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Thread: LINUX Install

  1. #1
    New ROGer Array Zygomorphic's Avatar
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    Mar 2012

    LINUX Install

    Hello again, everyone. It seems that we haven't discussed LINUX here in a while. I thought it is about time to change that, since summer is here, and I am nearly done rebuilding my laptop. Considering what I said above, I figured I would go ahead and share my experiences with the system.

    I had mentioned previously that I was planning on putting Windows in a VM, and going Penguin all the way. Well, my friends, that has happened, and I am running LINUX Mint 14 on my Seagate Hybrid drive (15 sec boot time ). I have Windows 7 in a VM now, and it seems happy there, and is easier to manage than Windows on a drive with LINUX. I have to say, getting rid of Windows made things easier, since only Windows doesn't respect other people's bootloaders, and is arrogant enough to think that it is the only OS you want.

    I did some research on the best partitioning scheme for LINUX, and which filesystems to use for which partitions, and so this is the partitioning scheme that I chose, given that I am planning on having multiple VMs on this machine, so the maximum storage is ideal.
    /dev/sdb2 /boot 255 MB ext2
    /dev/sdb3 Extended partition
    /dev/sdb6 / 50 GB ext4
    /dev/sdb7 /home 418 GB ext4
    /dev/sdb5 swap 32 GB swap

    I have 16 GB of RAM, and so went with the rule-of-thumb 1.5-2x RAM for swap space. I don't tend to hibernate my system, but if I ever do, I want the option of doing so. I could probably have gone with 16 GB, and if I were more pressed for space, I would have.

    I've heard that some suggest splitting /boot and the / partitions, so I decided that it can't hurt, and it can keep some of my other stuff separate. If you guys don't think that this is necessary, I'd like to know that for the future.

    I'm a firm believer in separating the /home partition from everything else, especially since I sometimes change LINUX distros, and this allows me to preserve all my files. For someone who just wants to try LINUX out, I go with the simple partitioning scheme of (/ and swap), but since I use LINUX for my daily tasks, I wanted a better system.

    * Install nVidia drivers to obtain better graphics performance and power management.
    * Download LINUX kernel sources and learn more about building LINUX kernels.
    * Try out other distros and configs in VM - more learning.
    * Upgrade to LINUX Mint 15 when it comes out.

    Any thoughts and/or suggestions? I'm happy to have feedback, and would like people's thoughts. I'm particularly interested in starting a flame war about distros, as well as filesystems.
    I am disturbed because I cannot break my system...found out there were others trying to cope! We have a support group on here, if your system will not break, please join!
    We now have 178 people whose systems will not break! Yippee!
    LINUX Users, we have a group!

  2. #2
    ROG Guru: Blue Belt Array sectionate PC Specs
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    sectionate's Avatar
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    You should probably find a hardcore *.nix forum, get better help. Best I can do is send you a Slackware 3.4 cd that I purchased (shipping) in 1996 and *****X
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  3. #3
    Shut Up Stupid! Array DaemonCantor's Avatar
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    Jun 2011

    Zygo, Good thoughts but I would suggest to have your Boot 250 to 300mgs, Swap 24 to 64gigs , and do a NTFS(just for windows BS that might need an easier rout to transfer) of 50 to 100gigs and a Single Home (the rest of your available) , Just because I like it simple. As to the VM's good fer you there plus with the NTFS Partition you'll find it's easier to work with Windows from the VM side.

    Now as to Mint...It's got too much Spearmint in it for me I like the Jolly Green German Giant OpenSuse...It has more. plus a larger User/Developer Base than even Ubuntu(Which Sucks Donkey B**ls right now)...but in the past I've waded through the Hoops to gent Gentoo going and yes it was FAST even on the regular HD's but too much of a PAIN in the A** to have to compile everything just to get a Progie working... Most of the other Distro's are just a rehash of one of the Base 4 anyway so why the hell would you want to play with chance like that??? It's like playing Russian Roulette with an Automatic!

  4. #4
    ‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎ Array Gorman's Avatar
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    Apr 2012

    Addressing your swap and RAM probably won't fit in your CPU's cache and you will take a performance hit. Monitor your RAM usage and make sure you really need that much swap.

  5. #5
    New ROGer Array Zygomorphic's Avatar
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    Mar 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorman View Post
    Addressing your swap and RAM probably won't fit in your CPU's cache and you will take a performance hit. Monitor your RAM usage and make sure you really need that much swap.
    Didn't think about that, and I will definitely reconsider. I have 6 MB L3 Cache (i7-2630QM). All told, I should have 48 GB of address space, which should be more than enough, considering that I don't use above 1/2 my RAM.
    I am disturbed because I cannot break my system...found out there were others trying to cope! We have a support group on here, if your system will not break, please join!
    We now have 178 people whose systems will not break! Yippee!
    LINUX Users, we have a group!

  6. #6
    ROG Guru: Green Belt Array billyray520 PC Specs
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    That's an interesting setup! I am more of a casual user of Linux, So I use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. I have:

    C: drive = 256 GB SSD Windows 7 Pro Boot disk and system files
    D: drive = 1 TB hdd which is partitioned thus:
    1. 750 GB Windows Data etc.
    2. 10 GB Ubuntu swap
    3. 240 GB Ubuntu boot and / including Home

    Because Linux boots from the second drive, I use <DEL> to go into Bios and then boot 2nd drive to start Linux. Otherwise, default startup is Windows 7. I like this arrangement since Windows is where my business stuff is, which I use during normal business hours.

    The 10 GB partition is way more than enough swap for me, and I have 32 GB of RAM.

    I use Linux primarily to maintain another platform's version of my business database which I have programmed in OpenOffice (now Libre Office in Ubuntu) It uses a local MySql server setup. But I also have a web based MySql server which mirrors whatever I have in Ubuntu. That way I have access to the same data from my Acer Aspire One Netbook which is also running Ubuntu 12.

    Unfortunately for me, being a business that uses a desktop database system to manage their business, I continue to find Linux to be woefully inadequate when compared to Windows Access. I consider OpenOffice/Libre Office to be the best Desktop database system in Linux, and I've tried everything available. IMHO, Linux will never get off the ground until it can seriously compete with Microsoft Access. It can compete with every other Office Application, but LibreOffice BASE is just a ******* child that suffers more from neglect and mindless tinkering.

    @DaemonCantor: Do you hate Ubuntu because of Unity? If so, I can understand that.
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    Asus G73 Sw XR1 laptop 8 GB Ram, 160 GB Intel SSD, 80 GB Intel SSD. Purchased used >Ebay 1/10/13, Did clean install of Windows 7

  7. #7
    Super Moderator - Coderat Array Nodens PC Specs
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    Nodens's Avatar
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    Zygomorphic, since you will be using a lot of VMs you should consider going the Hypervisor approach (Xen). It is much better performance-wise and allows passthrough of physical hardware (IOMMU)--provided the CPU supports VT-d.

    Regarding swap partition 32gb is very excessive. For hibernation to work you need equal size to RAM. Linux is much better with memory management and swap usage will be probably very very low on a 16GB RAM system. You should monitor actual commit usage values All my 16GB RAM linux boxes operate with 4GB swap that is largely unused...

    Regarding the partitioning scheme /boot is only suggested to be on a separate partition for recovery reasons (Redundant since proper recovery always needs you to boot external media to be on the safe side) and due to some limitations of GRUB and LVM. You're not using LVM though (neither I suggest you to) so there's absolutely no reason for /boot to be separate. I can tell you of a good reason for it to be on / partition though: Not having to worry about its size, amount of kernels you can have installed etc etc.
    There was also a limitation of GRUB not being able to boot from ext4 partitions but that is not the case anymore. GRUB2 supports ext4 since version 1.97. There's really no point at this point in separating /boot (unless you have some very specific requirement).

    Regarding file system performance, ext4 is the only thing you should use anyhow for a desktop. Other filesystems such as xfs, jfs, reiserFS have their place in specific scenarios where performance tuning for specific applications is required (eg databases).
    There are also some performance related flags you can att to /etc/fstab for mounting ext4 (such as noatime). Some of them can be dangerous, but on a laptop (that always has a battery) they're rather safe!
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  8. #8
    New ROGer Array Zygomorphic's Avatar
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    Mar 2012

    OK. Thanks for all the advice, everyone. I am going to shrink the swap space down to around 4 GB, since I never hibernate (takes too long with 16 GB of RAM), and that reclaims ~28 GB of space, which I will tack onto the /home partition (ordering). Since you guys say that having a separate /boot partition is no longer necessary, I will go ahead and change that too (merge with /). I don't plan on installing a bunch of kernels into the main system, since I'm trying to create a more stable system.

    I hadn't much thought about Xen, but I had tried it when I had OpenSUSE installed on my computer, but never saw the need then. @nodens, what is the ability to run a native LINUX isntall with Xen? That would be a consideration. If the performance of the VMs increases dramatically, then it might be worth considering. Just a note, I have a powerful laptop...not a server.

    For safety's sake, I probably won't set the /etc/fstab flags, but thanks for the advice anyway!

    Slackware! Talk about work to try to get that to install! Might be a major historical learning exercise, but that is about it. @DC, thanks for the pointers, and I do have a shared NTFS data partition on the other drive in my laptop. As to Gentoo, I've thought about it, especially since I have a powerful computer (compiling the LINUX kernel goes pretty quick), and optimizing the performance (and learning more about the command-line) would be a fun exercise. Might have to try it, though not as my daily driver OS.
    I am disturbed because I cannot break my system...found out there were others trying to cope! We have a support group on here, if your system will not break, please join!
    We now have 178 people whose systems will not break! Yippee!
    LINUX Users, we have a group!

  9. #9
    ROG Guru: Grand Master Array Arne Saknussemm PC Specs
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    Hey Zygomorphic...that's a nice thing your doing here. Starting a thread up in Greek just so Nodens feels completely at home.

    This thread is in Greek right? 'cos I can't understand a word of it LOL

  10. #10
    Shut Up Stupid! Array DaemonCantor's Avatar
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    Jun 2011

    lol Arne! your close but it's Geek not Greek and a language you should be able to understand quite well... Zygo just happy to be of some use somewhere other than the Whipping Boy!

    And now on to Billyray's question...Hell yea I have many problems with Ubuntu starting with Unity which is a Total Gnome F-Up! next is Incompatibilities with a lot of things that used to work quite well in Ubuntu including what a Pain in the A** it's become to even use Samba Services. If all your looking for in Linux is Steam Compatibility then by all means get Ubuntu but if you want more then look elsewhere. Don't ask where I get this from considering I'm still on the Developers Mailing list here in Ohio as well as Nevada and used to be a big Ubuntu supporter but somewhere along the time that Karmic Koala came out I started losing interest because they dumped the Standard Gnome Desktop for Unity and then all of the other problems started coming up with software not running correctly so I switched to OpenSuse and never looked back. Now if I could get OpenSuse to run on the CHVF I'd be happy but it won't even load into the Installer Desktop but hangs at Kernel Loadup and yes it's the same with any other Distro I've tried...But my Backup System which is a heavily Modified Dell 531s does just fine...Go Figure!

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