The second partition will be for /, the root file system directory. This is where most of the applications installed on the system will be placed. It is the equivalent of the “C” drive in Windows. By default, the installer assigns 12GB of disk space to /, which is just right if LVM is not in use. Any size slightly lower should be ok, too. The default file system is ext4. The installer will create this and subsequent partitions as logical partitions, and you can do that manually by selecting “Extended” from the “Preference” menu. Encryption is supported by the installer, but it will not allow the encryption of the root partition, which is very odd. Other Linux distributions that support disk encryption will allow you to encrypt every partition except the boot partition. Ok.
The third partition will be for Swap, disk space that the system may use as virtual memory. The default on Mandriva is 4GB. disk space allocation to Swap depends on the amount of install memory or RAM. For guidance on how to allocate disk space to Swap, read this. You may choose to encrypt Swap. Ok.
The last partition will be for home, where all users home directories will be created. You may assign the available disk space to it, if you do not intend to install another distribution on the same hard drive. You may also opt to encrypt this partition. Ok.
With all the partitions created, click Done to continue with the rest of the installation.
Mandriva 2011 uses GRUB, the GRand Unified Bootloader, as the default boot loader. LILO, the LInux LOader, is the other option. The default settings here are good. You may want to change the entry in the “Main Options” box to 10 or 15. That is the time, in seconds, that the system will wait before booting, if left unattended.
You do not really need to do anything here, especially if Mandriva is the only distribution that will be installed on the hard drive.
Below this section are steps from the second stage of the installation process. Only the most important are shown. The steps not shown require no input from you.
You set the date and timezone here, and you may opt to enable the Network Time Protocol, NTP, which enables the system to maintain accurate time by synchronizing its time with an NTP server out on the Internet. NTP is disabled by default. If you do not enable it here, you can always configure it after installation.
Mandriva uses the traditional UNIX root account for system-level management activities. Here, you are given the opportunity to set the password for this account.
Clicking on “Advanced” in the previous step opens this window. You may enable the guest account here. This account, as the name suggests, is an account for temporary use. The user of this account has very limited privileges on the system. Data generated under this account is not persistent.
The last major step in the installation process will require you to create a user account. This is the account that you will use to for daily computing.