Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am trying to install Ubuntu 10.10 on a machine running Windows 7 Ultimate currently. I have few doubts, before I moved forward with installation regarding partitioning (I have lot vista last time without any back up :( ). So I am following the tutorial here

My current machine config is:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate
  • 300 GB (262 GB NTFS Windows + 100 Mb (System files) + 37 GB Unallocated (Used Windows Shrink Tool))
  • I have Ubuntu 10.10 on USB (with USB plug in (which boots it perfectly))

My doubts are: The author has mentioned about making multiple partitions under Ubuntu and windows-

  • Windows 7 system partition(I am guessing its my 262 GB) (sda1)
  • Extended Partition - (sda2)
  • Windows Partition (Windows Files) - (sda5)

Windows data partition (user files);"You can share it in Linux". I definitely want this, if I can at least open my media(pics, videos n all from both OS)

Linux Root, Linux swap, Linux Home

1.Do I really need all this? 2.If I do need these 3 Linux partitions, considering 37GB for Linux, how would you suggested me distribute it?

Your help is highly appreciated.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can use all 37gb for Linux (the installer will recommend a size for the swap partition for you). You do not need to have a seperate /home partition as the installer will preserve your settings and data if you ever need to reinstall.

You can then just mount your Windows partition so you can access your data right from Ubuntu.

Since you've already repartitioned your disk it's probably not worth the effort to undo, but the Wubi installer is designed so you can have an easy to install dual-boot without having to to worry about this kind of thing.

share|improve this answer
The installer probably won't suggest a recommended swap size because of this bug? – JanC Nov 4 '10 at 21:47
Hi Jorge, so we run wubi from windows? And no need to go for /home? – t3ch Nov 4 '10 at 21:49
I just looked at the Wubi installation process. Its so simple. Why do people prefer booting from live CD and then doing it the way described in the tutorial then? Any Pros and Cons? – t3ch Nov 4 '10 at 21:52
There are plenty wubi questions and answers that you can browse here: Feel free to ask more questions (separately so we can answer them one at a time please!) – Jorge Castro Nov 4 '10 at 21:57
@t3ch I don't know why people do the complicated thing on purpose, but at least you asked! – Jorge Castro Nov 4 '10 at 22:00

If I understand you right, your harddisk is looking like this:

1. 262GiB NTFS (Windows Main + your Data)
2. 100MiB NTFS (Windows System Files)
3.  37GiB Unallocated Space

If this is correct, I'd propose the following setup:

1. 262GiB NTFS (Windows Main + your Data)
2. 100MiB NTFS (Windows System Files)
3. Logic Partition Starts here
    4.  8GiB ext4  /        (Linux root Partition)
    5.  2GiB Swap  Swap     (Linux Swap Space)
    6. 27GiB ext4  /home    (Home Partition)

The system partition could even be less, my (full of garbage) system has never grown over 6GiB and if you cleanup from time to time it never will. Important (imo) is the separate home partition, this will allow you to reinstall/upgrade the system as often as you want, without losing a single one of your settings or files.

The reason behind the proposed partition layout in the tutorial, is the assumption of the ideal setup for Windows (which should also have an extra data partition).

share|improve this answer
Hi Bobby, Thanks for the reply. You are right with my configuration. I defnitely want the /home (Would always want to upgrade or re-install Linux without losing everything.). How do I share media between Windows and Linux? Another Partition? – t3ch Nov 4 '10 at 20:42
@t3ch: You can just mount your normal Windows partition to access your files on it. – Bobby Nov 4 '10 at 20:49
@t3ch: upgrade & re-install will preserve your /home even if it's not on a separate partition (see the link in Jorge's answer). – JanC Nov 4 '10 at 21:45
@JanC: But only if you don't format the partition...which beats the idea of a complete reinstall, imho. Or, maybe I misunderstood this somewhere... – Bobby Nov 4 '10 at 21:51
keeping a /home partition isn't a complete reinstall either. :) – JanC Nov 4 '10 at 22:09

You don't really need all of that; that said, it'll make it easier to switch between Linux installs if you use a separate /home partition. You will need a swap partition, will be installed by default. You won't need a separate Windows Data partition; you can access your whole partition from Linux if you so choose. When I was dual booting, I did! If you decide to go with separate root and home partitions, Bobby's got a good partitioning scheme. You can set those up from within the installer environment.

share|improve this answer
Thanks codeMonk. So I need to use Gparted to format the Unallocated space? I am just being over cautious because I lost everything last time. – t3ch Nov 4 '10 at 20:48
No, you shouldn't need to use gparted; but you can if you want to! You should be able to "manually specify partitions" in the installer. Set up the partitions the way you want them, and install. If you're really paranoid about fragging your disk and have an extra USB drive with more space, you can use CloneZilla to back up your entire drive before you do anything. – Nick Pascucci Nov 4 '10 at 20:52
Alright. Thanks codeMonk :) – t3ch Nov 4 '10 at 20:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.