Paritions to install Ubuntu

Kent Borg kentborg at
Sat Sep 30 19:38:05 UTC 2006

Swap size: If you have a notebook and want to hybernate, make sure
your swap is big enough.  My RAM is 1 GB and my swap is just a bit
smaller; if Firefox is up to its usual "RAM is free!  Cache
everything!"-antics, I frequently cannot hybernate until I close a
bunch of stuff.  Next I rebuild the thing I will probably do 1.5 GB
swap.  Maybe more.  (If not on a notebook, 1GB seems a good general
purpose swap size these days.)

/ size: Doesn't have to be too horribly big.  And disks are getting
big enough that I like to have *two* /-partitions.  I install into one
and I copy that over to the other /-partition--it requires some
messing with grub and fstab, but then I can boot either.  Now, when
ever I am about to do anything that scares me, I copy my current
working / to the alternate, do the dangerous install or update, and if
anything goes wrong I can revert by simply booting from the backup.

/home: Good to have a /home that works with either /-partition.

/boot: Nice to have a single /boot for controlling all of my booting
here and there.  Also (I learned this from Gentoo), by *not* mounting
/boot on the running machine you are less likely to break it and leave
yourself with a machine that won't boot at all.  However, apt won't
know about this and will update your kernels in the /boot it can see
(the mount point) and you will have to copy those files over to your
real /boot.  Might be too confusing...

/backup partition: Disks are big enough that one can backup from a
disk onto itself, and don't leave this partition mounted.  This won't
save you from the disk itself dying, but it can save you from some
stupid errors you commit late at night.

LVM: I need to wrap my head around how one lives with LVM.  I suspect
it completely changes my ping-ponging between two /-partitions.  I
would like to find a nice article describing practical living with
LVM.  (Not all the stuff one *can* do, but what one sensibly *should*

Xen: I also want to mess with virtual machines, and they would use
LVM--but now I am getting too far afield and will shut up.


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