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I am currently running dual-boot Windows 8/Ubuntu 12.10. My current partitioning is shown here:

/dev/sda is 931.51 GB and has a GPT with :

  • 500MB Windows RE Tools (ntfs )
  • 300MB /boot/efi (fat32)
  • 128MB Microsoft Reserved Space
  • 811.67GB Windows 8 Installation (ntfs )
  • 85.71GB Ubuntu Installation (/) (ext4 )
  • 7.89GB Linux Swap
  • 24.33GB SAMSUNG_RECOVERY_2 (ntfs )

/dev/sdb is a 7.46 GB SSD and I have no idea what it is used for. It is marked unknown in GParted, and was default unmounted when I got the computer (with Windows 8 only). I think it may have been the hibernation file, but I've already disabled hibernate.

When I was setting this up, I assumed I would mostly use Windows and didn't know much about Linux. I now use Ubuntu around 95% of the time, restarting into Windows only for games that won't work in Wine. I realize that 8GB is alot of swap, especially as I have 8GB of RAM, but I do a lot of gaming and heavy duty numerical computation (C++ programs dealing with 100million entry arrays, etc.), so that's why.

After reading around on this site and others, I want to repartition into something like the following setup:

  • 300 MB /boot/efi (fat32) (leave as is)
  • 25 GB / (ext4 )
  • 40 GB /usr (ext4 )
  • 10 GB /var (ext4 )
  • 8 GB SWAP
  • 100 GB Windows Installation (ntfs)
  • 25 GB for installing/experimenting with other distros

and the rest for an Ubuntu specific /home partition (ext4) and a /home/data (ext3) partition used by Ubuntu, any other distro I have installed and Windows with ext2fsd. I got the idea that this is better than just a shared /home from here: http://askubuntu.com/a/55233/170770

Sorry for the long leadup. My questions are these (not sure if they should have been separate questions, but figured this was clearer):

  1. Does this setup make sense? Is there anything else I should include?
  2. I have heard that even if you don't touch them, if you repartition at all, recovery images no longer work. Is this correct? If so, I should just free up that space, right? I did make a recovery USB when I first got the computer.
  3. Can I safely do that radical a partitioning change without reinstalling the OS and everything?
  4. Am I correct about what the SSD is likely being used for (the Windows partitioning system just says it's a healthy primary partition). If so, where should I use that extra speed? The obvious place would be /, but even with separate /usr and /var, is 8 GB big enough for / ? Would swap be a good idea there?
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