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 new to Ubuntu and Linux in general. I was wondering if anyone can help me or can point me in the right direction on how to do the following:

1.) Customize a fresh clean install of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on to my hard drive.

2.) I have 2x120gig ssd hard drives, I want one of those hard drives to be partitioned into SDA1 where the core Ubuntu files will be located (about 10 gigs) and then SDA2 where some 12 gigs will be dedicated to swapping and the rest would utilities like video players, system tools and such

3.) The other hard drive will be dedicated to person files and programs (ie gaming). I am not sure if I should also create a swap partition for this drive, any suggestions?

Everytime I try to re-install and partition according to the above failed because of a "Missing root file" or something to that effect, so far I had no luck understanding all the mount points either.

If anyone can help me do this, I will be extremely thrilled!

share|improve this question
I'm not sure if I understand what you mean that you want 12 gigs "dedicated to swapping". Most modern PCs rarely use the swap partition if they have an appropriate amount of RAM, as Linux tends to be very efficient with memory management. – Zoot Sep 28 '12 at 15:37

Linux is not like windows. Most programs are installed in different directories under / known as root. It would be hard to separate out these files. When installing Linux on any computer I have one which is / and one small partition as swap. The other partition I make /home. you can read more about partitioning here Linux Tips Disk Partitioning

When your installing you can use the gparted program to partition your drive the way you like. You can do what I described or you can use the suggestion in the linux tips on Disk partitioning. I would recommend watching what drive grub will be on it should be on the root drive. I made the mistake of not watching and put it on the other drive and couldn't boot. I could have fixed it I just reinstalled.

The nice thing about have /home on another partition is you can installed something like kubuntu and keep /home. All your files will still be there.

share|improve this answer
THanks for the link, that helped alot. Now I know how to do my first primary ssd drive, my question is how could I partition my second ssd drive? As of right now, I am unable to "see" both my drives in ubuntu desktop. – user93179 Sep 28 '12 at 13:41
@user93179 I use gparted. You can add it using the software center or use command line "sudo apt-get install gparted" without the ",s of course. Select your second drive and then you can make partition it in any many in and format it in a lot of file types. As far as seeing the hard dirves you can use dmesg in command line and search to see if the kernel even see's them. Or if you install gparted it might see them automatically. Hope this helps. – Timothy Sep 28 '12 at 14:42
@user93179 I didn't see the post below. So you have it gparted installed. It should see the drives. The unknow is an empty partition. If you see nothing under mount points then you can either delete it and resize the other partition to fill it. Since it does sound like a new install. You could always leave it for latter too. – Timothy Sep 28 '12 at 15:08
If you've already installed Linux and your second drive isn't assigned to a system mount point like /home or /usr, you could use PySDM, also known as Storage Device Manager. See this question for more info on that:… – Zoot Sep 28 '12 at 15:32

The missing root file means you have not set a "/" mount point. When I get back to my computer I will try to compile a tutorial for you (with images).

share|improve this answer
when I do a normal install then use Gparted, I see three partitions in my primary sda drive. One of them is /dev/sda3 and the File System is "unknown" but it also uses 7.96 gigs of space. What is that for? – user93179 Sep 28 '12 at 13:44
Show me the output of sudo fdisk -l | grep /dev/sda. Cannot do tutorial (only got Lubuntu). – spudowiar Sep 29 '12 at 10:03

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.