This is just a collection of what I believe are the most common questions people might have. Give me more feedback and I will turn this section into a proper FAQ.
A: Linux can run just fine on one drive (spindle). Having enough RAM (around 32 MB, and up to 64 MB) to support swapping is a better price/performance choice than getting a second disk. (E)IDE disk is usually cheaper (but a little slower) than SCSI.
A: Yes, although only to a minor degree. Still, the section on Physical Track Positioning will offer you some gains.
A: There is only a minor snag: if even a single partition overflows
the system might stop working properly. The severity depends of course
on what partition is affected. Still this is not hard to monitor, the
df gives you a good overview of the situation. Also check
the swap partition(s) using
free to make sure you are not about
to run out of virtual memory.
A: No, there are several disadvantages to that. First of all maintenance becomes needlessly complex and you gain very little in this. In fact if your partitions are too big you will seek across larger areas than needed. This is a balance and dependent on the number of physical drives you have.
A: To some degree, yes. Still, some directories should not be split off from root, check out the file system standard (soon released under the name File Hierarchy Standard) for more details.
A: If you have more than 3-4 drives you should consider using RAID of some form. Still, it is a good idea to keep your root partition on a simple partition without RAID, see the section on RAID for more details.
A: Most likely you are using
FAT32 in your windows partition. It
seems that Microsoft decided we needed yet another format, and this
was introduced in their latest version of Windows95, called OSR2. The advantage is
that this format is better suited to large drives. Unfortunately there
is no stable driver for Linux out yet . A test version is out but
not yet in the standard kernel.
You might also be interested to hear that Microsoft NT 4.0 does not support it yet either.
Until a stable version is available you can avoid this problem by installing Windows95 over an existing FAT16 partition, made for instance by an older installation of DOS. This forces the Windows95 to use FAT16 which is supported by Linux.
A:It is possible you have mounted a partition onto a mount point that was not an empty directory. Mount points are directories and if it is not empty the mounting will mask the contents. If you do the sums you will see the amount of disk space used in this directory is missing from the observed total.
To solve this you can boot from a rescue disk and see what is hiding behind your mount points and remove or transfer the contents by mounting th offending partition on a temporary mounting point. You might find it useful to have "spare" emergency mounting points ready made.
A: It is a large free Unix system with currently about 10000 users. I use it for my web pages for this HOWTO as well as a source of ideas for a setup of large Unix systems. It has been running for many years and has a quite stable setup. For more information you can view the Nyx homepage which also gives you information on how to get your own free account.