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Author Topic: Questions that I have  (Read 4104 times)
1984
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« on: August 03, 2010, 11:04:01 am »

Hi again I just have a few questions before I install vector.

1.
I know that there are a bunch of different file systems that linux can be installed with. What does this really matter and could I run into conflicts.

For example if I am taking a hard drive out of a Windows 98 or xp machine. Would i be able to simply take that second hard drive and set it up as a slave temporarily to copy all the files off of it? This is important as people are always giving me their broken computers so that I can rescue their files and burn them to disk to put on their new computers.

Are the file systems compatible like that?

2.

I am setting up my current build (an interim computer until I have the money to build my superbeast) to try out linux by partitioning and trying out both vector and mint. I haven’t partitioned for two OS’s before and was wondering. Would I be able to install vector on a very small partition and later increase the size of the partition if  like it? With out disrupting the other OS?

For example on a 500gb hard drive could I make two 100 gb partitions, one for mint and one for vector, then decide which one I prefer using and increase that partition to include the rest of the hard drive without having to reinstall vector or disturbing mint?

3.

This won’t be an issue for this build I’m doing but a couple months down the road when I have money to build bigger and better, I’m planning on using the new AMD Phenom II 6 core cpu. I have heard that ALL linux operating systems had or have trouble with the new AMD cool core technology. I heard that whenever linux was installed that all cores would drop their speed down into the 1.x ghz speed range unless cool and quiet technology was disabled.

Has this issue been corrected yet for vector?


Thanks.
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M0E-lnx
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3195



« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 11:26:55 am »

1) Most linuxes can handle windows 98 or xp filesystems (these are either FAT32 or NTFS) natively, vector is not the exception.
2) If you want to be able to resize the / partition at a later time, go with a well tested, well supported filesystem like ext2 or ext3 (I would choose ext3). Both of these are known to perform  just fine and support non-destructive resizing.

3) I dont know.. never owned one.
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bigpaws
Vectorian
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Posts: 1862


« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 03:22:32 pm »

1.
Your choice of filesystems should not be a problem. There are those that
praise one over the other. I would suggest a journaling FS. Like Reiserfs,
EXT3.

As far as windows partitions I do that all the time

2.
I would just split the drive equally. You will find that reinstall is pretty fast.

3.
Where did you get this information? As far as I can see cool and quiet has been supported since 2005. If in fact that
is what you are referring to.

Linux is usually the first to support new things .. if the information is available to developers to support it.


Bigpaws
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1984
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 05:34:58 pm »

So if I use ext3 or ext4 for the system I will still be able to hook up hard drives written in nfts and read them?


PS I have no idea about the date which was in question. All I know is some one said that some versions of linux wouldent work right with the amd hex core thurban and would cause it to run dramatically slower unless something on it was disabled.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 05:37:18 pm by 1984 » Logged
retired1af
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 05:40:00 pm »

It doesn't matter what file system you use for your primary partition as far as reading other partitions is concerned. Your NTFS partition will be read using ntfs-3g.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
bigpaws
Vectorian
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Posts: 1862


« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2010, 08:03:14 pm »

Quote
PS I have no idea about the date which was in question. All I know is some one said that some versions of linux wouldent work right with the amd hex core thurban and would cause it to run dramatically slower unless something on it was disabled.

Have you researched this yourself?

I spent over an hour researching this.

This chipset came out in May.

The newer CPU chipsets have different operations than the older chipsets.

Which means that cool n quiet needs to be disabled in the kernel. It was
supposed to be addressed in 2.6.35 kernel.

I have no idea wether it has been or not.

So you may need to compile a new kernel.

Linux is a kernel, that's all.

HTH

Bigpaws
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retired1af
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2010, 09:21:19 pm »

2.6.35 was released yesterday, so the issue may indeed be fixed. I checked bugzilla.kernel.org, and there doesn't seem to be any bug reports as yet.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
1984
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Posts: 29


« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2010, 03:26:56 pm »

Ok. I wouldn't know how to do that but since that build is several months away I'm sure I'll have time to figure it out. Updating the kernel is a fairly easy process once you have the system installed, right?

Anyway I'm going to be building my current pc either tonight or tomorrow. As I have said I have not partitioned before. I was reading the literature that came with VL standard and it uses a 40gb hard drive as an illustration.

As I said I want a duel boot with vector and mint. on a 500gb hd. Mint will be using ext4.

Q:

Do I really need 3 partitions for vector? The one partition seemed to be for increasing your usable ram and since I have 4gb of ram I doubt I will need that. Using 250 gb for vector how large should my root and home partitions be?

I don’t really understand root or what it is except that its sort of like administrator on windows. And the only account i have on windows is administrator. I don’t really get why they would need different partitions.


Q:

I’m going to be installing mint 64bit using ext4. I assume that vector is 32bit and does not use ext4 by default. Should I install vector first and then mint? Following the rule of installing the oldest os first?

Should the installers for vector and mint make this easy for me to understand and pretty much handle most of their on installations themselves with default settings or is there something I should know in particular that the installers will not explain to me?


Q:

Since this will be duel boot do I need to install something else like multi-booting software? Is this taken care of for me already with the installation? What should I do about this?

and

Q:

If I screw this up royally how do I just wipe my hd clean back to it’s pre format pre-use state so that I can start over completely from scratch?
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retired1af
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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2010, 04:12:22 pm »

Ok. I wouldn't know how to do that but since that build is several months away I'm sure I'll have time to figure it out. Updating the kernel is a fairly easy process once you have the system installed, right?

Anyway I'm going to be building my current pc either tonight or tomorrow. As I have said I have not partitioned before. I was reading the literature that came with VL standard and it uses a 40gb hard drive as an illustration.

As I said I want a duel boot with vector and mint. on a 500gb hd. Mint will be using ext4.

Q:

Do I really need 3 partitions for vector? The one partition seemed to be for increasing your usable ram and since I have 4gb of ram I doubt I will need that. Using 250 gb for vector how large should my root and home partitions be?

I don’t really understand root or what it is except that its sort of like administrator on windows. And the only account i have on windows is administrator. I don’t really get why they would need different partitions.


The first Linux installation you install should have 3 partitions. Root, home and swap. Your swap partition will be used by both Linux distributions. Depending on what RAM you have installed, you shouldn't need to utilize more than 2 GIG for the swap. When you install the second Linux distribution, all you'll need to worry about is root and home since the swap partition is already created. Since you'll be working with 5 partitions, you'll also need to create an extended partition so you can continue creating "home" and "root" partitions. At one time, I had 5 different distributions installed on my USB drive. **GRIN**

The root partition is used for your system files. It doesn't need to be that large, but make sure you leave enough room for future programs, etc. 20-30 Gig should be more than plenty. Home is where your configuration and data resides. You'll normally log in as a "user" which effectively helps protect the machine and OS. It's very difficult to bork up the installation when you're logged in as a user. If you need to do something like install a program or modify a system file, it's very easy to just pull up a terminal and su to root. You then make your change, then close the terminal. Voila! It's all fixed, and you haven't needed to log out and log in again, etc.

Q:

I’m going to be installing mint 64bit using ext4. I assume that vector is 32bit and does not use ext4 by default. Should I install vector first and then mint? Following the rule of installing the oldest os first?

Should the installers for vector and mint make this easy for me to understand and pretty much handle most of their on installations themselves with default settings or is there something I should know in particular that the installers will not explain to me?

Shouldn't matter what installation goes first. Use GRUB for the boot manager. What will happen is the last Linux installation you install will detect all other OS's on the drive, and include it in the boot menu.

Q:

Since this will be duel boot do I need to install something else like multi-booting software? Is this taken care of for me already with the installation? What should I do about this?

and

Q:

If I screw this up royally how do I just wipe my hd clean back to it’s pre format pre-use state so that I can start over completely from scratch?

Mint and/or VL will install its own boot menu. No need to install anything else. As far as wiping the hard drive and reloading everything from scratch, ummmm. Yeah.. You'll most likely become an expert on that. **grin** Just make sure you back up your important data elsewhere. That way if something does bork up, you can just reinstall the appropriate distro and hit the ground running again.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 04:14:26 pm by retired1af » Logged

ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
1984
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Posts: 29


« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2010, 08:46:17 pm »

Thank you for replying. I don’t want to come off as annoying but I would really like some more info so I can better understand all of this.

Quote
Root, home and swap. Your swap partition will be used by both Linux distributions. Depending on what RAM you have installed, you shouldn't need to utilize more than 2 GIG for the swap.

Asking from a person who only knows windows up to this point, why? What purpose does this serve? Huh

Quote
The root partition is used for your system files. It doesn't need to be that large, but make sure you leave enough room for future programs, etc. 20-30 Gig should be more than plenty. Home is where your configuration and data resides. You'll normally log in as a "user" which effectively helps protect the machine and OS. It's very difficult to bork up the installation when you're logged in as a user. If you need to do something like install a program or modify a system file, it's very easy to just pull up a terminal and su to root. You then make your change, then close the terminal. Voila! It's all fixed, and you haven't needed to log out and log in again, etc.

So let me get this straight using a windows comparison. On Windows all of the os files are stored in a folder that simply says "windows". The first user and thus default is an administrator. you can create numerous other user profiles at will.

Why then do you need a root (if root is admin) and home on separate partitions? Would you need to make a new partition for each user?

If I run windows only using administrator why would I want more than just root? Is it really easy to screw up the system running as root?

Also when you say “The root partition is used for your system files. It doesn't need to be that large, but make sure you leave enough room for future programs, etc. 20-30 Gig should be more than plenty. Home is where your configuration and data resides.” You are saying that all of my programs are stored on root? So if I download a new program I will be doing so on root and that program will be on my root partition? So make th root partition large enough to store all of my expected program files?

What about torrents and music downloads? Since that is in fact downloading files would that be done on root or home? And would those files reside on root or home.

Are you implying that the relationship between root and home is the programs are stored on root, run though home, and saved files are stored on the home partition?


Quote
As far as wiping the hard drive and reloading everything from scratch, ummmm. Yeah.. You'll most likely become an expert on that. **grin** Just make sure you back up your important data elsewhere. That way if something does bork up, you can just reinstall the appropriate distro and hit the ground running again.

How do I do that?

Why will I become an expert at it? Is Linux unstable? Am I headed straight down the path to total system failure in the near future? Haven’t ever learned how to do it since windows XP has been running for several years since the last virus totaled it.



My primary purposes for trying linux are

1. I am tired of getting bugs, trojans, spyware, and viruses from torrent downloads. I would like to know what it feels like to browse the web fear free.

2. Windows has become a semi truck of an os. I would like to use my cpu and ram for actually running my programs and aps for a change instead of dedicating a butt load of power to hauling around the os.

3. I like the idea of a software manager where I can get anything I need for free, instead of having to search the internet, go to the site and download it. With the linux software managers its already pre-sorted, all there when I need it. No tireless searching or trying to remember the right name. And many times (from running live cds) I’ve learned of new programs that I can then look up and download for Windows.

$ And the number one reason. As I said I am building a new pc. I don’t have $175 extra to throw at Microsoft if I can get what I need done, and have it more customizable at the same time for free.
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1984
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« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2010, 08:50:51 pm »

Oh yeah,
and

6. I'm tired of programs spontaniassly shutting down.

Windows explorer itsself just encountered an error and shut down for the third time today. Not to metntion IE.  Tongue
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bigpaws
Vectorian
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Posts: 1862


« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2010, 09:27:50 pm »

Maybe this will help:

In Unix type environments the system  is seperated from the user.

What this means is if you need to make a system wide change that will require root privilages.

The root partition is the where all of the operating system and its files reside.

Root has the power to make changes to the entire system, the same as admin in Windows.

However Windows does not really separate the user and system, therefore users can to a point
render the system useless.

Unix type environments if you screw up the users area it does not bring the system down. This is a
good thing. While you may feel comfortable running as admin in Windows in Unix type systems that
is reallt frowned upon.

The home partition is where the users information is stored, downloads and user configuration files
for each program. This means you can customize your settings while not affecting other users.

If you separate the user from the system and do not allow random execution of programs it is
harder to infect the system.

Linux is not the answer to all problems. Thinking that will create disappointment.

During your learning phase expect lots of questions, Google is your friend most of your
questions have already been answered somewhere before.

I hope this helps some.

Bigpaws
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hata_ph
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Vectorian
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Posts: 3261


-- Just being myself --


« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2010, 09:38:21 pm »

To answer your question you need to understand the linux or *nix file directory structure (as show below). *nix base OS is consist of / (which is called "root") at the top of the hierarchy table. The the rest follow down like /bin, /etc, /home and etc...



When installing linux, you just only need to setup 2 partition (minimum requirement) which is swap and /. Swap is something like virtual memory for Windows and / is your C drive. The size of the swap partition is vary depend on individual. Some suggest it is depend on your physical memory size. If your physical memory is big enough like 1 or 2GB Mhz, 520MB of swap is enough. But I usually put 1GB just to be safe (if you have enough HDD size).

/ another hand is where you install your system file. From the picture you can see the basic description of all the directories under /. In theory, all the directory can be setup in separate partition and that also depend on individual taste. Some ppls suggest to create a third partition /home to store your personal data.

/home is like Document and Setting folder in window, it where it store your users' personal data. Putting /home in a separate partition help for future system upgrade or re installation.

http://www.linuxconfig.org/Filesystem_Basics
http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
« Last Edit: August 12, 2010, 09:46:56 pm by hata_ph » Logged
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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Posts: 2567


« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2010, 10:17:12 pm »

Do I really need 3 partitions for vector? The one partition seemed to be for increasing your usable ram and since I have 4gb of ram I doubt I will need that. Using 250 gb for vector how large should my root and home partitions be?

You don't need three partitions for Vector, but you do need two. You most certainly DO NOT need 2 gigs for swap, especially with 4 gigs of RAM. The computer with the least amount of RAM at my house has 512 megs, and I gave it 900 megs of swap. Usually I use 512 megs for swap. You'll find that your system rarely uses swap. However, it's good to  have it "just in case." With the size of your hard drive, you won't miss 512 megs. Any Linuxes you install can use the same swap partition.

As for having a separate root partition ( / ) and /home partition, it's  not necessary. In fact, in 10 years of using Linux on all kinds of computers, all of them dual booting various Linuxes and some version of Windows, I've never used a separate /home partition except for the last system I set up, my old but new-to-me Dell Inspiron 1100 laptop that runs only VectorLinux 6 Light.

The advantage of a separate /home partition is that you will retain your settings, customizations, and data if you reinstall VectorLinux or install a new version of VL or another distro. However, you can easily do this even when your /home directory is on your root partition ( / ) by backing it up to external media. (There is more to this than simply copying, but no need to go into that here.)

Linux isn't like Windows. It's best to accept each system for what it is rather than wishing one were like the other. One of the main reasons Windows has such severe malware problems is that every user is an administrator by default. This means any user can do anything anywhere, and when the adminitrator/user is downloading anything, any malware in the mix can install and infect the whole system. With Vista and Win 7, Microsoft has offered more user/administrator distinctions and also UAC, which prompts the user when something is happening that affects the whole system and the user has to consent to it. This is a good step for Windows, but Windows users apparently prefer ease to safety and have whined about UAC prompts, many turning UAC off entirely.

No Linux distro that is true to its roots will ever compromise the root/user distinction. You should NEVER run your system as root and NEVER do Internet things as root. Log in as user and run as user and when you need to do something only root can do, open a terminal, type su at a prompt and then type the root password, do what root needs to do, and then type exit and go back to being a user without root privileges. User cannpt make changes that affect the system beyond the /home directory, which means if you're browsing and encounter malware, it can't get beyond the user's home directory and mess up the whole system. Also, when you have to su to root in order to do something, you are at least aware that what you want to do can have serious consequences.

Windows users often get really annoyed at the restrictions of running as user when they first start using Linux, but when you realize WHY there is this distinction you quickly get used to it. Once the system is installed and configured, you won't find you need to su to root so often in day to day use.

Quote
I don’t really understand root or what it is except that its sort of like administrator on windows. And the only account i have on windows is administrator. I don’t really get why they would need different partitions.

They don't *need* different partitions because you can simply have a /home directory on the / partition, but I tried to explain above why you might *want* to have a separate /home partition. Remember that for many home users, you are both a user and root. Most of the time you will be user but you will become root when you need to do root things.

Quote
Should the installers for vector and mint make this easy for me to understand and pretty much handle most of their on installations themselves with default settings or is there something I should know in particular that the installers will not explain to me?

I suggest reading the documentation included on the CD you'll burn from the ISO before you actually install.

I do not agree *at all* that you're going to become expert at wiping your drive and reinstalling. I've never had to do that except once many years ago where I installed something that messed up the system and it was easier to reinstall than to figure out how to fix the mess. And remember, I'm a tester and I start using new versions of VL while they're alphas, and I still haven't needed to wipe the partition. Some people like to live dangerously and mess around with tweaks and in those cases, you may indeed wind up reinstalling. But if you are like me and are fairly conservative in what you do with and to your system, you don't need to expect to become an expert on wiping drives.

Programs are usually installed by root and can be used by all users. Users can't install programs because users can't write to disk outside of their home directory. This isn't strictly true, though, because users can install some programs in their home directory. However, other users can't use those programs because other users have write privileges only in their own home directory. There are ways to change ownership and permissions on just about all files, so if you want to share music files or photos with other users of your computer, you can do it.

If you want to run a safe Linux system, you can't abandon good Web  practices. While you can't get Windows viruses or malware that requires Windows, there are other ways you can get affected and you shouldn't run files from unknown origins. And remember that if you run as root, your whole system can get affected.

If you want eye candy and very rich, many-featured programs, you'll find that Linux desktop environments can be pretty CPU and RAM intensive. Linux is not necessarily lightweight and you can't run everything on any old computer. But Linux can be much lighter than Windows and give new life to older hardware. My 1.3 GHz Celeron with a gig of RAM runs VectorLinux Standard and SOHO much better than it runs XP.

Programs can spontaneously shut down under Linux, too. It's rare for the whole system to go down, though.

I think Linux is a lot more fun than Windows and you definitely have more control over your system. This is a friendly and helpful forum, so do feel free to post any questions you have.
--GrannyGeek
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1984
Member
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Posts: 29


« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 05:55:17 pm »

Thank you for all the information.

I decided to practice installing first on an older computer running a pentium 4.

It has two hard drives. I am using on of them (an 80gb ide) for vector.

I put 1 gig for swap

20 gig for what I assume to be root ( the blank " / " )

and the rest for home. All using ext3 for the file systems.

I have tried 3 times and it won't start up. It says there is something wrong with my x something isn't set up correctly and can't start the graphical interface.

What am I doing wrong?

Also, I am going to want to remove vector from this particular practice system once I figure out what I am doing and use the 80gb harddrive as more storage space for windows. How do I remove Vector and get rid of the duel boot manager when I'm done?
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