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MkLinux: Getting Started[an error occurred while processing this directive]: Preparations
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Basic Partitioning Information

Most of the disk space that MkLinux needs in order to operate does not reside in regular Mac OS volumes.  Instead, MkLinux has its own filesystems, which must reside in separate disk partitions.  MkLinux uses two distinct types of disk partitions.  It uses "swap" space to store idle portions of the memory used by running programs and "filesystem" space to store directories (i.e., folders) and files.

The amount of swap space MkLinux needs depends on what sorts of tasks the machine will be doing and how much physical RAM you have installed.  The swap space is combined with the physical RAM in the system to produce the total amount of virtual memory available for all running programs.  The minimum amount of swap space that the MkLinux DR3 install process will allow is 8 MB.  Typically, 64 MB of swap space is just fine.

If you have very little RAM or expect to be running many users or programs at once, you may want to provide more swap space.  Please keep in mind that the maximum usable size of a MkLinux swap partition is 128 MB.  You are free, however, to have more than one swap partition. The MkLinux filesystem has (like Mac OS) a hierarchical directory structure: files may exist at any level of the directory hierarchy.  Unlike MacOS, however, MkLinux can graft whole filesystem trees (residing in separate partitions) onto the main ("root") filesystem. This grafting ability, modelled after UNIX, is called "mounting" a filesystem. The directory under which the mounted filesystem appears is called a "mount point".  By carefully choosing the sizes of your filesystem partitions and their mount points, you can create a unified filesystem tree with branches existing in separate partitions or even separate disk drives.

MkLinux filesystem partitions are limited, at present, to a maximum of two GB each.  Therefore, if you want to have an overall MkLinux filesystem that will hold more than 2 GB, you'll need to use multiple partitions. How you envision using your MkLinux system will help determine where you might consider mounting extra filesystems.  For example, if you expect that you will be loading many extra programs (or packages) after your initial MkLinux install, you might want to dedicate a whole partition to the /usr portion of your filesystem. If you expect to have several users, you may want to let /home (and its subdirectories) reside in its own partition.  If you expect a large amount of email or Usenet news to flow through the system, consider giving /var its own partition.

Finally, if you're not sure how your system will be used, or which areas of the filesystem might need their own partition, you can simply put the whole MkLinux filesystem into one partition. The 2 GB rule mentioned above still applies, but a single partition filesystem is all you need to get started.


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