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Thread: partitioning for dual boot

  1. #1
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    Question partitioning for dual boot

    Hi, I think this is a fairly simple question and I have seen the answers online but don't really understand the language. Basically I am going to reformat my computer, clearing the hard drive, and dual boot both Windows XP Professional and Ubuntu. I know that Windows will create it's own partition, and on my 160GB hard drive I should have about 148GB left. I plan on installing Ubuntu 8.04 a couple weeks after it comes out, and I'm hoping by then I'll find information on how much room I should partition for Ubuntu and updates, etc. But can I install Ubuntu on the rest of my Hard Drive along with shared files that will open in both Windows and Ubuntu? I know certain things will only work in one OS, but when I double click a .doc file I want it to open from either OS in whatever office suite I am using on that OS.

    What I am looking for is just a clear answer to: Do I need to create three sections on my Hard Drive? Or will two work, one for Windows and one for Ubuntu and all other files?

    Thanks in advance for any help

  2. #2
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    Quote Originally Posted by biggiemokey View Post
    Hi, I think this is a fairly simple question and I have seen the answers online but don't really understand the language. Basically I am going to reformat my computer, clearing the hard drive, and dual boot both Windows XP Professional and Ubuntu. I know that Windows will create it's own partition, and on my 160GB hard drive I should have about 148GB left. I plan on installing Ubuntu 8.04 a couple weeks after it comes out, and I'm hoping by then I'll find information on how much room I should partition for Ubuntu and updates, etc. But can I install Ubuntu on the rest of my Hard Drive along with shared files that will open in both Windows and Ubuntu? I know certain things will only work in one OS, but when I double click a .doc file I want it to open from either OS in whatever office suite I am using on that OS.

    What I am looking for is just a clear answer to: Do I need to create three sections on my Hard Drive? Or will two work, one for Windows and one for Ubuntu and all other files?

    Thanks in advance for any help
    you will want 3 partitions on your drive, say 100 to 120 for windows,
    45-55 for ubuntu, and whatever you need your swap partition to be (usually 2x your ram is the general rule)

    ubuntu will be able to read and write to your windows drive, and as you said a .doc file will open in both operating systems office suite

    i would delete all partitions on the drive, create the size for windows you want (dont set it to use all 160), install windows, leaving what you want for ubuntu unpartitioned
    then install ubuntu second, using the free space on the drive

  3. #3
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    You need:
    1) windows partition (ntfs)
    2) linux root partition (ext3)
    3) linux swap partition (swap)
    You can read/write ntfs from linux with the ntfs-3g driver, installed by default in Gutsy and newer. In windows, you can read/write ext2/3 drives using the driver from http://fs-driver.org/

    It would probably be easiest to lay out your partitions now rather than having to resize the XP partition.

  4. #4
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    I would recommend separate partitions for root and home, which will leave you with the following partitions

    xp
    / (root)
    /home
    swap
    another partition which will be accessed by both windows and ubuntu (fat32 will do the trick)

  5. #5
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    simply install windows, use the whole hard drive, insert ubuntu CD, click install, and during the installation you will be asked if you want to resize windows partition, you resize windows partition to whatever size you want and ubuntu will use the freeded space and will also create the swap partition

    dont worry its ez

    sam
    Last edited by sam_delta; April 22nd, 2008 at 04:20 AM. Reason: spelling

  6. #6
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    I agree with posts 2 and 3. I also recommend setting up your Windows XP partition to the size you want when you install Windows, rather than using the resize feature in the Ubuntu install (although I've never had problems with this).

    As an alternative to the 3 partitions (Windows XP, Ubuntu, and Swap) suggested, I would suggest 4 partitions:

    1. Windows XP (NTFS, setup with Windows installer) ~20 GB
    2. File Storage (NTFS, set up with the Ubuntu install partitioner) ~120 GB
    3. Ubuntu (EXT3, set up with Ubuntu install partitioner) ~ 20 GB
    4. Swap (1.5--2x the size of your RAM)

    There is nothing wrong with the other recommendations, this is just the one I like. (Except that I also have a couple of extra partitions for playing around with other Linux distros. I generally have 2 ~20 GB partitions for Linux, and when the new version of Ubuntu rolls out every 6 months I install it there for testing and to take my time with setup, while keeping my old install in place for "production purposes" in case I run into problems.)

  7. #7
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian96 View Post
    I agree with posts 2 and 3. I also recommend setting up your Windows XP partition to the size you want when you install Windows, rather than using the resize feature in the Ubuntu install (although I've never had problems with this).

    As an alternative to the 3 partitions (Windows XP, Ubuntu, and Swap) suggested, I would suggest 4 partitions:

    1. Windows XP (NTFS, setup with Windows installer) ~20 GB
    2. File Storage (NTFS, set up with the Ubuntu install partitioner) ~120 GB
    3. Ubuntu (EXT3, set up with Ubuntu install partitioner) ~ 20 GB
    4. Swap (1.5--2x the size of your RAM)

    There is nothing wrong with the other recommendations, this is just the one I like. (Except that I also have a couple of extra partitions for playing around with other Linux distros. I generally have 2 ~20 GB partitions for Linux, and when the new version of Ubuntu rolls out every 6 months I install it there for testing and to take my time with setup, while keeping my old install in place for "production purposes" in case I run into problems.)

    i would recomend Fat32 as the file system of the 2nd partition (file storage) you mentioned , ubuntu handles FAT32 way better than ntfs

  8. #8
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    More informations about Partitioning Windows and Ubuntu:
    http://psychocats.net/ubuntu/partitioning

    EDIT 1: For an How To Edit Manually Partitions using GParted:
    http://www.easy-ubuntu-linux.com/res...partition.html

    EDIT 2: How To Dual Boot Windows XP and Linux:
    http://apcmag.com.au/how_to_dual_boo...lled_first.htm
    Last edited by ssican; April 22nd, 2008 at 10:52 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    It's fairly simple.

    Format the drive and install windows xp first.

    After that put in you ubuntu 8.04 cd and let it install (pick how much room you want) it should make the swap by itself and format it as ext3.

    Ubuntu has no problem reading the windows partition (you might need to do "gksudo nautilus").

    If you have a .doc in your windows partition and you open it on ubuntu, the .doc file will open with openoffice.

  10. #10
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    Re: partitioning for dual boot

    I agree with the previous post . format your drive first.
    I would make the xp partition 30gb. Having found recently that 20
    can git filled up quickly.

    Then 10 - 30gb for /.
    1.5-2 x your ram for swap.
    split the rest for /home and shared.
    The only dumb question is the one not asked.

    In service to the Dream

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