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aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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·Frontier Communi..

How much space is needed for a Linux install?

I'm planning on re-imaging one of my machine (Vista 64 business) and install Win 7/64 and a TBD linux distro instead.

How much space is needed for a linux install? Aside from a base OS install, I'm not planning to install many things, at least not yet.

TIA
--
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Bill_MI
Bill In Michigan
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join:2001-01-03
Royal Oak, MI
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1 edit

I have several distros installed on a 2nd harddrive. None with any significant data volume. They start in the 4-6GB ballpark for a large distro fresh install. If you can spare 16GB you can do quite a bit. I rarely use more than 8GB for virtual machines.

I suspect you may have been expecting more so heck... splurge with 64GB!

EDIT: Right after posting, I see one of my distros, Linux Mint Debian Edition, was up to 17GB! But I had forgotten, it has 2 Linux VirtualBox VMs: Linux Mint 14 and OpenSuse installed in it. So 3 distros totaled only 17GB.



rexbinary
Mod King
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join:2005-01-26
Plano, TX
reply to aurgathor

5GB for /root would allow you to install every package available in the Fedora repos. (That's not counting /home where your user files will be.)



nwrickert
sand groper
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reply to aurgathor

Currently I have 9G in my root partition (but I have a lot of stuff installed), and I have 1.3G in my "/home" partition. Multimedia (music, etc) is elsewhere.

If new to linux, you can easily manage with 5G for the root partition. If you are not keeping multi-media stuff in your home partition, you can probably get by with 5G there, too. So you could manage with 10G total, though 20G would give a bit more elbow room for experimenting. Maybe also allow some space for swap.
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BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
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join:2000-01-13
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1 edit
reply to aurgathor

If you allow them to install automatically they'll make a swap partition the same size as your physical memory, and honestly it's a waste. Manually partitioning I give maybe 512MB for a swap just to have one, but I haven't seen it used ever. You can also resize the partitions to make the swap smaller afterwards too.

The install I have on a small usb drive with no /home is taking up near 5GB alone with only a few programs installed, and here you can see I made the swap much smaller than the 8GB it would have been on this system.



Fraoch

join:2003-08-01
Cambridge, ON
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said by BlitzenZeus:

If you allow them to install automatically they'll make a swap partition the same size as your physical memory, and honestly it's a waste. Manually partitioning I give maybe 512MB for a swap just to have one, but I haven't seen it used ever. You can also resize the partitions to make the swap smaller afterwards too.

The install I have on a small usb drive with no /home is taking up near 5GB alone with only a few programs installed, and here you can see I made the swap much smaller than the 8GB it would have been on this system.

OT: a nice little program - swapspace.

»pqxx.org/development/swapspace/

If swap is needed, it creates a swap file that grows and shrinks dynamically.

It's best if you're not RAM-limited and won't be using swap much because the result is slower than a dedicated swap partition, but when it does kick in I don't even notice it.

Best of all, the program requires no configuration whatsoever if you install off prebuilt packages for your distro.

Also set swappiness to a low value (say 10) so that swap is only used when it's absolutely necessary:

»www.linode.com/wiki/index.php/Swappiness


nwrickert
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reply to BlitzenZeus

said by BlitzenZeus:

If you allow them to install automatically they'll make a swap partition the same size as your physical memory, and honestly it's a waste.

If you plan to hibernate your system, you need the swap partition to be big enough for a memory dump. If you will never hibernate, and have a decent amount of memory, you can probably do without any swap.
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BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
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I've seen conflicting reports about having one, and not having one. I know you could run without one, however at least by default on the usb drive install I have above it left a little over 6GB free on the drive for the os after the swap was created. Fedora basically refused to install to that drive for example, wanting something that was at least 20GB.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.



aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
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reply to aurgathor

Thanks for the replies. It will go onto a 256 GB SSD (OCZ Agility 3), and the PC can hold at most 8 GB RAM, so that should limit swap space. I can probably allocate 48 GB + swap space for linux.

I see that some people mentioned /root and /home separately. Do they have to be in separate partitions?

Also, I plan to set up a small (~1G) FAT partition as the first one, probably with DOS on it. Is there any disadvantage of doing this?
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Bill_MI
Bill In Michigan
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Royal Oak, MI
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said by aurgathor:

I see that some people mentioned /root and /home separately. Do they have to be in separate partitions?

It's what a lot of the experienced do because it holds all their settings, scripts (in my case anyway) and data and can literally carry forward, or even share, with other installs. But it really is a more advanced preference and by no means mandatory. I'd suggest against it, personally, to anyone starting out. Keep it in mind as you go forward and you MAY like the idea, too.

BlitzenZeus
Burnt Out Cynic
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reply to aurgathor

I do not know what you intend to run, but 20 to 30 is quite generous even including the default swap if you don't intend to hold large amount of personal files. I recommend you setup a ntfs storage partition between the two, this way when you backup the operating systems you're not backing up personal files too.

It's ok to have a boot partition, it won't hurt anything, and this way the operating systems partitions are not also the boot partition. I haven't really seen them larger than 512MB honeslty. Having dos around isn't really relevant anymore, if you need dos for something you might as well use a usb drive honestly.

For security, and backup reasons having a /home partition is better, if you're not running a server it can seem like a moot point, many distros that target the average person do not make a /home partition.
--
I distrust those people who know so well what god wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires- Susan B. Anthony
Yesterday we obeyed kings, and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to the truth- Kahlil G.



nwrickert
sand groper
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reply to aurgathor

said by aurgathor:

I see that some people mentioned /root and /home separately. Do they have to be in separate partitions?

No, they don't have to be separate partitions. But experienced users prefer separate partitions.

The benefit of having them separate, is that you can upgrade the operating system or switch to a different distro, without having to touch you own files (in "/home").

Since there has been some mention of "/boot" -- you do not need a separate "/boot" unless you are doing something atypical. I have my linux mostly encrypted, so a separate "/boot" has what is needed to start the boot procedure and setup the crypto.
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intok

join:2012-03-15
reply to aurgathor

said by aurgathor:

(OCZ Agility 3)

I would think twice about that »www.itworld.com/hardware/379015/···ast-legs


aurgathor

join:2002-12-01
Lynnwood, WA
kudos:1

Just because OCZ is going belly up, doesn't mean that their products will do the same. I had it for about 2 years, so there is not much I can do with it now.
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rexbinary
Mod King
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said by aurgathor:

Just because OCZ is going belly up, doesn't mean that their products will do the same. I had it for about 2 years, so there is not much I can do with it now.

Yes I have a OCZ Vertex 4 SSD and it's a screamer. If they are going out of business I am very glad I got one when I could.
--
Verizon FiOS subscriber since 2005 | Mac owner since 1990 | Fedora user since 2006 | CentOS user since 2007 | "Anyone who is unwilling to learn is entitled to absolutely nothing." - graysonf | EDIT: I seldom post without an edit.


Bill_MI
Bill In Michigan
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Royal Oak, MI
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Just a FYI. Steve Gibson is re-writing SpinRite by interfacing at the bare metal (no BIOS dependence). Hundreds of drives are being tested and OCZ VERTEX2 has been horribly buggy while VERTEX3, VERTEX4 and AGILITY3 runs very well.

Steve actually found an old VERTEX2 to keep on hand as a development model. I wonder if the problems with this old model contributed to their demise.