No subject

Edmund Laugasson ed.lau at
Tue Jan 6 07:37:51 UTC 2009

Constantinos Maltezos kirjutas:
> On Monday 05 January 2009 11:08:48 pm Ray Burke wrote:
>> Have been advised by the japan solution center that I must re-install
>> Kubuntu to overcome problem, but dont want to loose any data, and we have
>> gone thru all that is shown in this link many times before?????
> What in the world reinstalling your operating system will do to make your 
> printer work is beyond me - this isn't Windows.  If you do it, don't be 
> surprised if you feel you've wasted your time.  I could be wrong, of course.
> Here's the problem, if there is a real thing that reinstalling Kubuntu would 
> do for you, it most likely needs a full, fresh install.  This means that if 
> you want to keep your data, you'll have to back it up.  This might be as easy 
> as getting a small thumb drive and copying your documents directory to it (if 
> you have no large collection of videos or music files) and might go as far as 
> to require creating a backup partition (if you have disk space) to move your 
> stuff to while you reinstall.

If you don't have enough wide e-mail reading window or program - copy the following text into some 
text editor, e.g. Kate or gEdit (whatever you use) and the you'll see following tables correctly.

I suggest to create following partitions:

mount point	filesystem	device
***********	**********	******
1) swap		swap		/dev/sda1 - primary
2) /boot	ext3		/dev/sda2 - primary
3) /tmp		ext3		/dev/sda3 - primary
				/dev/sda4 - extended partition
4) /var		ext3		/dev/sda5 - logical
5) /		ext3		/dev/sda6 - logical
6) /home	ext3		/dev/sda7 - logical
7) /data	ext3		/dev/sda8 - logical

Swap and /boot should be in the beginning of HDD to boot and swap fast. Also /tmp and /var have 
fastly changing data and are therefore before other partitions.

If you have also dual boot with Windows, then:

mount point		in Windows	filesystem	device
***********		**********	**********	******
1) /mnt/ntfs-system	C:		NTFS		/dev/sda1 - Windows system
2) /mnt/ntfs-data	D:		NTFS		/dev/sda2 - data
3) /mnt/ntfs-swap	E:		NTFS		/dev/sda3 - Windows swap (pagefile.sys)
				/dev/sda4 - extended partition
4) swap					swap		/dev/sda5 - logical
5) /boot				ext3		/dev/sda6 - logical
6) /tmp					ext3		/dev/sda7 - logical
7) /var					ext3		/dev/sda8 - logical
8) /					ext3		/dev/sda9 - logical
9) /home				ext3		/dev/sda10 - logical
10) /data				ext3		/dev/sda11 - logical

If you created the user in Linux, e.g. named it "john", then also group will be the same as 
username. Then write:
sudo chown -R john:john /data
... and press enter

After entering the user john's password, the folder belongs to user john.

Then create symlink:
ln -s /data /home/john/data

Then you see the folder "data" in user home directory, which is actually symlink. Save all your 
important data there.

Another option is to create e.g. the folder /data/homes and user folder inside it:
sudo mkdir /data/homes /data/homes/john
sudo chown -R john:john /data

Then move all your data folders into it and create symlinks to user's home:
mv /home/john/Desktop /data/homes/john/Desktop && ln -s /data/homes/john/Desktop /home/john/Desktop
mv /home/john/Public /data/homes/john/Public && ln -s /data/homes/john/Public /home/john/Public
mv /home/john/Documents /data/homes/john/Documents && ln -s /data/homes/john/Documents 
mv /home/john/Music /data/homes/john/Music && ln -s /data/homes/john/Music /home/john/Music
mv /home/john/Pictures /data/homes/john/Pictures && ln -s /data/homes/john/Pictures /home/john/Pictures
mv /home/john/Videos /data/homes/john/Videos && ln -s /data/homes/john/Videos /home/john/Videos

If you have any other folders, what data you would like to keep - move and create symlinks to them.

swap could be usualy 2xRAM but if you already have e.g. 2GB RAM, then there is not necessary to 
create 4GB swap partition - it's enough if there is 1GB. Normally swap is not used and if it's 
heavily used then there is better to add RAM instead of increasing swap partition. RAM is ~20 times 
faster than HDD and your computer isn't slow if you have enough RAM.

/boot could be have 100MB but now are big HDD-s and I give 1GB for /boot to be sure there are enough 
room for kernel upgrades.

/tmp is for temporary files and could be also 1GB if there is not very big HDD but if possible, I 
give 3GB or even 5GB

/var should be 3GB...5GB but if you use also e.g. web server etc. what keep their data in /var - you 
could create it larger, e.g. 10GB...15GB. But also you can link e.g. /var/www to /data/www and then 
you don't need to have too large /var. You can also use Apache aliases to mount any folder into 
Apache tree - - look the right manual according your 
Apache's version.

/ is the root and there goes system - there  should be at least 5GB, I give 10..15GB usually - 
depends, how big the whole HDD is. If there is 500GB HDD, the / could be also 20...30GB. Then you 
can install software and don't need to worry - does there enough space. I also try to promote Linux 
as playing environment and games taking usually some gigabytes. Also CAD/CAM, graphics software etc.

/home should be at least 5GB but I give usually 10GB if possible

/data should have the rest of HDD's space and therefore the biggest partition. I mean, if you have 
e.g. 500GB HDD, then it could be more than 400GB large. Certainly, if you have another operating 
system laying on HDD e.g. Windows, then this space could be also smaller but anyway - you have to 
decide, how much you use each operating system and what purposes and then decide, where to leave 
more space.

I e.g. use a lot of virtual machines for testing, teaching, developing, publishing, tech support etc 
purposes, therefore I need at least 2GB, better 4GB RAM and at least 320GB, better 500G HDD. If you 
have also e.g. TV-card and you'll save TV-shows onto HDD - then that /data partition have to be 
enough large to handle all that data.

Then if you save anything into those symlinked folders - they are going straight to that /data 
partition and you don't need to worry about reinstalling whole operating system cleanly or 
overinstalling. If you have any other configuration file or folder - just create the folder 
/data/backup and create symlink to your home directory or where you want if you want.

Certainly - if you are the only one user in that PC - you can just move those folders directly to 
the /data, I mean e.g. /data/Documents etc. If you need later to create additional user(s), then you 
can just leave them to the /home partition of if they have any backupable data, then just create 
e.g. /data/backup/mary and create symlink to Mary's home folder:
sudo ln -s /data/backup/mary /home/mary/backup and say, that everything what is important to save 
there. Or just create /data/backup/mary/documents, delete the old one if it's empty (I assume you 
just created the user mary and this folder should be empty) sudo rm -fr /home/mary/Documents) and 
sudo ln -s /data/backup/mary/documents /home/mary/Documents

As you see - there can be many policies, how to organize your and other users data folders to keep 
them backuped onto another partition - each person has to choose what is best for hime/her.

Then if you do fresh or reinstall - just don't touch that /data partition and certainly you have to 
remember, what device it was and also exact size of partition if device names will somehow change to 
identify later that data partition in somewhere installation process if needed.

Certainly, you have to define right mount points during install but not to format them! Just like 
the NTFS partitions of Windows (if you have) - just mount points but not to format.

Then after install just change the owner (sudo chown <user>:<group> /data) and create appopriate 
symlinks and that's it!

Why not whole /home? Because usually if to do clean install, the /home contains also old 
configuration files and it's not comfortable to create after install new user or delete old user's 
conf etc. Much more faster is to keep data on another partition, which has enough space and write 
data to there, e.g. using symlinks to make your life more comfortable under Linux.

I hope, that it was clear and helps you keep further actions and work smoother and more flexible.

Best Regards,
Edmund Laugasson

More information about the kubuntu-users mailing list