|Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 2.1: Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES Installation Guide|
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If you chose automatic partitioning and did not select Review, please skip ahead to Section 3.16 Network Configuration.
If you chose automatic partitioning and selected Review, you can either accept the current partition settings (click Next), or modify the setup using Disk Druid, the manual partitioning tool.
If you chose Manually partition with fdisk, please skip ahead to Section 3.13 Partitioning with fdisk.
At this point, you must tell the installation program where to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES. This is done by defining mount points for one or more disk partitions in which Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES will be installed. You may also need to create and/or delete partitions at this time (refer to Figure 3-7).
If you have not yet planned how you will set up your partitions, refer to Appendix D An Introduction to Disk Partitions. At a bare minimum, you need an appropriately-sized root partition, and a swap partition equal to twice the amount of RAM you have on the system.
The partitioning tool used in Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES is Disk Druid. With the exception of certain esoteric situations, Disk Druid can handle the partitioning requirements for a typical Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES installation.
Disk Druid offers a graphical representation of your hard drive(s).
Using your mouse, click once to highlight a particular field in the graphical display. Double-click to edit an existing partition or to create a partition out of existing free space.
Above the display, you will see the drive name (such as /dev/hda ), the geom (which shows the hard disk's geometry and consists of three numbers representing the number of cylinders, heads, and sectors as reported by the hard disk), and the model of the hard drive as detected by the installation program.
These buttons control Disk Druid's actions. They are used to change the attributes of a partition (for example the filesystem type and mount point) and also to create RAID devices. Buttons on this screen are also used to accept the changes you have made, or to exit Disk Druid. For further explanation, take a look at each button in order:
New: Used to request a new partition. When selected, a dialog box appears containing fields (such as mount point and size) that must be filled in.
Edit: Used to modify attributes of the partition currently selected in the Partitions section. Selecting Edit opens a dialog box. Some or all of the fields can be edited, depending on whether the partition information has already been written to disk.
You can also edit free space as represented in the graphical display to create a new partition within that space. Either highlight the free space and then select the Edit button, or double-click on the free space to edit it.
Delete: Used to remove the partition currently highlighted in the Current Disk Partitions section. You will be asked to confirm the deletion of any partition.
Reset: Used to restore Disk Druid to its original state. All changes made will be lost if you Reset the partitions.
Make RAID: Make RAID can be used if you want to provide software RAID redundancy to any or all disk partitions. It should only be used if you have experience using RAID. To read more about RAID, please refer to RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) in the Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.
To make a RAID device, you must first create software RAID partitions. Once you have created two or more software RAID partitions, select Make RAID to join the software RAID partitions into a RAID device.
Above the partition hierarchy are labels which present information about the partitions you are creating. The labels are defined as follows:
Device: This field displays the partition's device name.
Start: This field shows the sector on your hard drive where the partition begins.
End: This field shows the sector on your hard drive where the partition ends.
Size: This field shows the partition's size (in MB).
Type: This field shows the partition's type (for example, ext2, ext3, or vfat ).
Mount Point: A mount point is the location within the directory hierarchy at which a volume exists; the volume is "mounted" at this location. This field indicates where the partition will be mounted. If a partition exists, but is not set, then you need to define its mount point. Double-click on the partition or click the Edit button.
Format: This field shows if the partition being created will be formatted.
Unless you have a reason for doing otherwise, we recommend that you create the following partitions:
A swap partition (at least 32 MB) — swap partitions are used to support virtual memory. In other words, data is written to a swap partition when there is not enough RAM to store the data your system is processing. The size of your swap partition should be equal to twice your computer's RAM, or 32 MB, whichever amount is larger, but no more than 2048 MB (or 2 GB). In Disk Druid, the partition field for swap should look similar to the following:
<Swap> hda6 64M 64M Linux swap
For example, if you have 1 GB of RAM or less, your swap partition should be at least equal to the amount of RAM on your system, up to two times the RAM. For more than 1 GB of RAM, 2 GB of swap is recommended. Creating a large swap space partition will be especially helpful if you plan to upgrade your RAM at a later time.
A /boot partition (50 MB) — the partition mounted on /boot contains the operating system kernel (which allows your system to boot Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES), along with files used during the bootstrap process. Due to the limitations of most PC BIOSes, creating a small partition to hold these files is a good idea. For most users, a 50 MB boot partition is sufficient. In Disk Druid, the partition field for /boot should look similar to:
/boot hda1 50M 50M Linux native
If your hard drive is more than 1024 cylinders (and your system was manufactured more than two years ago), you may need to create a /boot partition if you want the / (root) partition to use all of the remaining space on your hard drive.
If you have a RAID card, be aware that some BIOSes do not support booting from the RAID card. In cases such as these, the /boot partition must be created on a partition outside of the RAID array, such as on a separate hard drive.
A root partition (350 MB - 3.2 GB) — this is where "/" (the root directory) will be located. In this setup, all files (except those stored in /boot) are on the root partition.
A 350 MB partition will allow you to install a minimal Custom installation (without the Server packages), a 1.0 GB root partition will permit the equivalent of a default Server (with GNOME or KDE) installation (with very little free space), while a 3.2 GB root partition will let you perform a full Custom installation, choosing everything.
In Disk Druid, the partition field for / should look similar to:
/ hda5 3734M 3734M Linux native
To add a new partition, select the New button. A dialog box appears (see Figure 3-8).
You must dedicate at least one partition to Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES, and optionally more. For more information, see Appendix D An Introduction to Disk Partitions.
Mount Point: Enter the partition's mount point. For example, if this partition should be the root partition, enter /; enter /boot for the /boot partition, and so on. You can also use the pulldown menu to choose the correct mount point for your partition.
Filesystem Type: Using the pulldown menu, select the appropriate filesystem type for this partition. For more information on filesystem types, see Section 188.8.131.52 Filesystem Types.
Allowable Drives: This field contains a list of the hard disks installed on your system. If a hard disk's box is highlighted, then a desired partition can be created on that hard disk. If the box is not checked, then the partition will never be created on that hard disk. By using different checkbox settings, you can have Disk Druid place partitions as you see fit, or let Disk Druid decide where partitions should go.
Size (Megs): Enter the size (in megabytes) of the partition. Note, this field starts with a "1" (one); unless changed, only a 1 MB partition will be created.
Additional Size Options: Choose whether to keep this partition at a fixed size, to allow it to "grow" (fill up the available hard drive space) to a certain point, or to allow it to grow to fill any remaining hard drive space available.
If you choose Fill all space up to (MB), you must give size constraints in the field to the right of this option. This allows you to keep a certain amount of space free on your hard drive for future use.
Force to be a primary partition: Select whether the partition you are creating should be one of the first four partitions on the hard drive. If unselected, the partition created will be a logical partition. See Section D.1.3 Partitions within Partitions — An Overview of Extended Partitions, for more information.
Check for bad blocks: Checking for bad blocks can help prevent data loss by locating the bad blocks on a drive and making a list of them to prevent using them in the future. If you wish to check for bad blocks while formatting each filesystem, please make sure to select this option.
Selecting Check for bad blocks may dramatically increase your total installation time. Since most newer hard drives are quite large in size, checking for bad blocks may take a long time; the length of time depends on the size of your hard drive. If you choose to check for bad blocks, you can monitor your progress on virtual console #6.
Ok: Select Ok once you are satisfied with the settings and wish to create the partition.
Cancel: Select Cancel if you do not want to create the partition.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES allows you to create different partition types, based on the filesystem they will use. The following is a brief description of the different filesystems available, and how they can be utilized.
ext2 — An ext2 filesystem supports standard Unix file types (regular files, directories, symbolic links, etc). It provides the ability to assign long file names, up to 255 characters. Versions prior to Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 2.1 used ext2 filesystems by default.
ext3 — The ext3 filesystem is based on the ext2 filesystem and has one main advantage — journaling. Using a journaling filesystem reduces time spent recovering a filesystem after a crash as there is no need to fsck the filesystem.
software RAID — Creating two or more software RAID partitions allows you to create a RAID device. For more information regarding RAID, refer to the chapter RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) in the Official Red Hat Linux Customization Guide.
swap — Swap partitions are used to support virtual memory. In other words, data is written to a swap partition when there is not enough RAM to store the data your system is processing.
vfat — The VFAT filesystem is a Linux filesystem that is compatible with Windows 95/NT long filenames on the FAT filesystem.
To edit a partition, select the Edit button or double-click on the existing partition.
If the partition already exists on your hard disk, you will only be able to change the partition's mount point. If you want to make any other changes, you will need to delete the partition and recreate it.
To delete a partition, highlight it in the Partitions section and click the Delete button. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.
Skip to Section 3.14 Boot Loader Installation for further installation instructions.
The fsck application is used to check the filesystem for metadata consistency and optionally repair one or more Linux filesystems.