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I just made a fresh install of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and I wasn't sure how to go about all partitioning, and mount points.

The installer wanted each to be mounted in a different place, and so I did it. Now when I open the File system, in / I see 99 GB of free space, but when I change to /home/chris/ directory, there is only 31.7 GB free. How can I access the remaining over 45 GB that there should be?

I tried cd /dev/sda5 , but it warns me that such directory does not exist.

Below is a screenshot of gparted output.

If I entirely made it wrong, please let me know what partitioning should I have done, I can always reinstall again. All your help is really appreciated. Thank you,


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thanks for the edit :) –  Chris S Jul 4 '13 at 15:18

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Most desktop users today don't bother splitting /usr off into a separate partition. In fact, Ubuntu's default setup doesn't split off any separate filesystem partitions (although Ubuntu does create a swap partition). This has the advantage of simplicity, but IMHO it's best to split off /home to its own partition, because that makes it easier to re-install without losing your user settings and files. Beyond that, some users do split off /usr, /tmp, /var, and other partitions; but unless you know what you're doing and how to size these partitions properly, it's best not to do so.

In your case, IMHO you should delete all your Linux partitions (backing up any user data first) and re-install. Make your root (/) partition about 20-30GiB, make a swap partition that's about 1.5-2 times the size of your RAM, and give the rest of your available space to /home. That will put most of your free space where it will be useful to you for storing user files (in /home), while still giving you room for installing new programs (on /), should you decide to do so. Note that this is just my personal recommendation. Other people may give other suggestions. If so, no one of us is right or wrong in any absolute sense. There are a lot of ways to do things in Linux, and partitioning suggestions tend to vary in fairly subtle effects -- or at least, reasonable partitioning suggestions vary subtly. When a partitioning scheme is way off (as yours is, I'm afraid), the effects are more noticeably undesirable.

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Thank you very much, I googled for that, but usually came across specific issues that people faced when knowing what partitions they want, and all the common knowledge I remembered was that in Windows the system and data should best be put on separate partitions, but as I installed it with no intention of using windows now your answer makes me understand what would be the best approach. Thank you very much! –  Chris S Jul 4 '13 at 15:01

You have created 4 separate partitions in your machine

partition 1 - /dev/sd7 -- / contains 107 GB Space

partition 2 - /dev/sda1 -- /home contains 34 GB Space

partition 3 - /dev/sda5 -- /usr contains 43 GB Space

partition 4 - /dev/sda6 -- swap

Use this command in your terminal

df -h

It'll display all the disk usage statistics. You can navigate to the directories using mounting points but you cannot use partition names/device names

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Thanks, that combined with an answer below also helped me understand what I am doing :) –  Chris S Jul 4 '13 at 15:25

your /dev/sda5 mounted to /usr

if you want to change the mount

make some folder to mount...

for example.. you want to mount your sda5 to /home/hdtwo

#mkdir /home/hdtwo
#mount /dev/sda5 /home/hdtwo

if you want to access your sda5 just

#cd /home/hdtwo
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Thanks, that's also really helpful, but I've decided to reinstall and avoid all that mess, following Rod's suggestion. All the best! Chris –  Chris S Jul 4 '13 at 15:24

There are up to 4 primary partitions possible. A swap or an extended partition is handled like a primary partition. So your hard-disk could look like this (if you leave away one swap-partition here in example - there would be space for another primary partition ) :

Just an idea, it would be possible too like this:

/dev/sda1 swap (with about 4.096 GB)

/dev/sda2 swap (with about 4.096 GB)

/dev/sda3 extended-number1 (with totally 100 GB)

/dev/sda4 / (ext4 - root with 60.00 GB)

/dev/sda5 /usr (ext4 - with about 40.00 GB)

/dev/sda6 /home (ext4 - with 78.118 GB)

No rest with "unallocated space" - all partition to work with, are lying within extended partition - so you could access them normally and change between them ?! root with 80 GB or with 60 GB would be big enough for the partition totally with 186.31 GB ?! - I choose here sort of "tandem-swap" - but if you take only one swap, then /home would have totally 82.118 GB - so this would be good-looking in the end !?

Assumed /home partition would lie in outer space of extended partition (gparted refuses this to do) - then it would not be possible to do data-exchange from /home to / or to /usr.

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