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What's your recommendation on drive partitioning schemes for a desktop and home server?

I partitioned my drive in three parts. Ubuntu 12.04 options are /, boot, usr, ext2, ext3, ext4, swap, etc. The program would only accept "/" for the first partition. What settings, and why, should I use for partitions 2, 3 or 4?

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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, fossfreedom Jul 22 '12 at 22:33

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First, you must distinguish between partitions (in your example: / and /boot), and file systems. What partitions one uses often very much depends. I'd always recommend placing /home on a separate partition: This way you can even re-format everything else, but still keep all your user data and settings. Also, swap should go to its own partition (not much alternatives but using swap files, which is not that performant). Everything else is quite optional.

So depending on your disk size, partiotioning might look a bit different. Assuming at least a 500GB disk, my recommendation would be as follows:

  1. / with 20..40GB on ext4, primary partition
  2. swap with (depends*) GB, primary partition
  3. extended partition with the remaining space**
  4. /home using the remaining space in the extended partition (as logical partition), ext4

*) Swap: Many different opinions here. I hold that with disk sizes today, it cannot hurt still reserving the size of RAM (or a bit more) for swap, just in case. I'd give it 5..10GB.

**) using an extended partition here gives you more freedom to change things later, resizing this partition, splitting it to allow for some more. Primary partitions are restricted to 4 per disk -- but you can have as many logical partitions as you like. Well, almost...

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