?'s on Ubuntu

I have a laptop (Dell 8200 Inspiron Laptop )I’m not using and want to try out linux. I downloaded the Ububtu file (.iso)(7.10) and burned it to a CD. I restarted the comp and it booted up with Ubuntu. I didn’t install it because I don’t know how to partition the hard drive. Right now there are 2 partitions. One is for windows/system files, It’s small about 8-10 gb’s. The other one is bigger, about 30 gb’s. I want to leave the bigger partition which has all my docs, pics, music, etc there, but I want to get rid of the samll partition. I don’t want windows to stay on the hard drive at all, I just want one OS on the HD. Should I delete the small partition so there is only one partion? How can I get rid of windows with out deleting my other files, and install ubuntu on a seperate partition?

right now -
2 partitions
30 gb - music, pics, etc
10 gb - windows system files

what I want-
2 partitions
30 gb - music, pics, etc.
10 gb - ubuntu


You should backup your files on a separate hard disk formatted to fat32 or alternatively a set of dvds. If it is formatted to NTFS, and start doing things to it in Linux, you run the risk of hosing that entire partition. Linux support for NTFS is spotty at best.

I know, I deleted a lot of files on an NTFS formatted hard disk a few weeks ago in Ubuntu 7.10, the icons disappeared, but the space was still being used. A friend warned me not to do that, but luckily that was just an old backup that I didn’t need anymore.

I’m using Windows these days.

So should I back up all my files, then reformat the hard drive? How do you install on a completely empty HD?

it’s not really necessary to backup your files but as Howitzer said it’s “better”, more sure of course, specially if you’re a novice to disk partition!
Well, it’s quite easy, just check twice what you do!
Here’s some small tips:
Don’t accept the “automatic” partition
Choose the “manual” or expert or the like
The partitioner will appear, he Ubuntu one it’s a graphical one I guess, easy to use
You’ll have two blocks easy to identify /dev/hda1 and /dev/hda2 probably…it’s not important, your’s is the 10 Gb one (/dev/hda1)
Select it, clean/delete the space and make new three partitions on it
/ (root) size 5? Gb ext3 filesystem
SWAP size same as your RAM?
/home (your user directory) the rest of available space, ext3
Now the disk table will be written, say yes and FORMATED
Here be careful with the names of the directories, only the new ones should be
That’s all
To install on a complete empty HD just select " Use all the empty space"

So the partitioner should let me clean one of the partitions and then I install on it. Why do I have to make 3 new partitions?, with in a partition? I name them /root, /home, and SWAP?

Why do I have to make 3 new partitions?, with in a partition?

No, your taking one partition and breaking it up into 3 smaller partitions.

For a Linux machine you need a minimum of 2 partitions a “/”(root) & a “SWAP” partition. OTO suggest to also make a" /home" partition (I also recommend this).
That way if you decide to upgrade or change your Linux distro your files(music, configs, etc) will be separate from the Operating System files.

Ok, so I can break my small partition into 2 smaller ones (5 GB each?) and leave my bigger partition for all my files? If I choose to use my bigger partition as my “home” will it be cleared? I’m not to worried about it being cleared as I have all the files on my another comp anyways. What would you do in this situation?

When I make the 2 partitions do I call them “I” (is that i or L?) and “SWAP” or can I call them anything? What is “I” f or and what is “SWAP” for? Where would you install programs?

Sorry for asking so many questions; I’ve never installed linux or even used it before.

it isn’t i or L. Its / (slash), and its the main directory. You know how in Windows you have C:/, A:/ and D:/? Well in Linux, you have /, and then you mount devices to any empty folder. Usually to /mnt/device_name or /mount/device_name.

The way the device names goes is the following:

First, if its a hard drive, you have “hd” in front of it. If its the first hard drive, it is “hda.” However, when mounting, you must specify a partition, and if its the first partition, it is “hda1” or “hda2” for the second partition. If you want it to signify the third partition of the second hard drive, it is “hdb3”, the “hdb” meaning the second hard drive (b is the second letter of the alphabet), and “3” is the partition number, hence it would be mounted as /mnt/hdb3/

What do you mean by mount devices?

So all I have to do is make a “/” partition, “SWAP” partition and a “/home” partition then the installation will do the rest for me? Doing this for the first time would it just be easier to refomat the hard drive and then let the installer do the work for me? Or will I still need to create these partitions?

When you edit all the partitions, you also reformat the hard drive at the same time.

Ok, so If I take my small partition divied it into 2 halves, name them “/” and “SWAP”, I’ll be fine? What is the SWAP for, how big should it be? OTO said as much as my ram, but there isn’t much on the machine.

[edit] Problem; I was about to install ubuntu, I put the disc in and the boot screen comes up, but then once it gets passed the loading screens a bunch of blue bars come up and you can’t see the desktop. I tried remaking the CD, I checked the iso file, I checked for errors (an option on the disc menu). I don’t know why it’s doing this. Any idea?

I still can’t figure this out. I’ve been doing the same thing I always have, but when it’s loading the desktop off the CD there are a bunch of blue bars and you can only see a little bit of the screen (a small strip in the middle). I can’t think of what else to try. Any idea’s anyone?

make the swap partition about a gig. the swap partition is used as varry slow ram if you run out of main memory. make sure you salect “linux swap” in the menu, not just change the mount point to “swap”

install it and get the proper driver for the gfx card, that should fix the display issue

If you want to install it without using the graphical install, then download the alternate install disk.

What will I have to know to do a text install?

i think its like the live cd but using a text based interface (salect options from a list)

It finally worked; All I did was connect it to my network (it was disconnected before), but I don’t know if that was actually the probelm.

I only found this thread late.
OTO provided the best advice.
Do not split the partition into 2.
Split it into 3.

  1. One to be mounted as “/” (your main “root” partition, suggest 3-5Gb in size)
  2. One to be mounted as “SWAP” (for memory swapping - should be no less than the size of your RAM)
  3. One to be mounted as “/home/” for all your config files etc., it really is best to keep them separate from the rest of the OS. Should be the size of the remaining space on your partition.

Oh, I thought /home was like my docs. So if I have 7.81 GB (I have 384mb of RAM) on the partition I’m going to break up, how should I ditribute it? Or will I need more? Can I take some space from the other partition with out it being refomatted?

No, /home/ is like /documents and settings/. In Windows you have C:/Documents and Settings/Username/ and in Linux you have /home/username/ instead. I usually make a folder in /home/ called Documents.