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Thread: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

  1. #1
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    Question New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    I put in an order a few days ago for a Toshiba laptop - specs below - and plan to scrub it clean of it's preinstalled Windows infestation in favor of the latest version of xubuntu (12.10, if I recall properly). Since I'm using 12.04 right now (didn't upgrade because I was getting new hardware soon to replace this nearly unusable machine), I was wondering what advice you would offer for configuring this new machine.

    1) What would you recommend for the swap partition (if any)?
    2) How would you get NVIDIA's Optimus tech to work...or would you bypass it via BIOS?
    3) How large of a root partition would you recommend (going to have a /home partition taking most of the drivespace)?
    4) Would you recommend using RAID-1 for this configuration, and if #1's answer is greater than zero, RAID-0 for the swap partition for added performance when I do use it?

    Tech specs:
    Code:
    Toshiba Satellite P870-BT3G22 Laptop
    
    Intel®  Core™ i7-3630QM Processor (6M Cache, up to 3.40 GHz) with Intel® Turbo  Boost Technology
    Windows 8
    8GB DDR3 1600MHz (4GB + 4GB)
    500GB HDD  (5400rpm, Serial-ATA)
    500GB 2nd HDD (5400rpm, Serial-ATA)
    2GB GDDR3  NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 630M with NVIDIA® Optimus™ Technology
    DVD  SuperMulti drive
    Glossy Black LED Backlit Tile keyboard
    17.3" diagonal widescreen HD+ (1600x900) TruBrite® LED Backlit display
    WiFi® Wireless networking (802.11b/g/n) with Bluetooth® version 4.0
    Microsoft® Office (trial)
    Norton™ Internet Security 2013 (30-day trial  subscription)
    1 Year Standard Limited Warranty (1 Year on Battery)
    3 Year SquareTrade Accidental Damage Service + 2nd/3rd Year Extended Service Plan (1 Year on Battery)
    PSPLFU-05R011 + SQT-N1GQ3V7
    Thank you in advance for any help you can offer me. Been using ubuntu since Hardy Heron and xubuntu since Unity, but it's always best to get advice from others who have been using the OS longer. ^.^

    - A

  2. #2
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    Personally I'd think twice about totally nuking Windows. Remove any crapware, included apps and anything else you'll you'll likely never use then shrink the partition to the result plus maybe 20% or so. I have things like GPS or printer firmware upgrades which simply cannot be done except with Windows. I'm not a heavy user but have 4 GB. RAM and no swap partition. If I feel the need, I'll create a swap file. This doesn't use up one of the 4 partitions I can have. The only thing I know a swap partition can do that a swap file cannot is allow hibernation, or suspend to disk. If you wanted to use hibernation, you'd need a swap file the size of your RAM plus some. I use suspend (to RAM) or just shut down. Ubuntu boots pretty fast. Your other questions I have no idea, sorry. Good luck with your new machine, Toshiba has a pretty good rep.

  3. #3
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    http://askubuntu.com/questions/20340...d-ubuntu-12-10

    raid 1 copies the data on to both drives allowing faster read speeds and if one drives fails your data is safe, you would have 500GB storage
    raid 0 woud give you faster read/write speeds if one drives fails all data is lost since part of each file is on both drives, you get 1tb of storage

    the installer on 12.10 does not support raid, i think you can use the mini iso or the server iso and get raid
    Laptop: ASUS A54C-NB91 (Storage: WD3200BEKT + MKNSSDCR60GB-DX); Desktop: Custom Build - Images included; rPi Server
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  4. #4
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by pqwoerituytrueiwoq View Post
    raid 1 copies the data on to both drives allowing faster read speeds and if one drives fails your data is safe, you would have 500GB storage
    raid 0 woud give you faster read/write speeds if one drives fails all data is lost since part of each file is on both drives, you get 1tb of storage
    I'm thinking of doing RAID-0 on the swap partition (if I have a swap partition)....if I lose a drive, who cares, it's a swap partition. I'm not losing any vital data.
    RAID-1 would be for Home...not only will it protect the data, but it allows me to voluntarily degrade the array on occasion (swapping in a new 500 GB drive and rebuilding) to take the twice-yearly full backup of the system.

    But if XUbuntu's current revision doesn't support software RAID, then I'd have to rethink the usage of sdb.

  5. #5
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by kurt18947 View Post
    Personally I'd think twice about totally nuking Windows. Remove any crapware, included apps and anything else you'll you'll likely never use then shrink the partition to the result plus maybe 20% or so. I have things like GPS or printer firmware upgrades which simply cannot be done except with Windows. I'm not a heavy user but have 4 GB. RAM and no swap partition. If I feel the need, I'll create a swap file. This doesn't use up one of the 4 partitions I can have. The only thing I know a swap partition can do that a swap file cannot is allow hibernation, or suspend to disk. If you wanted to use hibernation, you'd need a swap file the size of your RAM plus some. I use suspend (to RAM) or just shut down. Ubuntu boots pretty fast. Your other questions I have no idea, sorry. Good luck with your new machine, Toshiba has a pretty good rep.
    I might keep windows as an ISO file (and virtualbox to it should I ever need it)...as for RAM, the laptop can go up to 32GB...but I'm not paying for that out of the starting gate. The laptop's pricey enough as it is, after all. But if you think I can go without a swap partition without issue (either in using the OS or from the installer screaming at me the way older versions did when I tried to go swap-free)...

  6. #6
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by anichols View Post
    I'm thinking of doing RAID-0 on the swap partition (if I have a swap partition)....if I lose a drive, who cares, it's a swap partition. I'm not losing any vital data.
    RAID-1 would be for Home...not only will it protect the data, but it allows me to voluntarily degrade the array on occasion (swapping in a new 500 GB drive and rebuilding) to take the twice-yearly full backup of the system.

    But if XUbuntu's current revision doesn't support software RAID, then I'd have to rethink the usage of sdb.
    the alternate cd is required for a raid install, they quit doing those for non-lts, there may be a way to install the installer used in the alternate cd and run it in a terminal
    Laptop: ASUS A54C-NB91 (Storage: WD3200BEKT + MKNSSDCR60GB-DX); Desktop: Custom Build - Images included; rPi Server
    Putting your Networked Printer's scanner software to shame PHP Scanner Server
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  7. #7
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by pqwoerituytrueiwoq View Post
    the alternate cd is required for a raid install, they quit doing those for non-lts
    So grab the latest LTS's alternate CD and then do an upgrade from there to the current version after the LTS is fully installed?

    Editing with more info:
    I found the alternate for the latest version of Xubuntu in the Daily Builds section... would that be a better idea than going the LTS -> Upgrade route so I can install to RAID-1?

    http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/xubuntu/daily/current/
    Last edited by anichols; November 22nd, 2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Found the alternate iso for 12.10

  8. #8
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    Bump

    Should I even bother with a swap partition for this new machine?
    Would disabling Optimus in BIOS allow me to use the discrete card, or restrict me to onboard graphics?
    How much space should I allocate to root (assuming a separate home partition)? I'm guessing 5 GB....maybe 10 tops?

  9. #9
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    As of 12.10 the standard desktop installer lets you set up RAID during installation.
    Cheesemill

  10. #10
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    Re: New computer - new xubuntu - Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by anichols View Post
    How much space should I allocate to root (assuming a separate home partition)? I'm guessing 5 GB....maybe 10 tops?
    I don't think it really matters whether your /home is 480 or 490 GB (if you can fill 480, you'll fill 490 just two weeks later), so you can better make sure that you'll never run out of space in /. For the OS and basic programs 10 GB is enough, but it's best to keep some reserve, so you don't run immediately into trouble when your log files start to grow uncontrollably as a result of some error (it does happen) or when you decide to install a program that comes with a lot of data (flight simulators and the like), although you could always move large amounts of program data to /home.

    I'd say between 10 and 30 GB for /, but it really depends on how you want to use your computer. And I'm sure people will disagree with me.

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