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This is my first time confronting partitioning for this purpose, and I use ubuntu only.. However...

I just recently broke my ubuntu by playing around with firefox from the terminal.. Think I was playing with firefox in root, learning commands and such, and that did it (ubuntu would load but would no longer offer graphical program selection bars like Unity or any of my Firefox addon settings... just a blank desktop with my home directory still operational).. It's no biggie though cause I'd backed everything previously since I was already in the process of migrating away anyway; with two brand new SSD's at 128gigs each :) . I'd been using two 32gigs SSD's in the previous (RAID 0, cause it's so faaaaaaassst) configuration.. However this made me worry about being able to repair something like this should it not happen at such a fortunate time, again..

So I looked into file system partitioning and it looks a great for this.. There were also mismatched file system issues I had from the first Ubuntu install (first drive was Ext4, other Fat32, raid volume undefined, which caused GRUB interference) but it worked fine regardless and ubuntu saw both disks as one volume.. But now, both brand new disks and the entire raid volume are are reset in Gparted to Ext4 filesystems.. So it seems I could use some suggestions on how to best break down 250 gigs of space to seperate the Operating System files from where the data I generate can go, and how I can get the best set up for this?

Do you create one primary partition using ONLY(?) the ubuntu installer? How does seperating the system files and data files into partitions actually function as one operating system (cause I think of partitioning as creating two seperate operating systems to run separately from one disk)? Do you create one primary partition with the /boot on it and logical partitions all the way down to seperate the rest and decide on how much space goes to which to make it work as one operating system? Is there a best space management system that could boost performance or something else I can do for performance??

AND WHAT ABOUT ENCRYPTION??? Can I Encrypt data correctly doing this and can I do it in the Ubuntu Installer or do I have to do something else to encrypt all the data the system generates?

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1 Answer 1

Consider doing your tests in a virtual machine. You can do everything in a VM, even as root, and the host system will not be touched. And you can revert your changes to a safer state with a click.

I've never used RAID, so I'll answer those questions that do not involve RAID.

"Suggestions on how to best break down 250 gigs of space to seperate the Operating System files from where the data I generate can go?"

Nothing can protect the data from a crazy superuser, except physically unplugging the disk that contains the data.

For performance reasons, consider having /usr, /home and swap on 3 different disks (attached to different disk controllers), to parallelize I/O accesses. But I don't think you'll see a noticeable improvement, because you have SSDs.

"Do you create one primary partition using only the ubuntu installer?"

You can create partitions at any time, using Gparted or another suitable tool. Again, a virtual machine provides the perfect environment where you can become confident with partitioning.

"How does seperating the system files and data files into partitions actually function as one operating system?" A partition can be assigned any directory under the root directory /. The partitions are either mounted automatically according to /etc/fstab, or manually with mount/umount. When you read/write to a file, the system looks for the partition it's into, and does I/O to that partition.

The installed applications are typically under /usr and /opt, which can be mounted from anywhere, like any other directory.

You can even share a partition between two Linux distros, if you edit their fstab files accordingly.

"Can I Encrypt data correctly doing this and can I do it in the Ubuntu Installer or do I have to do something else to encrypt all the data the system generates?"

You can either choose the option in the Ubuntu installer, or do it afterwards, configuring eCryptFS or LUKS.

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