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Old 05-15-2007, 08:44 PM   #1
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Need help with partitioning my HDD before installing Linux

Hi. I'm going to make the transition from MS to Linux and after reading around the web I decided to try Kubuntu. I made the decision not to dual boot. I've downloaded and burned a LiveCD which I've used to boot up. So far I've deleted all my windows partitions (I actually kept the partition which contains the WinXP 'DVD') and am ready to partition my hard drive for my linux system. Now I tried to read around the web and the results were either really simple (one partition /root, another for /home) or fairly complex (but not very informing). What I'm wondering about now is if I should partition my hard drive before entering the install or just take care of it during the installation. Either way I really think that formulating a partition table beforehand would be ever so smart.
Well, personally I feel like a bit more complicated partition would be worth it. Now I know that I need to include
/ (root)
but according to some guides I read /usr, /tmp, /var, /var/spools, /var/log and even others were recommended and said to increase the efficiency of the system.
Now I have around 90 Gigs in free space and was wondering if someone might be able to give some advise on how to manage the partitions. How much disk space each partition should get, which ones are primary and which should be extensions from where. What I've gathered so far is that 3-4 Gigs would be passable for /root and /swap could very well be 1.5 Gigs (My RAM is 512 mb, but I want to increase it).

Thank you,
Old 05-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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Some material at my site may be useful (Link below in my signature)

For a new user of Linux, I see absolutely no point in having anything but / and swap.
Wih 90G available, I would make ~10-12G for / and 1G** for swap, and then leave the rest empty (unpartitioned). This will allow you to make changes later.

**This is totally unscientific: My reading yields no reason for it to be bigger, and there is not a huge impact to total disk space by making it smaller.
Old 05-16-2007, 02:59 PM   #3
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One thing that's really advisable is to have /home as a separate partition because doing so enables you to reinstall the os without having to worry about your personal data.

As pixellany mentioned, as a new user you won't have any need for other directories to be separate partitions. Not having them will not decrease efficiency in any way as you won't be doing tasks in which that would be helpful.

I for example have a separate boot partition because I have two just slightly different versions of the same distro on my machine which I boot with the same kernel

Btw I wouldn't oversize swap. If you plan on adding RAM you will need even less swap then you'd need with 512 MB. 1GB of swap should be more than enough.

Yeah and have a look at pixellanys site. Many other members have links in their sigs as well containing valuable information for newbies.
Old 05-16-2007, 03:25 PM   #4
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OK. Many thanks to you both. I will check the site out better. Still nice to hear that I was trying so hard to make things difficult for me.
Old 05-16-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
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I agree with pixellany. / and /swap is all you really need. You're running a desktop not a server so a complex partitioning scheme is really pointless.

As far as your home partition goes, if you decided to install something else just make a back up of your important /home files to a flash or cdrom and don't worry about it.


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