[Solved] Linux Mint Mate 21.2 Partitions, BIOS settings

Ah, this understanding is great:
"EFI partition is not a Windows partition but a system partition, i.e. it does not belong to Windows or whatever OS you install on that computer/system."

"Be sure Fast start-up on Windows is disabled (see here by example) in order Mint installer can access to that partition on installing."

OK. Fast start-up - where exists this option - in BIOS switch off.

... is it a partition ?
When changing this GPT-format, it (the EFI partition, or what (file)) must be gone. And UEFI setting in BIOS can´t work then still at all ?

For Linux Mint then not necessary at all ...
(Will be an other topic, when (win 10 or so) as dual boot is with.
But can´t (win 10 or so) be installed on a non GPT drive, partition ?)

So now currently for my wishes: no EFI partition needed.
/SWAP (file-format: Linux-Swap, 16 GB) and /home. (all the free space, ext4, or (what does Knoppix use ?)
´/root´ needed ?
 
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So now currently for my wishes: no EFI partition needed.
/SWAP (file-format: Linux-Swap, 16 GB) and /home. (all the free space, ext4, or (what does Knoppix use ?)
I'm sorry, but I'm not following most of your comments very well. Are you using Google Translate? If not, I would recommend that you try using it to translate from German. It might help us to understand you better. I think some of your research on partitions may be a little outdated and not necessarily how most new people set up Linux. Knoppix is a great distro, but it's more designed to be run from a live USB, and I would not look to it for partitioning guidance for your HDD/SSD.

About SWAP space: Linux Mint and Ubuntu will not create a SWAP partition by default. They use swapfiles instead, and they work fine. I installed the latest Debian yesterday, and it created only 1 GB of SWAP partition... not 64 GB you might expect since I have 32 GB of RAM in my Dell. You see, the "double your RAM" method to size a SWAP partition is outdated and no longer needed.

My best advice to you is to not try to customize your partitions until you have more experience with Linux. Trust the developers of Linux Mint, and install it with default settings for your partitions. If you install as "Erase disk and install Mint" you will get a / partition (EXT4) and a /boot/efi partition (FAT32 and VFAT are basically the same thing). Mint will make your disk partition table GPT, if it isn't already. This method is for a full install of Linux Mint only and does not allow for Windows.

If you do not want a /boot/efi partition, I've explained how to do that using the "Something else" partitioning method in Linux Mint. This worked for me with Mint, Ubuntu LTS, and Debian, and it even worked with Debian on a GPT partition table, but it does not work on Fedora and others. WARNING: it may not work for you like it does for me. You have to try it to find out. If it doesn't work for you, you'll probably have to accept at least a / and /boot/efi partition as a minumum, it seems. It may be that my Dell can do what I've described, but your computer (or other user's computers) may not have the same capability.


(Will be an other topic, when (win 10 or so) as dual boot is with.
But can´t (win 10 or so) be installed on a non GPT drive, partition ?)
If you want to dual boot Linux Mint on the same HDD/SSD with Windows 10... yes, a new thread on that specific topic would be better, but Windows support is not our specialty. There are many articles on this forum and elsewhere on the web that describe the current best methods to run both operating systems together.

Yes, Windows 10 can be installed on a non-GPT (msdos) partition. But remember that UEFI and GPT are today's current technologies, and they really are preferred for good reasons. I really recommend that you try to follow the current best practices since your computer is capable of using them.


´/root´ needed ?
/root is the root user's home folder... it is not /home/root. It is a folder, not a partition.

Here are some basic guidelines:

/ partition is REQUIRED
/boot/efi is almost always REQUIRED, except as I described above

/boot is an optional partition, but it is usually a folder under /.
/root is never a partition (to my knowledge). It is always a folder under /.

/home is an optional partition, but it is usually a folder under /.
/var and all others are optional partitions, but they are usually folders under /.
 
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Assuming your computer supports EFI, all you really need are two file systems.
/ and /boot/efi
Yes, and personally I think that is the best arrangement for most people. Debian recommends new users to put the entire system under the / partition, except for /boot/efi of course. I'm not a new user, but I prefer this arrangement myself. I installed Fedora on my Dell yesterday, but it required /boot/efi, as you knew it would. ;)

To repeat from above, I was successful installing the latest Mint, Ubuntu LTS, and Debian into a single / partition... without using /boot/efi. Is my Dell special? I don't know! But it uses GRUB, and if there is not a /boot/efi... then where is the bootloader? Again, I don't know! The /boot/efi folder in Debian was empty (didn't check Mint or Ubuntu). The /boot/grub folder had files/folders, but no grubx64.efi or shimx64.efi bootloader files. Could the booloader files be stored in BIOS itself?

Yes, very confusing. I am booting in UEFI mode, but I wonder if these installs are done in Legacy mode, especially when using msdos partition table. But one Debian install was on GPT and it still installed and worked in a single / partition without /boot/efi. Either way... where is the bootloader? It's as if these distros are creating a "virtual MBR" to put the bootloader and hiding it from normal view. Maybe you or others have more knowledge about how this is accomplished.

This may be digging too deep for the OP's needs, or I may be veering off topic. But my testing has shown that he may have a chance to install Linux Mint without /boot/efi, as he says he wants.
 
Thanks the broad explainings.

RAM will not be more than 8 GB, the next 10 years, if my live still will last so long.
(And knowing the Linux-Swap partition as a pre-condition to install - without knowing from there, that this is also for RAM content saving to disc -, and knowing the RAM and its content as a special area, a special file, I like to segragate it in an own partition.
Even, when I find out how to switch off the RAM content saving.
Because of from experiencing this the best in-all performance in XP.)
So 16 GB just covers it.

(In the case, You may this my "german" speak for all, I will try to shorten the sentences,
and shorten the topics in ´one´ thought.)

Ah, the "Erase disk and install Mint" creates a GPT partition, which will be the trouble there, when UEFI was disabled, no ?
(This method I tried now about three times.
Therefrom I am here. To deny GPT, to deny to have to understand there still now in addition things I really do not want to know at all in addition, please.
Sadnessly - despite good to know - this makes Mint to me: not welcome.
But the most XP-look like - as I could read - is still from interesst for me, and now I am here to figure out, what to do manually, please.)

"Yes, Windows 10 can be installed on a non-GPT (msdos) partition.":
Thanks, just for my curiousity. (Win 10, the first some views: impossible except some little things to see.)

So, Your basic guidelines are related to GPT partition and UEFI in BIOS setted ?
With my plan, non-GPT, EFI in BIOS setted, Linux-Swap partition (in Linux-Swap file-format) and a partition for ´home´ (in ext4 only, or is there a more reliable or/and faster (?), else my decision stays: ext4), I have to try, You say. OK.
Thank You.

"/ partition is REQUIRED":
Means, in compare to Knoppix, where the ´KNOPPIX´ partition I did use for all the free space of the drive - after subtracting the (16 GB) for the Linux-Swap (partition) -, but this as (prefered; but probably on SSD no matter) last (here now as second) partition.
And has to be named ´home´, or will be named of the installation Mint Mate by itself ? (If this will work then. but I can imagine this now, so far. Let´s see. Next week or so.)
 
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Trying still to figure out, and finding there some details https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-linux-tips/how-to-install-linux-mint-21-with-manual-partitions/,
´/´ means the main partition, where the OS is installed, and with, too: this partition to mount; necessary. ´ext4´.
EFI partition, (probably) depending on, whether in BIOS is setted UEFI or EFI (Legacy (?)) ? (The GPT partition is going, with UEFI switched off to EFI (with: Legacy). And completly new partitions and file-systems changing, correct ?)
Or: no matter at all, which BIOS setting ? When EFI-partition is not needed at all (?), sorry. (I will try.)
No further partitions needed, first once at all.
For perhaps VM I can imagine: is from interesst, an own partition for it. (Primary, ext4, in the sequence 1. partition (for OS, ´home´), 2nd partition (if) for VM, 3rd (or 2nd) partition for Swap.
The free space minus (here 16 GB for Swap I do as first partition, (as last the Swap-partition. And the order will be as created ? The last the Swap-partition.
Just writing once, because of the sequence of creating the partitions I do not remind well, is the sequence the wished result ? Sorry.
 
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Those are very good instructions. You can try to install without the EFI partition... maybe it works, maybe not. If you have any failures, just start over again by booting on your live USB.

Those instructions fail to mention that you may have an option to put the bootloader in different locations. The default choice is usually correct, it is usually /dev/sda, but you should be aware of this setting. You can see in your link photos (this one) where this selection is... not in the small "Create partition" window, but look in the window behind it, called "Installation type" where it says "Device for boot loader" near the bottom. This is a drop-down box where there may be other options, but again, /dev/sda is usually the correct choice if you only have one HDD/SSD in your computer.


´/´ means the main partition, where the OS is installed, and with, too: this partition to mount; necessary. ´ext4´.
Yes, you must have a / partition with almost all Linux distros. EXT4 is the most common file system and easiest for new users to begin with, but there are other more advanced file systems available.


EFI partition, (probably) depending on, whether in BIOS is setted UEFI or EFI (Legacy (?)) ? (The GPT partition is going, with UEFI switched off to EFI (with: Legacy). And completly new partitions and file-systems changing, correct ?)
Or: no matter at all, which BIOS setting ? When EFI-partition is not needed at all (?), sorry. (I will try.)
If you do not want /boot/efi partitions, then try to set BIOS for Legacy, and set your HDD/SSD to msdos instead of GPT. Maybe it works. Trying is the only way to find out. Also in BIOS, disable Secure Boot and Fast Boot, if you see those. If trying fails to work correctly without /boot/efi, then follow your link instructions for creating the /boot/efi partition too.


No further partitions needed, first once at all.
That's right. You only need the / partition, and maybe /boot/efi... that is all (plus swap). By the way, the / partition is also called the "root partition"... but that means the "root" of the file system, and is not related to the "root" user (Linux administrator). These are confusing, and maybe why you asked earlier about /root, which is related to the root user.


The free space minus (here 16 GB for Swap I do as first partition, (as last the Swap-partition. And the order will be as created ? The last the Swap-partition.
Just writing once, because of the sequence of creating the partitions I do not remind well, is the sequence the wished result ?
The partitions will be created and numbered in the order that you create them. In your link, they show creating the swap partition first (in Step 7), then the EFI system partition (ESP) in Step 8, and then in Step 9 they are using the rest of the HDD/SSD space to be used for /. This is easy because it doesn't need math.

So, following the examples in your link, your partitions would be identified like this:
Code:
/dev/sda1      SWAP         (uses special swap file system)
/dev/sda2      /boot/efi    (uses FAT32 file system)
/dev/sda3      /            (usually uses EXT4 file system)

If you want to rearrange the order, you have to use a little math. And note when you configure the partitions that the partition sizes are specified in MB, not GB. So, let's pretend you have a 250 GB HDD as an example. Drive sizes shown by different programs often do not agree, but I'll use this system to estimate:
1 KB = 1024 bytes
1 MB = 1024 x 1000
1 GB = 1024 x 1000 x 1000
(Remember these are only estimates!)

We need values in MB to do the partition math, so your 250 GB HDD = 256,000 MB (250 x 1024).

So now, let's rearrange and set up your 250 GB drive like this:

Assuming /dev/sda is empty and has a Free Space of 256,000 MB...

Click on the Free Space, then +, then create a 512 MB partition for your EFI system partition
(256,000 - 512 will leave a new Free Space of 255,488 MB.)

Click on the Free Space, then +, then create a 239, 104 MB partition (EXT4) mounted as /.
(This is 255,488 from above minus 16,384 (your 16 GB SWAP size) = 239,104 MB.)

Now, click on the Free Space, then +, then create a 16,384 MB partition for SWAP.
(This is why the math was needed.)

Your drive would then be arranged as:
Code:
/dev/sda1      /boot/efi     (uses FAT32 file system)
/dev/sda2      /             (usually uses EXT4 file system)
/dev/sda3      SWAP          (uses special SWAP file system)

As an alternative, before you begin the process of installing, you could use Gparted from your live Linux Mint USB to create all of your partitions. Then you would still use the "Something else" partitioning method to tell Mint which partitions that you want to use.

I hope this helps.
 
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Thanks a lot.
"These are confusing, and maybe why you asked earlier about /root": Yes, exact. And that this is the partiton, where the OS is/will/has to be installed to.
And mounted, in ´Installation Type´ ´Something else´ partition-manager: with /

First I try the OS partition as ´ext 4´, as first partition (all the free space except the 16 GB for the Swap-partition). Then the 16 GB Swap-partition, Swap-Format.
If not works, as next try with EFI partition, 512 MB ? Oh, FAT32. (Primary also ?)
As first partition, or - because of SSD - no matter ?
Thank You very much.
 
As first partition, or - because of SSD - no matter ?
Well, it may matter. I think there are some times... some operating systems... that may require /boot/efi to be on the first partition. That is partly why I detailed the idea of rearranging the partitions from what was given in your link. I think you will be okay with Linux Mint in any position, but I am not sure of that.

Yes, all of your partitions should be Primary. You are going to install in just 2 (maybe 3) partitions, so you will be okay even if you set your BIOS to Legacy mode (which is limited to 4 Primary partitions).

But your first try, I expect, is to install without /boot/efi. So try it, and see what happens. OS first ( / ) or SWAP first, whichever you prefer.

I would not use a SWAP partition, and I've told you before. But if I did, I would make it the last partition, especially on a HDD (not so important on a SSD). The idea of making it the last partition on HDD is because SWAP is not often used, and the mechanical arm traveling back and forth on the spinning HDD platter does not need to constantly travel over sectors that are seldom used... put them at the end instead. But this is pretty old-school thinking, and I'd rather try to convince you to use modern thinking about your system.
 
In the old days we had a Swap Partition...Primary Partitions and Extended Partitions from what I can remember...I haven't done this for years.

We also had HDDs and Legacy/BIOS...HDDs I can do without but I did like Legacy/BIOS...unfortunately those days are gone.
m1502.gif


My setup now is a 500GB SSD with only one Partition and a 512 MB EFI System Partition at the beginning of the Partition created by the Mint Installer... a Swap File also created by the Installer...My System now is UEFI only and everything works just fine as shown here...
2023-10-22-16-08.png

Of course I have External HDDs for storage...I like to keep things as simple as possible because that's what works the best for me.
m1212.gif
 
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"These are confusing, and maybe why you asked earlier about /root": Yes, exact.
This may be confusing from the so called Logical Volums, which are mentioned here https://unix.stackexchange.com/ques...partitioning-useful-for-system-reinstallation. But not getting clearer to me. OK.

Legacy/BIOS...unfortunately those days are gone.
Really ? In newer hardware not to set to Legacy (EFI) anymore in BIOS ?
This makes me ´realize´, that a GPT-format - is it a format (?) - is just different from MBR-partition ?
And that on GPT-partition - drive (?) - is also possible partitions with Linux file-systms ?

Ah, the size (of the EFI-partition), if needed ..., the ´best´, please, if there is one (best).
(Sorry, how to write in english the german ´ah´ ? Thanks.)
 
I would not use a SWAP partition, and I've told you before. But if I did, I would make it the last partition, especially on a HDD (not so important on a SSD). The idea of making it the last partition on HDD is because SWAP is not often used, and the mechanical arm traveling back and forth on the spinning HDD platter does not need to constantly travel over sectors that are seldom used... put them at the end instead. But this is pretty old-school thinking, and I'd rather try to convince you to use modern thinking about your system.
This is a question ...
The more RAM one has, the less the outsourcing is needed / happening. Depending on the works (claims) - the RAM in use, from what - also.
From XP knowing, the RAM size there meets my needs, the outsource function is switched off.
This so is my plan also for Linux.
But the further one goes into the works, and being away from the system´s set-up, the more it is getting into the background, to be forgotten.
And receiving troubles does not - not at all events ´immediatly´ - let think back so far.
(My experience, my watchings my work.)
But if on - from - SSD not a topic anymore, this solves this, with.
Thanks.
 
This may be confusing from the so called Logical Volums, which are mentioned here https://unix.stackexchange.com/ques...partitioning-useful-for-system-reinstallation. But not getting clearer to me. OK.
I would not recommend Logical Volume Management (LVM) to new Linux users. It is more confusing and complicated, and I am not at all familiar with how to maintain it if there are problems with it. Others here may be able to give you better advice about it.


Really ? In newer hardware not to set to Legacy (EFI) anymore in BIOS ?
Every computer seems to have a different BIOS. Not all of them support Legacy mode (sometimes called CSM). As time goes by, there will probably be less and less support for Legacy mode, just as there is less and less support for 32-bit operating systems. Again, I encourage you to think of your computer in modern terms and use modern technologies, but it's your computer and your decisions.


Ah, the size (of the EFI-partition), if needed ..., the ´best´, please, if there is one (best).
I would recommend the same as your installation instruction link you gave above... 512 MB. You can search Google and find recommendations between 100 MB and 1 GB. The larger EFI partitions are needed for people using multiple operating systems on the same drive. If you only use Linux Mint, then even 512 MB will have a lot of free space left, but I would not make the partition any smaller.


The more RAM one has, the less the outsourcing is needed / happening.
What matters is how much RAM you actually use in your day-to-day computer activity. On some of my computers with only 8 GB of RAM, I still never need SWAP.... because my personal activity does not try to open 100 tabs on my web browser, or have 50 different applications running at the same time. If your personal activity frequently uses up all of your RAM, then you will need SWAP space, or else your computer will crash. But if your computer behavior is extreme like that, and you fill up your SWAP space too, your computer will still crash.

If you set up 16 GB as a SWAP partition, then you will never be able to use that space for anything else. It will be frozen there, just waiting for you to use up your RAM. If you never use up your RAM, then the SWAP partition becomes wasted space. This is why I prefer the swapfile method used by Linux Mint and other distros... it takes care of SWAP needs without any interference from me... it's automatic.
 
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I would not recommend Logical Volume Management (LVM) to new Linux users
OK. Missed to mention: not from interesst for me.

Again, I encourage you to think of your computer in modern term
The time is limited, and the topics there are much, so have to decide: what now, perhaps later, perhaps never necessary ...
(I do understand what You mean. Legacy will be gone, and there will be more. In twenty years we are dinos. Perhaps already today.)

EFI partition 512 MB
OK. Thank You. (The EFI partition will be for read mostly only. And having it full more than half will be not a topic anymore, with SSD, for speed. Topics over topics. Sorry.)

only 8 GB of RAM, I still never need SWAP
Same for me with 4 and XP.

It will be frozen there, just waiting for you to use up your RAM
Houh, no. So much space on drives would wait so to be used. Ha. No, please.
There I am not compassionate.
Even when I switch off the function complete to outsource at all.
As said, used to it from being an requirement for Knoppix to install, for now I want to keep, as memory.

Thanks for now. Report will follow.
 
20 GB: each ? (Sorry, I do only understand here and there a few details, until now.)

By default most VMs today use a type of compressed drive. My 40GB VM drive is actually only about 4GB in size.
But if you have 4 VMs at 4GB each, that's 16GB used up of your 20GB.
 
There are alot of things I never worry about as it's not worth while...especially things like Ram..MBR...GPT...UEFI...Partitions... Partition Tables...Swap and the old Legacy/BIOS if I did I'd be in the nut house.
m09009.gif


Anyway you should learn about these as this is what Computers are...there's always DuckDuckGo. As for VMs you must never give more than half your installed Ram. I have one 50GB VM which I give 6GB of Ram out of 16GB of Ram that's installed...so I have 10GB to play with.

My Tower is UEFI (new Motherboard...Ram and CPU) and my 11 year old Laptop is Legacy...both are running Mint Cinnamon 21.1 installed from the same Flash Drive...as I said in my other post...the Mint installer knows which is which...lucky me.
m1218.gif
 
My 40GB VM drive is actually only about 4GB in size.
But if you have 4 VMs at 4GB each, that's 16GB used up of your 20GB.
Basic question, please:
In a VM is to install OSs, or even just single programs ? (But programs also more than one ?)
One (OS) in one VM ?

"40 GB VM" with "4 GB in size" means: a 40 GB (´/var´) partition, but installed content (currently just) 4 GB ?

"VM drive" means drive, not partition ?

"40 GB VM" "have 4 VMs at 4 GB each": not to misunderstand as 4 VMs in that 1 ("40 GB VM") ?
 
Code:
Code:
/dev/sda1      /boot/efi     (uses FAT32 file system)
/dev/sda2      /             (usually uses EXT4 file system)
/dev/sda3      SWAP          (uses special SWAP file system)
What still is un-clear, please:
while creating the partitions, I give them the names, boot/efi and ´/´ - no - but SWAP, and ´var´ ? Do You understand the (my) trouble ?

With having to think about new versions of Mint, it would be a good decision, to prepare (and configure) the - /home (?) - partition for settings and additional installed programs with keeping then.

Maybe ´/home´ I now do not remind the correct name for this partition. File-format EXT4, size (?), (installing sequence) before the partition Swap, before/after ´/var´ ?
(Sorry, this - my still Linux beginner´s questions - effort.)
 
"VM drive" means drive, not partition ?
VM is a "virtual machine".... not a drive or a partition. A virtual machine is a complete operating system running inside of another operating system... together, at the same time. When you create a "storage space" (a virtual hard drive) in a virtual machine using VirtualBox, it really creates just a single file (with a .vdi extension) that is 30 GB, or 40 GB, or whatever size you make it (if you tell it to create the full size when created). If you don't tell it to create the full size, then that size you specify becomes the "maximum"... it will start off only as big as it needs to be, then it will grow in size as you add programs and data... but it will stop working if you let it grow too big, just like a regular OS will stop working if you let the HDD/SSD get full, or if you let certain critical partitions get too full.

The virtual "hard drive" you create takes real space away from your real HDD/SSD. And when you assign a RAM value to the virtual machine, it also takes away from real RAM. The computer has to share its real resources with both the "host" operating system, and the "guest" operating system (the virtual machine).

You have to use special software to create a virtual machine. VirtualBox is one of the most popular, and KVM/QEMU is another. There is a special BIOS setting to enable if you are going to use a VM. But if you have very low RAM, using a VM will probably not be a pleasant experience. Previous computers I've had with 8 GB of RAM (4 GB for the host, and 4 GB for the guest) worked, but they were too sluggish for me. I don't think I would even try with less than 8 GB of RAM.
 


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