Networking / Beginners


Linux handles partitions a little differently than Windows. The Windows operating system installs itself into a single partition. However, Linux installations typically require three or more hard drive partitions:

  • A boot partition: This should be small - 16MB is recommended. The boot partition contains the operating system kernel and is required to start Linux properly on some computers.
  • A swap partition: This should be about twice the size of your computer's RAM. For example, if the computer has 256MB of RAM, allocate a 512MB swap partition. Linux uses this partition as an extension of your computer's RAM.
  • A root partition: In most cases, this uses up the remaining free space on the drive. The root partition contains all the files and data used by your Linux system.

You can also create additional partitions if you want. The installation program includes a disk-partitioning feature that lets you set up your drive partitions and indicate the mount point for each partition. The installation program can make a recommendation for partitioning your drives that will be appropriate in most situations.

Deciding on your TCP/IP configuration

Before you install the operating system, you should have a plan for how you will implement TCP/IP on the network. Here are some of the things you need to decide or find out:

  • What are the public IP subnet address and mask for your network?
  • What is the domain name for the network?
  • What is the host name for the server?
  • Will the server obtain its address from DHCP?
  • Will the server have a static IP address? If so, what?
  • Will the server be a DHCP server?
  • What is the Default Gateway for the server? (That is, what is the IP address of the network's Internet router?)
  • Will the server be a DNS server?

If the server will host TCP/IP servers (such as DHCP or DNS), you'll probably want to assign the server a static IP address.

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