I want to manually partition my disk for install. Installing 12.04 only on this laptop, so I create a /, swap, /boot and /home (all ext4) and then I want to create a ntfs for sharing data between Ubu and my windows VM. But the manual partition tool in the install doesnt have NTFS as a filesystem type in the drop down, only Fat or Fat32.. How come?
I figured this out... The install partition tool doesn't let you create a NTFS logical part. However if you simply leave it as 'free space' after install you can use disk utility to format that free space as NTFS. Job done.
Not sure why the partition tool during install doesnt let you create an NTFS partition though!
If the builtin partitioner doesn't meet your needs, then download gparted. It is available as a live CD so you can boot from it and work on your system disk while it isn't mounted at all. It will not delete/reuse any existing partitions on your disk (e.g.Windows) unless you explicitly tell it to. Of course, you'll have to first shrink an existing partition to free up space for the new partitions you want to create.
When I do a new install, I always start with this and get everything just the way I want it before the actual install. Later, during the install, select manual partitioning and it will let you tell it what goes where. gparted is easy to use (once you get used to it) and lets you preview and edit what it will do before it does it. It handles ntfs easily.
Since moving/resizing existing partitions can take a lot of time (hours), keep editing your gparted tasks until they do exactly what you want the first time, hopefully, resizing/moving each partition just once.
gparted also allows you to change the labels on your partitions. It's a good idea to edit these to make them meaningful like "Windows", "root", "home" so when you need to work on them in the future, you know exactly what's what without a lot of head scratching.
If you like things to look tidy, then, before you start, pull out your calculator app. If you want a partition that's 30 GiB, then enter it's size as 30720 (1024*30 Mib).