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Re: partioning for dual boot

Bruce Park wrote:

Hello all,

I didn't see a mail list for installation problems so I decided to try this group. If this is the wrong place for this, I apologize in advance.

I'm trying to install a debian system but I need to have the partition set up correctly. I currently have Windows and Redhat linux on my hard drive. Linux partition this as follows:

location        start     end    fs
--------        -----     ---    --
 /dev/hda1     1         2246   NTFS
 /dev/hda2     2247      2252   ext3
 /dev/hda3     2253      3583   ext3
 /dev/hda4     3589      3649   extended
 /dev/hda4     3589      3649   linux swap

According to my theory, it looks like /dev/hda2 is the boot sector. Is this correct? I'd like to install debian on this existing partition. I'm assuming that I can leave this as is and debian will write to the appropriate sections of the hard drive. Can anyone tell me if I should change this or is it OK to leave this as is?

Partitioning schemes are like favorite foods; everyone has their own, and yours won't be mine. What's here is fine; it'll work. I personally prefer more partitions so I can have separate partitions for /, /usr, /home, /var, /tmp, and swap.

I generally think of the "boot sector" as the mbr (Master Boot Record), which is "before" the first partition (sort of), but I may also be thinking with wrong terminology. I think what you're asking however is if /dev/hda1 is RH's root partition; probably, although there's not enough info presented for me to be positive.

Debian won't automatically "write to the appropriate sections of the hard drive"; rather than make assumptions for you like Redhat does on an unpartitioned drive, Debian gives you the opportunity to partition the drive as you want. However, finding existing ext2 and swap partitions, it'll probably bypass that option by default and ask if you want to format the partitions. It'll then ask if you want to mount the formatted partitions, starting with swap on the swap partition, and / on the first ext2 partition (/dev/hda1), and /usr on /dev/hda2, etc.

Partitioning can be scary, but pretty much the "proper" scheme is not critical to a successful install. It's more important to long-term stability and security, but unless you're building a Debian box for production server purposes (which I hope you're not doing at this stage), don't sweat the details too much.


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