In this tutorial, the reader will learn how to install the Linux Mint 12 KDE on a btrfs file system. The B-tree File system (abbreviated to acronym Btrfs) has not matured far enough to be used as a default file system on Linux machines. Fortunately, those who choose to run Linux with btrfs do have options on installing useful components such as the highly coveted Linux Mint 12 KDE. For those who are not familiar, Linux Mint 12 KDE is a linux distribution based on the Ubuntu desktop operating system, and is gaining massive popularity in the past couple of months in the world of the low cost dedicated server running Linux. Due to popular demand, this tutorial will teach how to precisely install Linux Mint KDE on a btrfs file system.
Before we proceed, do keep in mind that this tutorial is optimized for the current version of Linux Mint made available on their main website on January 11,2012, which is still a release candidate. Regardless, the stable version will likely have an identical installation process as the current release candidate, so it should not affect the validity of this article.
Installing a Linux distribution on a btrfs file system will require three partitions. The first partition is a boot partition, which is mounted at the /boot. The second partition is the root partition, which is mounted at /. The last partition is for the Swap partition, which provides disk space that the system will use as virtual memory.
In order to setup these partitions, download the installation file for the distribution from the Linux Mint download page. Stick the downloaded package onto either a DVD or a USB stick, and boot the computer accordingly.
After the computer has booted, the Linux Mint 12 KDE installation should be on your desktop. Click on the “Install Linux Mint” icon on the desktop. Click the Continue button to proceed onto the next step. Two disk partitioning options are available, default and manual. Make sure you use Manual, so that we can install it on a Btrfs file system.
Selecting Manual will pull up the advanced disk partitioning tool. Make sure the target disk has been initialized before you create the partitions. Select the appropriate disk and click on the New Partition Table button. There will now be a free space option on your menu. Select the free space, and then click on the Add button so that the first partition can be created.
The first partition will be mounted at /boot. Make sure it is a Primary partition out of the two options. A disk space of 500 MB should be plenty for this partition, so go ahead and put 500 MB. Even though we are installing on a Btrfs file system, make the boot partition as a Ext4 file system. It will still work properly.
Now that the boot partition has been created, select the remaining free space and once again, press the Add button to create the next partition. This time this partition is for /, which is the main file system. Instead of choosing Primary, choose Logical. The majority of the remaining disk space can be put on this file system, leaving only 4 GB for the last partition. Then, make sure the btrfs journaling file system option is chosen for this partition. Mount point will be set as /. Press ok, and the second partition is finished.
Lastly, choose the remaining free space and press Add button. Depending on the disk space, allocate 2 to 4 GB for the Swap partition. Make the partition type Logical. Finally, use the partition as swap area under the Use as drop down menu. Press ok, and the third and last partition is created.
Double check that all three of these partitions were created properly. If the list checks out, click on Install Now. Congratulations, you have now installed Linux Mint 12 KDE using the Btrfs file system!
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