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I have a 40 gig drive and a 200 gig drive. Which one should I install Ubuntu on, and which one should I use for my normal files ie: music, documents, etc...

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5 Answers

I am using it on a 40GB partition and I have a lot of free space (29GB). So according to me that 40GB drive would be enough. In my oppinion the 40GB drive would be enough for the OS. And you can use your 200 GB for other O.S., music, video etc. because if you install windows or any other O.S. in that, Using partition than your partition except the Other O.S. will be accessible in Ubuntu.

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Memory access is measured in nanoseconds (ns) while drive access is measured in milliseconds (ms), several orders of magnitude slower. This means that the operating system (which includes /swap) should be on the fastest drives you have. I used 'drives' rather than 'drive' because when / and /swap are in separate partitions on the same drive, there are a lot of ms lost when the physical drive heads have to move back and forth between the partitions (latency). Separate drives can be read and written simultaneously, two partitions on one drive cannot, meaning that partitioned drives are 'thrashed' more, and consequently have much shorter mean-time-between-failures (mtbf) times.

Your data should be kept on a separate physical drive as well, to avoid loss if the system drives become corrupted or damaged (and the system drives will always fail sooner). By data, I mean the actual data sub-dirs of home, Download, Documents, etc. as the .hidden sub-dirs of home often contain program files that benefit from the fastest drive access available.

So, to have a safer system, get as much RAM as you can afford (reducing /swap activity), and have at least three hard drives. Anything less, especially computers with only one hard drive, are "resource-constrained". If you have to use only two drives, put the /swap and data partitions on the slower of the two.

Finally, seriously consider getting a solid-state drive (SDD) for your system drive. They are faster and much more durable than hard drives although more expensive per gig, but that's fine as the OS usually takes up much less storage than data.

Hope this helps.

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I would pick the fastest for the Operating System.

My guess is that your 200 gig drive is newer and may be faster. You can check the specifications.

Also you can open Disk Utility (palimpsest) to do a benchmark.

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Finally, if the 200 gig is really the faster, I would consider using it for both System and Home, and leave the 40 gig for backup.

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At my dormitory environment I usually create a 10 GB partiton for /, 1 GB for swap and I use the rest for the /home partition. In your case I would suggest the following:

  • Use the fastest hdd for / and swap (I guess your 200 GB is a SATA one). Create the /home also there.
  • Use the other hdd for a different mount like /data or something like that.
  • If both HDD are on the same connection (IDE or SATA), then use the smaller one as /, swap and /home
  • I use ext4 for / and xfs for /home and /data
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Depending on your needs. I am using it on a 30GB partition and I have a lot of free space (19GB). So for me that 40GB drive would be enough. In my oppinion the 40GB drive would be enough for the OS.

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