(?) The Answer Gang (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Partitioning Linux

From Kurt Radecke on Mon, 18 Sep 2000

Answered by: Heather Stern

Help, saw some info you posted on linuxdoc.org.

I am new to Linux.

I have a 15Gig drive. What is the best way to partition it: I am using Redhat 6.2 and the manual says to setup a swap, boot and "/" partition.

(!) I like to recommend:
100 to 300 Mb, depending on kinds of things you do that might flood tempspace. Even 400 is not unreasonable, if you have lots of disk to burn.
This place holds system logs, the packaging system databases, your incoming mail spool, and your outgoing mail and print spools. That means it can overflow pretty quickly if not kept seperate. Even on a small system I don't like this to be too small (usu 250 Mb is okay for a minimum - but if space is that cramped I also turn off a lot of logging).
10 or 20 Mb near the front of disk for your kernel(s). This way you can mount 'em read only :)
distros vary quite a bit about how small you can get away with this being, but I don't advise less than 200 Mb (unless you're putting something together by hand, or only installing "base" without all the cool stuff). If you are crafting something by hand you can get this fairly tiny by using an initial ramdisk. 500 or 600 Mb is about as large as I'd go.
This is where the changeable portion of working processes are kept when they're not the active critter and there's no room to keep them live anyway. How much you need depends on how serious a multitasker you are. Personally I set it around 100 Mb per drive in my system.
can be seperate if you like... in which case I usually make /home a symlink to /usr/local/home so it goes there. If I were going to use "grow" to use up the rest of the disk - this would be where.
You can stretch any of these to be larger but /tmp and /var grow useless after a while - and swap is usually dog slow after about twice RAM, so I wouldn't use more than 1.5 times RAM.

(?) Also, what are your thoughts on installing GNOME or KDE. I have a P75 machine.

(!) You can use both; I mix and match them with afterstep apps, GTK apps that don't use GNOME, and tcl stuff fairly freely. Sometimes K has a better tool, sometimes GNOME... but both environments can eat a surprising amount of RAM because their core libraries are large, and it's possible they may be affected by your older processor, too.
If you find yourself strapped for memory space use a lightweight theme (or switch to a wm that doesn't use themes) and avoid massive tools like netscape or emacs in favor of lighter ones like gzilla and lynx for browsing, nedit for editing (hey, it's under GPL now, that's cool), and an occasional TCL/TK app.

(?) Thanks for your help.


Copyright © 2000, James T. Dennis
Published in the Linux Gazette Issue 58 October 2000
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