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[vox-tech] Partition question
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[vox-tech] Partition question

Hello, everyone, and I'm seeking some advice on a partitioning
dilemma -- and a possible approach to a solution -- even while
celebrating some other "technical solutions," or maybe better
"charming kludges," that I've reached over the last week.
Incidentally, one of the advantages of Google was that it not
only gave me some clues to solve one of my problem, but advised
me that according to Linus Torvalds, sane people would if
possible prefer to do otherwise <grin>.

A high point of the week has been zgv, one of the programs that
I've really been excited about running as part of my new Linux
experience, and a most impressive creatiion of svgaliberator
Russell Marks. On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd give the program a 10,
and the documentation an 11 -- a GNU info classic. Here,
however, my recent adventure with GNU parted might be more
relevant to my immediate dilemma, and some possible strategies
for a solution.

Currently the system I'm using has a primary MS-DOS 6.22
partition at hda1 (DOS C:), 256M, and an extended DOS partition
at hda2 with three logical drives (hda5, hda6, hda7), or DOS
D:, E:, and F:, respectively 256M, 512M, and 1024M. On hda5 is
ZipSlack, a fine UMSDOS version of Slackware Linux 10.0. The
disk is 37G (or 40G decimal), so there's plenty room for a
native Linux installation of Slackware plus an installation of

My original idea, given the limit of three regular primary
partitions plus an extended partition, was to use parted to grow
the extended partition to fill almost the whole rest of the
disk, allowing 256M at the end for two primary partitions to be
used for /boot directories for Slackware and Gentoo,  or about
128M each. This might make a bit of allowance for kernel bloat

In short, however, I learned that in practice, resizing the
extended partition with parted resulted in a fine lba partition
which a reboot revealed that DOS wouldn't recognize -- nor the
three logical drives D:, E:, and F:. While I had made some
backups with cdrecord, simply running parted again and resizing
hda2 to its original size nicely restored recognition of those

Now I'm considering some alternatives, and seeking advice here
on some of the choices:

       (1) A crude solution: leave the extended partition
           as is and simply use fdisk to add two more
           primary partitions, hda3 and hda4, as swap and
           root for a single Linux distro.

       (2) A more refined solution: why not replace MS-DOS
           with a more sophisticated version of DOS such as
           FreeDOS which might not only recognize an extended
           lba partition shared with Linux, but also save
           some DOS disk space by overcoming that cluster
           size disadvantage of FAT-16.

       (3) Another solution, if practical: use parted to
           resize hda2 while staying within the 8G limit,
           enlarging it by just enough to support two
           Linux swap partitions, one for Slackware and
           one for Gentoo, say 768M each. Then I could add
           two primary partitions taking up the rest of
           the disk, one as a root partition for each

While the third solution is rather simple -- if it's feasible --
in comparison to more intricate partitioning schemes for Linux
distros, it might suffice for a single-user system.

Having sought advice on this partition situation, I should add
two quick comments on my interesting adventure with parted.
First, of course, the problem wasn't with Linux or GPL software
generally but with DOS limitations. Secondly, the fine parted
program and documentation gave me the tools to cope with the
complications that resulted.

Please let me offer thanks in advance for any advice, and also
for the generous developers who, as has been commented in recent
posts, have made outstanding open source packages like zgv and
parted possible.

Most appreciatively,


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