Is a swap partition necessary while installing Suse?

Guys… This is the 1st time I am installing SUSE and I wanted to clear some of my doubts:

I have the following computer specs:
Core i3
2 GB RAM
320 GB HDD
ATI Mobility Radeon 4330

  1. Is creating a swap partition necessary while installing Suse 11.2?

  2. Will I be able to install 64-bit version of Suse on my computer?

  3. Will I be able to run Windows 7 side by side?

  4. Will I have any compatibility issues with my Display Adapter since I have had problems previously on Ubuntu with my onboard ATi Graphics…

(1) I ran openSUSE for years with 2GB RAM and no swap. Never had an issue. I don’t tend to have a ton of windows open though. Usually no more than 4 to 6 at a time.

(2) I don’t see why you couldn’t. I am running 64bit on a Core2 Quad.

(3) I have it dual booting, and it was no trouble to set it up.

(4) You may or may not have issues with it. As long as you don’t accept new kernel versions without having the new drivers to go along with it, you should be fine. I have nVidia and have to deal with the same thing.

Get all the updates done before you install the proprietary ATI drivers. Then you should be set. Just remember that a new kernel version through the updates can break the video driver module, so do not let that happen until you are prepared for it. Do a search on this forum for Multiversion. This will let you keep the old kernel when you install a new one, and if it breaks, you can fall back to the old one in the boot menu. It’s new and several of us have been testing it out in the past few days and it seems to work very well.

> 1. Is creating a swap partition necessary while installing Suse 11.2?

yes…however, if the Ubuntu (you mention below) made a swap partition
(and you left it there) i guess the install script will see it and use
it…if not, it will default to making one…

> 2. Will I be able to install 64-bit version of Suse on my computer?

Core i3 are sold in both 32 and 64 bit versions…if you have the
latter you may install openSUSE 32 or 64…in my opinion the better
choice is 32 bit…because the average bear won’t get any benefit
from running 64 but WILL run into issues trying to sort though all
the land mines…(i bought this 64 bit machine about five years ago
and ran 64 for about a year and then went to 32 because it is so much
more stable…

read up on it and make your own mind…if you don’t plan to process a
million line database or run more than 3 or 4 GB of RAM, it is just so
much fluff…sure you get bragging rights…but . . .

> 3. Will I be able to run Windows 7 side by side?

yes, but backup all important data AND pay attention during the
install process AND become familiar with these, at least:
http://forums.opensuse.org/new-user-how-faq-read-only/424611-new-users-opensuse-pre-install-general-please-read.html
http://forums.opensuse.org/new-user-how-faq-read-only/424615-new-users-suse-11-2-pre-installation-please-read.html
http://en.opensuse.org/Download_Help
http://www.novell.com/documentation/opensuse112/pdfdoc/art_osuse_installquick_112/art_osuse_installquick_112.pdf
http://forums.opensuse.org/new-user-how-faq-read-only/unreviewed-how-faq/389511-partitioning-install-guide.html

> 4. Will I have any compatibility issues with my Display Adapter since I
> have had problems previously on Ubuntu with my onboard ATi Graphics…

yes, everyone i have ever met, talked to or heard about who had ATI
graphics had “issues” with every Linux there is…

here is some good info on how to deal with expected issues:
openSUSE Graphic Card Practical Theory Guide for Users
http://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php?t=431899
http://en.opensuse.org/ATI

-welcome- the pain is worth the gain…


palladium

Necessary? NO.But it won’t hurt.

  1. Will I be able to install 64-bit version of Suse on my computer?

If you have a 64bit CPU, yes. Otherwise no. Be aware that the 64-bit version needs more RAM (2 Gb would be an acceptable minimum)

  1. Will I be able to run Windows 7 side by side?

YES.

  1. Will I have any compatibility issues with my Display Adapter since I have had problems previously on Ubuntu with my onboard ATi Graphics…

YES. Not to mention than installing the proprietary driver (which under circumstances fixes the problem) get easier on Ubuntu. Mandriva installs it even by default (at least the Nvidia one, don’t know about ATI). I’m not saying that you won’t solve the problem and I’m sure you will find an answer here. But ATI and openSUSE are just not the finest combination at the moment.

My feeling is that you should have a swap partition. You never know when you may
wish to edit a very large file. I find it very frustrating to sit for a long
time and then have a process crash because it ran out of virtual memory. BTW, my
system has 3 GB RAM, and the system monitor shows it using the swap file every
once in a while. Of course, I use the -j6 switch when compiling kernels.

Note that if you want to suspend to disk, a swap partition is needed.

Firstly, thanks to all you guys for your help (and that too such quick one :))

And now after reading all the posts, I have some new doubts. I hope you guys won’t get frustrated answering all my questions…

Note: Please bear in mind that I might get my RAM upgraded to 4 GB soon enough. So please give your answers accordingly…:wink:

  1. I have decided to get a swap partition after reading the posts. So now I think what size?

  2. What must be the size of the partition in which I intend to install Suse?

  3. I do understand that if one has more than 4 GB RAM, then having the 64-bit version is a must. But if I have exact 4 GB RAM, will installing 32 bit version show it less than 4 GB (as it is in case of Windows)?

More Questions: :stuck_out_tongue:

  1. What is Kernel?

  2. What difference does it make if I choose KDE or GNOME (except that in looks)?

Normally it should be as big as your RAM. But 2 GB is fine.

  1. What must be the size of the partition in which I intend to install Suse?

It depends how you install openSUSE ( you can split Linux in several partitions. It has advantages and inconvenients). Usually 20 GB should be OK.

I do understand that if one has more than 4 GB RAM, then having the 64-bit version is a must. But if I have exact 4 GB RAM, will installing 32 bit version show it less than 4 GB (as it is in case of Windows)?

Linux 32-bit can use up to 4 GB. But if you have 4 GB of RAM, it’s better to install a 64-bit version .

  1. I have decided to get a swap partition after reading the posts. So now I think what size?

½GB is enough except when there’s a need for “suspend to disk” - the thing is: should it occur that the swap-Partition is filled with a few hundred MBs, you propably have a heavy problem. It wouldn’t help if there was a swap being even bigger.

  1. What must be the size of the partition in which I intend to install Suse?

8GB minimum, 10GB normal use, 12 - 15 GB if you wish to install a lot of applications, up to 20 when you are building many packages yourself. In most cases 10 to 12GB should be more than enough.

[quote]I do understand that if one has more than 4 GB RAM, then having the 64-bit version is a must. But if I have exact 4 GB RAM, will installing 32 bit version show it less than 4 GB (as it is in case of Windows)?

Linux 32-bit can use up to 4 GB. But if you have 4 GB of RAM, it’s better to install a 64-bit version . [/quote]

Wrong. The openSUSE “desktop-kernel” supports up to 64GB of RAM, since it is a →pae-kernel.

  1. What is Kernel?

Wikipedia article about the Linux Kernel

  1. What difference does it make if I choose KDE or GNOME (except that in looks)?

Different handling, functions, applications (though GNOME-apps run on KDE4 too & vice versa), use of ressources, configuration… One good write books about that. Try both.

“Linux” describes actually the kernel. This is the core of the system. The diffent drivers can be compiled into the kernel or outside the kernel (in that case that are called ‘modules’). Under openSUSE and many Linux distros, most drivers are separated from the kernel. It reduces the amount of memory used by the kernel.

  1. What difference does it make if I choose KDE or GNOME (except that in looks)?

They are structurally quite different but they do the same job. You can also install both, among many others window managers. But Kde and Gnome are the most widely used Desktop nowadays.

Firstly… Does this mean that I an install the 32-bit version even if I have RAM larger than 4 GB. And…

Secondly, Can the same applications be installed in both GNOME and KDE deaktop environment?

Firstly… Does this mean that I an install the 32-bit version even if I have RAM larger than 4 GB.

Yes.

Secondly, Can the same applications be installed in both GNOME and KDE deaktop environment?

More than that, they can be used in both environments.

Correct, most Intel/AMD CPUs Celeron and after support PAE. However the motherboard chipset must also support addressing that much memory. Some only support 3 or 4 GB RAM on the assumption that the user will not use more than that so why give them a more expensive chipset (e.g. in notebooks). You have to check the motherboard specs to be sure.

Firstly… Does this mean that I an install the 32-bit version even if I have RAM larger than 4 GB. And…

4 GB is the physical memory limit of 32 bit architecture. PAE mode when used (not only in Linux kernel) overcomes this limit at the cost of performance (and sometimes stability). You can install the 32-bit version if you have more than 4 GB of RAM but

  • 32-bit systems with more than 4 GB of RAM are pretty rare, as older mainboards often cannot handle such amount of RAM.
  • it doesn’t usually make sense to install a 32bit version on a 64bit system with more than 4GB unless you have a good reason to do so. You can (and you certainly would) install 32 bits libraries for running 32bit programs (like Skype) on a 64bit system.

Secondly, Can the same applications be installed in both GNOME and KDE deaktop environment?

Yes. But you install the application only once. Il will appear in the startmenu of KDE and Gnome and you can use it under both desktop environments.

Sorry for the redundant answers. You guys are just too fast.

PAE mode when used (not only in Linux kernel) overcomes this limit at the cost of performance (and sometimes stability).

Um… on the other hand, more RAM generally increases the performance, so a 4GB RAM-system on a pae will most propably be more responsive / faster than for example 2 or 3GB RAM on a regular 32bit-Kernel. I guess. I haven’t experienced any problems with stability yet, I’m using pae-kernels for quite a while now.

A reason for using a 32bit-Kernel might be the used processor, I for example use a sempron.

There is no need to use a 32bit-Version, though. The question was wether a 64bit is a must when using above 4GB of RAM, that’s why the pae-thingy was mentioned at all. As far as I know, a 64bit-system has no disadvantage compared to 32bit-systems anymore.

If properly and efficiently used, yes. But that’s not always the case.

I have a couple semprons too, all 64bit.

It’s not a ‘need’. It just sounds more reasonable. The two disadvantages I can think of are :

  • Since 64bit instructions are bigger than 32bit instructions, a 64bit system needs significantly more memory, a reason to prefer a 32bit-system if you have 2GB or less (well we used to say 1 GB but things are moving fast…)
  • Some applications (less and less) are not available or unstable in 64bit version… But, as I already mentionned, you can run 32bit apps.

If properly and efficiently used, yes. But that’s not always the case.

Pardon me, but an argument being phrased this vaguely is hardly valid, is it?

This discussion wasn’t about 32 vs. 64bit anyway. arunthegr8 obviously has 64bit-hardware, so it’s okay to use a 64bit system. Topic solved. So let’s not be OT here.

My single-most and only concern is that whether I’ll experience any stability issues with the OS if i install the 64-bit version since someone mentioned it before; so that I can start downloading the required image file. The speeds in India are pathetic and my ISP gives me the option of unlimited download from 2 AM to 8 AM only. So it’s a big concern for me…

Another question:

  1. Will I be able to access my NTFS hard-disk partitions even when I hibernate windows as when I was using Ubuntu few months back, I had to force-mount them.