Linpus is a Linux distribution developed and supported by Linpus Technologies, Inc., a company based in Taipei, Taiwan. The latest stable version, Linpus 9.6, or any other version for that matter, has no accessible documentation online. So if you are new to Linux and need some hand-holding installing Linpux 9.6, this step-by-step installation guide is just for you.
The default installation of Linpus 9.6 creates only two partitions – one for swap and the other for the root directory. This, for us, is not the best partitioning scheme for a Linux installation. So for this installation guide, we use a custom partitioning scheme, along the lines of traditional disk partitioning on a UNIX or UNIX-like operating system.
If you just stumbled upon this installation guide, and are wondering what Linpus is all about, you may want to read a review of Linpus 9.6 first. It should be pointed out that with Sapphire, the Linpus 9.6 desktop installer, you cannot configure LVM, RAID, disk or partition encryption.
Ok, let’s get started.
On this screen, you have three setting – language, keyboard, and installation type. Choose the appropriate language and keyboard settings. For Installation Type, the Linpus installer provides two options – Standard and Express. The Express method reduces the installation step by two, with the installer making some of the configurable settings for you. The Standard installation type gives you more control over the installation process. For this tutorial choose the Standard installation type.
At this step, the detection and partitioning of the hard disk(s) starts. The default method (of disk partitioning) is Automatic, whereby the installer creates two partitions – a swap and a root partition. Since we intend to create a better partitioning scheme than the default, choose Manual.
At this step, the installer presents the disk(s) detected on the PC, and the usable free space. Ideally, we would like to create separate partitions for the following:
- /. the root directory
However, the Linpus installer only supports the creation of:
- /. the root directory
So for this installation guide, we will just create partitions for / (the system will create a /tmp directory under this, and since we are – by choice, not going to create a separate partition for /boot, the system will also create a /boot directory under /), /usr, /home, /var, and swap. To begin creating partitions, therefore, select the free space and click on the New button
The first partition we are going to create will be a primary partition for /. Note that Sapphire, the installer for Linpus 9.6, does not have the options to select either a primary or logical partition. However, keep in mind that the first three partitions you create are automatically created as primary partitions, and the fourth one will be automatically created as an extended partition. An extended partition makes it possible to exceed the maximum of four (primary) partitions on a Linux system.
So for the first primary partition, set the Mount Point to /, the File System Type to ext3, a journaling file system. In fact, ext3 is the only journaling file system.supported by Linpux 9.6. Support for the others – JFS, XFS, Reiserfs, and ext4 are lacking. If you have a lot of disk space to spare, a size of 4000 MB should be more than enough for /. Keep in mind that because the Linpus installer will not allow you to create a separate partition for /tmp, it (/tmp) will be created by the system under /, the root directory.
And let’s assign this second partition to swap. On a running system, the operating system will use swap as memory if it begins to run low on RAM. If you are installing on an old PC with low RAM, be kind to yourself, and assign about 2000 MB to swap. Most PC’s that you buy today, have about 3 – 4 GB of RAM, and on those, a swap size of about 1000 MB, the default on most systems, will do just fine. Notice that when creating the partition for swap, you only need to set the File System Type and size. .
Since we have created three primary partitions, the next partition we create will be a logical partition. The Linpus installer does this automatically. Actually, behind the scenes, it first creates an extended partition, then makes the partition you want to create a logical partition.
An extended partition is the only way Linux allows to create more than the maximum of four (primary) partitions. After an extended partition is created, any partition created under it is known as a logical partition.
Here’s what we have done so far: Created three primary partitions – /dev/hda1, /dev/hda2, and /dev/hda3. dev is for device, hd for hard disk, and the a is for the first hard disk detected by the system. If the installer had detected more than one hard disk, the second one would have been /dev/hdb, and partitions created under it would have been /dev/hdb1, /dev/hdb2, etc.
If you look at the screenshot below, you will notice that the partition we created in the last step is /dev/hda5. This is the first logical partition created under /dev/hda4, which is an extended partition.
We assign this partition a mount point of /home. This is where all your files and those of other users on the system will be stored. We usually assign /home the remaining unallocated space on the hard disk. We would have loved to create separate partitions for /tmp, /opt and /usr/local, but the Linpus installer lacks support for those. Once you are finished with the installation, the system will automatically create a /tmp directory under the root directory – /.
Here’s all the partitions we have created. This is only a suggested partition scheme. It’s not the only way to go about partitioning a hard disk on Linpus. We could easily have created a separate primary partition (/dev/hda1) for /boot, made / /dev/hda2, swap /dev/hda3, and the others logical partitions.