Different people have different views on the number of partitions to have in Linux (or Ubuntu).
If you go with the default, the installation process will create a root partition with mount point
/ and a Swap partition. However, since you want the data to be separate, you should select "Something Else" option during installation. This is the advanced option where you get to delete everything and make your own partitions.
I recommend you make 3 partitions:
- One 30GB / partition format ext4
- One 4GB Swap partition format Linux/Swap
- Rest of the drive as /home partition format ext4
If your computer came with UFEI rather than a BIOS, you may need keep the partition for UFEI.
/ partition will have the OS as well as all the applications you will download and install in the future. If you are a web developer, or do some server related work, those things will be in the
/ partition as well. However, I find 30GB is more than enough for normal desktop use.
The swap partition is getting less important with 4GB or more RAM. A small swap partition keeps the system run smoothly. Another reason one needs a swap partition is hibernation. Hibernation is disabled by default, as it does not work in all laptops. You may later experiment with it and want to have it enabled. Having a swap partition will be useful then.
/home partition will have all the users' data and personal settings. Photos, music, and videos can take up a lot of space. So I recommend giving the rest of your hard drive to
It is possible to do a default installation and then at a later date, shrink the
/ partition and create a separate
/home partition and move all the data there. This gets more difficult as your hard drive gets more full. There is always a chance that something may go wrong while moving data between partitions, and you will lose your data. So it is much safer to create the partitions when there is no data in the new computer.
Hope this helps.