Paritions to install Ubuntu

Tony Arnold tony.arnold at
Wed Sep 27 19:43:22 UTC 2006


On Wed, 2006-09-27 at 15:35 -0400, Colin Kern wrote:
> I'm about to do a new install of Ubuntu (I just posted a few minutes
> ago about 64-bit processors), and I wanted to ask about paritioning
> the hard drive.  Whenever I look at a guide to installing Linux, it
> always recommends different partitions for /, /home, and sometimes
> others.  They never seem to suggest the size of these partitions,
> though.  It seems like partitioning like this would waste disk space,
> since you don't know exactly how much space you are going to use for
> installed programs as opposed to documents, mp3s, etc.  As a result,
> I've always just made a swap partition and then put everything under a
> giant partition.  What do other people do?  Is it really worth having
> a complicated partitioning scheme?

I think it is worth having some partitioning, although for flexibility I
would look at the logical volume manager and use logical volumes where
most people talk about partitions.

As a minimum, using partitions, I would have partitions for /, /home and
swap. Perhaps a separate one for /boot as well. Size wise, I would
set /boot to be between 50 and 100 megabytes, / to be a bout 10
gigabytes, swap to be about 1.5 times the physical memory
(recommendations on this vary) and /home the rest of the disk.

If I'm using LVM, then I would set up two partitions. One for /boot,
which cannot be in a logical volume and the other for a physical volume
in a single volume group with logical volumes for /, /home and swap.

The main reason for doing all this is so that you can completely
re-install the operating system without losing the contents of /home,
i.e., your own documents, data and settings.

If you use logical volumes, then you do not need to allocate al the
space to the LVs. You can grow LVs or add more quite dynamically. They
are much more flexible that partitions.

Tony Arnold, IT Security Coordinator, University of Manchester,
IT Services Division, Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL.
T: +44 (0)161 275 6093, F: +44 (0)870 136 1004, M: +44 (0)773 330 0039
E: tony.arnold at, H:

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