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Old 10-30-2007, 03:12 PM   #1
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Partition advice needed for my 1st linux install

Hello all, first I'd like to say congrates on having a great and friendly forum. I'm completley new to linux and am about to attempt my first install on my laptop, so here's my specs and question's.

Dell inspiron 1300
1.60GHz Celeron
40Gig HD
2Gig RAM

Going to install ubuntu 7.10 to dual boot alongside windows xp.

I cant seem to find on LQ or ubuntuForums an answer. So when I am installing I get the chance to set the partitions up.

Q1 Swap space - Do I need it? If so do I make it 2Gig like my ram? Or do I double it?

Q2 I will be the only user using this linux and I saw a video tutorial on installing ubuntu and it said I do not need to set a partition up for /home, just have one big partition for /root. Is this the case? Because searching through the threads on here people just seem to refer to /swap and /home when it comes to partitions.

Q3 I'll have about 25Gig to install linux on. If I am to make a partition for /root and /home what size should they both be? 50/50 or other?

Thanks to all
Old 10-30-2007, 07:53 PM   #2
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I think it is important to clear something up here before going into the questions. /root is the home directory of the root user, not the root filesystem (that is a bit confusing, I know). The root filesystem is where all of the system directories go, and could roughly be equated to the Windows "C:\" drive. When making the partitions, you want to assign them to "/", which stands for the root filesystem, not "/root".

Now, to answer your questions:

1. The rule of RAM x 2 = swap comes from the days where machines only had a few MB of main RAM. On a machine with 2 GB of RAM, it is almost inconceivable that you will even access the swap space under normal use. Still, it is generally a good idea to have some swap available. I would make a swap partition of no larger than 512 MB on a machine like yours.

2. You can certainly get away with just one large partition and a swap partition. It isn't the best idea in terms of flexibility and error recovery, however. Having a separate /home partition allows you to use the same home directory between multiple installs of the OS. So if you needed to reinstall Ubuntu, or wanted to try a different distribution, you could do that without losing your files and user-specific configuration if you have a separate /home. It is really up to you, functionally there is no difference.

3. If this is just an experimental install, and not for full time use, you don't really need a lot of space for /home. It isn't like you will be storing years worth of documents and media on it. At the same time, you want to make sure you have a lot of space for / so you can install all the software you want to get comfortable with what is available. I would go for something like 15 GB for / and 10 GB for /home, or even 20/5.
Old 10-30-2007, 09:24 PM   #3
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Im like u

Okay for the Ubuntu Partition, leave the "NTFS" Partition alone, create partition (make it 75% of extra HD Space)(if any) have it at ext3+/ then create swap partition only top should be 512 mb or 5120 kb in some areas, click the "Format" box or what ever the format is in each language (not everyone can read or speak english...nor some people can't read or speak other languages ((Espanol?, Francias, Duetch...)) excuse my spelling,then click ok (don't do the file transfer from XP!) click ok then install

I may have left out details but I think you can do it
Old 10-30-2007, 10:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for your replys, and MS3FGX thanks for clearing up '/root' the way you explained it made perfect sense. Think I'll go with the 20/5 for now. I remember my 1st windows machine I used to reinstall from scratch at least once every 2weeks I used to love playing around with it to get to do what I wanted until it would be completely messed up and I can see my time with linux being just the same lol Thank god I have sites like this to help me out though.

Thanks again


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