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Install RedHat 9 on 2nd HDD, but need ideas.

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May 8, 2003 6:56:30 AM

My system specs:
- Soyo K7V Dragon Plus
- Athlon XP 1700+
- 256MB PC2100 Mushkin Basic
- ATi Radeon SDR 32MB
- WD Caviar 60GB 5400rpm ATA/100
- Quantum Fireball lct20 10GB
- Cendyne CD-RW 32x/12x/48x
- Creative PC-DVD 2x DVD

I have the 60GB hard drive divided into 2 NTFS partitions with Windows XP Pro on the first partition. The second partition is used for storage. The first partition is 24.4GB and the second is 31.4GB.

I now installed a 10GB and created a full FAT32 partition. It is currently empty.

I want to install RedHat Linux 9. I want to Dual-boot (apparently :)  and be able to use a bootloader. How do I go about installing Linux on the 10GB hard drive and how big do I have to make the linux partitions, what kind of partitions, etc? I have read in some website of people who were concerned about messing up Windows XP if they installed the bootloader in the same partition as Windows XP. In my case, since the windows XP partition is NTFS, I doubt I will be able to install the bootloader there. What I was thinking is that maybe I can install the bootloader in the same hard drive (10GB) as Linux and then point my BIOS to boot from the linux hard drive. Would that work? Or I heard that it is possible to use a boot disk, but it seems too tedious.

Please help me set up my first ever linux installation. I am a complete linux newbie, but I do have good knowledge of computers and Windows.

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May 10, 2003 3:26:50 PM

I have a similar setup, except that my linux install is on the same disk as XP and storage. I installed GRUB (bootloader) on the drive and everything works perfectly.

What you should do is boot from the cd to install and then select your 10 GB drive. Make a ~512 MB partition for swap, and then make at least a 3 GB partition for linux. You can do whatever you want with the rest of the space, if you haven't chosen to make the linux partition 9.5 GB.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
May 10, 2003 5:21:58 PM

thanks for replying. Can you tell me what the difference between GRUB and LILO is? also which desktop should I choose? KDE or the other one?
Is 512 enough for a boot partition? I was thinking of making the linux partition 5-6GB and a FAT32 partition 1-2GB and the rest for Linux boot.

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May 12, 2003 11:41:32 PM

GRUB and LILO are just different bootloaders. They do the same thing in the same way.

The desktop is completely up to you. I'd suggest you install both, and then you can switch between them on login. I like gnome myself, but most find KDE more "polished" and ready to use.

I've never used a /boot partition before, but I'm pretty sure you could get away with 20 MB for that. For simplicity though, I'd just stick to a 4 GB / partition (for linux) and then a 512 MB swap partition.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
May 13, 2003 9:11:15 AM

Give /boot 50 or 100 if you use one. It's not something you can change that easily later (unless you move boot directory to the main partition), and it fills up surprisingly quickly after a few kernel compiles and initrds are made.

<i>Knock Knock, Neo</i>
May 14, 2003 8:47:01 PM

Is the /boot partition even needed then? Can someone explain to me what all the kinds of linux partitions (/boot, etc.) are for and if they are needed and in which circumstances? Thanks for your help so far.

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May 14, 2003 10:22:18 PM

/boot is where all your boot info is contained. The bootloader points here and this is where your kernel image is stored. It's good to have it on a separate partition as it separates it from the rest of your files in case you fux0r something up.

For me, I usually pooched my entire install (happens when you try messing with it just for fun), so a full reformat was usually necessary. Therefore a /boot partition was pretty useless for me. Most just have everything on one partition and have one separate swap file partition.

Short of it: you don't NEED one, and I'd suggest you go without one for the time being just to keep it simple. If you're like I was when I was in my linux infancy, you'll probably reformat a few times anyways. Later you can try different partitions, perhaps once you understand more about what should be on them. :) 

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
May 28, 2003 8:25:57 PM

The /boot partition don´t need more than 10Mb, I usualy put 7.7Mb on my servers configuration, this partition will only store your kernel, that will not be more than 1Mb, and other files from the boot loader, with in case of GRUB will be about 150kb. And don´t forget to use EXT2FS on /boot, to make things easier... To put the rest (linux´s packages) create a partition / using the ReiserFS filesystem.
June 4, 2003 2:36:33 AM

I have to disagree with your statement about /boot size. The reason is that it may also store an initrd RAM disk image. As soon as you start playing around with kernels and versions, you can get many images and kernels filling up /boot. My boot is 47MB, and reports as being 88% full. Of course, if you are running servers, this won't be an issue and 10MB is ample. For home/play use, I'd leave some room.

<i>Knock Knock, Neo</i>
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