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2.2.2. Partition Management

Before installing Salix, you need to have the necessary partition space available on your system, and if the computer does not have a separate partition for Linux, you must create one before installing Salix.

If you have an unformatted partition, unallocated disk space, an existing partition you do not use, or you are happy to completely erase and reformat your hard drive, you can create or rewrite a new partition table using cfdisk (or cgdisk for EFI systems), which is available through the Salix installer. A short tutorial on using cfdisk is available in a later section in this guide. cfdisk and cgdisk are capable of removing and creating partitions, but they lack the functionality to resize partitions. While using cfdisk or cgdisk is easy, less experienced users may prefer the safeguards and graphical interface of Gparted, which can also resize and move partitions.

Live CDs from pretty much any Linux distribution come with Gparted, which will enable you to change the partition organisation on a disk device while preserving the contents of the partitions. You may wish to use this application to create/re-organise your partition table.

A hard drive space can be divided into no more than four "primary" partitions, which can be problematic if you are hosting more than one operating system on the same hard drive. A hard drive can, however, be divided into three "primary" partitions and one "extended" partition. The extended partition can then be subdivided into "logical" partitions and hence overcome the limitation set by the "primary partition" (i.e. no more than four partitions). In practice, there is no difference between a logical and a primary partition except that "Windows" OS cannot be installed on a logical partition.

Backup your files!

It is advisable to back up any important files before modifying the partition table. So what kind of partitions do you need?

Each partition can be formatted into one of several file systems, including xfs, ext4, ext3, ext2, btrfs, jfs and reiserfs. The default is xfs.


On (U)EFI systems, it is mandatory to have a separate partition allocated for /boot/efi. This partition should have a type of ef00, when created in cgdisk. This partition should be formatted using the FAT32 filesystem. A size of 200 MB should be more than enough.