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Installing Linux without Dual-booting?

Posted on 2005-05-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Suppose I get a new computer with Windiws installed. Now what If I decide to remove Windows completely and ONLY install SUSE Linux on it?

I know that I have to create these 3 important Linux partitions below:

"/"

/swap

/home

I understand that  part of it. But my question is, Do I need to have a /boot partition on there as well if I will NOT be dual-booting?? Or, is the /boot partition only required if dual-booting?

I'm a newbie, so is it wise to just let the Automatic Partitioner set it up for me?

Please explain in detail please.

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Question by:jslayton01
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Expert Comment

by:slow1000
ID: 13971745
The /boot partition reduces the risk of a boot failure, but it usually is not necessary.  Have you tried going through the Suse install program?  Since you are deleting everthing anyway, you won't be able to hurt anything.

I think you'll find the process fairly intuitive, but you'll have to delete the existing partitions before allowing Automatic Partitioner to take over.  Otherwise, it will keep Windows on the disk.
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Expert Comment

by:ben-gur
ID: 13972157
I don't think the /boot reduces the risk of a boot failure, but it will surely ease recovery in case of disaster. So it is recommended.

The /boot partition contains the operating system kernel (which allows your system to boot), along with files used during the bootstrap process. Due to the limitations of most PC BIOSs, creating a small partition to hold these files is a good idea. A 50 MB boot partition is sufficient.

In addition, 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.

But as slow1000 said, using the automatic process should be intuitive, and is mostly recommended, especially if you are a newbie.. ;)
You can delete all the partitions, and let it configure it automatically.

Good luck,
Adam.
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Author Comment

by:jslayton01
ID: 13973857
Oh thanks...I appreciate it.

And more question.

Currently I am dual-booting with Windows with Linux. I see my Windows mounted under /mnt/windows.

Now, I tried to remove them by doing the command: umount /mnt/windows   EVEN under 'su' (or as ROOT) and it gave me a bad or unrecognized command. When I had Mandrake it worked. Why doesnt it work now? I just want to remove the mounted Windows partitions or files.

I tried basically everything.. And to prevent them from reappearing, all I have to do is comment out the line where it says something like /dev/mnt/windows in the /etc/fstab directory.

But why wouldnt the command work? I mean it worked when I had Mandrake on here.
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Author Comment

by:jslayton01
ID: 13973882
I just did the command and heres the output:

vin001@linux:~> umount /mnt/windows
umount: /mnt/windows is not mounted (according to mtab)

And as ROOT:

linux:/home/vin001 # umount /mnt/windows
umount: /mnt/windows: not found

SO, what do I have to do inorder to unmount Windows??
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Author Comment

by:jslayton01
ID: 13973896
But how come I still see my Windows partition and files (Read Only) is its not mounted in the first place?

Sorry for the double replies....I am trying to look for the EDIT button.
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Accepted Solution

by:
it_proffen earned 500 total points
ID: 13976453
You can delete the windows partitions with the partition manager in Yast if you want that. Then all data on your windows partitions will be deleted.

If all you want is to remove the references to the windows partitions you can # out the line in the /etc/fstab file containing the windows partition. Then reboot.
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Expert Comment

by:arzka
ID: 13978011
What comes to removing the mounted Windows partitions, the easiest option would probably be to type just "mount" and see what the output is. It'll show what drives/folders you have mounted at the moment. I'd assume your current distro has mounted each of the Windows drives separately under the /mnt/windows folder, i.e. you may have folders /mnt/windows/c and /mnt/windows/d (or similar) under there, and you need to umount them separately with "umount /mnt/windows/c". Anyway, running the "mount" command without parameters will tell you exactly what is mounted, and where.

If you don't want the drives to be mounted after the change you should comment them out (or remove completely) from the /etc/fstab file.

What comes to the partitions: If you really, REALLY want to get rid of Windows completely, just delete all of the existing partitions when you are given a choice to do so in the beginning of the installation. The only partition you really need is /, but adding some others is never a bad idea. If you don't know what (and why) they exist, you'd be best off using the recommended automatic settings. /boot is a good thing, and IMHO it should be large enough to contain 2-3 different kernels just so you don't end up booting the machine with only one broken kernel in your /boot partition.

Considering you mentioned you're getting a new computer the 1024 cylinder limits and such mentioned earlier don't apply to you. Having the /boot partition or not is up to you. It doesn't have much to do with dual-booting.
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