Installing Mandriva Linux - Part 2


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Partitioning

Partitioning is the single most crucial element of the installation. Therefore, I will dedicate quite a few moments to this part. Again, there's nothing to worry about. Like most Linux installers, Mandriva offers a simple and intuitive interface that will allow you to naturally proceed from one step to another.

The first step after starting the installation is the partitioning. Mandriva uses the DrakX Partitioning Wizard. The best way to configure the layout of your hard drive is by custom selection. This is what you should choose.

Mandriva custom partitioning

You are advised to backup your data. If your hard disks are not empty and contain valuable information, you should indeed make sure it is safely backed up before you alter (and possibly format) the partitions.

Mandriva partitioning backup message

You will notice that the partitioning tool is not very different from the one used in (K)ubuntu. Like I have said and repeated on many occasions before - once you master one of the distributions, you will be able to easily handle them all.

Note: I have maximized the partition wizard on the screen to make all of the options more easily readable.

You can see there's one hard disk hda, 6GB in size - and empty, as indicated by the white color. If not readily apparent, the legend of Filesystem types should tell you that. For more information about Linux hard disk and partition notation, please refer to the other installation tutorials.

Mandriva partitioning

You have several choices:
First, switch to the expert mode by clicking on the Toggle to expert mode button. You will notice that the amount of information regarding the partition table has changed.

Mandriva partitioning expert mode

To create a partition, again, you have two options:
You will know you have selected the empty space by two indicators:
  1. The empty space will be marked with a dashed borderline.
  2. You will be presented with a Create button under Choose action menu below the hard disk color bar.
Click on the Create button to create a new partition.

Mandriva select empty space

In the best of Dedoimedo tradition, I will make three partitions: swap first, root (/) next and home (/home) last. The important factors that you need to remember are:
Since our system is going to host Mandriva Linux only, I will make the partitions as primary. First, the swap:

Mandriva partitioning creating swap

Mandriva partitioning swap created

Again, click on the empty space, click Create to create the root partition.

Mandriva partitioning create root

Mandriva creating root

Mandriva partitioning root created

The same applies to the home partition. Notice the colored bars indicating created partitions - and their respective filesystem types.

Mandriva partitioning create home

Mandriva partitioning creating home

Mandriva partitioning home created

Please bear in mind:
Furthermore, you have the option to resize the partitions, change the type or the mount point, label them, and more. I will not go into details regarding some of the other advanced options available. If you know you need these options, you probably do not need this tutorial.

We now have the three partitions created. It's time to format them. You can format any partition by selecting it and choosing Format from the Choose action menu. For the sake of the exercise, I will only format the home partition at this moment.

If you forget to format all of all your partitions, you will be given a chance to do so after you finish editing the Partition Table. This redundancy is apparent through the entire process; you can do the same task by several different approaches, whether it is the creation of partitions or the formatting.

Once you click the Format button, you will be presented with a warning message.

Mandriva partitioning format

You can also check for bad blocks during the formatting.

Format options

Mandriva partition formatting

Once you are satisfied with your choices, click Done. You will be asked to format any unformatted partition.

Mandriva formatting rest

After you click Next, the remaining partitions will be formatted and the installer will begin copying files. This will happen rather abruptly and without any confirmation message. So do not be surprised.

Mandriva copying files

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