Originally Posted by origami-sheep
my hard drive is i a right state, so fairly soon i intend to back all my stuff up and repartition it completely; but i have a couple questions about this:
1) is this layout possible/ sensible?
250 gig sda-
sda2- extended with 4 partitions: Linux / partition 1
Linux / partition 2
etc up to probably 4 partitions
sda7-/home will be backed up automatically
sda8 6 gigs of swap
2) do i need boot? and if so some pointers on how to set it up?
3) erm any tips/newbie smashing/great wisdom
I would not place '/etc' on a separate partition. You would be asking for issues/problems.
Why so much 'swap'?
The advantages of having a separate '/boot' are not what they were when we had '1024' limitations. The only exception now would be 'grub2' and ext4, LVM or XFS filesystems. I would check that though since 'grub2' is not my choice for a bootloader.
Remember that you will be allowed too have 4 primary partitions. One of which can be a extended that can contain your logical partitions. Linux File System
section has several good links to help you to understand the Linux filesystem. Disk Partitioning
defined, plus look at Linux Partition HOWTO
to help in partitioning.