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well, alot of distros will install extra software during the install, so minimum sizes vary. i suggest you look at the documentation for whatever ditro you want to install. theyre bound do state the minimum drive space in the minimum requirements.
as previously post has informed lvm will do them for you but ;
ı don't suggest you to do it.Firstly learn which parition is used for which purpose..
basically the must be 3 partitons.
one bill be /boot about 100 mb size is enough.Let this partition to be primary and the begining of the disk.
second is /swap ; will bu used for ram on disk. size is 2Xram size =256 mb will be nice for you.
third one is / all other mount points will be mounted here..you can use all the remaining size for this ..
you can created more and mount each them as mount points for example /data a new disk or partition will be used for database files or /var for log and message files.
You can find many more detailed info about this subject.
Actually, only 2 partitions are required: "/" and swap
Don't confuse directories and partitions. Partitions are mounted on (read "attached to") the directory structure. If, for example, one partition is mounted at "/", then all the directories under / will be on the same partition (unless one of them is specifically assigned to a different partition)