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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:30 pm 
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What is the best approach to partitioning the hard drive prior to installing UberStudent 4.0?

The answer will of course depend on the circumstances and on what one wants to do with the computer.

To narrow down the choices, I would like to know how to format an empty 500GB HDD in a laptop computer before installing UberStudent as the only OS. I know how to use a partitioning program (like Parted Magic on a USB drive), but I don't know what file systems and sizes to choose for the partitions. And I'm not sure if I should just use the built-in partitioning during UberStudent installation, or use some other program first to prepare the hard drive.

- 500GB laptop HDD with 4GB ram.
- I want to run other OS's within VirtualBox, rather than multi-booting (unless you convince that it is better to multi-boot).
- I would like data and settings to be kept away from the operating system to make it easier to migrate to new versions of UberStudent when they will be released.
- I'd also like to be able to easily make backups of data and settings, on external media, for in case of hard drive failure.
- I'd like to have additional partitions in which to keep large files that may be needed again later, like installation images, exported VirtualBox appliances, videos or DVDs.
- I want the data partitions to be accessible (by booting from USB media) even if the OS is completely cactus, so that I can get the files onto external USB drives when required.
- Some video editing (using Windows programs from within VirtualBox) may be required, so a large partition for use by Windows may be needed.

What mix of partitions would you choose prior to installing UberStudent 4.0?

Thank you very much for your thoughts on this and any helpful hints!

Michael :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:22 am 
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Posts: 51
I will be watching this thread too as I would like to learn more about current installs. All my experience has been with multi booting to hard drive partitions using EXT 3, grub, rather than grub2, plus creating a boot partition with the master boot sector pointed to the boot partition using grub. A lot has changed since 2007. One thing I have experienced in 2007 to current is that most of the time even though I had prepared the partitions using gparted live cd, when I did my installations then the distros would recognize that I had partitions and I could point the distros to the partition I wanted to use. During installation though a lot of the distros would go ahead and wipe the partition and prepare the partition even though the distros would use the same exact EXT format that I currently had on the partition. Sometimes even the swap partition which the distros found were reformatted from swap to swap. I do find it easier to make the partitions but it has not always been necessary to format the / , /HOME or swap since some distros don't ask whether to reformat they just reformat. If you are going to have partitions like one for pictures, one for music, one for video then I think I would format those. Be sure to note the size of the partitions plus their location such as sda, sdb, etc so you will know which you want to use for /, which for /HOME, plus which to use for swap and so on. That has just been my experience. I really have only used the simple linux distros: Mepis, Zenwalk, SUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu, Mint, UberStudent, PCLinuxOS and mostly KDE if the distro had that desktop. I was using PII and PIII processors with 256 or 512 MB and 10 - 80 GB hard drives. Sometimes two hard drives as windows was on the main hard drive untouched. Today my newest computers are Core2 Duo Dells with 2GB ram and 80 or 250 GB HD 32 bit that are off lease purchases so 3 years old. I have found if there was a major update even though I had a /HOME partition that the system would break. If the updates are not major but minor I did not have problems. I have been fortunate that even when broken I have always been able to get to my /HOME files. I even had unbootable distros that I was able to retrieve my data from /HOME. I use a live cd, dvd, usb of the distro I have installed to repair my systems. On unrepairable systems I have used a live cd, dvd, or usb and not always of the distro installed to copy my files to save them. I am only a novice so I will be watching for the more experienced people to point you and I in the right direction. Good luck. James


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:24 pm
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- 500GB laptop HDD with 4GB ram.
- I want to run other OS's within VirtualBox, rather than multi-booting (unless you convince that it is better to multi-boot).

Noted, but qemu with KVM is noticeably faster. Aqemu makes it pretty. FYI

- I would like data and settings to be kept away from the operating system to make it easier to migrate to new versions of UberStudent when they will be released.

IMO difficult to do. Might want to suggest improved install system to debian and downstream it to ubuntu and US. I can't advise you on this other than to say partitioning doesn't effect this. a seperate /home wont cut it.

- I'd also like to be able to easily make backups of data and settings, on external media, for in case of hard drive failure.

Best to back up the whole thing. One option is to keep one copy of your most recent backup on your harddrive and use some sort of diff utility between it and the newest backup so you only have to burn the difference on subsequent backups. blu ray 25gb burners are under 80 bucks now. I think around 60. 250gb external usb drives are under 40.

- I'd like to have additional partitions in which to keep large files that may be needed again later, like installation images, exported VirtualBox appliances, videos or DVDs.

noted, keep reading.

- I want the data partitions to be accessible (by booting from USB media) even if the OS is completely cactus, so that I can get the files onto external USB drives when required.

ok

- Some video editing (using Windows programs from within VirtualBox) may be required, so a large partition for use by Windows may be needed.

ok
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1) (optional) Linux Swap - you can put it here for improved access times, or you can put in at the end of the disk in an extended partition to free up this primary partition (you only get 4 and you never know when you might want one for something.

2) Windows XP - Even if you don't install XP, Leave 10GB or more of empty space or an empty NTFS partition just in case you want it later. 10 GB isn't much when you have a 500gb drive. XP can come in handy for things like running chkdsk /f or defraging usb drives. Its easiest to install xp first then let the linux installer overwrite the xp boot loader.

3) Linux Root full install here. I suggest EXT3. FYI EXT2 is fastest but has no journaling. EXT3 is a little slower but has journaling, EXT 4 is even slower but has very good journaling. Journaling is fault tollerance in the event of power failure etc. Don't use anything other than EXT-something. If you REALLY want a /home partition, put it under the extended partition.

4) Extended
a) (optional) Linux swap - as described above.
b) Linux "big drive" Using all remaining space. You probably want a de-duplicating filesystem here. It will save you a LOT of space if you have multiple linux ISOs, virtual machine images, multiple versions of video files, etc. Google it. If you opt not to use a deduplicating filesystem then consider making this ntfs. That way you can use it if you opt to use the windows partition. BUT if you KNOW you are not going to use the windows partition then don't use ntfs because eventually you will want to defrag or run chkdsk /f which will REQUIRE having windows. --you might be able to use vmware image of xp and give it exclusive access to this partition to run chkdsk. I heard you can do it but never tried it.
c) (optional) if "b" is not ntfs and you opt to install xp you could make a large-ish ntfs drive here to install large programs to etc, or if you don't you can always change your mind and use gparted to shrink "b" and put one here

There is little use for different /home /boot /usr /var partitions. Because there are enough settings and files spread out across the linux file system that you want to back up everything.

FYI qemu with KVM is faster than VBOX. Aqemu is a nice gui for qemu. qemu disks require tweaking the advanced settings (turn on writethrough, use threads, maybe something else) for them to be stable.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:16 am
Posts: 11
Thank you very much, DontTazeMe!

I'll try to digest all that.

:)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:17 pm
Posts: 65
Ok, I finally got around to do something about this partitioning business.

This is on a Thinkpad T410 with 8GB RAM and 250GB SSD.

I left Windows 7 on the original HDD and then installed Uberstudent 4 as dual boot system. After that, I used Clonezilla to transfer the entire disk contents to a new 250GB SSD disk. Then I used gparted (via PartedMagic on a USB drive) to shuffle the partitions around and create new partitions.

During the Uberstudent installation the US partition was created automatically as an ext4 partition within an extended partition, so I left it unchanged. Would it even be possible to convert it into a primary partition?

The partitions I have now are these:
100MB NTFS "System Reserved"
50GB NTFS with Windows 7
30GB unallocated
152GB extended partition with the following in it:
100GB ext4 with Uberstudent 4.0
50GB NTFS Storage
2GB Linux-swap

The T410 is still booted into the PartedMagic OS as I type this...will let you know if it actually boots up from the SSD later on.

Thanks for the help and don't hesitate telling me if this partition setup is a lot of codswaddle, I really have no idea how this works.
For example: Do I need to tell Uberstudent to use the linux-swap partition or will it find it all by itself? :oops: :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:17 pm
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It boots! :D Windows 7 as well as Uberstudent.

The 50GB Storage partition is accessible from Uberstudent and Windows, I like that.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:54 am
Posts: 954
Location: UberStudent Headquarters
It will find the swap on its own. ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:06 pm
Posts: 6
Stephen Ewen wrote:
It will find the swap on its own. ;)


As I create a good version of uberstudent, I want to start considering making a clone of it. I know that the low level dd command would work, which just makes a literal clone on the other hard drive, or I could use something like Clonezilla, but . . . I am concerned that my current installation may not have the right partition size. The boot has about 1.3gb left of the original 9gb I allocated at the start, and I have 188gb free space on the other partition. Is that good enough for the boot?

I ask because I ran a program called Ofris (locks down the computer so my users can't just delete stuff, make a mess), but it ran out of drive space. I think it was trying to store it in boot. Forgetting the problem with Ofris, if there are updates to UberStudent, will I be good with this combination? If not, what is your suggestion?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 3:34 am
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Ken Pfaff, I was curious as to how you chose to proceed with your situation. I know in the past there were times that I went to install updates on a distro and the updates stopped stating that I had run out of disk space. I had small hard drives / partitions. I had to save my files to usb and then start over at a later date when I had deleted some distros which I had been testing which gave me more disk space. I see in your case you have more disk space available. Concerning Ofris I see you are able to turn off Ofris, have it freeze the system or freeze just the system of a certain user, etc ( http://www.unixmen.com/ofris-an-opensou ... plication/ ). What did you choose to do with Ofris to accomplish your goal? Thanks for sharing your insight! James


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:06 pm
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James Zerr wrote:
Ken Pfaff, I was curious as to how you chose to proceed with your situation. I know in the past there were times that I went to install updates on a distro and the updates stopped stating that I had run out of disk space. I had small hard drives / partitions. I had to save my files to usb and then start over at a later date when I had deleted some distros which I had been testing which gave me more disk space. I see in your case you have more disk space available. Concerning Ofris I see you are able to turn off Ofris, have it freeze the system or freeze just the system of a certain user, etc ( http://www.unixmen.com/ofris-an-opensou ... plication/ ). What did you choose to do with Ofris to accomplish your goal? Thanks for sharing your insight! James


Sorry James, but I just couldn't Ofris to work properly. I couldn't tell you if it was Ofris, or the way I had set up the partitions, or both, or neither. If I could have made Ofris work, I would have locked down the regular user account so they couldn't delete stuff they could still delete in Linux (icons off the desktop, etc).

I'm too new to UberStudent and Linux to even begin to really guess what happened. I was just glad I was able to turn off Ofris. Ha!


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