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partitions partitions partitions!

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Hi everyone,

I am going to be buying a new powerbook this week with a larger hard drive than I ever could have dreamed of on my ibook. I started researching partitioning for various reasons (among which my desire to isntall OS 9 as well) and, as I'm sure you all can imagine, I came across a lot of information pulling in all kinds of directions. I decided I'd better try to start a new post with my specific questions in hopes that the power users out there will advise me. I'm going to number the items I need advice about so that those kind enough to answer can address them one by one or addresss whichever ones they feel they can help me with. Let me also add that though I'm not well versed in the use of the terminal etc., I am happy to follow instructions and experiment (even if first attempts don't succeed). The only version of OS X I plan on running is Tiger.

1) SWAP PARTITION - Is this a serious performance boost? Are there problems it can cause that I should be aware of?! Should I make one?!

2) OS 9 PARTITION - I'm guessing that this is a no-brainer... if I'm going to run OS 9 it needs a partition. But I thought I'd just add it here in case I'm wrong about that.

3) APPLICATIONS PARTITION - It seems to me from what I've read that this one might be more trouble than it's worth. I have no problem with reinstalling applications and I understand that the only benefit of this is not having to reinstall applications after a clean install. It also seems to me that applications should for the most part be paired with the system folder. Am I wrong about this? Most importantly... does this actually provide any serious benefits that I'm overlooking?

4) USERS PARTITION - This one seemed to me to be a useful one. I am a fan of the clean install and if this makes that process easier, it seems to me to be reason enough. Are there other benefits? Are there serious conflicts with tiger?

5) MULTIPLE SYSTEMS - I am considering installing more than one bootable tiger partition. I use VPC and do plan on *trying* to do some development work in an attempt to learn a useful skill. I definitely plan on installing apache/php/mysql. It's my understanding that all of these can benefit from (in the performance sense) running on an otherwise clean partition... as well as preventing me from messing up important files in the other partitions. I also need to know if multiple bootable partitions can share one users folder and perhaps even, one applications folder. It seems a waste to have to have multiple copies of applications in particular. On the flipside... can I completely isolate one tiger partitions so that it does not access settings, applications, personal files from other partitions?

6) LINUX - I really want to play around with Linux! I'm not planning on doing this immediately however. Should I set aside a partition for it?

I guess I should point out that I am well aware that this adds up to more partitions than macs in the world. I probably will wind up choosing what sort of partitioning system works best for me from just a few of these options. I would just like to hear what you all think about all these possibilities first!

THANK YOU VERY MUCH to everyone who has taken the time to read my pleas for information. I look forward to your responses!
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Let me start by saying I have not bothered partitioning a Mac install yet, so 3 - 5 are guesses.

1) There is not much point in a swap partition for OS X.
2) You can not install OS 9 on the new Macs
3) An Applications partition is not a bad idea.
4) Might work, I am not sure. I would not share the home folder between installs though.
5) You should be able to share the applications folder. Don't blame me if it screws everything up though. If you wannt to isolate just install Tiger in a single partition.
6) Set aside space but don't partition it till you are ready to install.
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If you have a large amount of memory, then you will not need to do this.

Since you will not be able to boot into OS 9, This would be just a waste of a partition.

May hurt more than help you , in that you may run out of space to add application in the application are. Also if you create the partition location under the OS X system partition, Then Apple appliaction will be placed on your system partition and not your application partition.

If you are only user, I would say this is not needed.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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