A Windows Gamer tries Manjaro

GhostCow

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I'm giving Linux another shot. It's been about 4 years since I last tried it and I thought I'd catalogue my experiences here for shits and giggles. I went with Manjaro because the last distro that I really liked was Arch via the Achitect Linux installer, which is now defunct.

Installation: Installation was kind of a pain, but this is mostly my fault. I didn't want to choose the easy option and let the installer use free space to partition automatically because I knew I wouldn't like the default settings. I wanted to use F2FS instead of ext4 and I didn't need /home to be a separate partition because I store all of my files on a secondary SSD or my NAS.

First I tried using the partition tool in the installer to take some of my free space and make an F2FS partition mounted as /. I then used the 6gb I had left for swap (probably overkill. I'm not even sure I need a swap partition with 16gb of ram as I have literally never run out of memory but oh well). The installer told me I needed to make a /boot/eufi partition with some feature or other checked so I went back and did that. This time the installation proceeded.

Unfortunately when it got to the end it spat out some error and failed to install. I decided to say F this and try a different method. This time I tried using G Parted and some different settings. I ended up having to reboot first because it wouldn't let me unmount and delete the F2FS partition I had made but after a reboot everything was fine.

This time I was able to get things the way I wanted by deleting all of the partitions I made and turning all of the freespace into a single F2FS partition and then telling Manjaro to install to that partition in the installer. This time everything worked and the system booted up. I don't know if it turned some of that partition into a swap partition, is using a swap file instead, or if I'm just running without swap right now. Whatever.

First impressions: After a reboot the first thing that I noticed was that the date was incorrect and displaying in military time. I found settings to change how the time was displayed by right clicking on the time but I couldn't figure out how to set the correct time. If I left clicked and went to the date and time settings there was a knob for turning on server sync for the time but every time I turned it on it would be off again after closing the window and the time would never update.

I ended up having to google how to change the date and time which is stupid. It should be in a less obscure location. Googling how to change it brought me to the Manjaro settings manager where I was able to get it fixed. Exploring the settings brought me to where I needed to go to install my video card drivers which was the most painless experience I've ever had doing that on Linux. Big improvement over all my past experiences. The only thing I don't like is that if they aren't coming direct from Nvidia I have no idea if I'm using the latest version and I feel like I'm at the mercy of someone else when it comes to when I get the updates.

Gaming: Steam wasn't installed by default in the Cinnamon version of Manjaro but google found the command line entries to install it quickly. Sadly most of my steam library doesn't seem to work in Linux even with Proton. At least not anything I currently want to play. The biggest disappointment was that Street Fighter V doesn't seem to work.

I will say that I was impressed that my PS4 gamepad did seem to be working within a minute or three of pluging it in. That's a huge improvement from 4 years ago when I couldn't seem to get my DS3 to work. I haven't tried to make it work over bluetooth yet though.

That's all I have for now. I'll post more in this thread after I try playing a game or something.
 

GhostCow

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Oh, and I forgot to mention my experience with my NAS. On Windows it's a pain in the ass to mount. In Manjaro I can just go to Network in the file explorer and double click my NAS to access it. Doing that in windows would open a webpage instead. +1 for Linux there.
 

ChadD

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I ended up having to google how to change the date and time which is stupid. It should be in a less obscure location. Googling how to change it brought me to the Manjaro settings manager where I was able to get it fixed. Exploring the settings brought me to where I needed to go to install my video card drivers which was the most painless experience I've ever had doing that on Linux. Big improvement over all my past experiences. The only thing I don't like is that if they aren't coming direct from Nvidia I have no idea if I'm using the latest version and I feel like I'm at the mercy of someone else when it comes to when I get the updates.
Its a closed source driver... so yes it does come directly from Nvidia.

The difference is the Manjaro developers hook it into their package manager themselves so it installs smooth and easy. ;)

Manjaro pretty much push NV drivers whenever there are new ones to push. On rare occasions (a few times the last couple years) they will hold a NV release up a few weeks if there are known issues with something. The longest I remember them holding a NV release was a month and a half at one point... and they actually never released that driver. They waited for NV to release another one that corrected the issue, which got pushed a day or so after it dropped.
 

GhostCow

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Mazzspeed

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I checked the db first but tried anyway. Shame it doesn't work. Looks like the only thing I might play that's working through steam is BG2 but I've played that to death and I wouldn't know how to install weidu mods on linux anyway
I recently installed Detroit: Become Human off the Epic Store (suck that Tim Sweeney) via Lutris, the game plays awesome, quite engaging. It was on sale, not too sure if it still is?
 

Mazzspeed

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While it's a shame a majority of titles you play aren't supported under Linux (although it is surprising), try to purchase and support as many titles as you can under Linux. As the concept of a PC gaming moving to DRM/Anticheat with better cross platform compatibility as well as more open API's such as Vulkan benefits everyone.

Furthermore, it's great to learn new things!
 

GhostCow

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While it's a shame a majority of titles you play aren't supported under Linux (although it is surprising), try to purchase and support as many titles as you can under Linux. As the concept of a PC gaming moving to DRM/Anticheat with better cross platform compatibility as well as more open API's such as Vulkan benefits everyone.

Furthermore, it's great to learn new things!
If you run the numbers it looks like a ton of my games work, but none of them are anything recent or anything that I play a lot https://lgc.lysioneer.nl/steamuser/RandallDanger

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the next game I'm looking forward to and it comes out in less than two weeks. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll work with proton

Edit: I just noticed Tomb Raider has a native port and that's one I never got far in because I'm a picky gamer. Maybe that one would be worth a shot.
 
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Mazzspeed

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If you run the numbers it looks like a ton of my games work, but none of them are anything recent or anything that I play a lot https://lgc.lysioneer.nl/steamuser/RandallDanger

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the next game I'm looking forward to and it comes out in less than two weeks. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll work with proton

Edit: I just noticed Tomb Raider has a native port and that's one I never got far in because I'm a picky gamer. Maybe that one would be worth a shot.
I bought Tomb Raider before it was native, ran really well under Proton. I'll have to install the native version and try it.
 

Stanley Pain

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Manjaro is by far my favourite "flavour" of Arch if you will. I have pure Arch on my server but if I ever get around to re-installing I would probably go Manjaro.
 

ManofGod

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If you run the numbers it looks like a ton of my games work, but none of them are anything recent or anything that I play a lot https://lgc.lysioneer.nl/steamuser/RandallDanger

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is the next game I'm looking forward to and it comes out in less than two weeks. Maybe I'll get lucky and it'll work with proton

Edit: I just noticed Tomb Raider has a native port and that's one I never got far in because I'm a picky gamer. Maybe that one would be worth a shot.
Have fun, I did what you have done and just tried things out anyways, regardless of what a DB says. (I prefer to do it myself just because.) Do you have multiple systems and are using one system for this build?
 

GhostCow

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Only have 1 PC sadly. I partitioned 100gb of my 500gb drive for Linux since I figured I wouldn't have a ton of games installed at once. Haven't gotten around to Tomb Raider yet. My roommate left his extra PS4 in my room because he likes playing Samurai Shodown back here and I've been mostly playing Spider-Man. I'll definitely get around to it soon though

Edit: I've noticed weeb games have the worst Proton support. We need more weebs at Valve! Would be nice to be able to play all of the Hyperdimension Neptunia games in Linux
 

Mazzspeed

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Only have 1 PC sadly. I partitioned 100gb of my 500gb drive for Linux since I figured I wouldn't have a ton of games installed at once. Haven't gotten around to Tomb Raider yet. My roommate left his extra PS4 in my room because he likes playing Samurai Shodown back here and I've been mostly playing Spider-Man. I'll definitely get around to it soon though

Edit: I've noticed weeb games have the worst Proton support. We need more weebs at Valve! Would be nice to be able to play all of the Hyperdimension Neptunia games in Linux
If you configured your install with a separate /home partition, it is possible later down the track if you feel space is going to become an issue to shift your /home partition to another drive.

One of the reasons why I still prefer to configure my installs with a separate /home partition.
 

GhostCow

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I feel like having a separate home partition would mess with my workflow. The way I do things in Windows is to just install everything to C:, keep all installers and temp files on D:, and all videos and music on the NAS. From what I read /home is basically like the My Documents folder in Windows and I don't store anything there. Software doesn't get installed to /home does it?
 
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Algrim

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With 'default' installers, no. But if you configure software to be installed there it will be (sans all the dependencies which will go to the places reserved for them, in general).

Using your Windows example above, you'd keep your installers and temp files in /home. Your NAS would be something like /mount/nas. Windows retains the DOS convention of reserving drive letters for separate disks or partitions. Linux uses the / (root) to place everything below. Unless you know the geometry of the system you're using (or can hear differences in platter drives) you won't know by looking at the directory structure that files are on separate disks or partitions.
 

GhostCow

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I definitely need to learn more about the file structure in Linux and where things go. I hate not knowing that kind of stuff after being familiar with it in Windows for decades. With your example I'm still not sure what the point of having /home as a separate partition is. If you have to wipe it sounds like you'd lose all the dependencies and end up having to reinstall stuff anyway. Why not just have it all as a single partition so you don't have to worry about how much space is dedicated to different things?

I guess I can see the point if you only have one drive but I have two. In fact it kind of sounds like Linux is trying to get people who only have a single drive to use similar computing habits to mine. Funny.
 
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Algrim

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If you do wipe a drive you don't allow the installer to use the EZ-mode partitioning but use the 'expert' partitioning where you specify /home to the partition. Otherwise, yes, you'll wipe out all your /home files during the wipe. /home is better used on a separate drive; if you get nervous about losing all your stored files you can simply disconnect the drive, re-install Linux, re-attach the drive when done, and make the change in fstab to automatically point to the secondary drive to /home. That can save you a lot of headaches if you mis-remember how to do things like me. ;-)
 

IdiotInCharge

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I definitely need to learn more about the file structure in Linux and where things go. I hate not knowing that kind of stuff after being familiar with it in Windows for decades. With your example I'm still not sure what the point of having /home as a separate partition is. If you have to wipe it sounds like you'd lose all the dependencies and end up having to reinstall stuff anyway. Why not just have it all as a single partition so you don't have to worry about how much space is dedicated to different things?

I guess I can see the point if you only have one drive but I have two.
It's not really a 'separate partition' as much as it is a separate mount point. Linux uses file direction something fierce, and that is certainly something you have to get used to.

A simple command to get you started:

df -h

Which shows you where stuff is mounted. If you make your /home separate, you can put it wherever -- somewhere else under root ( / ), another partition on the same drive, or another drive, etc.
 

IdiotInCharge

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If you do wipe a drive you don't allow the installer to use the EZ-mode partitioning but use the 'expert' partitioning where you specify /home to the partition. Otherwise, yes, you'll wipe out all your /home files during the wipe. /home is better used on a separate drive; if you get nervous about losing all your stored files you can simply disconnect the drive, re-install Linux, re-attach the drive when done, and make the change in fstab to automatically point to the secondary drive to /home. That can save you a lot of headaches if you mis-remember how to do things like me. ;-)
If you have a NAS (or other backup solution), use it, is my advice :).

But yeah, putting /home somewhere else can certainly reduce headaches, even more so for learners that may be breaking things that are best fixed by reinstalls or otherwise distro-hopping to see what's what.
 

GhostCow

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Well, I finally installed Tomb Raider. Steam says it's preparing to launch and then closes immediately. Not sure where to go from here. Definitely didn't expect to already be having problems tbh
 

IdiotInCharge

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Well, I finally installed Tomb Raider. Steam says it's preparing to launch and then closes immediately. Not sure where to go from here. Definitely didn't expect to already be having problems tbh
Welcome to Linux, good luck!

[I really don't have an answer for you; maybe someone else will, but stuff like that is why I've stayed off Linux for the majority of my gaming]
 

ManofGod

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Well, I finally installed Tomb Raider. Steam says it's preparing to launch and then closes immediately. Not sure where to go from here. Definitely didn't expect to already be having problems tbh
Which Tomb Raider?
 

GhostCow

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Got it to launch. This is what worked for me:

Try this:
Use whatever package manager you have installed and search steam and look for linux steam integration there.
After installation you will have 2 new icons (apps) one is the settings for linux steam integration and the other LSI Steam.
Launch linux steam integration and then deselect (via slider) enable steam native runtime.
then launch LSI steam (this is the linux steam integration's steam launcher ignore the old entry that says steam).
 

Mazzspeed

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Got it to launch. This is what worked for me:

Try this:
Use whatever package manager you have installed and search steam and look for linux steam integration there.
After installation you will have 2 new icons (apps) one is the settings for linux steam integration and the other LSI Steam.
Launch linux steam integration and then deselect (via slider) enable steam native runtime.
then launch LSI steam (this is the linux steam integration's steam launcher ignore the old entry that says steam).
You only have to do this under Arch (more specifically AUR) based distro's...

Under Ubuntu based distro's this isn't necessary.

It's not really a 'separate partition' as much as it is a separate mount point. Linux uses file direction something fierce, and that is certainly something you have to get used to.
It is a separate partition, at least I've set /home up as a separate partition via the installer in the past - It's the way it always used to be done. A mount point related to the partition is created automatically by the installer and added to fstab. I don't agree with mixing /home with /. I consider mixing the two messy.

Any time you add a drive or partition permanently, you create a mount point (which is essentially a file) and add the drive or partition to the mount point using fstab - This can be done via the GUI using Gnome Disks.

Mount points can also be configured under Windows, you don't have to use drive letters.

I feel like having a separate home partition would mess with my workflow. The way I do things in Windows is to just install everything to C:, keep all installers and temp files on D:, and all videos and music on the NAS. From what I read /home is basically like the My Documents folder in Windows and I don't store anything there. Software doesn't get installed to /home does it?
It won't affect anything, from your perspective moving your /home partition will be invisible - You work exactly the same as you always have, you install software in the exact same fashion you always have. The only thing that changes is the mount point, the OS knows the location of the mount point via fstab.

/home is similar to your user profile under Windows, it's not just My Documents any more than your user profile under Windows is just My Documents.
 
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Mazzspeed

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Also, don't get too hung up on F2FS. Even in benchmarks F2FS and Ext4 trade blows, in the real world the difference won't be perceptible - Both are faster than NTFS. The problem with F2FS is it isn't as robust as Ext4, if you get a crash or power outage while transferring files, corruption usually results under F2FS.

Just be careful.
 

Mazzspeed

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Any idea what's going on here or why that has to be done?
I think it's the difference between installing Steam from the AUR vs the native Steam runtime? However it's been a while since I ran a distro using the AUR so I'm not 100% sure.

Under an Ubuntu based distro you install Steam as a .deb directly from Valve, which is more like installing software under Windows.
 

GhostCow

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Not using the AUR here. I had both steam-manjaro and steam-native. It's supposed to fall back to steam-native if steam-manjaro doesn't work
 

Mazzspeed

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Not using the AUR here. I had both steam-manjaro and steam-native. It's supposed to fall back to steam-native if steam-manjaro doesn't work
And Steam Manjaro is the issue, just like under Arch you have to use Steam Native. I don't know why there's two variants, I dumped Arch(ish) distro's before Steamplay was even a thing. All I know is that under Ubuntu you go to the Steam site, download the .deb, install it and you're good to go.

What package manager are you using?
 

GhostCow

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Pamac seems to be the default package manager for Manjaro. It's a lot better than the last few I remember trying years ago. Not bad. Pretty easy to add the AUR to it. I ended up needing the AUR for ICQ and Discord
 

Mazzspeed

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Pamac seems to be the default package manager for Manjaro. It's a lot better than the last few I remember trying years ago. Not bad. Pretty easy to add the AUR to it. I ended up needing the AUR for ICQ and Discord
Ah, OK. I'm a little out of touch with Manjaro, Pacmac does have AUR support, are you sure you're not using the AUR? Discord once again just installed via a .deb directly from the Discord site under my Ubuntu based distro and ICQ is available as a Snap - I can't believe people still use ICQ! I haven't heard ICQ mentioned in years.
 

GhostCow

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I'm pretty sure my two local friends and I are the only three Americans still using ICQ. It's mostly used in Russia now. We needed a replacement for facebook messenger and Discord was too flaky with the mobile notifications so we ended up dusting off ICQ. I even remembered my old 6 digit UIN to use.

Pamac tells you if something you're installing comes from the AUR or not. No need to use the AUR for Steam and I did all the Steam stuff before I added AUR support anyway. I found something called debtap that will let you use .deb files on Arch, but using that seems like a horrible idea. I installed it anyway in case of emergency or something.
 
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Mazzspeed

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I'm pretty sure my two local friends and I are the only three Americans still using ICQ. It's mostly used in Russia now. We needed a replacement for facebook messenger and Discord was too flaky with the mobile notifications so we ended up dusting off ICQ. I even remembered my old 6 digit UIN to use.

Pamac tells you if something you're installing comes from the AUR or not. No need to use the AUR for Steam and I did all the Steam stuff before I added AUR support anyway. I found something called debtap that will let you use .deb files on Arch, but using that seems like a horrible idea. I installed it anyway in case of emergency or something.
Wow, I'm impressed! ICQ, those were the days!
 

ChadD

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I feel like having a separate home partition would mess with my workflow. The way I do things in Windows is to just install everything to C:, keep all installers and temp files on D:, and all videos and music on the NAS. From what I read /home is basically like the My Documents folder in Windows and I don't store anything there. Software doesn't get installed to /home does it?
/home is not at all your mydocuments folder. :)

Basically /home/user is where your system will install things local to your account. So if you have multiple users on a Linux machine they have multiple /home... and multiple potential settings for software ect.

For instance local software settings will be stored in..
/home/user/.config
under that dir you should see dir entries for almost all your installed software... under which you will find .ini and other config files for those programs.

Basically /home is your c:\ drive if you want to think of it that way. (but every user gets their own C:\) You will never see a drive letter in Linux that is an idea baked up in the 70s to deal with floppies drives on terminals. It was a good solution on that hardware in 1972... its sort of stupid today. /home/user is where you are going to want to store anything user related. You can use the /home/user/Picture directory if you want... or you can create /home/user/pictures_2019 or whatever you like it doesn't matter and isn't the point. You will never ever want to store something to say /mystuff... its just bad form... and storing things under folders where you need admin priv ect will cause issues.

https://www.howtogeek.com/117435/htg-explains-the-linux-directory-structure-explained/

MS tried to get everyone used to using user locations for files with the MyDocuments sillyness... but in *nix operating systems /home is much more then just that... it is local user space. Under /home your system will save all local user settings... all local user installed software ect.

If you have a system with 2 partitions... its not like windows where you will have C: and D:.... you will not see any difference in file structure at all. If you have one partition you will still have a root / you will still have /home and all the other Linux standards. Those can however be mapped to whatever physical storage space you like. You can have /home mapped to another drive... or another partition or it can share the same partition it really doesn't effect anything. For that matter backing up /home and moving them to another install doesn't require a separate partition... the advantage there is being able to format the / part and reinstall the OS files or even switch distros completely pointing the new installs /home to the old installs /home. Making it possible to install a different distro while maintaining all config files for installed software ect. As an example I could install say manjaro with a /home part... install 20 software packages and config them them the way I want, then decide to kill my root... install fedora and use the same /home. When I install blender say under my new fedora install... it would pick up my /home/user/.config/blender/ configuration files and remember all my layouts and UI tweaks ect. (you can of course back those .ini files up... or your .config dir... but reusing the same /home is mostly just easier.

It takes a bit to get used to *nix if you have been a Windows user only... but once you do it is much more logical. Yes it takes some time to adjust but things are logical and always where you expect them once you know where to look. Things like /media and /mnt are imo more logical then widows assigning some USB stick a random drive letter. For example say you have a usb stick with some PDFs on it... if I plug it in today and find it at /run/media/user/64528CDC528CB3F8 open those files edit those files resave those files. Then a week later I build a completely new machine... install completely different storage drives... perhaps have 5 drives instead of the one I had before. If I plug that USB stick in again... perhaps it is now /sde1 instead of /sdc1, but it doesn't matter it still is at /run/media/user/64528CDC528CB3F8. If I copied over my old /home and I had say a list of recently opened files that included those PDFs... its still there and if I click them they open like its the same system.

I probably just confused things... but read up as much as you can on Linux file systems and hopefully it will make more sense. Hardware does get assignments, but what matters are mount points.
 

IdiotInCharge

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'More' or 'less' logical doesn't really apply -- both are consistent in their logic and both work.

For the Windows analog, /home is the C:\Users directory. Under /home/ you'll have your user directories, and then you'll have the same collection of personal directories as well as hidden configuration directories and so on.

Just like in Windows, you can move User directories around, or specific document directories -- I like to move those directories that are likely to grow exponentially, in my case Downloads and Pictures, to a partition separate from C:, perhaps even on another drive, to prevent C: from accidentally spilling up.

Do note that root ( / ) filling up on Linux is far worse than it is on Windows, this is the main reason to separate directories from root! I think on our servers at work, there are at least nine or ten separate partitions used along with Logical Volume Management for configuration flexibility. Aside from the normal partitions, we also have application-specific and infrastructure-specific partitions for caching and logging and so on.

Red Hat has a decent page on custom partitioning for various purposes, and the process applies to all modern distros, if you're up for some references.
 

ChadD

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'More' or 'less' logical doesn't really apply -- both are consistent in their logic and both work.

For the Windows analog, /home is the C:\Users directory. Under /home/ you'll have your user directories, and then you'll have the same collection of personal directories as well as hidden configuration directories and so on.

Just like in Windows, you can move User directories around, or specific document directories -- I like to move those directories that are likely to grow exponentially, in my case Downloads and Pictures, to a partition separate from C:, perhaps even on another drive, to prevent C: from accidentally spilling up.

Do note that root ( / ) filling up on Linux is far worse than it is on Windows, this is the main reason to separate directories from root! I think on our servers at work, there are at least nine or ten separate partitions used along with Logical Volume Management for configuration flexibility. Aside from the normal partitions, we also have application-specific and infrastructure-specific partitions for caching and logging and so on.

Red Hat has a decent page on custom partitioning for various purposes, and the process applies to all modern distros, if you're up for some references.
MS has done a good job the last few years of trying to set get software developers on board with a more standard way of storing config files ect. IMO its still just more messy. Sure they added C:\users and have tried to provide a more written in stone file hierarchy for developers to follow. Its just after so many years of doing 20 different things... in general most windows systems end up with shit everywhere. Config files in 10 different locations.... software putting .ini files in C:\users or perhaps leaving them in their \program file\ourshitprogram directory, or perhaps doing something else and saving it in some folder under my documents. It really shows when you have multiple users on a windows system... software changes made on one user account often carry over to the entire system when they shouldn't, and other unexpected oddness. I know there are ways to administer that type of stuff... but simple multi user windows systems are sort of a mess imo anyway.

Linux has benefited from having a standard FHS for 25 years now. I will admit their is the odd Linux developer that stores something where they shouldn't. It's just not as common imo... and given *nix permission structure even when they aren't where they shouldn't be they aren't some where stupid either like /bin or something. :)
 

Mazzspeed

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Do note that root ( / ) filling up on Linux is far worse than it is on Windows, this is the main reason to separate directories from root! I think on our servers at work, there are at least nine or ten separate partitions used along with Logical Volume Management for configuration flexibility. Aside from the normal partitions, we also have application-specific and infrastructure-specific partitions for caching and logging and so on.
I'm only using 13% of my 250GB NVME root drive, everything else is on the /home drive - IMO, the way things should be. ;)
 

GhostCow

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/home is not at all your mydocuments folder. :) <snip>

I probably just confused things... but read up as much as you can on Linux file systems and hopefully it will make more sense. Hardware does get assignments, but what matters are mount points.
I mostly get what you're saying here. So say I have a 500gb drive, How much should be partitioned for /home and how much for root? Does it even matter? I knew that in Linux it all looks the same even though it's separate partitions. My biggest concern was running out of space on one partition and being mad that I didn't give it more. That's what I was trying to avoid when I went with a single partition. From your description I would have assumed /home doesn't keep much in there and doesn't need much space, but it looks like Steam installs games there so that's a little confusing. Sounds like it stores more than the equivalent of a Windows profile but that might just be a Steam thing. You guys aren't telling me that separate partitions can be used as one continuous amount of space are you?

I like the idea of being able to format the root partition and keeping all your config files and stuff but coming from Windows that makes me paranoid even though it shouldn't. I wouldn't trust something like that under Windows because of registry files and such. I know it's not at all the same in Linux but I'm the kind of person who still reboots every time they take a few minutes away from the PC because I still have my Windows 9x habits
 
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