Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (4343 mails)

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Re: [SLE] HD partition names
  • From: Tom Emerson <osnut@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 17:54:14 -0800
  • Message-id: <200211211754.14686.osnut@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thursday 21 November 2002 16:52, you wrote:
> On Thu, 21 Nov 2002 16:43:00 -0800
> Tom Emerson <osnut@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > "name" for linux partitions? (or are you planning on running linux on
> > a FAT filesystem? I hope not, but I have to ask, if for no other
> > reason than to point out the incongruity... :) )
> Tom, I'm totally new to Linux and partitioning and all that
> jazz. I thought you had to put linux on a fat32 partition.. am I wrong
> there?

Hmmmm... do I have time to answer that before I get hungry for dinner and
tonights user-group meeting? Sadly, no (at least, not in a way that will be
as informative as I like :) )

Short answer: no, linux does not use the fat/fat32/vfat partition types.
However, that is not an absolute -- it IS entirely possible to run linux on a
DOS filesystem, but as you speak to folks around here you'll find this is not
(really) a recommended method.

Longer answer: Linux, by default (x86 systems), prefers to use a filesystem
known as ext2, but again, that is not an absolute -- ext3 is now out, as well
as jfs and reiserfs, not to mention "md" devices and "volume groups/logical
volume management" (LVM) [starting to see why a comprehensive answer could
take awhile? :) ] In addition to running on top of FAT partitions, you can
run linux on NTFS, (possibly) on HPFS [but that's a real "outside" chance on
that one], "minix" [but forget I said that], and if you move away from "PC"
hardware, you have partition types for SUN, HP, IBM, and a slew of other
alternative/proprietary hardware -- as someone once said, "the world is your
oyster", and in this case, there are several pearls when it comes to storing
data on a hard disk...(but like all pearls, they start as but a grain of sand
-- unfortunately, many of them remain as such...)

Realistic answer: I just took a survey of our user group members regarding
which distribution and which file system they were using (our guest speaker
was Hans Reiser himself talking about reiserfs) the breakdown was roughly as

18 people listed ext3 as their file system, of which 9 (out of 10) were using
redhat -- the other ext3 users were running mandrake, debian, and gentoo

5 people listed using SuSE, and the only file system they listed was reiserfs
(though one "doesn't know", but that was my dad -- I do know he ISN'T using
reiser -- he's running either 6.3 or 7.0/1 of suse in which reiser was not
the default)

only three people listed ext2: 1 mandrake user and two debian users
the other two debian users are using XFS [which I didn't mention above --
obviously, I've missed a fiew...]
The one win2k user was the only one running FAT...

[note: even though there were 35+ people in attendance, not everyone responded
with just 1 answer -- some responded w/multiples, and others didn't respond
at all]

So, since you're considering SuSE, you'll most likely pick the "reiser" file
system [good choice!]

Now, to throw one more "monkey wrench" into the mix: linux ALSO likes to make
use of a "swap" partition (think of it as a dedicated partition for holding
win386.swp) This actually has a partition type all it's own. You can even
have multiple partitions of this type (and only a performance tuning geek
would know why...) but the "rule of thumb" is dependant on who you talk to --
I've heard it should be "as big as" live memory, "half the size" of live
memory, and twice the size (never a "fixed" amount, like 500 meg for
instance...) Personally, I would start with "as big as" and take a look at
it via "top" or "free" (or read the file /proc/meminfo) -- in my case, the
"server load" never gets to the point where it actually starts swapping, so
my "swap in use" number hangs out at less than a few meg...


[darn, "look at the time" -- guess it's going to be fast-food on the way to
tonight's meeting ;) :) :) ]

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