New installation advice

I have been using openSUSE on three different desktops since version 9.1. I would like to test 15.3. The installer recommends a very complicated partitioning. In the past I have always provided space for a second distro which I use for testing or running software unavailable under openSUSE. I would like to continue that and I need suggestions. My equipment is older, slower, simpler. I do very little graphics work. I use ordinary hard drives, not SSD’s. This is a sample of my hard drive partitioning.

Device Boot Size Id Type
/dev/sda1 2G 83 Linux Swap
/dev/sda2 30G 83 Linux Other distro /
/dev/sda3 * 30G 83 Linux OpenSUSE /
/dev/sda4 869.5G 5 Extended
/dev/sda5 10G 83 Linux Other distro /home
/dev/sda6 10G 83 Linux OpenSUSE /home
/dev/sda7 849.5G 83 Linux Data for both distros

I know I have to switch to GPT, but would like to stay with ext4 formatting. Is that possible? Thanks in advance.

You know more then I do. Why should you?

What do you want to do? Use those openSUSE /, /home and the Swap for your new installation? Then forget the "complicated partitioning offered to you and just tell the installer what to use for what and to make new ext4 file systems on what now will be new / and /home.

Apparently your system has some 10 years on its shoulders, likely still booting in legacy mode, no UEFI…
I still use a partitioning scheme similar to yours on a 2007 test laptop, all with EXT4 formatting.
At the partitioning prompt you have to select the “Expert Partitioner”, then choose “Start with Existing Partitions” and edit as needed the partitions you want to use as / (root), /home and swap.
Of course that way you are not going to test btrfs and related features, but the installed distro is going to work as expected (done that on a VM the other day…)

In fact above there is basically the same advice given at the same moment. But both assume that you want to leave the partitioning as it is.

When you want something different, like removing taht “other distro”, then you have more freedom and can do what you like. Keeping your goal more or less secret to us will not help in giving the best information.

Also, we assume that your information about the present partitioning is correct, even if you did not post computer system information.

I have not noticed that. It was probably trying to fit it in with minimal change to what already exists. And that made it complicated.

For my most recent install of 15.3:

Click on “Expert partitioner – start with existing partitions”.

Click the “System” button near top left. That gave me an option to import mount points.

From there, I reused the partitioning from the previous system (Leap 15.1). It all went pretty smoothly.

I started with 8.0. :slight_smile:

I would like to test 15.3.
Excellent!

The installer recommends a very complicated partitioning.
BTRFS is not a good idea for a / partition of only 30GB, which is probably why it recommended as it did. Also, it likes a newer (BTRFS) filesystem that facilitates snapshotting. I, like many, like KISS, so still use EXT4. You get to choose whichever suits you best by selecting the expert partitioner.

In the past I have always provided space for a second distro which I use for testing or running software unavailable under openSUSE. I would like to continue that and I need suggestions. My equipment is older, slower, simpler. I do very little graphics work. I use ordinary hard drives, not SSD’s.
I have over a dozen PC’s much like you describe, HDDs, 2 or fewer CPU cores, 4GB or less of RAM, more than a dozen partitions per HDD, floppy drives, CD and/or DVD drives.

This is a sample of my hard drive partitioning.

Device     Boot  Size	Id Type
/dev/sda1          2G	83 Linux Swap
/dev/sda2         30G	83 Linux Other distro /
/dev/sda3  *      30G	83 Linux OpenSUSE /
/dev/sda4      869.5G	 5 Extended
/dev/sda5         10G	83 Linux Other distro /home
/dev/sda6         10G	83 Linux OpenSUSE /home
/dev/sda7      849.5G	83 Linux Data for both distros

This is fine. Use the “expert” partitioner and select each of the existing “other” partitions for use by 15.3. Be sure to not format /dev/sda1. Otherwise, the existing installation will most likely error because of the changed UUID reformatting causes, correctable, but a nuisance.

I know I have to switch to GPT,
How do you know? You should need to make such switch only if your HDD is >2TB.

but would like to stay with ext4 formatting. Is that possible?
Certainly. If you do not select format for /dev/sda2, it will complain. Not formatting / is a bad idea, unless you are an expert not to freshly format for a new installation’s / partition, and not really a good idea even if an expert. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks to all of you. 15.3 running as expected.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

The partition table supported up to four primary partitions

With GPT you will get more than 4 primary partitions, have a copy of a GPT system data in the end of a drive, relaxed restrictions for partitions, etc.
GPT is better than MBR, but Windows requires MBR with BIOS non-UEFI boot.

Is that supposed to answer my question somehow? I don’t need MBR explained to me. I’ve been routinely using and creating them for well over 3 decades.

Hi
I switched to gpt disk and legacy boot, works fine with a pmbr_boot @ 8MB and not having to worry about an extended partition :wink:


lsblk

NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0 232.9G  0 disk 
├─sda1   8:1    0     8M  0 part 
├─sda2   8:2    0    60G  0 part /
├─sda3   8:3    0    50G  0 part /home
├─sda4   8:4    0   120G  0 part /data
└─sda5   8:5    0   2.9G  0 part [SWAP]

parted -l

Model: ATA WDC WDS250G2B0A (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 250GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/512B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags: pmbr_boot

Number  Start   End     Size    File system     Name                 Flags
 1      1049kB  9437kB  8389kB                  BIOS boot partition  bios_grub
 2      9437kB  64.4GB  64.4GB  btrfs           Linux filesystem     legacy_boot
 3      64.4GB  118GB   53.7GB  xfs             Linux filesystem
 4      118GB   247GB   129GB   xfs             Linux filesystem
 5      247GB   250GB   3089MB  linux-swap(v1)  Linux swap           swap

I made one much like that recently:

     OS   version : Linux    5.3.18 (x86_64) openSUSE Leap 15.2
     Current user : root on e6400 using TERM=xterm-256color

 1 Phys  1  /dev/sda      Model=WDC WD1600BJKT-75F4T0, FwRev=11.01A11, SerialNo=WD-WX20AA9K1712

 Disk 1 L-Geo from: GPT table, likely 1-MiB cylinders (GPT guard present in MBR)
Disk 1    forcing : cylinders from     19457 to    152628
Disk 1    forcing : heads     from    255 to     64
Disk 1    forcing : sectors   from     63 to     32
 L-Geo Disk 1 Cyl :   152628 H: 64 S:32  Bps:512   Size:0x12A1A000 =   149.1 GiB
 S-Geo Disk 1 Cyl :    19457 H:255 S:63  Bps:512   Size:0x12A18AC1 =   149.0 GiB
 MBR crc 50e6d9b1 : 0xee7d8582 = Linux GRUB loader and bootmanager

DFSee Linux  16.7 : Executing: fdisk -r- -w-
Command timestamp : Thursday 2021-03-11 12:34:37
+---+--+--+-----------------+--------+--------+-----------+-------------------------+-----------+
|ID |ux|Dr|Type, description|Format  |Related |VolumeLabel|OS2-LVM/BM / GPT / Crypt |  Size MiB |
+--[/dev/sda     GPT disk  1]--------+--------+-----------[Model=WDC WD1600BJKT]----+-----------+
|01 |  |  |Fsp + GPT hdr/pta|-- -- --|-- -- --|- - - - - -|Size 0x7de sectors       |        1.0|
|01 | 1|  |EFI System  (ESP)|FAT32   |GPT/EFI |           |EFI System (ESP)         |      320.0|
|02 | 2|  |**BIOS Boot (noEFI)**|        |unknown |           |Linux Reserved for Grub  |        1.0|
|03 | 3|  |Linux Data       |EXT2    |GRUB    |wd03boot   |Linux /boot              |      800.0|
|04 | 4|  |Linux Swap       |SWAP    |LinuxV1 |SWAPSPACE2 |Linux Swap               |     2400.0|
|05 | 5|  |Linux Data       |EXT4    |Linux   |wd05usrlcl |Linux /usr/local         |     4000.0|
|06 | 6|  |Linux Data       |EXT4    |Linux   |wd06shar   |Linux shared             |     8000.0|
|07 | 7|  |Linux Data       |EXT4    |Linux   |wd07root1  |Linux / #1               |    20000.0|
|08 | 8|  |Linux Data       |EXT4    |Linux   |wd08root2  |Linux / #2               |    20000.0|
|09 | 9|  |Linux Data       |EXT4    |Linux   |wd09root3  |Linux / #3               |    20000.0|
|10 |10|  |Linux Data       |EXT4    |Linux   |wd10home   |Linux /home              |    77105.0|
|11 |  |  |Fsp + GPT pta/hdr|-- -- --|-- -- --|- - - - - -|Size 0x68f sectors       |      0.820|