Linux SDRAM & slack space

Expert at recommended I partion my drive like,

"80 gb drive
1 pri partition 30MB mounted as /boot (so lilo will boot) ext2 or ext3 format)
2 pri partition 67 GB mounted as / (ext2 or ext3 format)
3 pri partition 10 GB fat32 C: for windows
4 extended partition (256 MB)
5 256 MB Linux swap partition in extended partition" - Does it (4th, extended partion) encapsulate the remaining (Swap) into a logical partition? Since each drive can have 4 primary, why can't I just put the 256Mb swap partion as the 4th primary?

Aside from this, would anyone advise me on having a 1024Mb slack which would be on top of a 333 2700 512Mb DDR SDRAM(for a combined total of 1536 Mb available as VIRTUAL memory)? - how much would 1536Mb virtual Ram equate to in real terms?
          What's the maximum in Mb that you can have in slack space- if big enough, then put on extended partion, logical drive due to 1024 matter. Say for example, what would the performance benefits be for a 4096Mb slack with 512Mb 2700 DDR SDRAM be on logical drive? And how would this compare to say 4x512Mb 2700 DDR SDRAM at 2048Mb 333 RAM with 512Mb slack space?

Note: my board can hold up to 3Gb of 333 2700 DDR SDRAM.
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Hi Adam, here's what I can contribute with.

1st. yes, you can install your swap on a primary partition without problems.

**************** 2nd ( Just as Info ) *******************
    Well, my recomendation will be more like:

    - 30 MB on /boot
    - 600 MB on /
    - 5 GB on /usr
    - 10 GB for Windows 98
    - 400 MB on /var
    - 400 MB on /tmp
    - 256 MB for Swap
    - The rest on /home

This is a Server-Type configuration, allows you to play a lot with your partitions without messing with user's files, you can even change your linux distro without needing to backup a lot of things (but you still have to backup some of them).

But, as you want as few partitions as possible, you can do great using:

- 256 MB for Swap (Linux Swap)
- 10 GB for Windows 98
- The rest for /   as Ext2 or Ext3

That is like my first Linux Installation was, worked great for desktop use. If you install Linux first and Win98 later remember to create a linux bootdisk when prompted, as Win will overwrite the MBR and this will prevent your linux to boot, you can boot with the disk and re-install lilo on the MBR with the commmand 'lilo'.

Your /etc/lilo.conf    file should contain something like this prior to run the command in order to be able to boot Linux and Win98.

boot = /dev/hda        # for MBR, or your root partition

image = /boot/vmlinux  # your zImage file
  root = /dev/hda1     # your root partition
  label = Linux        # or any fancy name
  read-only            # mount root read-only

  other = /dev/hda4   # your FAT partition, if any
  table = /dev/hda  # the current partition table
  label = Win       # or any non-fancy name

Regarding your question on Virtual Memory, you won't need that much of swap space unless you are planning to run really memory-intensive processes like serving Java Servlets with Apache+Tomcat, in wich case, a server-type PC would do better (Dual Processor with 2-3 GB RAM)

I've been using Linux Slackware for some years now, I'll keep listening here in case you have any problem or doubt.

Regards, hope this helps you. =)

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Adam115Author Commented:
I like your desktop partioning plan but I'm still unsure on whether to have a separate boot partion for quick reference or if it's a waste of a drive for it to be on its own partion, what do you think?
It's not absolutely necesary, if that is your question...

It was a common recomendation not so long ago because LILO (The Linux Loader) couldn't boot OSs installed after the 1024 cylinder, but that limitation is gone by now.

Also, if you wanted to install several OSs, including some on extended partitions, it was advised to create a primary (and active) boot partition so the Linux Loader became the computer's boot manager.

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Adam115Author Commented:
Thanks Garisoain. I don't intend this box to be used as a server - it's my home desktop. I intend to use Linux slackware so I can tweak the system files & customise it to my needs - as you've probably already done.

 I do, however, intend to have my own server which I'll be building up over time. Currently its just my old system: 400Mhz AMD-K6, 64Mb, MS 5182(socket 7..) but as I accumulate I'll gradually upgrade it to the standards you recommend (over 3Gb RAM) and yes, it'll(server) run Slackware or FreeBSD(your expert advise?) & your partioning recommendations for a server are flawless.

    Also, since this will be my 1st server, - it'll be placed on 1st floor for noise reasons - how much would it cost to maintain(bandwidth etc. per month) a 10-Mbit cable channel with 384 Kbps upload speed off my ISP? - dedicated small home server.

Review of my home administered personal dedicated server on own network:

10-Mbit cable with 384 Kbps upload
1Gb Online storage
30Gb P/month bandwidth <<<<<<<<depends on how much ISP charging!

I'm UNSURE about this but I would like INSTANT CUT-OFF once my bandwidth limit has been reached. Can I set this up remotely with MY software or could I instruct my ISP to cut me off automatically whenever it reaches bandwidth limits? - I absolutely don't want to be charged extra for sudden surges in traffic!

Note: This is NOT a commercial server. It'll have about 1Gb online webspace on my larger(>1Gb) IDE drive with max transfer per month at 30Gb P/Month - if it costs too much then I'll get a 10Gb per month bandwidth.

PS. I don't need the server up and running for months.
=) Actually my own home server (NAT, mail, web, and ftp) runs on a Celeron@466Mhz, 192MB RAM, 15GB HD, cause I don't need heavy processes, working great for 3 years now.

A really BIG server would only be necessary for runing large databases (or heavy DB engines *cough*Oracle*cough*) or Java Servlets ( Lots, and Lots, and Lots of Memory) with Apache+Tomcat.

I would recommend Linux for your server, any distro you like (I'm with Slackware).

FreeBSD is the best for dedicated WebServers, but with Linux you get very good performance on every single service.

I'm not familiar with USA bandwith prices, I only miss them, here in Mexico I pay US$50/month for my 256Kbps ADSL, and on Bellevue,WA (USA) I used to pay US$20/month for 1024Kbps DSL.

The instant cut-off on banwith limit can be done either by your ISP, or from your side using a Linux gateway (with the iproute2 utilities).

=) Regards.
Adam115Author Commented:
What books would you personally recommend reading on Linux server administration? Topics including setting up a DMZ, different transfer protocols (TCP IP, ICMP, UDP etc.), integrating code, APIs, RDBMS etc.. I'm already getting the following books in a month or 2,

"Slackware LINUX for Dummies" (with CD-ROM) by Paul Gallegos(2000)

"The Concise Guide to Xfree86 for Linux" by Aron Hsiao(1999)

"Hacking Linux Exposed", 2nd Edition by Brian Hatch(2002)

"Running Linux", Fourth Edition by Matt Welsh(2002)

The only mainly server book I'm getting is,

"The Linux Internet Server" by Kevin Reichard(March 1997) - do you think this will be outdated in the fast paced networking world that you're accustomed to Garisoain? The last person who reviewed it did so in 1998 on amazon.
Haven't readed any of those, but I can recommend you
"Unix System Administration Handbook", by Nemeth, Snyder, Seebass and Hein. I consider it a must-have.

It covers RedHat Linux, Solaris, HP-UX and FreeBSD.

It's a good tutorial if you're new to UNIX server admin, and great reference if you're an experienced pro.

BUT, most of the documentation you need is available on the internet, check "The Linux Documentation Project".

Good Luck.
Adam115Author Commented:
Just 1 end-user criticism of Linux,

I noted you're interested in gaming. I assume you meant both gaming and game design. Anyway, what is your opinion on Linux ever becoming a "gaming computer"?

       Personally, I don't ever see it being supported by as many developers as Microsoft O/S's has due to the open source concept and community residing around Linux.

   Though the games created for Linux distributions are nice in quantity and average in graphics, I don't see them comparing to MS centric games in graphical quality, longevity (3d games), depth and concept(due to customer base).

     On the other hand, Linux is great for developing games and media due to the more efficient resource management and Linux being more minimalist. Also a more reliable and stable server than anything running MS by far.
=) I use Windows XP Pro for gaming: Warcraft III, GTA III, StarCraft, etc. This games aren't available for Linux.

Linux needs to become a popular desktop-OS prior to compete as a gaming plataform, It's on it's way, but not there yet. Nvidia supplies drivers for linux, yes, but not until it can compete with MS on office (or home) desktops, the big game developers will take it seriously. (due to customer base, of course)

In the meantime, it's still one of the best server-OSs.

And BTW, Linux already dominates the multiplayer game-serving area, as developers have noticed it's stability, performance and networking advantages, most of the multiplayer games have a server that runs on linux.

Oh, I also played Mahjongg for hours when I used Linux for desktop.
Adam115Author Commented:
Hope to see you on here again in the future. Thanks for your help.
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