Windows 7 & openSuSe 11.2 installation suggestion wanted...

Hi i’m playing with Linux since 1 week. Finally i lost all my data from the hard disk while trying to make good partiation and dual boot with windows 7. Not a great trouble because i’ve already backed up some important files in DVD. anyway…

Now i’ve just wiped full disk uking KillDisk utility. Now i wanto install fresh Windows 7 and openSuSe 11.2. I’m going to install in Dell Inspiron 6400 Laptop. Hard Disk size is 120GB. I’ve searched a lot in google but very confusing. I’m installing for only personal perpose i mean not as a server. I’m looking for the answer of the following questions.

I want 80GB for windows and 40GB for openSuse.
4 Partiation for Windows (System, Desktop, Backup, Web)
I don’t have clear idea about partiation size in linux (swap, /(root), /usr, /home, /tmp, /var)

  1. I’m planning to install Win 7 first. Is that ok? Please suggest me which OS to install first?

  2. How to put free space for linux? My way is i shrink the volume in win 7 and don’t format and that is used by linux.

  3. I have 1 GB ram so i’ll use 1GB as SWAP and please suggest me for other partiation for linux.

  4. Does shrinking windows based volumn after installing both OS create big problem? This happened today for me. Actually i don’t know the exact reason.


  1. Yeap, that’s what you should do, since OpenSUSE is aware of other OSs, while Windows is not and forcibly overwrites the master boot record.
  2. The best way to do it is to create the partitions of the right size from the start. When installing Windows 7, don’t accept partitioning, instead edit it and allocate 80GB to Windows 7, leaving the rest as Unpartitioned Space. Shrinking the volume sometimes makes your OS unbootable, and Windows 7 doesn’t allow shrinking its own volume with its tools, you can only do that via GPartEd.
  3. Other partitions depend on your needs. My setup right now is: 1) Windows 7 “System Reserved” partition, NTFS, primary, unmounted, 100MB (this one is suggested by Windows 7 installer) 2) Windows 7 main partition, NTFS, primary, mounted as /windows/C, 300GB (surely you’d set it to 80GB) 3) Linux GRUB partition, EXT2, active, mounted as /boot, 100MB 3) Extended partition 4) Linux / partition, EXT4, logical, mounted as /, 300GB (you’d set it to what space you have left unpartitioned) 5) Linux Swap, 2GB (note that I have 4GB RAM, the partitioning tool offered 2GB partition and it seems to be OK).
    Others like having / and /home separate, but I see no need to do so. The /boot partition, on the other hand, is very useful in case of emergency - you can set it active whenever you want, and it will always boot GRUB.
  4. See 2, and my thread here, it has some interesting insight on the resize issue: Resizing/moving Windows 7 partitions (Page 1) - Live Media - GParted forum

My recommendation for anybody else (though it doesn’t apply to laptops) is to have two hard drives, one for Windows and one for Linux. The advantage of this is that if one fails or is messed up during install you can still boot from the other, and problems with the boot loader can be circumvented by changing the hard drive boot priority in the BIOS.

Messing up the hard drive so much that nothing would boot is pretty hard to do, unless you actually aim to do so :slight_smile: Otherwise just have a LiveCD of GPartEd, it usually can make one or the other boot.

Thanks for the valuable suggestions. I’ve successfully installed Both Windows 7 and openSuSe 11.2.

First i install Windows 7 with 20 GB partiation and left all remaining for free. After Installing Windows 7 i install OpenSuSe and make partiation as follows…
system - 20 gb (Primary)
/boot - 200MB (primary)
desktop - FAT32 - 20GB (extended)
backup - FAT32 - 20GB(extended)
web - FAT32 - 10GB(extended)
/ - Ext4 - 6GB(extended)
Swap - Swap - 1GB(extended)
/home -Ext4 - 15 GB(extended)
/usr -Ext4 - 8 GB(extended)
/var -Ext4 - 2 GB(extended)
/temp - Ext4 - 1GB(extended)

there is still free space i’ll play with it later… In future i’ll use this laptop as hosting for a testing site of mine. please suggest whether i’ve done right or wrong. i’m just like a baby in Linux.

maybe a typo but there is no /temp in the normal install the directory where temp files go is /tmp

If you mounted the temp partition as /temp all the temp files are still going to be on the root partition in the /tmp directory

Too many partitions for my taste but nothing technically wrong, except maybe for the /tmp /temp naming confusion

Don’t do it that way. On a home system or a laptop for daily use there’s no need to have a separate boot, var and usr partition.

The windu partitions are OK, though 20 GB for 7 is not too much. Upgrade it to Ultimate and you’re in trouble.

I would suggest the following:

swap 2 GB
/ 14 GB
/home “what’s left”.

You could tell for example MySQL to store databases in your homedir instead of in /var/run/mysql

This is from my laptop, I use it for webdevelopment as well. It runs apache2, php and MySQL, a couple of Joomla sites, all just for local access.

/dev/sda1              14G   11G  3,0G  78% /
udev                  2,0G  204K  2,0G   1% /dev
/dev/sda2              14G  5,6G  7,4G  43% /home
/dev/sda4              30G   12G   16G  43% /Extra

/ only contains the OS and software
/home is /home
/Extra contains the websites, development environment and databases.

On a OS-upgrade only / gets formatted, the rest stays as it is. I only ‘dd’ the entire disk to an identical one, change boot files and fstab on the copy.

Hope this helps you, I would not do it the way you did it now.

Edit: wanted to add something on /tmp; gogalthorp already did…:wink:

Ah, yes, /home is separate so upgrades are easier. Hmm, in that case, where are programs that are installed via RPM usually stored? In /? If so, then / and /home partition sizes are pretty hard to optimise, unless you have a huge HDD and you don’t care about the size at all.

Having separate /boot is always good for last resort operation. Others, however, aren’t really needed, yes. Same goes with Windows, it’s usually the best to keep everything on one drive, or at least programs, since they all default to installing on C:, which size gets limited very fast, and some unfriendly programs like Steam actually install on C: without asking.

Also, it’s been around a year now that Linux has great NTFS support, so there is no longer any need to have old FAT32 file system partitions, they’re better off merged with the main partition or changed to NTFS.

Other than that, yeap, that partitioning works as well.