Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 04-24-2005, 06:18 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Herndon, VA
Distribution: Xubuntu 14.04
Posts: 53

Rep: Reputation: 15
linux partitioning BLOWING MY MIND!

I may be reinstalling everything from scratch and therefore have the option to partition however I like but I'm a little confused about what I need, and how to do it. The more I think about it, the more confused I get.

The last time I installed Ubuntu I only created the swap and / partitions. Afterwards I noticed that all of the typical folders are contained within the / partition (i.e. usr, var, boot, tmp, home, sys, lib, dev...and so on). Do I actually need all of these directories?

I'm still going to keep it real simple since it's simply a desktop PC at the most. My disk is 160GB. I'm thinking 4 partitions minimum as below:

1) swap, 2X RAM or max allowable
2) /, 200MB
3) /rescue, 200MB (left empty in case I need to reinstall base system after a serious crash)
4) /local, ~140GB (for the rest)

Should I include other partitions? I really only want to separate the base system from the rest. Where exactly are all the files that typically get put into the /lib, /etc, /dev, /proc, /bin, /sbin folders going to be put? ... or is this stuff considered the base system and it will all fit in the / partition?
Old 04-24-2005, 06:52 PM   #2
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Herndon, VA
Distribution: Xubuntu 14.04
Posts: 53

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Actually i've decided to use the following...only time will tell whether it's sufficient

/, 10GB
/swap, 1GB
/data, the restGB
Old 04-24-2005, 06:54 PM   #3
Senior Member
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: ubuntu
Posts: 2,539

Rep: Reputation: 60
your /data partition i would recommend to be /home partition... data for all the registered users on that computer... im quite new to liinux and am not saying this is right, but it seems logical
Old 04-24-2005, 06:59 PM   #4
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 729

Rep: Reputation: 30
What I use and why:

/ - 5 gig - root partition containing all not mounted elsewhere
/var - 1,5 gig - e.g log files and more files which vary in size and change often
/home - 20 gig - personal files I don't want to loose even when reinstalling the system
swap - 1,5 gig - it's swap, how much depends on your needs
/leftoverspace - partition of available space not used by the system

All the folders you see are from the base system. Don't mess with them too much.

In general, Linux is one big tree of folders of which anyone can be mounted elsewhere. This is controlled by /etc/fstab and can be changed at any time providing the partition exists to mount the folder to. If fstab says that home is on the third partition, browsing to /home from / automatically leads you to the third partition, although you will not notice this. It appears to be one big drive from /.
Old 04-24-2005, 07:00 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2005
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Distribution: SuSE 9.0, Gentoo 2005.0, Fedora Core 4
Posts: 42

Rep: Reputation: 15
1G is probably really to big to ever use for a swap partition. Mine is only 64Mb.

This is just my preference, but I would also include a boot partition (/boot).

As for the process of partitioning your HD, I would recommend using fdisk since it is fairly simple. Run fdisk /$HD for the hard drive you want to access. Then you can enter "p" to list the current configuration. Use "d" to remove a current partition. It will ask you for a number of the partition to delete (1-?). Once the drive is blank, use "n" for a new partition, following instructions. Repeat until you have it like you want. Tip: when entering the size of the partition, you can specify its size by "+32M", or similar, instead of filling in the actual size. Remember that fdisk doesn't write the modified information until you save and quit, so if you make a mistake, enter "q" to quit before he changes are made. You use "w" to save and quit.

I would definantly read the man page and get a good idea of what you're doing before you start messing with the partitions.

Remember to format the partitions after they are created.

Good luck.
Old 04-24-2005, 07:03 PM   #6
Senior Member
Registered: May 2004
Location: Australia
Distribution: Gentoo
Posts: 3,544
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 57
/boot - 38MB
/ - 30GB
/home - 160GB
/media - 160GB
swap - whats left over on hda - about 750MB

And I've got whatevers leftover on hdb as unpartitioned space, I think about 30-something GB
Old 04-24-2005, 09:28 PM   #7
Registered: Sep 2003
Posts: 79

Rep: Reputation: 15
Everyone has their own opinion on how to partition a Linux drive.

The 'best' way to do it is to have all the main directories on their own partition as well as users, but it all gets quite confusing when you're trying to administer the system. Also, unless you're running a multi-user system or a server, I don't think it's really necessary.
I'm the only user of my system and I have 2 HDDs, one running Debian 3.0 Woody and the other Windows XP. My 80GB Linux drive has a 1GB swap partition, a 59GB root partition and a 20GB shared partition (formatted as FAT32 to share between OSes). This setup works absolutely fine for me, and anything more complex would just be a hinderance. I think you should definately steer away from just having one monster partiton plus a swap, but unless you're totally paranoid about data security on a single user system then 2 or 3 main partitions should be fine.
Old 04-25-2005, 01:04 AM   #8
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Herndon, VA
Distribution: Xubuntu 14.04
Posts: 53

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately I ended up partitioning and installing before I got to read half of them. In the end I just went with the 3 partitions... /, /swap, and /data as mentioned in my second post. I really only wanted to separate the system from everything else. I think this will work...only time will tell...

I didn't name the /data partition /home because a home folder is already included in the system install and didn't want to confuse myself.

Last edited by jagibbs; 04-25-2005 at 01:06 AM.
Old 04-26-2005, 02:31 AM   #9
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Netherlands
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 729

Rep: Reputation: 30
Look at /etc/fstab, like any mountpoint you can mount /home anywhere you like. It's not added by you, since it's part of the system, but you can control where it is located. Would it be located on another partition then it would show in /etc/fstab. It could even be located on another machine, as long as /etc/fstab points out where.
Old 04-26-2005, 03:42 AM   #10
Senior Member
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: France
Distribution: Arch Linux
Posts: 1,897

Rep: Reputation: 63
Here's how I do my partitioning, why, and how:



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What are the most common new Linux users questions? Have a mind to write a book:) kornerr Linux - General 33 07-31-2005 07:42 AM
Losing mind over Linux on my USB thumb drive! Javahulk Linux - Laptop and Netbook 3 03-16-2005 02:53 PM
Fedora FC2 blowing up... JordanH Fedora 2 08-27-2004 04:33 PM
Completely Mind Blowing..... xtox General 6 09-09-2003 07:24 PM
The age old Linux vs M$- for those that cant make up there mind... prodigius Linux - General 20 03-21-2002 07:08 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:39 AM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration