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Thread: Need partitioning advice

  1. #1
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    Question Need partitioning advice

    So today I attempted to install Ubuntu 11.04. My computer has three hard drives and I allocated an entire drive for the install. Here is some info on that HDD:


    WDC WD25 00KS-00MJB0 SCSI Disk Device
    Manufacturer Western Digital
    Business Unit/Brand Enterprise/WD S25
    Interface ATA
    Capacity 244GB
    Real size 250,059,350,016 bytes
    S.M.A.R.T not supported

    I made sure that I deleted all partitions so that the drive is just free space. For some reason, there is no option to use the entire drive, or free space for the install. Maybe that option was only available in past Ubuntu versions, or I'm just getting confused with an entirely different distribution install altogether; but what I need is some help setting up partitions on this HDD. While I am a bit of a noob, I do understand the basics of partitioning. I would like some help in setting up partitions as effectively as possible. I would like to use EXT4 as it uses journaling for my data, however, I would like to use a different partition and maybe another file system for the /var directory, for example. I do not think I need journaling for a bunch of log files because it is a waste of space and processing. I hope that makes sense, but if someone could help me chose the right sizes and file systems for the different directories so that Ubuntu can run effectively, I would really appreciate it. Thanks for you time.

  2. #2
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    During an attempted installation does the installer "see" the empty hard drive?
    MacBook Pro 10,1 retina

  3. #3
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    During an attempted installation does the installer "see" the empty hard drive?
    Sorry for not getting back sooner, but yes, the installer did see the empty hard drive. However I have to chose the option "Something Else" in order to see it. The other two options will not use the empty drive. Whenever I chose install along side Windows it just starts installing right away, to where I have no idea, but it doesn't give me any options to chose the drive. And the option, replace Windows is out of the question. So I have to use the "Something Else" option. Am I missing something? Well anyways, I figured this would be a good time to manually mess around with partitions and files systems. Was hoping I could learn a little something in the process. Any help would be appreciated.

  4. #4
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    an example:

    /boot 100 Mb ext 2 (dont need journalling overhead on boot

    / (root) 1 to 2 gb

    swap (usually at least size of ram, some say twice the size debatable depending on whether you use hibernation)

    /home as large as necessary

    /tmp 1 or 2 gb depends on what you do and use tmp for

    /usr depends on software packages you plan to use (this can be ext2 aswell as data dont change much

    /var min of 500...lot bigger if using server services (daemons)

    but you could put the whole lot on /

    or / and /home

    or / /home /boot

    etc etc
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  5. #5
    psusi is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    There is little to no reason to create a separate partitions for anything other than /home ( and swap of course ). There is no overhead saved by putting /boot on another fs and you will just fill it up and run into problems when it is out of room.

    Unless you are planning on installing multiple different linux distros, just go with the default partitioning scheme: one for swap, and one for everything else.

  6. #6
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by haqking View Post
    an example:

    /boot 100 Mb ext 2 (dont need journalling overhead on boot

    / (root) 1 to 2 gb

    swap (usually at least size of ram, some say twice the size debatable depending on whether you use hibernation)

    /home as large as necessary

    /tmp 1 or 2 gb depends on what you do and use tmp for

    /usr depends on software packages you plan to use (this can be ext2 aswell as data dont change much

    /var min of 500...lot bigger if using server services (daemons)

    but you could put the whole lot on /

    or / and /home

    or / /home /boot

    etc etc
    Quote Originally Posted by psusi View Post
    There is little to no reason to create a separate partitions for anything other than /home ( and swap of course ). There is no overhead saved by putting /boot on another fs and you will just fill it up and run into problems when it is out of room.

    Unless you are planning on installing multiple different linux distros, just go with the default partitioning scheme: one for swap, and one for everything else.
    Interesting. Thanks for the input. I like what psusi said about creating two partitions for swap and /home. But what does hagking mean by putting the "whole lot on /"?

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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by psusi View Post
    There is little to no reason to create a separate partitions for anything other than /home ( and swap of course ). There is no overhead saved by putting /boot on another fs and you will just fill it up and run into problems when it is out of room.

    Unless you are planning on installing multiple different linux distros, just go with the default partitioning scheme: one for swap, and one for everything else.

    well i listed lots of options including everything on / and /home

    however if you seperate data that changes alot like /home and /var from /boot and /usr which dont change much then you can reduce fragmentation (little i know) and depends on your system, for a desktop then yeah probably overkill but he is looking to play with partitions.

    and /boot wont get filled up quickly especially if he makes it something like 100 or 200 mb and uses a non journalling FS unless he is installing lots of OS

    plus seperating /usr can be useful if he wants to export it to another machine at a later date.

    there are also arguments for /opt.

    just options, for most dekstops then yeah a / and /home is fine but a little tweaking here and there if he wants to play wont harm too much.
    Last edited by haqking; July 7th, 2011 at 03:44 AM.
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Awes0meSauce View Post
    Interesting. Thanks for the input. I like what psusi said about creating two partitions for swap and /home. But what does hagking mean by putting the "whole lot on /"?

    I meant that some people choose to put the whole thing under /
    or use entire space and mount it as /

    which makes recovery a pain, it is better for a / and /home as a minimum
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  9. #9
    psusi is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by haqking View Post
    and /boot wont get filled up quickly especially if he makes it something like 100 or 200 mb and uses a non journalling FS unless he is installing lots of OS
    /boot easily reaches 100mb these days with just a handful of kernel updates. 200mb might be ok, but why chance it? That is just one less headache to worry about.

    Quote Originally Posted by haqking View Post
    plus seperating /usr can be useful if he wants to export it to another machine at a later date.
    Why would you want to share /usr? And you can share a directory without it being on its own partition.

    Quote Originally Posted by haqking View Post
    there are also arguments for /opt.
    What uses /opt? The only thing I have ever seen using it is the occasional proprietary software package.

  10. #10
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    Re: Need partitioning advice

    Quote Originally Posted by psusi View Post
    /boot easily reaches 100mb these days with just a handful of kernel updates. 200mb might be ok, but why chance it? That is just one less headache to worry about.


    Why would you want to share /usr? And you can share a directory without it being on its own partition.


    What uses /opt? The only thing I have ever seen using it is the occasional proprietary software package.
    like i said unless he has lots of OS which i meant as kernel updates, i never said he should, i was giving him options which are viable, i have mine set up this way no issues, and there are plenty of resources online which discuss the same, not a definitive but arguments for and agasint

    i never said share, i said export to another machine or build

    not alot use /opt (like i said optional) just like the directory itself but i know a few people who use /opt for tarballs then create symbolic links

    some examples on the ubunut wiki
    https://help.ubuntu.com/8.04/install...86/apcs03.html
    Last edited by haqking; July 7th, 2011 at 04:05 AM.
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