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Advanced Partitioning

This section describes how to use the Manual option available in Step 7 of the installation process.

The Manual Partitioning method gives more control over how the GNU/Linux distribution is installed in the disk. To get a good understanding of what's going to happen here, please read Partition Basics. How this method of partitioning works depends on the present state of the hard disk in which gNewSense Parkes needs to be installed. The options Configure software RAID, Configure the Logical Volume Manager and Configure encrypted volumes are meant for power users. Skip them if you don't know what they mean.

Here is bunch of (in-complete) scenarios and what must be done each case

The computer only runs Windows

In this case, the last (Windows) partition must be re-sized to make space for gNewSense. Read the Resizing Windows Partition section.

The computer runs Windows & a GNU/Linux distro

In this case, if the existing GNU/Linux distro is to be replaced with gNewSense. Skip to the Delete Existing GNU/Linux Partitions section.

Resizing Windows Partition

For the Manual Partitioning method, the installer will list the hard disk's partition table

Here's how it will might look.

 SCSI1 (0, 0, 0) (sda) - 80 GB VBOX HARDDISK
 >         #1   primary    10  GB               ntfs
 >         #2   primary    70  GB               ntfs

This section, in the installer, tells that the respective hard disk has a capacity of 80 GB, with two primary NTFS partitions, 10 GB & 70 GB big respectively.

To make room for the gNewSense partitions, the last Windows (the 70 GB partition, in the above case) partition must be re-sized.

Note: For installing gNewSense, a minimum of 4 GB of space is required.

Select the last partition (if there is only one partition, select that) and hit Continue. In the next screen, Choose Resize the partition.

The installer will ask

Write previous changes to disk and continue?

Choose Yes.

In the next screen, type the new partition size and hit Continue.

The new partition size should be a little above the minimum size, if it is not, data already in that partition might get erased.

Now, the installer will show the state of hard disk state after the resizing. It might look like this

 SCSI1 (0, 0, 0) (sda) - 80 GB VBOX HARDDISK
 >         #1   primary    10  GB               ntfs
 >         #2   primary    45  GB               ntfs
 >              pri/log    25  GB               FREE SPACE

The 70 GB partition was resized to 45 GB leaving 25 GB of free space. gNewSense will be installed in this free space.

It must be noted that, the installer has not written the changes to disk. It will write the changes only when Finish partitioning and write changes to disk is selected. Therefore, changes made can always be undone by choosing Undo changes to partitions.

Delete Existing GNU/Linux Partitions

Select each of the existing GNU/Linux partitions (they're labelled as ext3 or ext4 or swap), hit Continue and Choose to Delete the Partition.

After deleting all GNU/Linux partitions the state of the hard disk may look like this

 SCSI1 (0, 0, 0) (sda) - 80 GB VBOX HARDDISK
 >         #1   primary    10  GB               ntfs
 >         #2   primary    45  GB               ntfs
 >              pri/log    25  GB               FREE SPACE

The changes made to the partition table are not written to the disk until the Finish partitioning and writing changes to disk selected.

Creating New Partitions

Two partitions are mandatory for installing gNewSense:

root partition

Installed applications and other related files are stored in this partition. This partition must at least be 4 GB in size. This partition is referred by / in Unix jargon.

To create the root partition, click on the FREE SPACE and hit Continue. Select Create a new partition, next give the partition's size, choose the partition type (primary or logical, there can be at most 4 primary partitions). Choose Beginning when the installer asks for the Location of the new partition.

The installer will present a detailed overview of the newly created root / partition. Modify the Partition settings as follows:

Use as: Ext4 journaling file system

Mount point:     /
Mount options:   defaults
Label:           none
Reserved blocks: 5%
Typical usage:   standard
Bootable flag:   on

Copy data from another partition
Delete the partition
Done setting up the partition

Choose Done setting up the partition to go back the partition table.

swap partition

It similar to the pagefile in Windows. This is an area of the hard disk that's used when physical RAM gets exhausted (put simply). The size of the swap area should double that of RAM. If the RAM is 1 GB or more, swap area's size must be set to 2 GB.

To create the swap partition, click on the FREE SPACE and hit Continue. Select the Create a new partition, next give the partition size, choose the partition type (primary or logical). Choose End when the installer asks for the Location of the new partition.

The installer will present a detailed overview of the newly created swap partition. Modify the Partition settings as follows:

Use as: swap area

Bootable flag: off

Copy data from another partition
Delete the partition
Done setting up the partition

Choose Done setting up the partition to go back the partition table.

Optionally other partitions can be created:

/home partition

A dedicated partition to store personal files. The partition is similar to the Documents and Settings in Windows. Every user will have his or her own directory there (/home/jane, /home/john), where applications store user specific settings and where users can store their documents, etc.

To create the /home partition, click on the FREE SPACE and hit Continue. Select Create a new partition, next give the partition's size, choose the partition type (primary or logical). Choose Beginning when the installer asks for the Location of the new partition.

The installer will present a detailed overview of the newly created /home partition. Modify the Partition settings as follows:

Use as: Ext4 journaling file system

Mount point:     /home
Mount options:   defaults
Label:           none
Reserved blocks: 5%
Typical usage:   standard
Bootable flag:   off

Copy data from another partition
Delete the partition
Done setting up the partition

Choose Done setting up the partition to go back the partition table.

fat32 partition
If Windows is going to live along with gNewSense, an exchange partition can be created to transfer files between Windows and GNU/Linux without the need for an external medium.

This partition is not mandatory, but if it is desired, set aside a small partition (say, 1 GB) and format it as a FAT32 filesystem. Unlike ext3 or ext4, FAT32 can be used in Windows, and unlike NTFS, GNU/Linux can read and write to FAT32. In Windows, the exchange partition should automatically show up with a new drive letter (D: or E: etc).

To create the fat32 partition, click on the FREE SPACE and hit Continue. Select Create a new partition, next give the partition's size, choose the partition type (primary or logical). Choose Beginning when the installer asks for the Location of the new partition.

The installer will present a detailed overview of the newly created /home partition. Modify the Partition settings as follows:

Use as: FAT32 file system

Mount point:     /windows
Mount options:   defaults
Bootable flag:   off

Copy data from another partition
Delete the partition
Done setting up the partition

The Mount point can also be labelled as /dos.

Choose Done setting up the partition to go back the partition table.

Once the desired partitions are set-up, the partition table might look like this:

 SCSI1 (0, 0, 0) (sda) - 80 GB VBOX HARDDISK
 >     #1   primary    10  GB       ntfs
 >     #2   primary    20  GB       ext4    /
 >     #3   logical    48  GB       ext4    /home
 >     #4   logical    2   GB       swap    swap

If the fat32 partition was also created, then the partition table might look like this:

 SCSI1 (0, 0, 0) (sda) - 80 GB VBOX HARDDISK
 >     #1   primary    10  GB       ntfs
 >     #2   primary    20  GB       ext4    /
 >     #3   logical    47  GB       ext4    /home
 >     #4   logical    1   GB       fat32   /windows    
 >     #5   logical    2   GB       swap    swap


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Documentation/3/InstallationManual/AdvancedPartitioning (last edited 2014-01-12 15:53:07 by FelipeLopez)