[ubuntu-uk] Home partitions do I need one?

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Sun Jun 14 11:28:07 BST 2009

Graham Smith wrote:
> I'm  afraid all I was thinking about was whether the fresh install
> would fix my network problem,I knew the live CD worked but was waiting
> for the full install to still not work - but it did work.
> I could start from scratch and install again I suppose, maybe that
> would be good practice for future installs
In theory unless something goes completely wrong you should be able to 
upgrade online as each new release is made available but I'd say a 
separate home partition is a good thing.  I'm one for tinkering with my 
systems so occasionally I do a fresh install and I find that having a 
separate home partition helps.  If you create a home partition and then 
in the future reinstall the OS you'd have to make sure you use the 
manual partitioning option and make sure you give your home partition a 
mount point but NOT format it.  You can format your root (/) partition 
though and swap doesn't need formatting (at least I've never seen an 
option for format swap).  Having a separate home partition also means 
that you could format your root partition as ext4 for extra performance 
and keep your home partition as ext3 if you wished.
> I have had a read though the other links, and googled a few more. I
> see that Ubuntu susgest 15gb as the maximum size for the root, which
> would leave me about 100gb for /home, which was one the things I
> wondered about; how to split up the disc.
I generally allocate about 20 to 40GB for root depending on the size of 
the drive.  On my desktop I used to use 40GB (it was a 750GB drive) and 
on my laptop with a 250GB drive I tend to allocate 20GB for root (mainly 
because I also have Vista installed on it which I give about 60GB) but 
really I think 15GB would probably be plenty.

As far as the swap partition goes (you'd have to create this manually 
too if you do a manual partitioning), if you want to use Hibernate then 
you'd need to allocate a partition at least (if not slightly larger to 
be safe) to match the size of your system memory.  So for instance if 
you have 2GB on your PC, allocate at least 2GB swap (or maybe something 
like 2.2GB).  I found when I got to 4GB though that it was easier just 
to shut the machine down and boot it up as it was quicker than 
hibernate.  Now on my laptop with 4GB memory I have about a 600MB swap 


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