# is there a simple, or even understandable way, to set up your partitions

I swear, the longer I use linux the harder it is to do the simplest things. All I need to do is to create the basic partitions for an install and two hours of messing around hasn’t go me any closer, or even to first base.

I am installing on a drive that has a windows boot partition and a windows file partition. There is 500GB of unallocated space in a single block for my linux partitions. The “recommendations” of the opensuse install are insane. The installer wants to perform about 15 operations to get the partitions set up. This includes moving and resizing the windows partitions. Why would an install tool ever even consider touching existing partitions with existing OSs installed when there is already tons of free space in a single block? When I go to custom partitions, I get an unintelligible screen with a list of what the partitions will look like after suse is done with them, not a list of what the partitions look like currently. Why all this obnoxious automation???

This is an extremely simple procedure. I have 0.5TB of unallocated drive space and I need to create a boot partition, a swap partition, and a home partition. Why do I not see the unallocated space on my drive so I can select it, select edit, and create the partitions I need? I have been installing linux for years and have set up hard drives and VMs for Ubuntu, Cinnamon, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Poseidon, openSuse and a few other defunct projects like mandrake. I have also set up numerous multi-boot windows boxes and have no trouble with bootloaders and partition managers. The fact that the suse development team has created a partition manager that I can’t understand at all is an epic failure and there’s just no other way to describe it.

Can someone help with this or should I just go back to so older version that I can actually install?

LMHmedchem

I had no trouble understanding it, it’s pretty simple and straightforward tool if you ask me and allows you to fine tune it manually if you do are not happy with the automated proposal.

Anyway Click Edit Proposal and remove the check mark from BTFRS and the partitioning layout should look more familiar to you?

Hi,

The installer will just give you a proposal about the partition and file system which normally works if you don’t have any existing partition. The good thing is you can ignore it and create/do the partitioning according to your own hearts content.

Create Partition Setup

Custom Partitioning (for expert)


After that you should see the existing partition in your disk.

Well I decided to add an ssd for suse. I ended up disconnecting the existing hard drive because even though I selected custom partitioning, the suggestions still appear in the partition table. I could set up partitions on my ssd, but there are still partitions on the other hard drive that say “opensuse 13” and such. I guess I could remove those entries, but I don’t like going around deleting partitions on existing drives for no reason. It still doesn’t make any sense to me that you should see a modified partition table when you have selected a custom setup. Doesn’t “custom setup” mean that you are going to create your own?

I have run into a problem with the install. I set up my /, swap, and /home partitions on the ssd. I go through the step with the repositories, select the time zone, and then the installer just quits with the informative, “there was an error in the installation”. This may be an issue with the marvell sata III controller on the motherboard. This is what I have the ssd plugged into because there are no intel sata III ports, just intel sata II. The marvel controller is set to AHCI mode. My motherboard recognizes the ssd and the suse installer recognized it to the extent that it lets me create partitions for it.

Do I need f6 drivers for the marvell controller?

Should I open a different thread for this because it is not about partitioning at this point?

LMHmedchem

Did you run the media check from the install media?

Well I tried with the marvell controller in ide mode but it fails at the same place. I set the time zone, select kde, and enter my username and password. The screen for selecting installation options like software appears for a second and then the install fails.

I also switched the sdd to a sata II port on the intel controller in ide mode and this also fails. I finally tried AHCI mode on the intel sata II controller and I have been able to start the installation. Hopefully it will finish. It’s not ususual for ssd drives to need AHCI mode, so I guess I need an AHCI driver for the marvell controller if I want to run in sata III.

LMHmedchem

Sorry I missed your post. I didn’t run that this time, though I usually do. The install is running at the moment. I will run the media check after it finishes, or if it borks.

LMHmedchem

I have to agree with you, LMHmedchem, the disk setup in OpenSUSE installer looks unnecessarily complicated. Intimidating for a newer user. Because of that thing alone I do not recommend OpenSUSE as a first distro to anyone, at least without warning about the disk setup

I’m not an expert by any means but I’ve installed many distros and the disk setup in OpenSUSE looks most complicated by far.

That said, I’ve had no troubles with it, and the disk setup itself isn’t different from other distros… it’s just the user interface and the default proposal.

Hello LMHmedchem,

reading this thread i’m not quite sure wether your problem still exists or wether you solved it already.

At the end of last year i installed openSUSE 13.2 to a new, empty (no MS Windows on it) machine and - although i’m with Suse linux since version 7.2 - i have to admit: the proposed disk setup with BTRFS offered by th 13.2-installer looked quite confusing to me. But switching to the “expert” partitioning option gave me a clean (i.e. without the proposed setup) look at my disks an i could choose/create whatever i prefered.

In case you still have problems it would be helpful to know, wether your machine has BOIS or UEFI and if you tried to setup your disks in MBR or in GPT mode.

Best regards

susejunky

While you raise a number of valid points, let’s deal with your specific assertions. It would be helpful if you could
specify which version of openSUSE you use.

On 2015-01-20, LMHmedchem <LMHmedchem@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:
> I swear, the longer I use linux the harder it is to do the simplest
> things.

That may be true for you, but not the general pattern. Installation of GNU/Linux in the late 1990s was nothing like as
straightforward as it is now. It’s true that UEFI introduced some hurdles for some distributions but otherwise the
simplest things in GNU/Linux are effortless even for non-experts, especially with the proliferation of GUI-based tools.

> All I need to do is to create the basic partitions for an
> install and two hours of messing around hasn’t go me any closer, or even
> to first base.

Ok. What you do mean by a basic partition'? Are using GPT or MBR? If you're using an MBR, are you wanting to create a Primary’ or Extended’ partition. These are complications that are nothing to do with GNU/Linux, but hard drive
technology. Different partition arrangements and different partition types have different capabilities so if GNU/Linux
is about choice, those choices are for you to make. If you have spent two hours of messing around and haven’t reached
first place because of partitioning, you need to research why. Remember GNU/Linux isn’t free: you pay with time rather
than money.

I am installing on a drive that has a windows boot partition and a
windows file partition. There is 500GB of unallocated space in a single
block for my linux partitions. The “recommendations” of the opensuse
install are insane.

My experience of openSUSE’s installer’s recommendations are similar, and always go for a totally manual’ control over
the partitioning. The installer cannot be everything to everyone because it doesn’t know the user’s level of experience,
what the intended use of the computer is, and the suggestions are easily over-ridden.

> The installer wants to perform about 15 operations
> to get the partitions set up. This includes moving and resizing the
> windows partitions. Why would an install tool ever even consider
> touching existing partitions with existing OSs installed when there is
> already tons of free space in a single block? When I go to custom
> partitions, I get an unintelligible screen with a list of what the
> partitions will look like after suse is done with them, not a list of
> what the partitions look like currently. Why all this obnoxious
> automation???

It is not automated. It is merely a partition proposal which can accept or refuse. But I entirely agree that the default
BTRFS-based proposal of openSUSE 13.2 is obnoxious for these reasons:

1. BTRFS is still beta, and should therefore never be a default filing system for anything (SLES/SLED default to XFS).
2. The user isn’t even given the option to avoid BTRFS before first seeing a proposal.
3. The user isn’t even given the option to protect non-GNU/Linux partitions (e.g. NTFS) before first seeing a proposal.

> This is an extremely simple procedure. I have 0.5TB of unallocated drive
> space and I need to create a boot partition, a swap partition, and a
> home partition. Why do I not see the unallocated space on my drive so I
> can select it, select edit, and create the partitions I need?

If you want simple’, just do this from command line! It’s a lot easier e.g. for a 6-partition arrangement (/boot/, /,
swap, /tmp/, /var/, /home/) on an MBR 256 GiB drive you do this with parted and mkfs:

\begin{verbatim}
sh-4.2# parted -a optimal /dev/sdX
(parted) print
(parted) mklabel msdos
(parted) mkpart primary 1MiB 1024MiB
(parted) set 1 boot on
(parted) unit MiB
(parted) mkpart primary 1024 98302
(parted) mkpart extended 98303 -1
(parted) mkpart logical 98304 131071
(parted) mkpart logical 131072 133119
(parted) mkpart logical 133120 163839
(parted) mkpart logical 163840 -1
(parted) unit GiB
(parted) print
(parted) quit
sh-4.2# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX1
sh-4.2# mkfs.xfs /dev/sdX2
sh-4.2# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX6
sh-4.2# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX7
sh-4.2# mkfs.btrfs /dev/sdX8
sh-4.2# mkswap /dev/sdX5
sh-4.2# swapon /dev/sdX5
\end{verbatin}

… and it’s even simpler if you don’t want /tmp/ and /var/ to be separate partitions since MBR allows up to 4 primary
partitions.

I have
been installing linux for years and have set up hard drives and VMs for
Ubuntu, Cinnamon, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Poseidon, openSuse and a few
other defunct projects like mandrake. I have also set up numerous
multi-boot windows boxes and have no trouble with bootloaders and
partition managers. The fact that the suse development team has created
a partition manager that I can’t understand at all is an epic failure
and there’s just no other way to describe it.

These comments belong in Soapbox/Chit-chat rather than technical support. I wouldn’t call openSUSE 13.2’s partitioner an
epic failure’ because it is very capable even if it’s default proposal at the time of installation is daft.

> Can someone help with this or should I just go back to so older version that I can actually install?

If you don’t like openSUSE’s partitioner, just use another one. If you don’t want to use command-line, try Gparted
(which essentially runs the same commands I’ve listed above). When it comes to installing openSUSE into those new
partitions, just select expert/custom partitioning' and the floor's entirely yours on how you want to go about performing your simplest things’.

While you raise a number of valid points, let’s deal with your specific assertions. It would be helpful if you could
specify which version of openSUSE you use.

On 2015-01-20, LMHmedchem <LMHmedchem@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:
> I swear, the longer I use linux the harder it is to do the simplest
> things.

That may be true for you, but not the general pattern. Installation of GNU/Linux in the late 1990s was nothing like as
straightforward as it is now. It’s true that UEFI introduced some hurdles for some distributions but otherwise the
simplest things in GNU/Linux are effortless even for non-experts, especially with the proliferation of GUI-based tools.

> All I need to do is to create the basic partitions for an
> install and two hours of messing around hasn’t go me any closer, or even
> to first base.

Ok. What you do mean by a basic partition'? Are using GPT or MBR? If you're using an MBR, are you wanting to create a Primary’ or Extended’ partition. These are complications that are nothing to do with GNU/Linux, but hard drive
technology. Different partition arrangements and different partition types have different capabilities so if GNU/Linux
is about choice, those choices are for you to make. If you have spent two hours of messing around and haven’t reached
first place because of partitioning, you need to research why. Remember GNU/Linux isn’t free: you pay with time rather
than money.

I am installing on a drive that has a windows boot partition and a
windows file partition. There is 500GB of unallocated space in a single
block for my linux partitions. The “recommendations” of the opensuse
install are insane.

My experience of openSUSE’s installer’s recommendations are similar, and always go for a totally manual’ control over
the partitioning. The installer cannot be everything to everyone because it doesn’t know the user’s level of experience,
what the intended use of the computer is, and the suggestions are easily over-ridden.

> The installer wants to perform about 15 operations
> to get the partitions set up. This includes moving and resizing the
> windows partitions. Why would an install tool ever even consider
> touching existing partitions with existing OSs installed when there is
> already tons of free space in a single block? When I go to custom
> partitions, I get an unintelligible screen with a list of what the
> partitions will look like after suse is done with them, not a list of
> what the partitions look like currently. Why all this obnoxious
> automation???

It is not automated. It is merely a partition proposal which can accept or refuse. But I entirely agree that the default
BTRFS-based proposal of openSUSE 13.2 is obnoxious for these reasons:

1. BTRFS is still beta, and should therefore never be a default filing system for anything (SLES/SLED default to XFS).
2. The user isn’t even given the option to avoid BTRFS before first seeing a proposal.
3. The user isn’t even given the option to protect non-GNU/Linux partitions (e.g. NTFS) before first seeing a proposal.

> This is an extremely simple procedure. I have 0.5TB of unallocated drive
> space and I need to create a boot partition, a swap partition, and a
> home partition. Why do I not see the unallocated space on my drive so I
> can select it, select edit, and create the partitions I need?

If you want simple’, just do this from command line! It’s a lot easier e.g. for a 6-partition arrangement (/boot/, /,
swap, /tmp/, /var/, /home/) on an MBR 256 GiB drive you do this with parted and mkfs:


sh-4.2# parted -a optimal /dev/sdX
(parted) print
(parted) mklabel msdos
(parted) mkpart primary 1MiB 1024MiB
(parted) set 1 boot on
(parted) unit MiB
(parted) mkpart primary 1024 98302
(parted) mkpart extended 98303 -1
(parted) mkpart logical 98304 131071
(parted) mkpart logical 131072 133119
(parted) mkpart logical 133120 163839
(parted) mkpart logical 163840 -1
(parted) unit GiB
(parted) print
(parted) quit
sh-4.2# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX1
sh-4.2# mkfs.xfs /dev/sdX2
sh-4.2# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX6
sh-4.2# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdX7
sh-4.2# mkfs.btrfs /dev/sdX8
sh-4.2# mkswap /dev/sdX5
sh-4.2# swapon /dev/sdX5



… and it’s even simpler if you don’t want /tmp/ and /var/ to be separate partitions since MBR allows up to 4 primary
partitions.

I have
been installing linux for years and have set up hard drives and VMs for
Ubuntu, Cinnamon, CentOS, Scientific Linux, Poseidon, openSuse and a few
other defunct projects like mandrake. I have also set up numerous
multi-boot windows boxes and have no trouble with bootloaders and
partition managers. The fact that the suse development team has created
a partition manager that I can’t understand at all is an epic failure
and there’s just no other way to describe it.

These comments belong in Soapbox/Chit-chat rather than technical support. I wouldn’t call openSUSE 13.2’s partitioner an
epic failure’ because it is very capable even if it’s default proposal at the time of installation is daft.

> Can someone help with this or should I just go back to so older version that I can actually install?

If you don’t like openSUSE’s partitioner, just use another one. If you don’t want to use command-line, try Gparted
(which essentially runs the same commands I’ve listed above). When it comes to installing openSUSE into those new
partitions, just select expert/custom partitioning' and the floor's entirely yours on how you want to go about performing your simplest things’.

As long as there are partitions on the disk, that is not seen as free space by the installer. And thus it will not use that disk. I thought that that was already said above.

Thus either you remove those partitions that you do not need any more (because you want openSUSE to use the space they now occupy) before you start installing. And the installer willl probably offer you a proposal that uses that space. Or, at installation youu could change the proposal and then there is somewhere a screen where you can select one of the disks and then check “Use the whole disk” (you can use that even if there are still leftover partitions, it will propose to remove those and propose a partition on that disk).

Or during the installation in erxpert mode you first remove them from the list, put new entries there for swap, / and /home (maybe more) to your liking.

Wow, lots of posts. Thanks for all the responses. I will respond to everyone tomorrow. Sorry, I have been away for the day.

My installation issue is solved in that I have got opensuse 13.2 on the drive and working. I was going to post some screenshots of the issues I was having with the partitioner, but appearently I cant post attachements.

My current issue is the lack of an AHCI driver for the Marvell SATA III controler. This just means I have to run my ssd on a SATA II port for now. I will post another thread about that in case someone here knows where I can get the driver to add with f6.

I think there are some other interesting issues to discuss around this, so I will respond to all the posts made so far.

LMHmedchem