|Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4: Installation Guide for the IBM® S/390® and IBM® eServer™ zSeries® Architectures
|Chapter 2. Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux
If you chose to partition manually, you must tell the installation program where to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux. This is done by defining mount points for one or more disk partitions in which Red Hat Enterprise Linux is installed.
The partitioning tool used by the installation program is Disk Druid. With the exception of certain esoteric situations, Disk Druid can handle the partitioning requirements for a typical installation.
Disk Druid offers a graphical representation of your DASD device(s).
Using your mouse, click once to highlight a particular field in the graphical display. Double-click to edit an existing partition and assign a mount point.
Above the display, you can review the Drive name (such as /dev/dasda), 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 file system 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:
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.
Make RAID: Make RAID can be used if you want to provide redundancy to any or all disk partitions. It should only be used if you have experience using RAID. To read more about RAID, refer to the RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) chapter in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux System Administration Guide.
To make a RAID device, you must first create (or reuse existing) 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.
Mount Point/RAID/Volume: 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 is 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.
Type: This field shows the partition's file system type (for example, ext2 or ext3).
Format: This field shows if the partition being created will be formatted.
Size (MB): This field shows the partition's size (in MB).
Start: This field shows the cylinder on your hard drive where the partition begins.
End: This field shows the cylinder on your hard drive where the partition ends.
Hide RAID device/LVM Volume Group members: Select this option if you do not want to view any RAID device or LVM Volume Group members that have been created.
Unless you have a reason for doing otherwise, we recommend that you create the following partitions:
A swap partition (at least 256 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.
If you are unsure about what size swap partition to create, make it twice the amount of RAM on your machine (but no larger than 2 GB). It must be of type swap.
Creation of the proper amount of swap space varies depending on a number of factors including the following (in descending order of importance):
The applications running on the machine.
The amount of physical RAM is installed on the machine.
The version of the OS.
Swap should equal 2x physical RAM for up to 2 GB of physical RAM, and then 1x physical RAM for any amount above 2 GB, but never less than 32 MB.
Using this formula, a system with 2 GB of physical RAM would have 4 GB of swap, while one with 3 GB of physical RAM would have 5 GB of swap. Creating a large swap space partition can be especially helpful if you plan to upgrade your RAM at a later time.
If your partitioning scheme requires a swap partition that is larger than 2 GB, you should create an additional swap partition. For example, if you need 4 GB of swap, you should create two 2 GB swap partitions. If you have 4 GB of RAM, you should create three 2 GB swap partitions. Red Hat Enterprise Linux supports up to 32 swap files.
For systems with really large amounts of RAM (more than 32 GB) you can likely get away with a smaller swap partition (around 1x, or less, of physical RAM).
A /boot/ partition (100 MB) — the partition mounted on /boot/ contains the operating system kernel (which allows your system to boot Red Hat Enterprise Linux), 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 100 MB boot partition is sufficient.
A root partition (500 MB - 5.0 GB) — this is where "/" (the root directory) is located. In this setup, all files (except those stored in /boot) are on the root partition.
A 500 MB partition allows you to install a minimal installation, while a 5.0 GB root partition lets you perform a full installation, choosing all package groups.
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 can only change the partition's mount point. To make any other changes, you must delete the partition and recreate it.