2GB or RAM.)
> sda3 -> /var = 2GB
> sda4 ==extended
> sda5 -> / balance of Linux side, say 55GB
> sda6 == Windows drive C:
>
> Any and all comments and ideas welcomed.

Any particular reason to put windows at the end of the drive? This should
however not be a problem, it you partition the space at the beginning of
the disk *before* installing XP (eg, doing (c)fdisk from a livecd).

On my laptop, I partitioned as follows:

hda1 -> windows (23GB)
hda2 -> extended
hda5 -> /boot (50MB)
hda6 -> swap (2GB)
hda7 -> /home (45GB)
hda8 -> / (remaining space, ~10GB)

I don't need a separate /var. Do you have special requirements to keep it
separated?
On the other hand, I like to use a dedicated partition for /home. This is
useful because you can share your home folder among different distros
(in case you have more than one installed), and, more important, if you
need you can wipe / and reinstall without touching /home (probably
saving /etc and something else beforehand if you want...but still
quicker than backing up several GB of data, which you are forced to do
if you have /home on /).
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Alan McKinnon 05-02-2008 05:06 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
On Friday 02 May 2008, Mark Knecht wrote:
> My Windows Vista laptop ate the big one from M$ and died under the
> weight of Windows Update. The hardware seems to check out fine
> overnight so I'm going to finally do dual boot on this machine like I
> wanted to when I bought it.
>
> Data:
>
> 80GB hard drive
> 2GB DRAM
>
> Questions:
>
> 1) What's the recommended order to install dual boot today. I prefer
> to go Gentoo first, XP second. Any issues?

All of this is mostly my own viewpoint from experience. There may be
other ways:


Other way round. Windows operating systems have a nasty habit of
assuming they are the only system on the machine and merrily trash
everything in sight for their own nefarious purposes. Then they
overwrite any existing bootloader. I do this:

Install XP. If you can get it to limit the partition size it uses, so
much the better
Resize windows partition downwards with Linux LiveCD. Most recent ones
support this.
Install Linux and set up a chainloader as normal in grub to boot windows
Finally boot Windows and let it do what it wants with the partitions
that need checking. This is expected behaviour caused by the downward
resize

> 2) What recommendations do folks have about splitting an 80GB drive
> up. I'm thinking of maybe 50-60GB for Gentoo, followed by Win XP
> using 20-30GB at the end of the drive. Partitions? I'm considering:
>
> sda1 -> /boot = 50MB
> sda2 -> swap (unsure whether I should dedicate 4GB to this. That's 5%
> of my drive and I won't likely ever use all of 2GB or RAM.)
> sda3 -> /var = 2GB
> sda4 ==extended
> sda5 -> / balance of Linux side, say 55GB
> sda6 == Windows drive C:

Again, you have to take account of windows brain-deadedness and the even
greater braindeadedness of windows "administrators". They don't expect
boot partitions....

I would allocate as little as possible for windows itself. Say 10G,
which allows for the OS plus it's virtual memory file plus other cache
stuff

From sda2 onwards, lay out your partitions as for a regular Linux
installation. Use your own preferences for swap, lvm, filesystems etc.
Being able to share data between both OSes is useful, so leave the most
space possible for data: You have two options:

FAT32. This is gross and gives you no security. It's also the easiest as
both OSes support it out the box.
Ext3/ReiserFS: Better solution security-wise but requires some setup.
You have to download and install windows drivers from sourceforge.

There's a third option - use the ntfs-ng driver in Linux. It seems just
silly to use this for your main data storage though.



--
Alan McKinnon
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com

--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list

"Dirk Heinrichs" 05-02-2008 05:06 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
Am Freitag, 2. Mai 2008 schrieb Mark Knecht:
> My Windows Vista laptop ate the big one from M$ and died under the
> weight of Windows Update. The hardware seems to check out fine
> overnight so I'm going to finally do dual boot on this machine like I
> wanted to when I bought it.
>
> Data:
>
> 80GB hard drive
> 2GB DRAM
>
> Questions:
>
> 1) What's the recommended order to install dual boot today. I prefer
> to go Gentoo first, XP second. Any issues?

Dunno. All machines I ever setup as dual boot had Windows pre-installed, so I
can only say: There are no issues when installing Windows first.

> 2) What recommendations do folks have about splitting an 80GB drive
> up. I'm thinking of maybe 50-60GB for Gentoo, followed by Win XP using
> 20-30GB at the end of the drive. Partitions? I'm considering:
>
> sda1 -> /boot = 50MB
> sda2 -> swap (unsure whether I should dedicate 4GB to this. That's 5%
> of my drive and I won't likely ever use all of 2GB or RAM.)
> sda3 -> /var = 2GB
> sda4 ==extended
> sda5 -> / balance of Linux side, say 55GB
> sda6 == Windows drive C:
>
> Any and all comments and ideas welcomed.

Here they are: I mostly keep 20G for Windows, but it could well be 10 :-)

My setup:
sda1 -> Windows
sda2 -> /boot, ext2, 32m.
sda3 -> /, xfs, 256m (Setting up this way frees you from using initramfs)
sda4 -> LVM, for everything else.

LVM Setup (one volume group having the machine name in its name, like
/dev/<machine-name>_vg00/<volume>, with <volume> being:
usr -> /usr, xfs, starting with 3G, growing on demand
var -> /var, xfs, 1G
opt -> /opt, xfs, 1G
johndoe -> /home/johndoe, xfs, size depends
overlays -> /gentoo/overlays, xfs, 1G (portage tree and overlays)
build -> /gentoo/build, xfs, size depends (up to 6G if you want to build OOo)
distfiles -> /gentoo/distfiles, xfs, 2G
swap -> swap, swap, 2G (optional)
whatever you need in addition.

You wrote this is a laptop, so if you consider encrypting the volumes
(incl. /) you need an initramfs anyway, which means you could also put / on a
logical volume (in which case the above would change to: sda3 -> LVM and
root -> /, xfs, 256m).

HTH...

Dirk

"Sandro Hannemann" 05-02-2008 05:22 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
Hi,

On linux-2.6.25 NTFS write support is finally stable...

CONFIG_NTFS_FS=y
CONFIG_NTFS_RW=y

No need to go FAT anymore...

Cheers,
Sandro
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list

"Mark Knecht" 05-02-2008 05:23 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 10:06 AM, Alan McKinnon <alan.mckinnon@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Friday 02 May 2008, Mark Knecht wrote:
> > My Windows Vista laptop ate the big one from M$ and died under the
> > weight of Windows Update. The hardware seems to check out fine
> > overnight so I'm going to finally do dual boot on this machine like I
> > wanted to when I bought it.
> >
> > Data:
> >
> > 80GB hard drive
> > 2GB DRAM
> >
> > Questions:
> >
> > 1) What's the recommended order to install dual boot today. I prefer
> > to go Gentoo first, XP second. Any issues?
>
> All of this is mostly my own viewpoint from experience. There may be
> other ways:
>
>
> Other way round. Windows operating systems have a nasty habit of
> assuming they are the only system on the machine and merrily trash
> everything in sight for their own nefarious purposes. Then they
> overwrite any existing bootloader. I do this:
>
> Install XP. If you can get it to limit the partition size it uses, so
> much the better
> Resize windows partition downwards with Linux LiveCD. Most recent ones
> support this.
> Install Linux and set up a chainloader as normal in grub to boot windows
> Finally boot Windows and let it do what it wants with the partitions
> that need checking. This is expected behaviour caused by the downward
> resize
>
>
> > 2) What recommendations do folks have about splitting an 80GB drive
> > up. I'm thinking of maybe 50-60GB for Gentoo, followed by Win XP
> > using 20-30GB at the end of the drive. Partitions? I'm considering:
> >
> > sda1 -> /boot = 50MB
> > sda2 -> swap (unsure whether I should dedicate 4GB to this. That's 5%
> > of my drive and I won't likely ever use all of 2GB or RAM.)
> > sda3 -> /var = 2GB
> > sda4 ==extended
> > sda5 -> / balance of Linux side, say 55GB
> > sda6 == Windows drive C:
>
> Again, you have to take account of windows brain-deadedness and the even
> greater braindeadedness of windows "administrators". They don't expect
> boot partitions....
>
> I would allocate as little as possible for windows itself. Say 10G,
> which allows for the OS plus it's virtual memory file plus other cache
> stuff
>
> From sda2 onwards, lay out your partitions as for a regular Linux
> installation. Use your own preferences for swap, lvm, filesystems etc.
> Being able to share data between both OSes is useful, so leave the most
> space possible for data: You have two options:
>
> FAT32. This is gross and gives you no security. It's also the easiest as
> both OSes support it out the box.
> Ext3/ReiserFS: Better solution security-wise but requires some setup.
> You have to download and install windows drivers from sourceforge.
>
> There's a third option - use the ntfs-ng driver in Linux. It seems just
> silly to use this for your main data storage though.
>

First, thanks to everyone for the quick answers.

1) I'll go with Windows first. That's relatively fast and if I run
into hardware problems it will show up more quickly which is good.
Saves me the time of doing the Gentoo install and then finding issues.

2) If I do Windows first then /dev/sda1 will be NTFS. Does this change
how I install grub? I'm a little fuzzy as to where the MBR is. Is it
in the first partition or in a special area by itself? The commands
from the install guide is this:

livecd conf.d # grub
grub> root (hd0,0)
grub> setup (hd0)
quit

I presume I'll use

grub> root(hd0,4)

to point at my root and still use

grub> setup (hd0) to get grub installed into the MBR?

Thanks,
Mark
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list

"Dirk Heinrichs" 05-02-2008 05:34 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
Am Freitag, 2. Mai 2008 schrieb Mark Knecht:

> I presume I'll use
>
> grub> root(hd0,4)
> to point at my root and still use

That should be grub's root (/boot), NOT linux' (/), means (hd0,1) if /boot is
sda2.

> grub> setup (hd0) to get grub installed into the MBR?

That's correct.

Bye...

Dirk

"Mark Knecht" 05-02-2008 05:47 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 10:34 AM, Dirk Heinrichs
<dirk.heinrichs@online.de> wrote:
> Am Freitag, 2. Mai 2008 schrieb Mark Knecht:
>
>
> > I presume I'll use
> >
> > grub> root(hd0,4)
> > to point at my root and still use
>
> That should be grub's root (/boot), NOT linux' (/), means (hd0,1) if /boot is
> sda2.
>
>
> > grub> setup (hd0) to get grub installed into the MBR?
>
> That's correct.
>
> Bye...
>
> Dirk
>
Thanks Dirk.

Windows is nearly installed so I'll move on to Gentoo in the next hour
or so. I went with a 10G NTFS partition and will use the rest for
Gentoo. I've been using a Windows etx3 driver to access Linux
partitions so I'll do that here and set up a common personal data area
for both environments where I can keep my files. I've also got about 8
external 1394 and USB drives so if I need more of anything I can
always plug one of them in.

I really appreciate everyone's inputs. Thanks!

Cheers,
Mark
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list

"Mark Knecht" 05-02-2008 06:14 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 10:22 AM, Sandro Hannemann <shannemann@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
>
> On linux-2.6.25 NTFS write support is finally stable...
>
> CONFIG_NTFS_FS=y
> CONFIG_NTFS_RW=y
>
> No need to go FAT anymore...
>
> Cheers,
> Sandro
>
I'll keep that in mind. Thanks. However that's not on the 2007.0
install CD so it will get enabled after I get the machine built.

Thanks,
Mark
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list

"Mark Knecht" 05-02-2008 06:19 PM

Laptop dual-boot rebuild - disk partition questions
 
On Fri, May 2, 2008 at 10:01 AM, Etaoin Shrdlu <shrdlu@unlimitedmail.org> wrote:
<SNIP>:
> >
> > sda1 -> /boot = 50MB
> > sda2 -> swap (unsure whether I should dedicate 4GB to this. That's 5%
> > of my drive and I won't likely ever use all of 2GB or RAM.)
> > sda3 -> /var = 2GB
> > sda4 ==extended
> > sda5 -> / balance of Linux side, say 55GB
> > sda6 == Windows drive C:
> >
> > Any and all comments and ideas welcomed.
>
> Any particular reason to put windows at the end of the drive? This should
> however not be a problem, it you partition the space at the beginning of
> the disk *before* installing XP (eg, doing (c)fdisk from a livecd).
>
> On my laptop, I partitioned as follows:
>
> hda1 -> windows (23GB)
> hda2 -> extended
> hda5 -> /boot (50MB)
> hda6 -> swap (2GB)
> hda7 -> /home (45GB)
> hda8 -> / (remaining space, ~10GB)
>
> I don't need a separate /var. Do you have special requirements to keep it
> separated?
> On the other hand, I like to use a dedicated partition for /home. This is
> useful because you can share your home folder among different distros
> (in case you have more than one installed), and, more important, if you
> need you can wipe / and reinstall without touching /home (probably
> saving /etc and something else beforehand if you want...but still
> quicker than backing up several GB of data, which you are forced to do
> if you have /home on /).

Great inputs. I'm going to use a 10GB partition for /home, a 40GB
partition for data shared with XP, and a 1.3GB /var partition. My
reason for keeping /var on it's own is that I sometimes run into
programs that spew so much stuff into /var that they will fill up the
partition. If that happens then I cannot log into X until I clean it
up. It's just what I do.

I put in a 2GB swap partition. It's not 2x memory but I really think
it's unlikely that I'll need it. If I do then I'll size down the data
sharing partition which I'm putting at the end of the drive and put it
out there.

Thanks,
Mark
--
gentoo-user@lists.gentoo.org mailing list


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