Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy79 View Post
can I ask why you're making a swap partition that's 16GB in size? That's huge. I am just trying to learn here. ALso, I always have a seperate /home partition, just my 2 cents. 1mb grub partition seems small to me. WHen I had a dedicated boot partition it was 500mb I believe.
Cheesemill has answered both your questions splendidly, but I'll elaborate on them a bit as well.

You'll find a link in post 7 (next to the sdb1 partition entry) explaining the 1MB Grub partition in detail (including step-by-step instructions on setting one up). The real beauty of the Grub partition (and why I'll be using one) is that if you install multiple Linux distros on one drive, that little partition allows their bootloaders to all play nicely and you can have a single menu allowing you to choose which distro to boot into. You can't do that with a separate /boot partition, since that holds your Linux kernel, and these are often very different between distros.

I'm basically future-proofing for when I feel brave enough to give Arch Linux a shot - if it all goes pear-shaped, I can always just boot into my main distro!

As for the /home issue, for dual booters, having a separate, large /home partition to store your personal data is actually not a good solution, as you won't be able to access it on a second non-Linux OS (Windows 7 in my case). Therefore I store all my data on my 1TB drive and (to put it simplisticly) point all my visible /home folders in Linux to this separate drive. As that drive is NTFS, I can sync all my data between both Windows and Linux. The beauty of this is that I could actually install a (theoretically) infinite number of Linux distros on the same machine, and they could each access this same batch of data. Hence no need for a separate /home partition. Since a /home partition contains a lot of hidden config files, you wouldn't be able to (necessarily) share one /home partition between multiple Linux distros, either.

Quote Originally Posted by Cheesemill View Post
I believe that the 16GB swap partition is for hibernation. To hibernate Ubuntu you need to be able to write the entire contents of your RAM to the swap partition (although it does get compressed so I think that 16GB is probably overkill, however, HD space is so cheap and plentiful that this shouldn't be an issue).
Yeah, I wasn't sure about this. I only had 2GB of swap in my previous dual-boot conifguration and simply removed the hibernate option from my log-off menu, so I may revert to that, especially since I never use hibernate.

I would skip the /boot partition, there really is no need to have this separate nowadays.

In my setup I have partitions for / and /home on the SSD so that I get the speed advantage that this entails, my home directory only contains the hidden application configuration files, all of the other folders (Music, Pictures, Videos etc) are just symlinks to the actual data directories on the shared NTFS partition on my mechanical drive.
Again, you will see in post #7 that I updated my configuration and that it no longer has a /boot partition, having replaced it with a Grub one.

Quote Originally Posted by oldfred View Post
UEFI installs have extra partitions.

All installs have to have an efi partition first. Windows also has a unformatted space (system reserved) somewhat like the bios_grub that Ubuntu has in BIOS.

Older Windows info on gpt - 2008 updated 2011
Microsoft suggested partitions including reserved partition for gpt & UEFI:
Windows technical info on gpt and GUIDs
Order on drive is important:

I used to have a grub only partition when using old grub legacy. You have to manually maintain all your boot stanzas, but once you learn you actually copy & paste with a bit of editing for unique UUIDs and partitions. I still in effect do this with my USB flash drives as they have grub2 installs, and manual boot entries to boot ISO with loopmount. Then I can have multiple ISO on one flash drive.

I also learned for Ranchhand but Cavsfan documented the procedures.
How to: Create a Customized GRUB2 Screen that is Maintenance Free.- Cavsfan
Thanks once again, oldfred! Lots of good reading there, and will save me having to search for the good threads. Using GPT with UEFI is starting to sound like a lot of bother...

Anyway, if there was some form of rep system on these forums, you'd be getting some in bulk!!