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Sascha Güthling guethling at googlemail.com
Wed May 13 14:01:42 BST 2009


This is only a reply to this specific mail, none to the ones that
followed afterwards, since it slowly gets confusing with all the
snipping and answering in between.

On Tue, May 12, 2009 at 8:12 PM, Steven Vollom
<stevenvollom at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> (Trim)
>> Here a short explanation how that works (since I think you did not yet
>> FULLY understand what you are going to do, no offense, correct me if
>> I'm wrong):
>
> None taken, but one of the most wonderful of situations has happened, I really
> believe I completely understand and can do the partitioning, I was a bit
> confused how to get data going directly to the /home partition, but later in
> your email I think you explained it well enough for me to execute your
> instruction.
Good :)
>
> This may be impossible, but can a person have data saved to the /home
> partition and the backup partition simultaneously?  That would keep my backup
> current all the time.  Would doing that slow the computer down?  Since I have
> 8gb of RAM, won't that make the duplicated task manageable?
> (Trim)
As said in a different answer already, that is definitely not easy if
not impossible. I can only follow the other adviser and suggest we
deal with the backup later when everything else works.
>
>> Linux has the very cool feature, that you can mount a partition in any
>> folder on another partition. Usually partitions are mounted in
>> /mnt/PutInANameHere. Removable media are mounted automatically in
>> /media/... The cool thing about the possibility to mount a partition
>> in any folder is, that you can have data on different partitions or
>> even hdds without having to change your or the system behavior.
>
> This is exactly what I want to accomplish, I believe.  About 3 years ago, when
> I first used Linux, I was instructed to mount all my partitions except swap and
> boot using /media/Drive Identity.  It has been a major cause of problems ever
> since.  I am hoping that most of my problems will disappear when I use proper
> mounting points for my partitions.
> (Trim)
>> I guess you get the message, by mounting something
>> elsewhere you can move the data logically without moving it
>> physically.
>
> This statement confuses me.  Isn't the data physically installed where I
> direct it?

Kinda :) Yes, data of course is physically stored where you direct it
to. But what I wanted to show you is, that by mounting a disk (with
data) under a different folder, you can move the data (that stays
physically on the disk) to a different place in your file system
without physically moving it on the disk aka copying/moving it.
Example:
We assume you have a system running and add a new disk with one
partition to it. You mount that disk under /mnt/DISK1. Now you save a
large video file to that partition. When you want to watch the video
you go to /mnt/DISK1 and click on the file. Now you decide you want to
save all your videos on that partition but don't want to have to go to
/mnt/DISK1 all the time. You unmount the disk and mount it at a
different place in the file system, let's say /home/Steven/videos.
What happened is, that the video file was always on the disk/partition
but now it suddenly appears in your home folder under videos but not
under /mnt/DISK1 anymore. You didn't copy/move it on the disk and
still, it is somewhere else in the file system now. That is the cool
thing about it.

>> Also you can use the same /Steven folder in a different Linux
>> installation. You could have any number of systems on different
>> partitions and mount your home partition in each one under /home and
>> would see the folder /Steven in each one of them.
>
> ...so data automatically saved while using the virtual machines is stored in
> the same folder?  I am putting so much in the way of new thinking in right
> now, I want to confirm this, however, is there an easy way to identify the
> saved material from each virtual box so that when reviewing data from one
> particular OS, it will be easy to identify its data from the other OS's?
> Would it be like /home/steven/virtual 1/........../virtual 2/..........
> /virtual 3 etc?  This is where my plan got a bit fuzzy, and I thought I would
> need help.  Additionally, will the other applications, like Kmail and
> Konqueror and Gimp, for example automatically save to the /home/steven mount?
I was not talking about virtual machines here. I meant, that if you
install a different linux parallel to your main system it could use
the same home partition by just mounting it under /home. This was
meant as another example for the advances of mounting and having your
data in a different partition from the system.
>
> That was an important part of my plan.  I want all application's saved data to
> be automatically saved safely in storage, not on the boot partition.  I don't
> really know, but my impressions is that much of that kind of data is located
> on the boot partition under root.  If so, is it possible to have such data
> saved on the same partition all other saved data is saved?  If so, will this
> slow the computer down?  Do I have to create duplicate files and configure the
> boot partition to do this, or is this too much for my computer to handle with
> current technology.  My vision of what I want to do, saw this as a great way
> to retain all information, I might have to make special considerations for,
> when installing a new OS.  For example moving all my email records and address
> book, bookmarks and the such.  Plus anything else I may have forgotten that
> fits the criteria.
Almost all application in the linux world assume that you store your
personal data in your home folder. In fact, on a server system that is
probably the only place you have writing privileges. So by having an
extra home partition you already keep your personal data separated
from the system data. If your system somehow breaks or if you just
want to install a different one you can simply mount this partition as
your home partition again and your data is back where you used to find
it. Also almost all setups and preferences as well as your bookmarks
and address book get stored in hidden folders in your home folder. So
after the new install the programs should find those and look/behave
like before. I say almost because I can't speak for all programs, but
all standard Kubuntu programs behave like that.
> (Trim)
>
>>Choose your new 1TB disk
>> and create your /root partition on it. Don't make it too small or too
>> big.
>
> Would 30gb be enough for a healthy OS plus all ancillary applications or 40gb
> or 50gb?  I can spare at least that.  I have 8gb of memory, so swap should be
> 8gb+ 1gb for the video cards?
30gb should be plenty, 40 if you want some more space for extra
programs and don't mind the possibility of never using it. You don't
need extra swap for your video cards.
>
>> Then create your swap space (should be at least as big as your
>> RAM if you want to use Suspend to Disk).
>
> I have never used this feature, however it sounds interesting.  Will you
> explain how and why?
As somebody else in another answer to this already wrote, you don't
need that much swap for your normal work. I have 4gb of RAM and I have
4gb of SWAP. I only use around 1gb of RAM and even less SWAP for my
normal work. My other desktop runs just fine with 1gb of RAM/SWAP. So
why should you have a 8gb SWAP partition? As I said, only if you want
to use suspend to disk. Suspend to disk writes the RAM into the SWAP
partition (that's why it needs to be at least the same size) and then
switches your computer off. When you switch it back on linux sees that
you suspended to ram before and loads the data from SWAP back into
RAM. So when the system is up again everything is in the same state as
before. That 10 letter script you where working on in Open Office is
still there, your picture that your were working on since 3 hours in
gimp is still there and amarok resumes playing your favorite music in
the middle of that song where it stopped when you suspended to disk.
Very convenient as I think and saves some money too, since the
computer is actually switched off and not just idling. It also is
supposed to be faster then a normal boot which can differ from system
to system. On the downside it doesn't work with all hardware. And if
you don't want to use it you can save some space on the disk (less
SWAP) and use it for other things.
>
>> Now create another partition
>> and choose /home as mount point in the dialog. With that done, your
>> system now will create your user folder under /home and all your data
>> will be stored there. Automatically.
>
> Again, will this also include the other stuff, like email and bookmarks
> automatically?
Yes. See above.
>>
>> For your old 500GB disk create a mount point under /mnt, for example
>> /mnt/backup (since you want to use it as that later). I don't know
>> what the button is called but don't delete any partition or create a
>> new one. You should be able to click on the partition and change the
>> mount point somehow.
>
> I have things relatively screwed up on my current setup, so I must pause and
> think about this.  I am considering carefully copying data to the new drive in
> a more appropriate configuration and order.  Then review the data on the
> current drive to make sure I haven't missed anything important, then make any
> necessary additional movements of data and format the drive.  Then move all
> critical information back to the existing drive.  I realize this is a lot of
> extra work, but I don't trust how the data is currently saved, and I would
> rather do extra work now than have continuing problems created by yesterday's
> foolishness.
That is exactly what you will be able to do. Again, make sure NOT to
format this partition. You will find all your data under /mnt/backup.
This includes all system files and your old home folder. When you go
to /mnt/backup it will just look like as if you would go to / in your
current system (see mounting example at the beginning of this mail)
>
> (Trim
>>Once you start creating virtual
>> machines you can just tell the virtualization program to store the
>> machines under /mnt/virtual and you have your virtual machines on your
>> virtual machines disk.
>
> I don't have any understanding about setting up virtual machines.  Does each
> machine have to be set up using partitions with swap, or do they swap to the
> original swap partition from my primary Operating System?  This is a new area
> of thought for me.
I try to keep that short. We can deal with it later in a different
thread when everything else is running. A virtual machine is as the
name says running in a virtual environment, it basically simulates a
computer with all its hardware, including hdd. This environment is
provided by a program that is installed on your system. This program
usually saves all the information about the virtual machine in a file
on your hard drive. As I understood you this would be on your 200gb
hdd. Depending on the setup of your virtual machines they can interact
with your host system or be totally unaware of anything that happens
on your computer.
>>
>> If you think you screwed something up in the process, you can always
>> go one step back in the installation process and start all over again.
>> The physical changes are not made until you go to the next step in the
>> installation process.
>>
>> Good luck.
> Thanks Sascha,
>> Cheers
> And Cheers to you too,
>
> Steven               I am grateful for the time you spent on this; you are
>                          remarkable.
:)  you are welcome.

Cheers
Sascha



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