Confused about partitions of my Linux Box . And why Yast2 doesn't let me choose where to install?

Just remember, in the installer, to use the Advanced options of the partitioner to look over each of the partition entries and make certain you are going to get what you expect.

Make sure the / & /home partitions are still going to be formatted as ext4 (actually, if you pre-formatted, you can change the partitioner in the installer to not bother formatting them again, without any repercussions), and that what you want as the / partitition is still set to mount as /, and so on.

You should always check these things out when installing, as occasionally installers – which cannot read our minds – might suggest a slightly different layout than we planned. That does not mean that it thinks our choices are wrong, it just means that it cannot read our minds.:wink:

On 2015-05-23 17:56, Secret68 wrote:
>
> Okay, the main problem I’m having is space on my hard disk running out.
> When I tried to install a 3D game through the Yast Control Center, it
> complained that I ran out of disk space. But, my /home/username
> partition has about 20GB free. I don’t see why Yast is not trying to
> install the game in my /home/username partition that has plenty of room.
> Instead, it wants to install the game in my “/” root folder that only
> has 200MB left. Is there a way to tell Yast and or Linux where to
> install stuff?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: The person who packages each program has some leeway in
deciding. The designer has a lot, but then he follows some rules. You,
the user, have none.

Complex answer: the above is not totally true, but it is too complex to
explain.

> Is this how Linux works? If my “/” of sda2 is 99% full, wouldn’t Linux
> start using the free space for installing stuff in my /home/username/
> sda3 where there is about 20GB free space left since the sda2 partition
> is 99% full?

Yes.
No.

> I can’t remember if I told Linux to use the space like this
> (for the different partitions) when I installed it on this machine about
> 3 weeks ago. Or if that’s the partition sizes Linux chose to use. Are
> you not suppose to install stuff to the /home/username partition/folder?



No.

> I would think, being a newbie of course, that Yast would let me point
> any installs where there is free space, like the 20GB of my
> /home/username/.

No.

> Is it bad that my “/” partition of about 15GB is 99% full?

Yes. It is far too small. 50 gigs would be nice.

> Thanks for any input!

Welcome :slight_smile:


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))

Nice, it makes sense. I can see that Linux tries to keep stuff organized. :slight_smile:

If using ext4, you should be able to get by quite easily with a 20-Gig / partition.:slight_smile:

Yes, I pre partitioned all my partitions with GParted and I’m doing a re-install of Opensuse just to see what it does. Using GParted, I made partitions -> sda1=4GB swap | sda2=30GB root/boot | sda3=7GB home.

Its just a 40GB hard disk, not much to play with, but its turning out to be good for lessons. I was running Opensuse in VMware and VirtualBox on my main system that has Windows. But I wanted to try it on direct hardware so I could learn to install drivers and installed it in my older Desktop. I’m using it for a test rig to learn Linux. Its not bad, Pentium D 820 2.8Ghz, Geforce 7600GT 256MB, 1GB DDR.

Thanks! :slight_smile:

Ok a small misunderstanding is that Yast or any installer determines where a package is installed. This is wrong it is the RPM package that has the information to install the program and other files in the package. Also package installation is normally under the control of root so some ownership consideration have to be made. This that programs are normally installed with ownership of root but with user level permissions to run. So users can run a program but can’t change or modify the program in any way unless they become root.

In that case it would be more sensible IMO if you don’t use a separate partition for /home. Create just the two partitions, swap and root. home will be mounted under / just like all the other directories.

This way, all available disk space will be usable by system and user files, avoiding the issue you had.

To keep it simple the root partition should be ext4, not the default btrfs.

One note on swap partition size: there’s a long-standing recommendation that swap size should equal the RAM size. This is only advisable - sort of - in you intend to suspend to disk routinely, as with a laptop with little remaining battery. Even so, a swap the same size of RAM is not usually required, as linux uses the “idle” memory as cache, filling most of the RAM up, but this cache part is not written to swap AFAIK. Suspending to RAM is even simpler (swap-wise), as it requires very little swap. I saw that in a notebook with 2GB swap that I upgraded the RAM from 2 to 8 GB I had lying around, and it suspends to RAM perfectly well.

So, if you are short of disk space (you are) but have enough RAM for your needs (do you?), you could get around quite nicely with, say, 2GB swap and all the rest for the system.

The negative aspect of this is that in an eventual new install, by default the installer will format the system partition, erasing the data in your /home with it.

You can circumvent this by backing up your home to an external drive before the new install, let the installer do it’s thing and, before the first boot after installation finished, boot with a liveCD and copy the files under your home to the new home. This won’t restore pipes and fifos, but it doesn’t mater as you’re only interested in the application data, like thunderbird hidden folders and such.

Alternatively, right before running the installer, boot to a liveCD and delete everything under / except the /home folder, and during installation tell the partitioner not to format /. Simple, although this won’t do if you change/tweak/reformat the partitions at each new install.

Ah yes, if you go for a separate home partition, then an ext4 root partition of 20GB is advisable, but you can do with 15 or 16GB. My main computer has a lot of user (not developer) stuff installed and it’s / partition is using a bit less than 13GB right now. You just have to mind where large temp files go, like for example temporary k3b files when you’re burning a DVD or Bluray.

Of course, this is all in my opinion based on my personal experience, YMMV.

The point of have a separate home is two fold. One is that it allows easy backup of personal data and settings. And two it allows you to keep your personal data and settings if you upgrade or change distros. So if you are just playing and do not plan on keeping important data then a swap and a root is just fine.

I can see now the way Linux does it. With Microsoft Windows you either log in as an Administrator or Standard User when it comes to being root user or normal user. On MS Windows you can choose were to install. But most of the time if your installing a game or an application it will be installed by default unless you change it, in:

C:\Program Files (x86)\ for 32-bit apps
C:\Program Files\ for 64-bit apps

But that’s if your logged on as an Administrator. If your logged on as a Standard User, you can’t install in the above directories, so Microsoft created this folder for less privileged users to be able to install stuff:

C:\ProgramData\

Being logged in as Admin in MS Windows is dangerous when surfing the net. So I log in as a Standard User for safety so if there’s any Malware infection, if it happens, wont be able to make system wide changes like a root user. And if it comes down to it, just log in as Admin, and kill the infected Standard User account and delete it, and create a new Standard User. Allot of Windows users out there are mainly logged in as administrators. Because they don’t know how to make a Standard User account. I can see with Linux, your pretty much a Standard User when you log in, but have to enter your password to make system wide changes, which I think is a better way to do it, or at least safer. If grandma who has never used a computer before, gets one with Windows on it, she will most definitely be a root user right off the bat. Microsoft never made it the other way around, which is not good for someone who does not understand computers that much and then start surfing the net with root privileges. Sometimes, you can be logged onto Windows as an administrator and forget you are, and surf until you get Malware, and at that point, the Malware can do root changes and own your system. In 2007 I tried Linux and ran away scared because I was too Windownized. But this time around, I’m glad I gave it a chance and I’m starting to dig it now that I’m getting more familiar with the layout of things.

Well, time for some more fun, back to my Linux install… lol! L8r…

General rule is never log into a GUI as root. You can damage files inadvertently by the GUI changing ownership. You never have to do this because you can temporary become root while logged int a GUI as a user by su - in a console or using kdesu or gnomesu to become root for a single GUI app. These rules a bit more strict then in the average Windows installation and it is the price you pay for a truly secure OS.

On 2015-05-24 03:26, Secret68 wrote:

> Nice, it makes sense. I can see that Linux tries to keep stuff
> organized. :slight_smile:

Absolutely :slight_smile:


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

On 2015-05-24 04:36, brunomcl wrote:
>
> Secret68;2711677 Wrote:
>> Its just a 40GB hard disk
>
> In that case it would be more sensible IMO if you don’t use a separate
> partition for /home. Create just the two partitions, swap and root. home
> will be mounted under / just like all the other directories.

I concur.

> So, if you are short of disk space (you are) but have enough RAM for
> your needs (do you?), you could get around quite nicely with, say, 2GB
> swap and all the rest for the system.

Chances are that memory is also short, so swap should be bigger, perhaps
6 GiB.

If hibernation is not intended, you can instead use a swap file instead
of a partition, which allows for easy resizing. I have not done this
myself, though. I do not know if the file has to be contiguous (as in
Windows) or can be fragmented.

>
> The negative aspect of this is that in an eventual new install, by
> default the installer will format the system partition, erasing the data
> in your /home with it.
>
> You can circumvent this by backing up your home to an external drive
> before the new install, let the installer do it’s thing and, before the
> first boot after installation finished, boot with a liveCD and copy the
> files under your home to the new home. This won’t restore pipes and
> fifos, but it doesn’t mater as you’re only interested in the application
> data, like thunderbird hidden folders and such.

Another possibility is doing an upgrade instead.


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” at Telcontar)

… if I remember correctly, I think he let the Secret out of the bag, that the machine has only 1-Gig RAM, earlier in the thread?:wink:

Ah, TL¹;DR… In that case I’d go with 4GB, perhaps 6GB as Carlos suggested depending on me being crazy enough to run something memory intensive (like a VM) in this machine.

¹L for Lazy, not Long. :wink:

On 2015-05-25 21:16, brunomcl wrote:
>
> Fraser_Bell;2711858 Wrote:
>> … if I remember correctly, I think he let the -Secret- out of the
>> bag, that the machine has only 1-Gig RAM, earlier in the thread?:wink:
>
> Ah, TL¹;DR… In that case I’d go with 4GB, perhaps 6GB as Carlos
> suggested depending on me being crazy enough to run something memory
> intensive (like a VM) in this machine.
>
> ¹L for Lazy, not Long. :wink:

Running something big there needs looooooots of patience. But at least
the machine would not die of memory starvation easily :slight_smile:


Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.

(from 13.1 x86_64 “Bottle” (Minas Tirith))

Thanks everybody for the help. I created a 2GB Swap. And about 30GB / and 8GB /home/username. Yes, the machine just has 1GB of DRR1 RAM. It’s running pretty good for such a low amount of RAM.

… seems I forgot to mention …

I have been running 13.1 for a long time, now, with a 24-Gig / partition.

I have lots (and, I mean lots) of programs installed, many of them the heavier-duty media editing programs, for serious print media, serious photography, serious video production, and serious music mixing and production.

So far, I still have 16 of the 24 Gigs free, only using 8 Gigs. (I was surprised to see that when I checked late last night.)

No related problems.

In your case, personally, I would have gone with 18-Gigs / and put the balance to /home, where the DATA is stored.

I hope this is a typo and that you wanted to type /home.