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Thread: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

  1. #1
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    Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    Our current laptop, around 8 yrs old, works fine on Ubuntu 18.04 for everyday use, but struggles with the new Covid need to use Zoom and a wish to edit some short videos. So I have an Asus laptop with manufacturer refurb on order, to arrive hopefully in a week or so.
    Spec as in screenshot here:Asus laptop spec.png

    If I install Ubuntu, ( either 18 again or 20LTS), to dual boot on this new machine with Windows, will that limit its performance appreciably?
    I'm truly no computer geek, and and am rapidly out of my depth, but I don't like Windows, using it for updating the satnav & not much more. So I don't know if having both OS on one machine impedes its abilities.

    Assuming it's going to be fine, I would welcome advice on how big to make the partitions for Windows/Ubuntu when I do install on the new laptop, please, given how little we use Windows.
    I know it's a "how long is piece of string" question, but I guessed too small for Windows on this machine first time round, which may be why it crashed on updating, and had to be reloaded by the friendly local shop. So I don't want to guess wrong on and mess up the nearest thing to a new computer we've bought for around 20 years!

    With many thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    Let's start with your new computer: Nothing to brag about. Surely newer than the one you already have but that may not mean what you expect, like newer= faster and/or newer=more powerful. Its i3 CPU is easily beaten by any 8 years old i7; 8GB of RAM is comfortable but surely not better than 16/32GB of 8 years ago, even if slower and from a previous "generation"; 1TB HDD is certainly much slower than any SSD of the aforementioned vintage; and lastly, the unmentioned graphics - likely some cheap integrated - is certainly no better than a dGPU Nvidia or AMD of that vintage. In a nutshell, maybe not as good as you hoped but time and usage will tell.

    Now, regarding the question
    f I install Ubuntu, ( either 18 again or 20LTS), to dual boot on this new machine with Windows, will that limit its performance appreciably?
    The answer is NO, dual-boot has no impact on any one of the installed OSes' performance. However, when dual-booting anything with any Windows 8n or newer there are reasons to disable its Fast Startup feature. Arguably, even if single-booting Windows, you should disable it anyway. So, that alone - Fast Startup off - will result in Windows booting just a tiny bit slower.

    How much drive space to keep for Windows? This asks for opinions mostly. IMO, around 100-120GB for the main partition should be enough for installing some additional software and also comfortably update. Please pay attention and do NOT touch the ESP (EFI System Partition) - the Ubuntu installer should use that some partition and, preferably, do not touch vendor or Windows recovery partitions.

  3. #3
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    Windows NTFS partitions really need 30% free, at 10% free there is not enough room to defrag. Linux needs some extra roomto run well, but not quite as much as Windows.

    I would remove HDD and just install a new SSD. That would improve performance a lot. If only using Windows occasionally you can just swap drives when needed. Windows UEFI install product key is now in UEFI, so you can reinstall Windows, but may need any unique drivers from Asus.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  4. #4
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    Thanks both.
    Celtic Warrior, I realise it's far from high-end, but hopefully compared to what I'm writing this onAcer spec.png it's a useful improvement.
    Thanks for the comments on partition space, that's helpful.

    Funding is limited, so replacing the HDD with SSD may have to wait a while, though I'm sure it would improve things more, OldFred.
    When you refer to 10% and 30%, I need to ask what these percentages refer to, please.

    Best wishes.

  5. #5
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    The percentage is amount of free space the NTFS partition has.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  6. #6
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    I now have the Asus laptop, and need to re-partition. I'm working on the DIY principle of "measure three times, cut once" or in this case, "ask more before guessing!" An ill-educated guess cost me a Windows re-load on the machine I'm using here, after all.

    Here's the current partitioning.
    Asus partition.jpg
    Every guide to re-sizing for Ubuntu which I read ends up with "choose your preference" or similar. I'm still too vague about what percentage of what is needed to have a firm figure as a preference, just the need for enough space to allow Windows to be stable with occasional use, but for Ubuntu, which we use for 98% of the time, to work at its best with plenty of headroom.

    So I'll be very grateful for a simple "shrink partition C to size (x)" type answer please.

    With thanks and best wishes.

  7. #7
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    You are using 50GB in the NTFS partition. So 100 probably will work, but if you eventually want a major Windows update, it may need more space? And even if only using occasionally do you down load anything large like videos or lots of music?
    Only use Windows to shrink NTFS & reboot immediately, so it can run chkdsk.

    If you use Linux most of time, how much space do you typically need for it? And you do have another drive for backup of both Windows & Linux data?

    I also do not like very large / (root) partitions. Ubuntu's default now is just / and if UEFI an ESP (or it will use the Windows ESP). I prefer / to be 25 or 30GB unless running server apps (Web, database, etc) that normally are in /.
    If a newer user the separate /home easier as it sets ownership & permissions & mounts in fstab. You can create in advance with gparted and in Something Else choose to use it (change button) or create during install using Something Else install option.

    But some like separate partition(s) for media, music or video or some other use. But too many partitions then can be a hassle to manage on where unallocated/available space is if another is getting full.
    Only you can determine what you really want.

    I find my optimal partitioning, after several years is not so good. But I only trust a hard drive or now SSD for a few years as main working drive, so start over with a new drive.
    Last edited by oldfred; June 25th, 2020 at 07:23 PM.
    For more info on UEFI boot install & repair - Regularly Updated :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  8. #8
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    Remember. Ubuntu can access NTFS but Windows access to Ext4 is problematic. If you intend to share data between OSes then use NTFS (FAT32 if the files are smaller than 4Gb) to accommodate Windows' shortcomings

  9. #9
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    Thanks you.

    I did once try to organise separate partitions, but quickly got out of my depth, so the simpler the better for me.

    Unlikely to download large videos or much music, especially via Windows, we're more likely to have some large files of acoustic multi-track music recorded ourselves, and hopefully video, ditto.
    Because I'm retiring an old Vista 32bit machine from sound recording, and we've not tried videos before, it's hard to assess what typical future space used will be, hence my desire for simply as much as possible, within reason.

    I'm wondering if maybe saving about 150 - 200 GB for Windows would be adequate?

    And yes to having another external drive to save data.

    "If a newer user the separate /home easier as it sets ownership & permissions & mounts in fstab. You can create in advance with gparted and in Something Else choose to use it (change button) or create during install using Something Else install option.
    As I'm still a basic user, this looks a useful paragraph to me to work on, though it'll need some unpacking. I install Ubuntu because we hugely prefer it to Windows, but will never be an advanced computer user.

    I don't think I've needed to share data between OS's... that's beyond my depth again

    Thanks for your patience!

  10. #10
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    Re: Installing Ubuntu 20LTS dual boot with Windows: Speed, partition sizes

    Are the instructions for partitioning sufficiently good at https://fossbytes.com/install-ubuntu...-10-dual-boot/ ? Quite a long scroll down before that section is reached, but the steps seem mostly follow-able after a couple of readings.

    As usual, of course, the sizes are left up to the user, which is why I've fought shy of this before, and simply plonked earlier Ubuntu editions into the space created by shrinking C partition. Or maybe this would work adequately again here? - fear of lousing it up through misunderstanding is always present!

    There's still the matter of using GParted to fit in, as OldFred recommended in post #7

    With thanks.

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