Ubuntu (like all UNIX-like systems) organizes files in a hierarchical tree. At the top of this tree is
/ (the root directory) where everything else resides including the
/home directory is where all users' personal files, folders and settings resides such as music, photos, videos, etc. - everything you see in the Home folder in Nautilus.
Thus, creating a separate partition for
/home will allow you to reinstall Ubuntu and still keep all your personal files and settings safe.
Create a separate
/home partition using Live CD:
- Boot from a LiveCD and select "Try Ubuntu".
Launch GParted from Dash.
In the GParted window, select which partition you want to resize to create space for
Select the unallocated space gained from the above step and click on Partition → New from the menu.
Select the filesystem you want, ext3 or ext4.
Click Apply, Close then Quit.
Now, you need to tell Ubuntu to use the new partition as
gksu gedit /etc/fstab
this will open the
fstab file in gedit, now add the following line:
/dev/sdxy /home ext4 defaults 0 0
where 'sdxy' is the partition you just created, i.e. /dev/sda2
Save and close the file.
Create a separate
/home partition during installation:
- Boot from a LiveCD and select "Install Ubuntu".
- In the next window click on Continue.
- In the "Installation Type" window, select "Something Else" then "Continue.
In the next window, select a free (unallocated) space and click on "Add".
You have to create at least 2 partitions:
In the Create partition window:
- Set the size for the partition
- Select the filesystem (ext3 or ext4)
- Select the mount point, use:
/ for root
/home for home
Once you're done creating partitions, you should have one ext3/ext4 partition with a mount point of
/ and one ext3/ext4 partition with a mount point of
/home. Depending on your situation, you may also have a swap partition.
If you're satisfied with your partition scheme, click Forward to continue with the installation.