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3.19. Partitioning Your System
If you chose automatic partitioning and did not
select Review, please skip ahead to Section 3.21 Network Configuration.
If you chose automatic partitioning and selected
Review, you can either accept the current partition
settings (click Next), or modify the setup using
Disk Druid, the manual partitioning tool.
At this point, you must tell the installation program where to install
Red Hat Linux. This is done by defining mount points for one
or more disk partitions in which Red Hat Linux will be installed. You may also need to create and/or delete partitions at this time (refer to Figure 3-14).
If you have not yet planned how you
will set up your partitions, refer to Appendix E An Introduction to Disk Partitions. At a
bare minimum, you need an appropriately-sized root partition, and a swap
partition equal to twice the amount of RAM you have on the system.
The partitioning tool used by the installation program is
Disk Druid. With the exception of certain
esoteric situations, Disk Druid can handle the
partitioning requirements for a typical installation.
3.19.1. Graphical Display of Hard Drive(s)
Disk Druid offers a graphical
representation of your hard drive(s).
Using your mouse, click once to highlight a particular field in the
graphical display. Double-click to edit an existing partition or to create a partition out of existing
Above the display, you will see the drive name
the geom (which shows the hard disk's geometry and
consists of three numbers representing the number of cylinders, heads, and
sectors as reported by the hard disk), and the model
of the hard drive as detected by the installation program.
3.19.2. Disk Druid's Buttons
These buttons control Disk Druid's actions.
They are used to change the attributes of a partition (for example the
file system type and mount point) and also to create RAID devices. Buttons
on this screen are also used to accept the changes you have made, or to
exit Disk Druid. For further explanation, take
a look at each button in order:
New: Used to request a new partition. When
selected, a dialog box appears containing fields (such as mount point
and size) that must be filled in.
Edit: Used to modify attributes of the
partition currently selected in the Partitions
section. Selecting Edit opens a dialog box.
Some or all of the fields can be edited, depending on whether the
partition information has already been written to disk.
You can also edit free space as represented in the
graphical display to create a new partition within that space. Either
highlight the free space and then select the
Edit button, or double-click on the free space
to edit it.
Delete: Used to remove
the partition currently highlighted in the Current Disk
Partitions section. You will be asked to confirm the deletion
of any partition.
Reset: Used to restore Disk
Druid to its original state. All changes made will be
lost if you Reset the partitions.
RAID: Used to provide redundancy to any or
all disk partitions. It should only be used if you have
experience using RAID. To read more about RAID, refer to
the Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.
To make a RAID device, you must first create software RAID
partitions. Once you have created two or more software RAID
partitions, select RAID to join the
software RAID partitions into a RAID device.
LVM: Allows you to create an LVM logical
volume. The role of LVM (Logical Volume Manager) is to present a
simple logical view of underlying physical storage space, such as a
hard drive(s). LVM manages individual physical disks — or to be
more precise, the individual partitions present on them. It
should only be used if you have experience using LVM. To
read more about LVM, refer to the
Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.
To create an LVM logical volume, you must first create partitions
of type physical volume (LVM). Once you have created one or more
physical volume (LVM) partitions, select LVM to
create an LVM logical volume.
3.19.3. Partition Fields
Above the partition hierarchy are labels which present information
about the partitions you are creating. The labels are defined as follows:
Device: This field displays the partition's
Mount Point/RAID/Volume: A mount point is the
location within the directory hierarchy at which a volume exists; the
volume is "mounted" at this location. This field indicates where the
partition will be mounted. If a partition exists, but is not set,
then you need to define its mount point. Double-click on the
partition or click the Edit button.
Type: This field shows the partition's type
(for example, ext2, ext3, or vfat).
Format: This field shows if the partition
being created will be formatted.
Size (MB): This field shows the partition's
size (in MB).
Start: This field shows the cylinder on your
hard drive where the partition begins.
End: This field shows the cylinder on your hard
drive where the partition ends.
Hide RAID device/LVM Volume Group members: Select
this option if you do not want to view any RAID device or LVM Volume Group
members that have been created.
3.19.4. Recommended Partitioning Scheme
Unless you have a reason for doing otherwise, we recommend that you create
the following partitions:
A swap partition (at least 32MB) — swap partitions are
used to support virtual memory. In other words, data is written to a swap
partition when there is not enough RAM to store the data your system is
processing. The size of your swap partition should be equal to twice your
computer's RAM, or 32MB, whichever amount is larger.
For example, if you have 1GB of RAM or less, your swap
partition should be at least equal to the amount of RAM on your
system, up to two times the RAM. For more than 1GB of RAM, 2GB of
swap is recommended. Creating a large swap space partition will be
especially helpful if you plan to upgrade your RAM at a later
A /boot partition (100MB) — the
partition mounted on /boot contains the operating
system kernel (which allows your system to boot Red Hat Linux), along with files
used during the bootstrap process. Due to the limitations of most PC
BIOSes, creating a small partition to hold these files is a good idea. For
most users, a 100MB boot partition is sufficient.
Do not create your /boot partition as an LVM
partition type. The boot loaders included with Red Hat Linux cannot read LVM
partitions and you will not be able to boot your Red Hat Linux system.
While partitioning your hard drive, keep in
mind that the BIOS in some older systems cannot access more than the first
1024 cylinders on a hard drive. If this is the case, leave enough room for
the /boot Linux partition on the first 1024 cylinders
of your hard drive to boot Linux. The other Linux partitions can be after
If your hard drive is more than 1024 cylinders, you may need to
create a /boot partition if you want the
/ (root) partition to use all of the remaining space
on your hard drive.
In the disk partitioning tool parted, 1024
cylinders equals 528MB (this exact number is dependent on your BIOS,
however). Refer to http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/bios/sizeMB504-c.html
for more information.
A root partition (1.7-5.0GB) — this
is where "/" (the root directory) will be located.
In this setup, all files (except those stored in
/boot) are on the root partition. A 1.7GB root
partition will permit the equivalent of a personal desktop installation
(with very little free space), while a 5.0GB root
partition will let you install every package.
3.19.5. Adding Partitions
To add a new partition, select the New
button. A dialog box appears (see Figure 3-15).
Mount Point: Enter the partition's mount
point. For example, if this partition should be the root partition,
enter /; enter /boot for
the /boot partition, and so on. You can also
use the pull-down menu to choose the correct mount point for your
File System Type: Using the pull-down menu,
select the appropriate file system type for this partition. For more
information on file system types, see Section 126.96.36.199 File System Types.
Allowable Drives: This field contains a list
of the hard disks installed on your system. If a hard disk's box is
highlighted, then a desired partition can be created on that hard
disk. If the box is not checked, then the
partition will never be created on that hard
disk. By using different checkbox settings, you can have
Disk Druid place partitions as you see fit,
or let Disk Druid decide where partitions
Size (Megs): Enter the size (in megabytes) of
the partition. Note, this field starts with 100 MB; unless
changed, only a 100 MB partition will be created.
Additional Size Options: Choose whether to
keep this partition at a fixed size, to allow it to "grow" (fill up the
available hard drive space) to a certain point, or to allow it to grow
to fill any remaining hard drive space available.
If you choose Fill all space up to (MB), you
must give size constraints in the field to the right of this
option. This allows you to keep a certain amount of space free on your
hard drive for future use.
Force to be a primary partition: Select
whether the partition you are creating should be one of the first four
partitions on the hard drive. If unselected, the partition created
will be a logical partition. See Section E.1.3 Partitions within Partitions — An Overview of Extended
Partitions, for more information.
Check for bad blocks: Checking for bad blocks
can help prevent data loss by locating the bad blocks on a drive and
making a list of them to prevent using them in the future. If you wish
to check for bad blocks while formatting each file system, please make
sure to select this option.
Selecting Check for bad blocks may
dramatically increase your total installation time. Since most newer
hard drives are quite large in size, checking for bad blocks may take
a long time; the length of time depends on the size of your hard
drive. If you choose to check for bad blocks, you can monitor your
progress on virtual console #5.
Ok: Select Ok once
you are satisfied with the settings and wish to create the partition.
Cancel if you do not want to create the
188.8.131.52. File System Types
Red Hat Linux allows you to create different partition types,
based on the file system they will use. The following is a brief description
of the different file systems available, and how they can be utilized.
ext2 — An ext2 file system supports
standard Unix file types (regular files, directories, symbolic
links, etc). It provides the ability to assign long file names, up
to 255 characters. Versions prior to Red Hat Linux 7.2 used ext2
file systems by default.
ext3 — The ext3 file system is based on
the ext2 file system and has one main advantage —
journaling. Using a journaling file system reduces time spent
recovering a file system after a crash as there is no need to
fsck the file system. The ext3 file
system is selected by default and is highly recommended.
physical volume (LVM) — Creating one or
more physical volume (LVM) partitions allows you to create an LVM
logical volume. For more information regarding LVM, refer to the
Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.
software RAID — Creating two or more
software RAID partitions allows you to create a RAID device. For more
information regarding RAID, refer to the chapter RAID
(Redundant Array of Independent Disks) in the
Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.
swap — Swap partitions are used to
support virtual memory. In other words, data is written to a swap
partition when there is not enough RAM to store the data your system
vfat — The VFAT file system is a Linux
file system that is compatible with Microsoft Windows long filenames on
the FAT file system.
3.19.6. Editing Partitions
To edit a partition, select the Edit button or
double-click on the existing partition.
If the partition already exists on your hard
disk, you will only be able to change the partition's mount point. If you
want to make any other changes, you will need to delete the partition and
3.19.7. Deleting a Partition
To delete a partition, highlight it in the
Partitions section and click the
Delete button. You will be asked to confirm the
Skip to Section 3.20 Boot Loader Configuration for further
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