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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 12-07-2008, 05:43 PM   #1
jdruin
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What are the recommended partition sizes for Ubuntu?


Additionally, what are the recommended partition divisons? The drive is 250 GB total, which I plan to split 50/50 with Vista. Vista is already installed and will thus have 125 GB leaving Ubuntu 125GB once loaded. So with this much space, what partitions should the Ubuntu half be divided into and what percentage of available space should be given to these partitions? For windows I usually just do C:\ at 25 GB and D:\ the rest. But Linux is often divided into more partitions. What is the current best practice?
 
Old 12-07-2008, 05:52 PM   #2
MS3FGX
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The most common layout for any Linux system is doing three partitions. One for the root filesystem (/), one for your personal files and settings (/home), and one for swap.

The sizes of those partitions are basically up to you. With a total of 125 GB, I might go with 20 GB for your root partition and 104 - 104.5 GB for /home. The 1 GB or so you would have left would be used for swap space.

There is an old (read: ancient) adage that your swap space should be twice the amount of your physical RAM, but that was in the days of 8 MB RAM being standard. With 1 GB of RAM now being considered a minimum, it is very unlikely your system would ever swap out in the first place, let alone require 2+ GB of swap space. Better advice for swap/RAM space in the 21st century is that if you system is constantly using up swap, you need to buy more RAM.

Last edited by MS3FGX; 12-07-2008 at 05:53 PM.
 
Old 12-08-2008, 07:49 AM   #3
jdruin
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Thanks MS3FGX.

Does Ubuntu do this by default or is this something that is set up during the installation?

Also, is it possible to "change your mind" and repartition after the fact without destroying data? In Vista, this is done with the Disk Management snap-in which looks exactly like Partition Magic's old interface. Is there an equivalent in Linux?

Last edited by jdruin; 12-08-2008 at 11:24 AM.
 
Old 12-08-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
JosipBroz
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Also, if you're planning to use suspend-to-disk, be advised that GNU/Linux uses the swap partition for that. So the swap partition should be as big as your RAM (or your planned future RAM expansions) -- though, IIRC, suspend-to-disk does compress the data before committing them to disk.
 
Old 12-08-2008, 12:35 PM   #5
MS3FGX
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I believe that Ubuntu's default partitioning scheme is to do three partitions in the free space, but I am not 100% sure on that (I have never actually let Ubuntu automatically partition my disk). It will tell you what changes it is going to make before it does anything, so you will be able to review the partition setup it is going to use before it is committed to disk.

As for changing the partitions around later, you can use the excellent GParted to resize and move partitions at a later time. You can download a live CD that includes it so you can safely boot into a live environment and change the system partitions safely (relatively speaking).
 
Old 12-08-2008, 12:45 PM   #6
jdruin
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I guess I should have mentioned the RAM size on the laptop: 3 GB

Since it is a laptop, it does have suspend and I believe hibernate as well so perhaps having the larger swap might be advisable.

Sounds like just going through the "non-default" Ubuntu set up would be worth my time. I think GParted looks like a reasonable solution as well. I suppose I would just need to be careful to leave the Vista partition alone when repartitioning the Linux area.
 
Old 12-15-2008, 07:49 PM   #7
r_a_smith3530
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS3FGX View Post
I believe that Ubuntu's default partitioning scheme is to do three partitions in the free space, but I am not 100% sure on that (I have never actually let Ubuntu automatically partition my disk). It will tell you what changes it is going to make before it does anything, so you will be able to review the partition setup it is going to use before it is committed to disk.

As for changing the partitions around later, you can use the excellent GParted to resize and move partitions at a later time. You can download a live CD that includes it so you can safely boot into a live environment and change the system partitions safely (relatively speaking).

I've done four or five (U)(Ku)(Xu)Buntu (plus two LinuxMINT, an Ubuntu derivative) installs in the past week. Left to its own devices, Ubuntu will use your entire drive and build it out as a single partition ("/"). That is the case with either Hardy or Intrepid, I can't speak for other earlier versions.

If you are building out a dual boot with Windows, run Chkdsk and Defrag before doing the install. Windows tends to be quite sloppy about where it puts your files, so I would advise running Defrag several times, even if it tells you that it is not needed. I did this with the XP Pro machine I built as a dual boot with Ubuntu 8.10, and each time Defrag ran, it looked a little better. I ran it 4 times, but you could probably get away with less, unless its been up and running for a while.

Also, this should go without saying, but BACK UP YOUR DATA!!! I cannot stress this enough.

As mentioned, GParted is an excellent utility, and you can download a bootable ISO from the link at Distrowatch. You can use this, resize Windows, create your Linux partitions (your root Linux partition MUST be a Primary), and then direct Ubuntu to use the partitions that you created. My preference for Linux partitions is ext3, but YMMV.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 05:59 AM   #8
tommcd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r_a_smith3530 View Post
I've done four or five (U)(Ku)(Xu)Buntu (plus two LinuxMINT, an Ubuntu derivative) installs in the past week. Left to its own devices, Ubuntu will use your entire drive and build it out as a single partition ("/"). That is the case with either Hardy or Intrepid, I can't speak for other earlier versions.
That is how Ubuntu's "guided partitioning" will work. It will create a separate swap also, which will be about 2X your RAM.
To get a separate /root, swap, and /home, you will need to use "manual partitioning" and create the 3 partitions and set the mount points as root, swap, and home.

Also, I think 20GB for root is a bit much. I would go with 12GB for root, which should be way more than enough.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 06:25 AM   #9
SkinnerC
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Originally Posted by tommcd View Post
Also, I think 20GB for root is a bit much. I would go with 12GB for root, which should be way more than enough.
I have Ubuntu 8.04 set up with a 6GB / , 10GB /home , 2GB /swap and it installed and is running with no problems.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
jschiwal
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If you use raid or LVM, you will want a boot partition. This is what Fedora does, but using LVM doesn't have advantages on a laptop. If you are someone who has to try every package that your distro offers, then the /usr directory might grow to over the 20GB you are planning the root directory.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:04 AM   #11
michalowicz.michal
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I would go with 4 partitions (works for me for almost 2 years on Toshiba)
With Ubuntu/Kubuntu you can choose: manual partition hard drive.


250GB
/dev/sda1 125GB ntfs Vista
/dev/sda2 256MB ext3 /boot
/dev/sda3 4GB swap swap
/dev/sda5 rest ext3 /

or 5 partitions (few MB wasted but keeps root partition in order)
/dev/sda1 125GB ntfs Vista
/dev/sda2 256MB ext3 /boot
/dev/sda3 4GB swap swap
/dev/sda5 16GB ext3 /
/dev/sda6 rest ext3 /home
 
  


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