Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 86

Thread: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Lander, Wyo.
    Beans
    345
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    Have an almost-never-used 2012 Toshiba Satellite L750D with MBR Windows 7... 4GB RAM... 500GB HDD... AMD A4-3305M APU with Radeon HD Graphics 1.90 GHz (believe it's a 6480G).

    Can't (shouldn't) use the Windows 7 on the internet now no longer supported.

    Need to have a computer to use as others need work or are in a replacement cycle, and this machine is likely to hold up 'forever'.

    Thought to have two linux because one of the users (a Windows person) might find one or the other suited better. I could do a lot of different things here... separate data partition being one... NOT doing two Linux OS being another.

    Because this machine will only be turned on to update/upgrade/clean install/use as backup, it would be basically empty. A person might collect some music or recipes or a few documents or pictures, and they could easily be transferred to regular machine.

    I looks to me like a shared /home is a simple way to do this. Each Linux would have it's own user (same 'Name', same 'Hostname').

    So... two things:

    1) With different users, I can't figure out what aspects of /home are actually shared... or maybe that is I don't understand if I'll see two of everything (Documents, etc.) in the shared /home. Could some one please give me a simple description of what /home will and won't be in this set-up, please?

    2) How to partition? It looks to me like a person would use GPartEd to clear the machine, then pre-partition. It seems 'right' to me to do this: /, /, swap (I know of the swap file movement), extended, /home (to disk end). Would then put in one Linux ( /, swap, /home)... point /dev/sda MBR boot... cycle... check... install 2nd /... point /home... etc.
    I'd like to get some views on this and/or other ideas on setting this computer to the use, if you would make the time.

    Thanks...

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Krall; May 29th, 2020 at 02:12 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Beans
    1,513

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    The normal way of doing things on Linux is to have separate directories for every user inside /home, for example /home/user1 and /home/user2. Since programs store their settings for each user in the users home directory or sub directories of it, having one home for more than one user is not a good idea. A better idea would be to have both users be members of a group, set that group as their standard group so files they create belong to that group and have a directory writeable by members of that group (for example /home/common). You'd then create subdirectories in that directory and replace the standard directories (Documents, Music, Video, Pictures, Templates etc) with links to these directories.

    If at all possible, use GPT partitioning. No more extended partitions necessary. So then / on one partition and /home on another is fine. swap on a partition might be faster by a few microseconds because access to a raw partition doesn't have to go through a file system driver, but compared to the difference in access time and transfer speed between RAM and HD it doesn't help enough to be worthwhile. A swap file on the other hand can shrink or grow as needed, something not easily done with a swap partition.

    Holger

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Squidbilly-Land
    Beans
    20,251
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    i wouldn't use the same hostname. There are cryptographic functions where having the same name but different crypto-signatures will cause problems.

    Also, don't load an entire new OS just to have a different gui. You can load 5+ different guis on the same install, just use a different username/userid for each different GUI.

    What is this "regular machine? Linux is a regular machine.

    Linux is multiuser from the top to the bottom. if you need multiple users to have access to each other's files, then use normal Unix permissions and put those userids into the same group. This is extremely common. Happens millions of times a day around the world. Search these forums for "working together"

    About MBR. Use GPT which allows 100+ primary partitions. GPT has been around over 10 yrs and supported by all OSes. Windows mandates GPT for UEFi booting. You can use gparted or fdisk or parted or any other partitioning tool. Gparted is probably what I’d use, if I had a GUI available.

    For a disk layout, https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....7#post13883277 is one.
    Last edited by TheFu; May 21st, 2020 at 01:18 PM. Reason: s/Their/There/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SW Forida
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Ubuntu

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    I also suggest using gpt.
    But with BIOS boot on gpt you need a tiny 1 or 2MB unformatted partition with the bios_grub flag.

    I did that starting back in 2010 before PCs had UEFI. Windows required MBR for BIOS boot, but Ubuntu worked from gpt.
    Later when PCs started having UEFI, I made first partition an ESP for UEFI boot (even though I did not yet have UEFI) and used bios_grub for booting. But then could move drive to newer system, reinstall grub can convert to UEFI without having to totally redo drive.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Lander, Wyo.
    Beans
    345
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    i wouldn't use the same hostname. Their are cryptographic functions where having the same name but different crypto-signatures will cause problems.

    Also, don't load an entire new OS just to have a different gui. You can load 5+ different guis on the same install, just use a different username/userid for each different GUI.

    What is this "regular machine? Linux is a regular machine.

    Linux is multiuser from the top to the bottom. if you need multiple users to have access to each other's files, then use normal Unix permissions and put those userids into the same group. This is extremely common. Happens millions of times a day around the world.

    About MBR. Use GPT which allows 100+ primary partitions. GPT has been around over 10 yrs and supported by all OSes. Windows mandates GPT for UEFi booting. You can use gparted or fdisk or parted or any other partitioning tool. Gparted is probably what I’d use.

    For a disk layout, https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....7#post13883277 is one.
    Blue... Thank you for that. I thought it was only true for different machines on same connection... and NEEDED to be same for same machine, different Linux OS.

    Not looking for different GUI per se. Simple enough to put in Linux Lite and go on with the next thing (light, simple, designed specifically as good place for a 'new to Linux', life long Windows person to start). The idea of another available light OS (Ubuntu MATE) is to have a choice (and the choices within that choice). Simply, I hope that will present Linux well.

    Not looking to have two user access, really. It's just a machine to use when a person's 'regular' machine isn't usable. I thought a common /home, if able to be structured to avoid configuration problems, would make upgrades, clean installs easier. I could just dump in /, /, swap and call it done.

    My 'regular' machine is an 'oldfred' version of separate data partition (/mnt/data)... 7 Linux OS... most not used any more. I switched to Linux in Jan. 2007... didn't like using MS machines... thought there might be a better way... was right. I didn't know anything when I started and I know very little more now. I like it, though.

    I said a little about MBR vs GPT in response to Holger. My ASUS laptop is GPT. I'm aware to an extent, chronologically, of the evolving away from MBR and to GPT... problems with it in Linux. That is not to say I know anything. I would switch the Toshiba to GPT if I KNEW it was going to be effortless... I don't... and my looking hasn't found me enough understanding to 'just do it'.

    Thank you for your time, and your help... and for the link. I like trying to learn this stuff

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Krall; May 19th, 2020 at 05:14 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Lander, Wyo.
    Beans
    345
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
    I also suggest using gpt.
    But with BIOS boot on gpt you need a tiny 1 or 2MB unformatted partition with the bios_grub flag.

    I did that starting back in 2010 before PCs had UEFI. Windows required MBR for BIOS boot, but Ubuntu worked from gpt.
    Later when PCs started having UEFI, I made first partition an ESP for UEFI boot (even though I did not yet have UEFI) and used bios_grub for booting. But then could move drive to newer system, reinstall grub can convert to UEFI without having to totally redo drive.
    Like this 'oldfred'? See partition structure charts 3/5's down page... #3... "BIOS/GPT example layout"... https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Partitioning

    Blue... Would you point me somewhere for this, 'oldfred'? Is in signature link? And do I get it... makes work without switching HDD type?

    Mike

    You know, one of these days I ought to figure out how to get a screenshot into a post... =[
    Last edited by Mike Krall; May 19th, 2020 at 06:17 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Krall View Post

    Thought to have two linux because one of the users (a Windows person) might find one or the other suited better.
    a windows person is used to having a DE shoved down their throat. pick one, install that.

    we moved to KDE (Kubuntu). kids find no issues in switch, father had no issues (we moved him in version 12.04), wife had no issues with the switch. we switched from winxp and win7. father was used to win8 and 10 at work. interface is the most similar to windows. similar interface is also found in Cinnamon and XFCE desktops. but the fee is still the most similar in KDE. windows often also "borrowed" design functions from KDE. since design is kind of similar it is no issue for the user to make the switch. windows apps are ran through Play on linux. though we currently have only games there.



    you can also stay on win7 for a while longer. just make sure you have good firewall (e.g. Comodo suite is comprehensive) and good antiviurs (from the free ones avast detects good and behaves nicely with Comodo, so does Avira). Comodo has it's own antivirus but detection rate is a lot lower (i took reviews and test through many years into account here), so i don't install that or turn it off. it does very well in other areas. MS security essentials also still has updates for virus definitions and provides descent protection. also works nicely with Comodo.
    Read the easy to understand, lots of pics Ubuntu manual.
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    Disk backup (works on newer PC): Clonezilla
    User friendly full disk backup Redobackup is now back as Rescuezilla

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    51.8° N 5.8° E
    Beans
    5,241
    Distro
    Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Krall View Post
    Not looking to have two user access, really. It's just a machine to use when a person's 'regular' machine isn't usable. I thought a common /home, if able to be structured to avoid configuration problems, would make upgrades, clean installs easier. I could just dump in /, /, swap and call it done.
    If you use two different Linux systems with the same /home partition, make sure you use different usernames on both, or you'll be asking for problems. Different versions of Linux will get you different versions of applications with different, incompatible versions of config files, stored in the same place. So you can't use the same home directory on both, which means a different /home partition or different usernames. (Technically, the home directory doesn't have to be /home/username, so you could avoid it, but I don't think that will be a good solution.) You can have a shared data partition for both and replace Documents, Downloads etc. by symlinks to the directories on this data partition. Just make sure that both systems use the same userID.

    I said a little about MBR vs GPT in response to Holger. My ASUS laptop is GPT. I'm aware to an extent, chronologically, of the evolving away from MBR and to GPT... problems with it in Linux. That is not to say I know anything. I would switch the Toshiba to GPT if I KNEW it was going to be effortless... I don't... and my looking hasn't found me enough understanding to 'just do it'.
    A computer from 2011 probably has UEFI, but set to legacy mode. My current laptop is from 2011 and is like that. Whether that UEFI nicely conforms to the standard is another matter, so I can't say if it's going to work in UEFI mode. You can keep it in legacy mode if you like. Legacy mode+GPT partitioning can be done. But then, as you only intend to use this laptop as a spare, without significant document storage, it doesn't really matter. Just partition it once and do it right, then there should be no need to ever change any partitions before the hard drive breaks.

    A swap partition is a good idea. You can use a swap file too, but with two different Linux systems installed, you can share a swap partition, but you can't share a swap file (not easily anyway).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Squidbilly-Land
    Beans
    20,251
    Distro
    Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Krall View Post
    Like this 'oldfred'? See partition structure charts 3/5's down page... #3... "BIOS/GPT example layout"... https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Partitioning

    Blue... Would you point me somewhere for this, 'oldfred'? Is in signature link? And do I get it... makes work without switching HDD type?

    Mike

    You know, one of these days I ought to figure out how to get a screenshot into a post... =[
    a) please DON'T use screen shots. Use text methods. If there's some data you'd like to show, we can provide commands to access it as text for posting. Don't use 10K when 200 bytes works better. Plus, we can copy/paste selected parts of text back in our answers.

    Partitioning doesn't need to be complex. Ignoring the /boot/ and /boot/EFI stuff, most of my systems have 2 or 3 "partitions" - that really isn't true because I usually leverage LVM, which is an advanced file system management technique, but for discussions here, an "LV" can be considered the same as a "partition".
    Code:
    Filesystem                      Type  Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-root     ext4   25G   12G   12G  52% / 
    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-home--lv ext4   74G   21G   51G  29% /home 
    /dev/mapper/ubuntu--vg-stuff    ext4   99G  367M   93G   1% /stuff
    / is for the OS. Selected parts of this get backups.
    /home is for real human logins. This get backups.
    /stuff is where I put stuff that I never need to backup. See the delineation for that storage? It is about keeping different parts separate based on the backup needs primarily, next is a convenience aspect.

    The swap partition (LV) is 4.1G in size, but doesn't show up in the df -Th output above. The swapon -s command will show it. That system isn't on the network right now, so I can't post it. A different system:
    Code:
    $ swapon -s
    Filename                                Type            Size    Used    Priority
    /dev/dm-1                               partition       4300796 36540   -2
    For most people, there's no need to follow a complex partition layout like that arch link shows. In the early 1990s, is **was** necessary to split up different parts of the OS to prevent system crashes due to full file systems, but HDDs were 20MB back then. I remember when my UNIX workstation at the job came with a 2GB HDD - I didn't know what I'd do with all that storage. Turned out that loading emacs on the workstation used enough to make space tight.

    • I'm in favor of separate swap partitions. I have reasons, but those may not apply to everyone. LVM lets me resize a swap LV in a fairly painless way, unlike using partitions.
    • I'm in favor of using separate userids for different DEs.
    • I'm in favor of using separate userids if you run different OSes from different families.
    • I'm in favor of keeping partitioning simple - the minimal needed.
    • I'm in favor of using GPT tables whenever possible, regardless of the disk size.
    • I'm in favor of using symbolic links from a user's HOME to storage mounted elsewhere, especially when multiple userids need to access the same files.


    A good, free, reference book: http://linuxcommand.org/tlcl.php There is a chapter about userids.

    help.ubuntu.com has many guides and step-by-step instructions specifically written for non-technical people - well, for the desktop guides. Google "ubuntu desktop guide" ... but be aware this is for the default "gnome3" ubuntu desktop. Mate, XFCE, LXQt, KDE versions will all be a little different unless the exact same program is used. Never forget that the GUI is just another program. It isn't the "OS."

    Everyone posting here has good ideas based on their experiences. Only you can decide which makes the most sense.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Lander, Wyo.
    Beans
    345
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Two Linux (Linux-learner) Backup-computer partitioning...

    It has been a very long day...

    I got to read all the new posts this morning. Thank you all... thank you very much.

    As 'The Fu' said in the last line of post #9... about all the good ideas there are, are here. Right now I don't know what I'll do for a structure. I'll start with 'oldfred' and BIOS/GPT... a couple of MiB. From there, ???

    The thinking about this I was able to do during the day caused me one more question. I've got 500 GB drive and, in some scenarios, about 60 - 100 GB of 'stuff'. Somewhere I got the idea a person should allocate space available. Yeah, I know... sometimes a person wants to have held-back-space available if it can be arranged strategically. I think that's not this instance. Should I be looking to use the whole drive?

    Mike

    Oh... I've replaced my 4th addition copy of Wm. Shotts book with the 5th edition linked. And I did run 'xman'. That is a nice thing to know... thank you.

    Edit: And I'll let you know what I did, maybe why, and how it worked out... and I PROMISE I'll click "SOLVED" when it is... =]
    Last edited by Mike Krall; May 20th, 2020 at 07:13 AM.

Page 1 of 9 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •