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Creating Linux Partitions

Desktop Linux For The Windows Power User
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Step 4 of 7, Part B

As with the space allocated to page files in Windows, everyone has a different opinion about what the proper size of the swap area should be. However, for the sake of simplicity, we will make a swap area that is equal to the amount of RAM in your system. If you have 512 MB of RAM, your swap partition should be 512 MB. If you have 4 GB of RAM, your swap partition should be 4 GB. Whether the partition is primary or logical depends on how many operating systems you plan on putting on this drive. The maximum number of primary partitions is four per drive. While there are some gains to be had by placing your swap area in either the beginning or end of a drive, it is largely dependent on individual hard drive specifications. So, for the sake of simplicity, we will create the swap area in the beginning of the disk. When all options except "Mount point" are filled, click OK.

The next partition we need to create is the root ( / ) partition. Select the entry marked "free space" and then click "New partition." Since the root partition will contain all mount points except /home, we should give it some space. The minimum for the root partition ( / ) is 4 GB and this will be sufficient if most of your activities and applications are online. However, if you plan on installing numerous or large applications, then you'll want to give / more space (how much is up to you). I advise giving the root partition an amount of space of between 10 GB and 30 GB, depending on how much you have to spare. It truly doesn't matter if / is created in the beginning or end of a drive. Once again, for simplicity's sake, create it in the beginning of the drive. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu system files can be installed on a logical partition. Use the "Ext3 journaling file system" for this partition. When finished, click OK.

The final partition that we will create is for your home folder (/home). Once again, select the entry marked "free space" and then click "New partition." Because /home is where your documents, music catalog, movie collection, picture albums, and any other files that you want to keep locally will be stored, it should use whatever free space you have left. The /home folder can be set to either the beginning or end of the drive with no difference between the two. This partition does not need to be primary, but I highly recommended that you make /home on a primary partition. Use the "Ext3 journaling file system" for this partition. When finished, click OK.

Any empty drive to which you have added swap, root, and home partitions should look something like this:

A drive with Windows to which you have added swap, root, and home partitions should look something like this:

This is the last chance you will have to back out before committing these changes to your partition table.

Now that the partitions have been created, click Forward to continue with the installation.

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