Category Archives: Partitioning with Linux

What to look for in a Standard Linux Distribution-Introduction

I have talked about practically all the possible combinations of Live and Standard Linux it is time for me to wind up with a guide for selection of a distribution without giving a particular distribution.I will not go into hardware compatibility even though it is a major issue since what innovation are round the corner is difficult to predict after this iPod and mobile utility craze is over and done with it.

But before that I must tell you my favorites without any order of merits.

I go for several light weight distributions and for one Gorilla Edition.

The Gorilla Edition is PCLinuxFullMonty which is almost comprehensive and lacks only XBMC but that also can be downloaded.

For Sinhala Linux Lovers (SLL) it is Debian 6.0.0

They are as follows

1. Puppy Linux and its various editions. you can simply carry in your front pocket (carry when I go abroad-an use it as an Acid Test of the computer, laptop or netbook I may buy-not that I want any more with all the assortments i have at home an office.
If I cannot boot it it with Puppy, I won’t consider buying the stuff, whatever the vendors gimmick may be.

2. Knoppix the 10th anniversary edition to show off its graphic capabilities including compiz and cheese the web camera. Now it has found a permanent place in my computers in spite of its finicky requirements for hardware configuration.

3. Gparted (Debian’s), the best companion to partition my computers when I reformat. Mind you it is light weight and does not say no to any complicated partition composition within the framework of the standard laid down principles.

4. KDE base nothing to choose between Mepis and PCLinux but I prefer PCLinux since I got a good hang of its versatile performance which SuSe lacks.

5. SuSe for my long association with it after Fedora in spite of craving for RAM (the new with Venation blind appearance but in vertical orientation of strips)I. It has the the best configuration utility called YAST (I call it Yet Another System configuration and teaching Tool) but the partitioning is limited to 15 which is a handicap when I want several distributions installed in the same computer.

6. Debian for its versatility and the ability to recognize all the hard disks of various make (SATA, SCSI, IDE) and the ability to write the partition table without getting confused when a fellow like me install assortment of operating systems in my own finicky ways.

It has taken a special place now with Sinhala capability of its installation.

7. Fedora for its ability to take on board changes which commercial operating systems resit and for my yesteryear long association with it and the Hanthana Sinhala Linux which is a derivative of it.

It was the first Linux distribution that I have used which could accommodate Sinhala fonts way back when other Linux distributions were learning the tricks of the trade.

8. GoBO Linux for its innovative approach but no new version for a long time.

9. YOPER for trimming, shedding dropping extra fringes to get it running fast but it has a big problem with its GRUB file.

10. Pure KDE without a brand name since it is the one made Linux desktop eye candy and a market force of its own and still introducing new innovation but one need at least 1 GiB of RAM and still more RAM for it’s better performance.

11. LXDE is my favorite even though I am hooked to KDE and its plane and bird like logo.

12. Cloud Linux

13. MeeGo

14. Pendrive Linux

15. PureOS, Saline OS, Peppermint, LinuxMint, Console Linux, Morphix, MYAH, ADIOS and the lot I forgot because of my bad memory.

16. Scientific Linux of course is my ultimate goal and that is where I belong to as a professional and where my personal biases are rooted, which I am trying to wean off and become an ordinary man again with taste and flair.

If I have left any other distribution, it is all because of my finicky behaviour and lack of space.

It is a fact that any one of them do the day to day work for me.

Please excuse for my bias since I am an ordinary human being with lot of personal deficiencies and lapses in my memory with geriatric age approaching fast.

Young ones are the live blood of Linux, you need to keep on innovating and also have a pause and listen to ordinary uses too.

Next few editions will be based on the packages one should have in a distribution that may vary from person to person.

I will start with K-Torrent and gParted.

I am afraid I may have to group them since there are over 60,000 of them, if one takes Debian as a base.
With that exercise I may finish my engagement with the wider world and go back to my normal life of gardening, fish keeping and looking after my dog.

Would you pay more money and go the Exrta Mile or is it pain in the neck?

There is so much hype about Windows 7 and on my daughter’s request I went and bought a Windows 7 Starter Pack but kept on delaying opening of the pack to install it since the netbook I bought her already had Windows XP.

She has a working knowledge of Linux with  the desktop she had and I bought the netbook stating that if it started giving problems she has to go back to Linux for her work.

Something simple like Lubuntu or Meego or something advances like Sabayon, PClinux or Mepis or even Decian.

Then I wanted to repartition (re-size) the hard disk but the XP installed did not allow me to repartition unless I delete the operating system with it.

Since I have paid for the operating system, I realize it is not a wise thing to do since if she wants there are enough computers at home to try Linux including her desktop.

Then everything went into cold storage and she was down with some illness and Windows 7 was completely forgotten.

Today as part of my full reformatting exercise, I deleted all my partition and booted this Windows 7 Starter Pack to see what it has.

It immediately recognized the 20 GiB ntfs partition  (I made as an extra storage facility), the hard disk had and it started giving me instruction that it can be installed in one computer only and the blah blah.

It pulled out the internet wire fearing it is going to note my laptop machine number and the details and it’s identity and then allowed it to install.

Mind you this was the computer I bought in Singapore after big fight with the vendor stating that I did not want windows installed in it and I only want the machine and I know what to do with it.

Then I booted Linux while waiting in lounge of the Changi Airport with Linux a DVD I downloaded in Singapore (in one of my relative’s residence in Singapore).

After installing it goes up several times rebooting and this is the time it gives all your details to the Microsoft head quarters to subsequently send warning after warnings to lure you to buy all the extra utilities.

Finally it booted up and this one lets you have a password facility and the system has nothing at all to work with.

I told my daughter how stupid was to buy it and booted up and showed her the latest 10th anniversary Knoppix 6.4 live with compiz graphic and Pingus game in it and amazingly beautiful graphics.

It has enlightenment effects and LibreOffice and over 6000 t0 10,000 packages in it’s DVD.

Who is stupid Microsoft or little Me I will let you decide it.

Mind you I installed Knoppix and Sabayon KDE while typing this bloggy blog and tested PCLinuxfullmonty has 64 bits capability also, in between watching the last stages of the Sri-Lanka New Zealand cricket match too.

I must tell you Win 7 took a longer time to install and restarted several times.

Sabayon has a media center called XBMC and it is something windows users will never have the luxury of using.

PCLinuxfullmonty has blender and with these three distributions in my laptop I have amazing rich collection of graphic utilities.

I did not have to pay a red cent but had to spend some time downloading the 3 DVDs with K-Torrent.

Only limitation was the slow download speed of Sri-Lankan Telecoms.

Partitioning with Magic Tools in Linux

Gone are the days when I had to install Win98 and then Partition Magic and then partitioning which took ages and then install Redhat or Mandriva or Debian with dual booting and in spite of Linux installed Nero was my writing tool.

Suffice is to say Nero had done enough damage to my CD/DVD ROMs and Graphic Cards.

Then there was no K3B.

Beauty of K3B is it diagnoses the defective CD / DVD and reject them after examination without damaging the RAM or the CD/DVD ROMs.

Next stage is Live CDs starting with PCLinux-2007.

The transmigration and single booting with multiple Linux distributions in my computer network and liberation from proprietary components has given me opportunity to investigate partition tools in Linux.

My favorite partition tool is and was Partition tool in SuSe which is excellent and gave me lot of freedom and opportunities. 

But then again I have to have SuSe installed to get full use of the partition tool.
Now SuSe Studio has spawned a KDE Partition Magic it is rightful I should mention about the others for newbies.

1. R.I.P (Recovery Is Possible) is one of my favorite Live CD which I use for partitioning.

2. Damn Small Linux and gparted is the first of my choices those days.

3. Gparted live CD.

4. Partition Magic CD in zip format only a Linux distribution can decipher is the latest of my utilities.

5. PC Linux, Mandriva were my old friends but PCLinux has dropped dos partitions (which I keep for spare storage) which is a bit of pain.

My only grouse now is most of the partition tools including SuSe limits partitions to 15 which is absurd with hard disks over 500 GB are on the market and guys like me who want to have several Linux distributions in one box.
If one distribution has failed in a trick I mount another and do the job.

For example SuSe gives limited space for Thrash and it cannot delete a large (for example an image of 4GB) file.

Then I mount PCLinux and do the job of deleting the large file with its help. 

Do not get fixed to one Linux distribution (especially Ububtu) since there are hundreds of out there with many utilities like blender, gamabse, audio video (Media Box) and many more to have fun with.

To have fun and have many distributions you need a partitioning tool and one has to master partitioning.

It is as chicken feed now unlike the days I was struggling to get everything right at least once a year in December before i recess for some holiday and relaxing.


Fortunately because my 100 Linux adventure (111 now) I can have a long holiday well before December.

Enjoy all partitioning tools they do not hurt the hard disks unlike Microsoft utilities.


By accident this gets three 111s.
First Class!
SuSe Studio has spawned many of its community derivatives and many of them are heavy to boot up but this one has caught my eye by accident.
YAST is one of the best graphic utility and its partition manger is the best graphic partition tool.
YAST-Yet Another Setup Tool but I call it Yet Another Teaching Tool Linux Guru can use for teaching newbies.
It is a live CD that can be installed.
Only 366 MiB.
Excellent approach moving away from heavily Loaed Linux.
This a classic example where one can assemble the utilities with purpose.
Then one can download the other packages.
Connection to internet is slow but I love this derivative.
This is not for newbie.
One should have some understanding how suSe operates.
I will write about other partition tools which Linux offer later.
Good one.

New Wave of Linux-Multibooting Capability and its Culpability

Most of the Linux distributions are making a culpable offense by not recognizing other Linux that come from various backgrounds. 

In the beginning the LiLo had problems with booting other Linux distributions.
Then came GRUB it solved most of the booting problems by booting from any partition unlike windows which have to start from the first sector.

Linux guys have not put this weakness of Microsoft to light.

Now is the time to highlight why we give priority to Microsoft.

It is unfair in legal sense and open market economy.

It also should learn how to boot from any sector of choice other than Master Boot Record.

Nobody should give the copyright inheritance of the first sector to any Linux or Microsoft distribution.

It should be with the customer or the user.

It is a monopoly.

Why computer wizard did not expose this weakness to light is my grouse.

They only aggravate the situ by only recognizing windows and dos sometimes and invariably gave Microsoft the first place.

This is a culpable mistake Linux developers perpetuate by its taking the starting block.

Why give the head start to Microsoft?

I have found only three distributions doing it right
They are PCLinux (the new distributions now have a problem not including other format options – other types of disk formatting including DOS), Mephis, Debian, Suse , Mandriva, Redhat and Fedora.

Redhat had the best GRUB including RAIDs .

Still SuSe has the best partition tool, even though it restrict itself to 15 partitions.

Why I do not know?

All the other Live and installable CDs I checked had problem recognizing other Linux distributions.

But they invariable recognized Microsoft by default or is it fear induced by Microsoft by its global propaganda or is it both.

Why not recognize its sisters and brothers breathing over the neck to have a good start.

Most pertinent question is why Microsoft cannot see with their eyes open wide Linux or other partitions.

They are totally blind to independence an market forces.

Where is universal  brotherhood?

Where is universal comradeship?

There are two reasons.

1. One is boot loader they use is LiLo.

2. The other is that they do not write a script (copy of the booting sequence in the header files of the root partition.

They all write on the M.B.R while giving priority to Microsoft almost by default or deceit.

Ubuntu do this, all Ubuntu derivatives including attractive Mint do this culpable offense.

It is time to wake up and put this right.

Suse recognizes only 15 partitions.

There used to be over 60 partitions those days before the RAID and volumes came into existence.

I used to have at least 8 (2 windows) distributions bootable on my hard disk barely 80 GB.

Those days Linux were not fat and heavy and some of them could stay on 2 GiB partition.

I used to modify boot sector by various means to get all running without a problem with GRUB as the boot loader.

Now the hard disks are over 300 or 500 we must go back to all traditions and have at least 30 partitions recognizable.

Then I can boot Microsoft, Apple Mac and Open Free BSD as part-timers with Linux preferably my own assembly called God Bless You All (G.B.Y.A) (thanks to all the guys including Puppy Linux) and I will throw a party even the all mighty God has directed me to the grave for rest after the party.

Recovery Is Possible or Impossible and cohabitation is a must in the coffin for all of us at the end.


Recovery is Possible is the mission of R.I.P. Linux and stands true to it’s name.

All the utilities packed in its 100 MiB Live CD is something a Linux savvy should have in his pocket Live CD.

I have not tested any of the utilities since my PCLinux 2010 does not give any headaches in spite of 200 odd downloads and the daily use and testing of other Linux distributions.

It is something a Microsoft guy should have to solve Microsoft’s problems including many viruses.

It’s release cycle is fast and updates come by the minute.

It rivals only the Damn Small Linux = DSL (which of course is Debian based and have very slow release cycles) which I use when I am in any trouble.

Well done!