My new Seagate Barracuda 300GB hard drive just arrived. I’ll need some time to redo my entire computer (currently there are 4 operating systems). Whenever I purchase a new harddrive (about once ever 2 years) I always put some serious evaluation into how I will partition it.
Some points I consider
- Windows is primary operating system
- A second Windows should be possible
- Windows should have at least seperate ‘applications’ and ‘work’ partitions
- Multiple Linux distributions should be possible (2-3)
- Swap partition can be shared in Linux
- At least /home partition should be shared in Linux
In truth I only have about 3-4 GB of actual work and about 6-8 GB of media to save. I also do not play any games or do any major video editting which leaves for a great deal of flexibility.
The 300GB is misleading. Given
300x1000^3 bytes, you will actually have about 279GB since each KB is 1024 bytes and so forth.
My current scheme for 279GB:
NTFS - Primary - 16GB– Windows 2000 (currently using)
NTFS - Primary - 16GB– Windows XP (testing only)
NTFS - Primary - 16GB– Open (possibly Windows Vista?)
NTFS - 40GB– Applications (shared all Windows)
NTFS - 40GB– Data/Work (including all saved materials + including Media)
EXT3 - 14GB– Linux 1 – Latest Fedora Core Release
EXT3 - 14GB– Linux 2 – Previous Fedora Core Release
EXT3 - 14GB– Linux 3 – Latest Fedora Core Test Release
EXT3 - 14GB– Linux 4 – Possible x86_64 (pending hardware purchase)
EXT3 - 14GB– Linux 5 – to be determined
EXT3 - 14GB– Linux 6 – to be determined
EXT3 - 32GB– /home – shared
EXT3 - 32GB– /data – shared
SWAP - 2GB
Some notes I would like to mention from experience and what I’ve researched.
- Bootable Partitions – There are no
/bootpartitions required since the newer bootloaders (i.e.
grub) and modern BIOS’s do not impose any limitations on booting from an Extended partition. However Windows has always been fussy, hence I leave them on a Primary partition regardless.
- Multiple Distributions – I am not sure if I need space for 6 different distributions, although if I do purchase an AMD 64bit system in the near future, then this will be required as I may wish to test as many 64bit Linux distributions as 32bit.
- Multiple Windows – Additionally I’m not sure if I wish to test 2 alternate Windows versions. Currently Windows 2000 suits my needs, but future hardware may force me to use XP or something else.
- NTFS vs FAT32 – Currently
FAT32is read and write in Linux, however
NTFSis read-only. There are some options for write to NTFS, but I don’t find them very reliable. Using FAT32 in the past has caused data loss multiple times, hence I no longer use it.
- SWAP – I recall reading that you should have at least as much swap as you do have physical memory to support things like Software Suspend to Disk (S4 – “Hibernate”). I currently have 1GB memory, if I upgrade to 2GB, I may require more space.
- LVM – Logical Volume Management – I lack experience in LVM but with my current configuration, every single operating system can at least read every other partition (e.g. EXT3 in Windows). I am unsure how I can achieve this using LVM.
There will probably be some reassigned space before I decide on the final layout, but I am sure the above will work well for me.
I am not recommending the above for anyone! This is only just some planned out reasoning so that I never really have to sacrifice any properly configured operating system so I can try or experiment with a new OS. For anyone who may comment about emulation or virtualization – I do not feel it is practical to truly test certain aspects of the OS.