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Mandriva 2011 installation and disk partitioning guide

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Mandriva 2011, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, is just three days from being officially released, but the daily builds are already available for download. This article, based on a last-freeze daily build, presents an installation and disk partitioning guide for those who are new to Linux and will be installing it for the first time.

There is also useful information for seasoned users, too. A last-freeze daily build is the same as the final release, at least as far as the installation process is concerned. You may download it here or wait for the final release, due August 29, 2011.

Mandriva’s installation image is a Live DVD with the option to install it directly from the boot menu, without booting into the Live desktop. If you boot into the Live desktop, use the search feature of ROSA Launcher to search for “live install” or just “live,” and start the installer from there.
Mandriva 2011 Boot Menu

Whether installing from the Live desktop or directly from the boot menu, click until you get to the step shown below. The fun starts here. Next.
Mandriva 2011 Install

Clicking Next from the previous step will put you at this step, where the disk partitioning methods are presented. The options you see here will depend on the state of the target hard drive, but they should be self-explanatory. Selecting one of the first three options shown here will cause the installer to partition the hard drive, or parts of it, automatically and install the system. The installation process is a 2-stage one, and you will have no say in the process, until the first stage has completed. If you wish to take control of the partitioning, select the last option.
Mandriva 2011 Partition Methods

Choosing the “Custom disk partitioning” option from the previous step will open the advanced partitioning tool, and unlike the advanced partitioning tool in Ubuntu Desktop, this is truly advanced. Shown here are three partitions created by default, which, by the way, does not include a separate boot partition. From here, you can create partitions manually, or use the “Auto allocate” option, which requires that you first delete existing partitions. You may also “Toggle to expert mode,” which gives you a few more options.
Mandriva 2011 Simple Partitions

This is the view from expert mode.
Mandriva 2011 Expert Mode

If you click the Auto allocate button, the installer presents these options. The “simple” option will cause the installer to create the three partitions shown in the last two images. On a suitably-sized hard drive, the root partition will be about 12GB, Swap will be 4GB, and the rest will be used for the home partition.
Mandriva 2011 Auto Allocate Options

The “with /usr” option creates a separate partition for the /usr file system directory, in addition to the three created under “simple.”
Mandriva 2011 /usr partitions

And the “server” option creates separate partitions for /tmp and /var file systems directories. A problem with the partitions created using the “Auto allocate” option is disk space allocation could be better. To better manage disk space allocation, you will have to create partitions manually. Manual partitioning is covered in the next seven images.
Mandriva 2011 Server Partitions

To start creating partitions, delete existing ones, then select the free space and click the Create button. For this tutorial, four partitions (/boot, /, Swap and /home) will be created. Be sure to toggle to expert mode. Even in the disk partitioning window, it gives you better options.

Note that the installer supports LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, but it is not the default. A future article will offer a step-by-step guide on how to install Mandriva 2011 on an LVM disk partitioning scheme.
Manual Partition Mandriva 2011

For the boot partition, a disk space of 300 to 500MB is normal across most Linux and BSD distributions. The default file system is ext4, but you may choose “Linux Native” from the “Filesystem type” dropdown menu. “Linux Native” is ext2, a non-journaling file system. If Mandriva is the first distribution or operating system on the disk, the installer will create this as a primary partition, but it does not hurt to select “Primary” from the “Preference” menu. Click Ok when you are satisfied with your choices.
Mandriva 2011 Boot Partition

With the boot partition created, select the remaining free space and click Create. Note that this step will have to be repeated for the other partitions as well.
Mandriva 2011 Manual Partition

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5 Comments

  1. Sachin says:

    Hi,

    I want to try Linux first time. I want to go for Mandriva since I read the reviews and even tried the Launch option of it. I am facing problem in installing this on HDD.

    I already have Windows XP on c: drive (80GB), Windows 7 on D: (60GB), and F Drive (14 GB). I want to install it on F for now and after using it for a while if I am comfortable I want to shrink other two and allocate or remove one of them and make Mandriva my main OS.

    I tried installing it without SWAP drive and mistakenly selected Native Linux as file system. Only thing I was scared to select was mount drive. It gave me options as shown in the figure above where one option was sda3 which is the 3rd partition where I wanted to install. Then installation was complete and reboot done.

    On reboot I saw same options as before i.e. one for windows 7 and other for windows XP but no option for Mandriva.

    What did I do wrong?

    How to get Mandriva as third option for booting?

    Thanks,
    Sachin.

    • finid says:

      After installation, have you able to boot into XP and 7?

      Keep in mind that if you have 3 HDD and you are installing on the third disk, that disk (F in this case) will be sdc and its partitions will start from sdc1 upwards. So sda3 is the 3rd partition of the first disk, that is, where XP is installed.

      Another question is, where did you install Mandriva’s boot loader? A recommended location in this type of configuration, is to install it in the MBR of sdc, the disk where Mandriva is installed. That way, you do not have to mess with Windows’ boot manager. If that is where you installed GRUB (Mandriva boot loader), then you will not see an option to boot into Mandriva.

      One thing you could do then is to access the BIOS boot menu and change the boot disk to sdc,

  2. Ben says:

    My problems starts from there. After partitioning, it asks to reboot. After reboot, it begins all over again. – Lanuch or Install. This went for 4 times until I put UBUNTU back into the PC. I need a Help!

  3. you can encrypt root says:

    You can create an encrypted LVM and / inside that. Works with suspend and hibernate. Tested in Mandriva 2010.2 (and earlier afair) and Mageia 1.

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