Novice query: Installation Help

Liam Proven lproven at
Tue Oct 1 22:43:45 UTC 2013

On 1 October 2013 19:17, PM <worldwithoutfences at> wrote:
> I have downloaded the Ubuntu LTS 12.04.3 and want to install in the whole of
> the space of my PC. Please let me know about how much partition should I
> allocate for each partition or should I go with the default one, means
> letting Ubuntu itself decide what to do (since I have to use whole of the
> disk).

You mean that you will not be dual-booting with Windows or anything
else? OK, that makes life easier.

> The details are as follows:
> RAM size: 2 GB
> Hard-disk size: 230 GB actually but they say it is 250 GB

Sadly different tools use different sizes.

Disk vendors like to use decimal units; this lets them pretend that 1
GB = 1,000,000 bytes, because that makes their products look bigger.

Computers use binary arithmetic and thus units are in binary, in
powers of 2. Here, a gigabyte means 1,048,576 bytes. (Sometimes you
will see KiB and MiB and GiB - the "i" indicates we're talking about
binary units, not decimal ones.)

Ubuntu is quite small. 16GB is a round number in binary and is a lot
of space for software.

With 2GB of RAM, you don't really need any swap space at all. If you
want to be able to use hibernation, though, you'll need some - at
least as much as you have RAM. If you want thus, 2GB of swap should be

> Further, if I should go with LVM or not? If it is really useful, I would use
> it but if I have to go with it, how to use it during the installation?

No, you don't really need it. It is helpful on servers but overkill on
an ordinary PC or workstation.

I'd suggest:

16GB primary, set as / (that means the root filesystem, in other
words, your boot drive)

That leaves 214GB. Make an extended partition using all this space.

In that, create a 212GB partition for /home.

Format both these as ext4.

Then use the rest of the space in your extended partition for 2GB of
swap. This has its own special format.

Some have suggested 12GB - that is enough, but it's not a round number
in binary, which is why I suggest 16 -- no other reason.

Others have suggested 30GB - that is way too much. You will waste
about 90% of the space.

The old guideline for swap was 2 x RAM but that is over-generous these days.

If the machine is a desktop and you won't be using hibernation, then
if it was me, I would go without a swap partition and install a
program called "swapspace" when I was done. This creates a swap *file*
on your boot drive just when needed, like Windows and Mac OS X use.
This allows a simpler disk layout. But with 2GB of RAM, it should
seldom be needed.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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