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I wish to go for dual boot installation with already installed windows 7. Now, should I choose " Install along Side of Windows 7 " or go to advanced and make separate partitions for home, swap ,root etc ? What are the advantages of doing it ?

There are similar topics on askubuntu.com. But here I want a complete answer.

Edit : What is / and /root ? How i can allocate maximum space for software installation ? (70% for software and 30 % for home)

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closed as not a real question by mikewhatever, Jorge Castro, Ringtail, Mitch, Jjed Sep 13 '12 at 14:07

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What is the equivalent of C:/ on Linux ? How linux dir's do work ? –  Curious Apprentice May 26 '12 at 19:59
Plz put this comment as a new question... –  Nirmik May 26 '12 at 20:03
The equivalent of C:/ Would be File System in your File manager. For Linux Directory askubuntu.com/questions/138547/… –  atenz May 26 '12 at 20:07
@tijybba: Thanks for that link. It helped. –  Curious Apprentice May 26 '12 at 20:23

5 Answers 5

I don't know about "root" and home partition, but, from what I read before, I know that the Swap partition should be ~ near 2 times larger, than the amount of RAM in your system. (in my case asuming that I have 3 gigs of RAM, my swap partition is 6 GB)

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You should use swap definitely only if your RAM is below 4gb...in these cases,it should be double...If it is 6gb,you may use it and the swap size should be eqal to your RAM i.e 6gb...and if it is above that,You dont need swap..

About separate home and root I dont have much knowledge..

For the File system thing,you already got the link for the best answer in the comments already...


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There is no such thing as a swap-size police force. It is pretty much up to the user/owner of the system how large she/he chooses to make swap. If you want to hibernate your PC, choose swap slightly larger than the size of your RAM. Making swap more than twice RAM size is useless, your system will be terribly slow by the time it is actually being used. So usually it is in the range 1-2 times RAM. If you can spare the space make it a factor two otherwise make it smaller. Current Linux can even work well without any swap space, but you're required to have enough physical RAM installed –  jippie May 26 '12 at 22:01
@jippie...well i knw there is no policy as such...but i have givn ths suggestion aftr havng instald n maintaind ubuntu on more than 50pcs with all posible ram sizes... :) –  Nirmik May 27 '12 at 6:03

Here, I would like to share my personal experience.

I was having more than 200 MB of important data on my hard-disk with Ubuntu installed on it and with single partition table. I formatted my hard disk due to some serious software problems, and couldn't save the data. From that time, I used to create a separate partition for /Home and / and from then, whenever I have to format my system I only format the / partition.

Each time saving my important data...

Its up to you whether u want to create separate partitions or not. But, as per security reasons, better to create separate partitions.

Hope this helps.

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@ Ravi : Is / the directory which contains all the softwares we Install ? Is it equivalent of "Program Files" and "Windows" under C:/ on Windows ? –  Curious Apprentice May 26 '12 at 20:32
/ on Linux is similar to `C:` on Windows. The file structure of a Unix'like OS is not entirely comparable to Windows. Refer to the FHS: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filesystem_Hierarchy_Standard –  jippie May 26 '12 at 21:48

While Windows tends to use a central directory C:\Program Files\ for keeping installed softwares, Linux use separate directories for keeping software executables, their configuration files and log files.

/usr is the place where your softwares will reside if you install them as superuser, i.e. from software centre. Otherwise you can install them in /home/<your user name> or anywhere you have write access to. The configuration files will reside generally in /etc and the for log files it's /var.

If you are likely to install a lot of softwares then give /usr and /home (or any other partition where you would like to install) bigger size.

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I have seen people advise for and against a separate /home partition. Personally, I've used both, and I quit using a separate /home, but I have a separate partition that contains Music, Documents, Videos, Downloads, etc. I then either link to them in /home, or mount them in the usual places. This leaves all the configuration files in /home, which is where I prefer to have them, as they can't necessarily be shared with other installs.

If you're not sure, then go with the simple method; it is easy to change in the future if you find a reason to do so.

As for C:/ on Linux, it's simply "/", or "root". There's not really any such thing as drive designators, per se. You have drives and partitions, but they are not used in the working filesystem; they're used by commands such as "mount" to mount onto the one filesystem (/). So, for example, if you have a second drive, it would be accessed as "/dev/sdb", but cannot be read unless it is mounted someplace, such as "/mnt/drive2", using the mount command, and specifying what to mount, where to mount it, and what type of filesystem it is (ie, NTFS, ext4, etc).

Check out this link for more info on the filesystem.

Edit: suggested strategies for partitioning

I think 10 GB is more than enough for the initial install, if you want to separate your data, which is a good idea. I don't have a Windows installation, so my strategy of having a data partition may not be ideal for you. I usually allocate several 20 GB partitions on my 1 TB drive for present and future installs/experiments, but I never even get 10 GB. I don't think you need only 30% for data, unless all you data is text, and no pictures, music, or videos.

My strategy would be to use the remaining 45 GB for a data partition, which can be easily mounted using /etc/fstab. Like I said, this would have my Documents, Pictures, Downloads, etc. I usually just delete the original ones in my home directory, and immediately create symbolic links to the ones in the data partition. If you do this without logging out in between, it will appear the same, with the same icons. If you want this to be accessible to Windows, then it should be formatted as NTFS or FAT32.

Another strategy would be to mount the Windows partition, and then link to or mount the Windows equivalent directories for Pictures, Documents, etc, and simply share those folders for both Linux and windows. The only danger is that if windows is your main system, you run the risk of somehow messing it up if you make a bad mistake with Linux. But it's nice if you have all your data in one place.

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@ Marty: I have 55 GB free space for Ubuntu 12.04 Installation. How you suggest me to divide it ? Thanks for the Link. –  Curious Apprentice May 26 '12 at 20:18
@CuriousApprentice...If you are a new user,I would suggest you a single partition for home and root and the swap thing according to my answer above –  Nirmik May 26 '12 at 20:21
I will be installing lots of softwares and for that I need to know which folder I need to give max space. –  Curious Apprentice May 26 '12 at 20:30
@CuriousApprentice: I will add to my answer to make formatting easier. –  Marty Fried May 26 '12 at 23:22

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