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Partitioning strategy for Vista/Ubuntu dual-boot notebook (TX1320US)

Fx Fuji
Occasional Advisor

Partitioning strategy for Vista/Ubuntu dual-boot notebook (TX1320US)

I've been considering how to repartition my 250G hard drive to accommodate a Vista/Ubuntu dual-boot. My plan is to use Ubuntu as the primary OS (assuming I get the touchscreen and other hardware features working), and Vista as the platform for programs that I can't live without and have no Linux equivalent.

Additionally, I will make provisions to run Linux under Vista, and Win 2K/XP under Ubuntu, using Virtual Box or VMware Player (?). The ability to exchange data across the Vista/Ubuntu divide is an important consideration as well.

I want to devote a partition for installing a 'test' Linux OS -- to test drivers and/or software for stability before installing them on my main, 'stable' OS, or to test new versions of Ubuntu. (Gutsy Gibbon, for example)

Finally, I'd like to install QuickPlay 2.0 (or earlier), to be able to run the DVD player w/o installing a full OS. If this is not possible, I may substitute a homebrew Linux install which turns off almost everything except the display, DVD drive, graphics processor, and one of the AMD cores (to save power and extend playing time).

I'd appreciate comments on the following, as a partition strategy to meet my goals. I'm concerned as to whether my partition sizes are reasonable, as well as whether they are in the right sequence or not:

/dev/sda1: Vista (65 Gig)

/dev/sda2: Vista Recovery (8~9 Gig)

/dev/sda3: QuickPlay 2.0 (1~2 Gig)
(Question: Is the QuickPlay partition in the right place? Should it immediately follow the Vista partition?)

/dev/sda4: Linux (extended partition)

The extended partition will contain the following -- would really appreciate comments on the sizes:

/boot (~100 Meg)
/ (40 Gig?)
/usr (15 Gig?)
/download (20 Gig - for downloaded files)
/tmp (0.5 Gig?)
/var (1 Gig?)
/swap (0.5 Gig -- TX1320 has 2 Gig RAM less 0.5 Gig for graphics/video)
/home (20 Gig?)
/burn (5 Gig - for .iso or other files to burn onto DVD)
/testOS (20 Gig? - OS testbed)
/data (remaining space - data files, common access/use with Vista)

Thanks in advance for all your help!

Felix
4 REPLIES
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Partitioning strategy for Vista/Ubuntu dual-boot notebook (TX1320US)

Shalom,

Your partitioning strategy is fine.

Vista needs to be first on the disk and what you do after that depends on how you use the machine.

/swap is not a filesystem it is a raw disk area taht is not visible. You may want swap to be about 50% of RAM to make Linux stable.

I don't know what you need with 40G on / but thats a personal choice.

I don't know about Vista, I'm avoiding that disease, but previous versions of windows could not read ext3 filesystems so you may need to use NTFS on the /data partition to make it visible to Windows.

Whatever distro you use may need special kernel modules to be able to mount NTFS. Ubuntu has it built in, Red Hat variants require software.

SEP
Steven E Protter
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Ivan Ferreira
Honored Contributor

Re: Partitioning strategy for Vista/Ubuntu dual-boot notebook (TX1320US)

I agree with SEP that 40G for / is too large, 1 GB for /var is too small.

I would do something like this:

/boot (~150 Meg)
/ (4 Gig)
/usr (4 Gig)
/download (20 Gig - for downloaded files)
/tmp (1 Gig)
/var (6 Gig)
/swap (1.5 Gig -- TX1320 has 2 Gig RAM less 0.5 Gig for graphics/video)
/home (20 Gig?) -- This depends if you plan to save your files here.
/burn (5 Gig - for .iso or other files to burn onto DVD)
/testOS (20 Gig? - OS testbed) -- 10 GB should be enough
/data (remaining space - data files, common access/use with Vista) -- This need to be formatted as vfat (fat32).

Always use LVM so you can modify the physical layout later. And leave some free space in your volume group to be able to do this.

I would keep the /boot partition on a primary partition.

Por que hacerlo dificil si es posible hacerlo facil? - Why do it the hard way, when you can do it the easy way?
Fx Fuji
Occasional Advisor

Re: Partitioning strategy for Vista/Ubuntu dual-boot notebook (TX1320US)

Steven and Ivan,

Thank you! Based on your suggestions, I will make the /swap partition 1 Gig, and reduce the size of / to 4 Gig. I'll also increase the sizes of the /tmp and /var partitions as suggested by Ivan. /home at 20 Gig may be too big, as I plan to keep most of my data files in the /data partition. I may use the space for a small /recoverOS partition in case one of my tweaks creates unbootable situation.

As an alternative to using NTFS or vfat for the /data partition, I'm considering using one of the following methods for Vista to read an ext3-formatted disk:

ext2 IFS: http://www.fs-driver.org/
ext2fsd: http://ext2fsd.sourceforge.net/


I'd like to use LVM, because of its advantages, but the instructions I've found make it seem a little intimidating to set up and use properly... what would really help is an 'LVM for Dummies' guide. :)

I'm not sure what you meant, Ivan, by leaving 'some free space in my volume group' -- would that be unformatted free space? And how much?

Also, I'm not sure I can keep the /boot partition on a primary partition, if I put Vista, Vista Recovery, and QuickPlay on their own primary partitions. Does anyone know whether QuickPlay or Vista Recovery will work if they're in a logical partition?

Thanks again for all the help!

Felix
Huc_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Partitioning strategy for Vista/Ubuntu dual-boot notebook (TX1320US)

Thanks for the two links, did not know about theses, but having read those links , it seems like ext2IFS run only on x86 not on x86_64, and last version of ext2fsd does not run on Vista... that is if I understood this right?

But nice to have as an option, but going this way will mean having to often scan all th file system's for virus, This is the reason why I tend not to mix MS files with Linux files.

I would also recommend QEMU as emulator under Linux, I use this with XP work fine for me, and should perform very well with a Turion 64 x2, I also test many linux distributions this way.

Jean-Pierre Huc

Smile I will feel the difference