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Thread: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and what size do they need to be

  1. #1

    Default OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and what size do they need to be

    Hello All,
    (A) After a little internet surfing, seeking for good Linux Installation tutorials, I do not really get the hang of it, that the picture is starting to clear up for me.
    Even the Novell - and Open Suse forums and websites themselves, do not provide me with a clear answer to what I am looking for :-(


    (B) Most Open Suse \ Linux installation and disk-partitioning tutorials give me (too) many choices on how I can partition my (250 GB SATA) harddisk, but few of them explain the WHY behind it:
    - WHY does one have to create a certain Linux partition?
    - Are they all mandatory (yes/no)?
    - How can on pre-calculate the SIZE of a certain partition?
    - Which factors do I need to take into account?

    (C) When I look around in the tutorials I have found, I notice that I can install Open Suse Linux, in many different ways, depending on the role my computer is going to have later on.

    So fa I have learned the following facts:
    (D) The Mandatory (Linux, Open Suse) partitions are:
    /Swap.., (RAM_memory content to disk partition) – Size: equal to the computers RAM size
    /Boot.... (Startup partition, contains Linux kernels ) - Size: from 100mb to 4 gb (when working with many different Linux kernels)


    For the rest of the Linux partitions one can create on the harddisk, the many tutorials I have found,
    give very different explanations about WHICH partitions you can add and WHAT SIZE they need to have.

    (E) "Extra" partition: name, function, [minimum size - maximum size])
    /root......... The Root's own Home directory......................................... [2-8 gb]
    /home...... User(s) Home.................................................................. [10 gb - 35gb / user OR the rest of the disk]
    /usr.......... Installation directory for native Open Suse programs.......... [3,15,20gb]
    /usr/local.. Installation directory for native Open Suse programs.......... [??]
    /tmp......... Temporarily created file storage........................................ [50mb-10gb]
    /var.......... Linux internal log files...................................................... [5-10gb]
    /opt......... 3rd party software installation directories........................... [??????]
    /srv......... FTP (up/download) files, website contents........................ [??????],
    /backup... Backup partition for data from all other partition.................. [??????],

    (F) My computers desired functionality - "Heavy desktop" user:
    - Internetting (with Opera, Firefox, Konqurer browsers)
    - YouTube movie watching (Vlc player)
    - Word-Processing, Document creation (Open Office,Libre Office)
    - Animation / Illustration creation (Gimp)
    - Video Editing
    - 3D modeling (Blender)

    (G) Background info - Links to the tutorials I already found online:
    Novell and Open Suse Links:
    http://en.opensuse.org/Portalistribution
    http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/feature/15835.html
    http://www.novell.com/support/kb/doc.php?id=7003263
    http://tr.opensuse.org/SDBartitioning_for_SuSE_Linux
    http://support.novell.com/techcenter...partition.html
    http://www.ehow.com/how_6622129_crea...partition.html
    http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:Basics_of...,_mount_points
    http://www.novell.com/documentation/...l/ch01s07.html
    http://doc.opensuse.org/products/dra...a.advdisk.html
    https://www.suse.com/communities/con...d-drive-fdisk/


    3rd partij links:
    http://linuxconfig.org/index.php
    http://www.control-escape.com/linux/lx-partition.html
    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/install_suse_2.html
    http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/li...pic1-v3-104-1/
    http://www.tweakhound.com/linux/suse...stalling_1.htm
    http://www.oracle-base.com/articles/...rtitioning.php
    http://askubuntu.com/questions/10759...r-normal-users
    http://earthwithsun.com/questions/72...-configuration
    http://searchitchannel.techtarget.co...Linux-10-disks
    http://www.howtogeek.com/106873/how-...ions-on-linux/
    http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/35676...your-linux-pc/
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/...a_Linux_System
    http://www.softpanorama.org/Commercial_linuxes/Devices/disk_partitioning.shtml


    MY QUESTION: Who is willing to assist me in pointing out:

    - Which "extra partitions” I really need to create on my hard disk (beside /boot and /swap)
    - What the size should be for those extra created partitions

    Thanks for sharing your Open Suse & Linux wisdom with me!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and what size do they need to be

    Generally unless you have special need you only absolutely need swap and root. ( to be honest you can do without swap but unless you really understand Linux don't go there)
    But it is good to have a separate home partition which will allow you to upgrade and or change distributions without losing your personal data and desktop settings since /home is were your personal stuff is always stored. If you plan on extensively using databases you may want to create a special partition to store them on. This again allows upgrades and distro hopping with out disturbing your important stuff. You can define any mount point name you want but stay away from the default directory names. Use maybe /mydata as a mount point

    Unless you really understand things do not fool around with extra partitions for the standard directories unless you have special needs such as encrypted partitions or using LVM partitions etc. So far you have not mentioned anything that could be construed as special.

    You may notice a pattern. a mount point for a partition is a directory but a directory is not always a separate partition.

    This openSUSE installer will default to swap root (/) and home (/home) partitions You will want 20-30 gig for root 1-2X memory for swap (note that exact amount will depend on if you want to suspend to disk) the rest for home if you use ext4 formatting. If BTRFS you may want to go to 30-40 gig for root. the reason is by default BTRFS uses a feature called snapshot that does what it says ie takes a snapshot periodically and that takes extra space.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and whatsize do they need to be

    On 2014-05-15 19:56, ronaldvermeij wrote:

    > Even the Novell - and Open Suse forums and websites themselves, do not
    > provide me with a clear answer to what I am looking for :-(


    Because it is impossible.


    > (B) Most Open Suse \ Linux installation and disk-partitioning tutorials
    > give me (too) many choices on how I can partition my (250 GB SATA)
    > harddisk, but few of them explain the WHY behind it:
    > - WHY does one have to create a certain Linux partition?


    Er... why do you want to install Linux? :-)

    > - Are they all mandatory (yes/no)?


    No.

    > - How can on pre-calculate the SIZE of a certain partition?


    With experience. :-)

    > - Which factors do I need to take into account?


    Thousands

    > (C) When I look around in the tutorials I have found, I notice that I
    > can install Open Suse Linux, in many different ways, depending on the
    > role my computer is going to have later on.


    It is written "openSUSE", not any other way.


    > So fa I have learned the following facts:
    > *(D) The Mandatory (Linux, Open Suse) partitions are:*
    > -/Swap.., (RAM_memory content to disk partition) – Size: equal to the
    > computers RAM size


    No. Size is "as much as you need", be it 0% of your ram, to thousands
    times your ram size.

    > /Boot.... (Startup partition, contains Linux kernels ) - Size: from
    > 100mb to 4 gb (when working with many different Linux kernels)-


    No.
    It is not mandatory, except on certain circumstances.
    Size should be about half a gig, and one gig should be quite ample.


    You forget:

    "/" (aka root) is absolutely mandatory (the only one that is mandatory).
    Size: 9 gigs for just testing, up to 50 perhaps gigs, with lots of
    software installed.

    "/home", strongly recommended. As big as you can, except for some uses -
    say, a mail server.

    > For the rest of the Linux partitions one can create on the harddisk, the
    > many tutorials I have found,
    > give very different explanations about WHICH partitions you can add and
    > WHAT SIZE they need to have.


    Forget it.

    A recommendation on those can not be given unless you specify with
    precision what you are going to use that machine for.

    How much RAM do you have? This is an important detail I do not see in
    your post.

    With what you have said so far, you only need root, swap, and home, no more.


    You can also use LVM, create small spaces in it, then grow your
    partitions as you need more space. Caveats: it is more complicated to
    handle. With my 15+ years of Linux experience, I have never used it.

    You can also use encryption.

    You can also use different filesystem types, on each partition,
    depending on what they are going to be used to. For instance, I use ext2
    for boot, ext4 for root, xfs for home, reiserfs for mail or nntp
    partition, and some other uses.

    Or, you can be brave and use the new btrfs, with shiny advantages like
    recovering files you changed or deleted hours or days ago. And... you
    can set it up in a single partition. Or maybe not.


    You did not read enough ;-))


    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  4. #4
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and what size do they need to be

    Quote Originally Posted by ronaldvermeij View Post
    MY QUESTION: Who is willing to assist me in pointing out:
    - Which "extra partitions” I really need to create on my hard disk (beside /boot and /swap)
    1. It is not "/swap". It is just "swap". It is not mounted anywhere visible. It is used for swapping. The installer will usually recommend a suitable size.
    2. You don't actually need a separate "/boot", unless you are using something like an LVM.
    3. It is advisable, but not required, to have a separate "/home". That helps to keep user files separated from system files.
    openSUSE Leap 15.3; KDE Plasma 5.18.6;

  5. #5
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and whatsize do they need to be

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post

    > (C) When I look around in the tutorials I have found, I notice that I
    > can install Open Suse Linux, in many different ways, depending on the
    > role my computer is going to have later on.


    It is written "openSUSE", not any other way.
    ... but not worth making an issue about, especially to a newcomer, IMHO.
    "Take a Walk on a Sunny Day, Greet everyone along the way, and Make Somebody Smile, Today"
    Gerry Jack Macks"Walk On A Sunny Day" GerryJackMacks.net

  6. #6
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and whatsize do they need to be

    On 2014-05-16 00:26, Fraser Bell wrote:
    >
    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:


    >> It is written "openSUSE", not any other way.
    >>

    >
    > ... but not worth making an issue about, especially to a newcomer, IMHO.


    Well... I don't make an issue of it, I understand, because it goes in
    the middle of a lot of answers to his questions :-)

    If I were only saying that, then I would be making an issue of it.


    They tell all members to insist on the correct spelling on users. We get
    into a secret meeting and we chant incantations, to get the weird
    spelling ingrained into us. Only then we are allowed to get into level
    tWo of membership.

    :-P

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

  7. #7

    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and what size do they need to be

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Generally unless you have special need you only absolutely need swap and root. ( to be honest you can do without swap but unless you really understand Linux don't go there)
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    But it is good to have a separate home partition which will allow you to upgrade and or change distributions without losing your personal data and desktop settings since /home is were your personal stuff is always stored.
    Thanks again for the confirmation on this one. I already practiced this setting during my previous OpenSUSE versions installations and it saved me a lot of trouble.. and it makes it easier to backup my personal stuff too.

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    If you plan on extensively using databases you may want to create a special partition to store them on. This again allows upgrades and distro hopping with out disturbing your important stuff.
    Thank you, very nice suggestion!

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Unless you really understand things do not fool around with extra partitions for the standard directories unless you have special needs such as encrypted partitions or using LVM partitions etc. So far you have not mentioned anything that could be construed as special.
    Thanks, i do not have any special needs for that (yet).

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    This openSUSE installer will default to swap root (/) and home (/home) partitions You will want 20-30 gig for root 1-2X memory for swap (note that exact amount will depend on if you want to suspend to disk) the rest for home if you use ext4 formatting. If BTRFS you may want to go to 30-40 gig for root. the reason is by default BTRFS uses a feature called snapshot that does what it says ie takes a snapshot periodically and that takes extra space.

    QUESTIONS:
    1 - How is the 20-30 GB figure for /root determined?
    Is this the total amount of diskspace needed to fully install every bit of software on the OpenSUSE 13.1 DVD disk's?

    2 - Can you recommend applications,tools for encrypting;
    - entire partitions
    - a single folder
    - a single files
    on OpenSUSE Linux?


    3 - Is BTFRS already stable enough to use? or should I stick to Ext3 filesystem for a while?

  8. #8

    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and what size do they need to be

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    It is not "/swap". It is just "swap". It is not mounted anywhere visible. It is used for swapping. The installer will usually recommend a suitable size.
    Thank you for the correction.

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    You don't actually need a separate "/boot", unless you are using something like an LVM.
    Nope, I am not going to work with an LVM.

    Quote Originally Posted by nrickert View Post
    It is advisable, but not required, to have a separate "/home". That helps to keep user files separated from system files.
    I have done this already - mounting /home on 2nd harddisk - during a previous OpenSUSE Installation and it worked perfectly!
    It has kept my personal files safe on a "data-only-harddisk", separated from my "operatings-system-and-applications" harddisk.

  9. #9

    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and whatsize do they need to be

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    Because it is impossible.
    Nothing is impossible, One just has to stretch the boundaries of their own imagination a _little_ bit further and imagine the right outcome too one's Quest.

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    Er... why do you want to install Linux? :-)
    LOL :-) In Mid-Air on a Virtual SkyDrive :-P

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    No.
    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    With experience. :-)
    Are you willing to same some of them with me?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    Thousands
    Like what for instance? the amount of harddisk_diskspace required to install the software you want on your system? Yes I figured that our myself, but what else do I need to take into account?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    It is written "openSUSE"
    Then OpenSUSE it will be from now on.

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    No. Size is "as much as you need", be it 0% of your ram, to thousands times your ram size.
    Please correct me if i'm wrong Robin, but the swap_partition can only contain the memory_dump to disk image right?.. Or is the swap_partition able to contain any other sort of data that I do not know about (yet)?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    No. It is not mandatory, except on certain circumstances. Size should be about half a gig, and one gig should be quite ample.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    You forget: "/" (aka root) is absolutely mandatory (the only one that is mandatory). Size: 9 gigs for just testing, up to 50 perhaps gigs, with lots of software installed.
    Yeap Good observation Robin! You are right, since I confused "/" with the "/root" directory -> Root user's own home directory.

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    "/home", strongly recommended. As big as you can, except for some uses -say, a mail server.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    Forget it. A recommendation on those can not be given unless you specify with precision what you are going to use that machine for.
    See this data in my initial posting..

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    How much RAM do you have? This is an important detail I do not see in your post.
    RAM: 2GB, Harddisk 250 Gb SATA

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    With what you have said so far, you only need root, swap, and home, no more.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    LVM - Caveats: it is more complicated to handle. With my 15+ years of Linux experience, I have never used it.
    I have never used in either in my 11 years of (Red Hat & OpenSUSE) Linux Experience on my home-box.
    However when one is working with "industrial grade Linux boxes", I can imagine that LVM can be used as very useful hard_disk_management tool.

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    You can also use encryption.
    Can you recommend applications,tools for encrypting;
    - entire partitions
    - a single folder
    - a single files
    on OpenSUSE Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    You can also use different filesystem types, on each partition, depending on what they are going to be used to. For instance, I use ext2 for boot, ext4 for root, xfs for home, reiserfs for mail or nntp partition, and some other uses.
    Why do you want to do that, other that experimenting with different filesystems. Please explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    Or, you can be brave and use the new btrfs, with shiny advantages like recovering files you changed or deleted hours or days ago.
    Is btfrs already production-ripe, ready for the real world usage? stable enough to use?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin_listas View Post
    You did not read enough ;-))
    Can we ever read enough on anything we like??

  10. #10
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    Default Re: OpenSuse 13.1 - Harddisk partitions - Which do in need and whatsize do they need to be

    On 2014-05-16 12:16, ronaldvermeij wrote:
    >
    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:
    >> Because it is impossible.

    > Nothing is impossible, One just has to stretch the boundaries of their
    > own imagination a _little_ bit further and imagine the right outcome too
    > one's Quest.


    Believe me, it is impossible. This is a fuzzy fields with as many
    advices as experts and wannabe :-)


    >> With experience. :-)


    Are you willing to same some of them with me?

    Nope :-p

    Meaning: I'm willing, but experience is a fuzzy thing. It is impossible
    to code into words things that you have read over the years from many
    people, things you experimented yourself, mixed with feelings, and with
    a resulting "feeling" for things that you can not even put into words.

    For instance:

    In this laptop I have this partition:

    Code:
    Filesystem             Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda9              6.8G  3.7G  2.8G  57% /other
    That's a full Linux openSUSE installation. It has that size, those
    purposes, and it works fine for what it is...

    However, my working partition in this same laptop is:

    Code:
    Filesystem             Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sda7               30G   14G   16G  47% /
    /dev/sda8              252G  241G   11G  96% /home

    >> Thousands


    > Like what for instance? the amount of harddisk_diskspace required to
    > install the software you want on your system? Yes I figured that our
    > myself, but what else do I need to take into account?


    That, mainly.

    How much "/tmp" you think you may need, because some applications may
    use it a lot - for example, as temporary space for a video edition, or
    for creation of a tar backup, or in preparation to burn a DVD.

    Or how much space you need in "/srv", if you are going to serve apache
    or ftp.

    Or how much you need in "/var/log", because you expect to get many
    syslog entries from a hundred machines in your office/lap

    Or hundreds of gigabytes in "/var/cache", because you are caching rpms
    for other machines of several versions in your lab.

    Like lots of spare space for a cvs storage for a bunch of mad coders, or
    latex writers.

    Like lots of spare space for snapshots for btrfs, because you are doing
    changes everyday and experimenting.

    like lots of space under /usr/src/, because you are going to build many
    experimental kernels.

    Etc...


    >> It is written "openSUSE"


    Then OpenSUSE it will be from now on.

    Nay: openSUSE - the first letter is lowercase, even at the start of a
    sentence. Yes, I know, the spellcheckers hate it. Me too.

    >:-)



    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:
    >> No. Size is "as much as you need", be it 0% of your ram, to thousands
    >> times your ram size.



    > Please correct me if i'm wrong Robin, but the swap_partition can only
    > contain the memory_dump to disk image right?.. Or is the swap_partition
    > able to contain any other sort of data that I do not know about (yet)?


    Swap contains memory. Memory that programs do not need this instant, and
    that the kernel needs to give to another program that does need it this
    instant. It is also used to copy all ram when the machine is hibernated.

    I have used machines in which swap was about 50..100 times the available
    RAM, and some in which it was none.


    Situation.

    You have a machine with 32 MB of RAM. You need to run a process that
    needs a gigabyte, and you don't have those chips for whatever reason. So
    you put a gigabyte or two of swap... Or course, that process will make
    the machine slow as molasses, but it will work.

    So you say: I have 32 GiB of RAM, I do not need swap.

    Well... depends. Do you hibernate the machine at least once? Then you
    need that much swap.

    Or will you run a video rendering process that happens to need 32 GiB of
    ram for just a second? It will crash... the rest of the processes will
    be using some of those 32 GiB. You just need one more... so that instead
    of crashing after 20 hours of CPU process, it uses just a tiny bit of
    swap to survive and finish.

    As someone I know says, "context is everything".



    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:
    >> You forget: "/" (aka root) is absolutely mandatory (the only one that is
    >> mandatory). Size: 9 gigs for just testing, up to 50 perhaps gigs, with
    >> lots of software installed.

    > Yeap Good observation Robin! You are right, since I confused *"/"* with
    > the *"/root"* directory -> Root user's own home directory.


    Right. And mind: "/root" can not be a separate partition.




    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:
    >> How much RAM do you have? This is an important detail I do not see in
    >> your post. RAM: 2GB, Harddisk 250 Gb SATA


    Then, /me/ would put 10 GB swap.


    > However when one is working with "industrial grade Linux boxes", I can
    > imagine that LVM can be used as very useful hard_disk_management tool.


    I know people around here that love it, and use it on home machines :-)

    >
    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:
    >> You can also use encryption.

    > Can you recommend applications,tools for encrypting;
    > - entire partitions
    > - a single folder
    > - a single files
    > on OpenSUSE Linux?


    Entire partitions or filesystems, YaST does it, using the LUKS standard.
    Single files, powerful encryption, PGP.

    Alternative: truecrypt. It is said to be compatible with Windows, if you
    double boot. I don't know myself


    >
    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:
    >> You can also use different filesystem types, on each partition,
    >> depending on what they are going to be used to. For instance, I use ext2
    >> for boot, ext4 for root, xfs for home, reiserfs for mail or nntp
    >> partition, and some other uses.


    > Why do you want to do that, other that experimenting with different
    > filesystems. Please explain?


    Different features of each.

    ext2 on boot because it has no journal, and space is at a premium there.

    ext4 on / because it is reliable and tools for recovery are available.
    It is perhaps the filesystem better supported in Linux.

    xfs for large partitions because it has efficient dump and backup
    features. It is specially good for very large files, like video. And it
    is fast.

    reiserfs for mail/news, because it has not been surpassed in the context
    of millions of small files, and does it very fast. It would be my
    filesystem of choice for everything, except that development is stuck,
    and does not scale well. There is reiserfs4, but it is still experimental.


    > robin_listas;2643452 Wrote:
    >> Or, you can be brave and use the new btrfs, with shiny advantages like
    >> recovering files you changed or deleted hours or days ago.


    > Is btfrs already production-ripe, ready for the real world usage? stable
    > enough to use?


    It depends on whom you ask, and what features you use :-)

    --
    Cheers / Saludos,

    Carlos E. R.

    (from 13.1 x86_64 "Bottle" (Minas Tirith))

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