Best way to mess up my partitions

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Best way to mess up my partitions

Postby bobthebob1234 » Wed May 09, 2012 2:58 am

So wanting to upgrade (clean install) to (K)ubuntu 12.04. Currently one massive partition cos I'm really clever. 1tb in size, used about 300gb.

Backed up to external nas.

So I'm thinking three methods:

A: resize current partition to as small as I can get with about 10gb spare, make new partition, copy home folder to new partition (best / quickest way of doing this?), install into old partition, over writing data, job done. But current settings/config in home dir might upset new install?

B: make current partition as small as poss, install into empty space, setting up separate home part, then copy across stuff I actually want to keep, and eventually delete old partition, then expand new one into it.

C: like b, but use nas and delete old partition and install.

Don't want to upgrade, doesn't usually work for me and is more hassle than it is worth....

Which one do people think is best, or is there a better way?

Cheers
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Postby Dutch_Master » Wed May 09, 2012 3:39 am

You have your data backed up, there's no reason not to start afresh. Unless you're not sure you copied everything over properly ;) So, that should be option D:
Rsync your /home partition to the NAS (assuming it runs Linux and has rsync installed :P), double check everything is there. Insert install CD (DVD) and install properly: create partitions for /boot, /, /home, swap and if possible /var, /usr and /tmp too. Don't make these too small, especially /var could need some extra space as this is where variable settings are stored. In general, none of my partitions (except for /boot) are smaller then 7 GB (/boot is usually 1 GB). Make /tmp large enough to hold at least a DVD's worth of data. Note that the rule about swap being twice the size of the installed RAM still goes, but if you'd install more then about 4 GB of RAM, it really takes up just space you'd be better off using for /home.

There is, however, another alternative: option E:
Rsync as above, but install to a new drive. Install a small SSD (about 30-40GB, these are relatively cheap) and use that to install your new system. Then mount the old disk as data disk for /home, clearing the old partition of unwanted stuff. Not only have you now physically separated the system and your data, with an SSD you'll now notice a considerable increase in speed, mainly cutting down boot times :) :idea:
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Postby bobthebob1234 » Mon May 14, 2012 10:35 pm

Thanks for the reply

The nas is a LG N2R1D, which I think is the same as N2R1 but without hard drives, and a google search turns up this page with an rsync manual, however I have updated the firmware and can't for the life of me find any rsync options on the web gui, but I have not updated to the latest version of the UI, so maybe I need to do that.
I smbmount 'd the nas and then rsynced to that, will that suffice, or will permissions, etc be messed up?

As tempting as an SSD is, I am a poor student, and I have just spent this years computer budget on a raspberry pi....

I have 16GB of ram (as you do), so a 32GB of swap might be excessive... At the moment my swap is 6gb, which I don't think I have ever used.

Also didn't mention this, but I also dual boot, so if I got an SSD in the future would you recommend putting the windows OS files on it to?
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Postby Dutch_Master » Tue May 15, 2012 1:01 am

Install rsync on your desktop, if you haven't done so already, then issue the rsync command using the following syntax:
Code: Select all
rsync [OPTIONS] {source} {destination}
(note: no brackets, these are just to distinguish various parts, read the man page!)
If rsync is installed on the NAS it'll start sync'ing automagically. If not, log in to the NAS and install the appropriate module(s).

Options I use myself are -rdtvu, refer to man page for their influence ;)

I see no reason why you'd want to dual-boot a NAS. As for the swap, given you have enough space, have at least 1x the amount of RAM. Linux thrives on RAM and works mostly in/with the RAM sticks, you'd need enough space for everything if you'd suspend the NAS.

If you can't afford an SSD (and I appreciate students usually have difficulties making ends meet anyway) you may have a spare USB stick and/or SD-card somewhere. This also uses Flash-technology, be it older and therefore seriously slower. However, to maximise the space for data on your disks, as well as separating the OS from your data, you may want to try and have the OS installed on the usb-key/SD-card. Mind that it's quite an advanced subject (but can be done) and you'd still need some space on the HDD for swap and perhaps log- and temporary files (/var/log and /tmp). Also note that read/write cycles have a detrimental effect on the life-span of the device! There are several measures you could take to minimise the effects, Google is your friend!

PS: low-capacity SSD's are now cheap enough to be in the"'birthday-present" category... HINT ;)
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