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I'd like to see the full How-To on how to use manual partitioning during Ubuntu installation. The existing guides (at least those I found here) cover only automatic part and leave untouched the manual part (or extremely short and contain no pictures).

I'd like to cover such situations:

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I'm constructing my own answer, but if you have one prepared, it's welcome. –  Danatela Sep 9 '13 at 10:16
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you have blank disk

  1. Boot into Ubuntu Installation media. This can be either CD or USB stick.
  2. Start the installation. Proceed to Step 4 and choose "Something else": Step 4 — Something else
  3. You will see your disk as /dev/sda or /dev/mapper/pdc_* (RAID case, * means that your letters are different from ours)

    Click "New Partition Table..." You will see that you have free space on your disk now: free space

  4. (Optional) Create partition for swap. Swap is the partition for keeping unneeded memory pages, like Windows swap. Also it can be used for hibernation.

    • Select free space and click +
    • Set parameters like on the picture below: Swap parameters

    Notice that you should set swap size more than you have physical memory in order to use hibernation. Also, you can place it in the end of disk, but thus it will be slow.

  5. Create partition for / (root fs). This is the filesystem that contains your kernel, boot files, system files, command-line utilities, libraries, system-wide configuration files and logs.

    • Select free space and click +
    • Set parameters like on the picture below: Root fs parameters

    10 – 20 GiB should be enough

  6. Create partition for /home. This is the filesystem for your user's files: documents, images, music and videos. It's much more like Users folder in Windows.

    You can do this just like in step 5 and even choose other fs type (though I recommend use ext4 instead of reiserfs. Simply, the first is much more flexible and the second is quicker)

  7. (Optional) Create separate partitions for /boot, /tmp and /var. Set their size according to your needs:
    • /boot should be 100 – 500 MiB
    • /var and /tmp should be > 5 GiB

After all, you should see your disk like this: Final disk layout

That's all! You can now click Install Now and proceed to the installation.

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Do any of the following help you? (sorry, I don't have enough rep to comment this).

Now suppose that we are going to install Ubuntu 11.04 and at first of the installation process we will meet Allocate drive space screen (the most important step in the installation process). In Allocate drive space screen Select Something else to partition your disk drive manually.

The Next screen shows sda1 partition for Windows Xp and free space, Now we are going to install Ubuntu 11.04 so we need to create / partition and Swap.

Create / Partition:

Select free space and press on Add button.

Ubuntu 11.04 requires about 4.4 GB, So we should type a value more than 4.4 GB. Here in my case I put 6000 MB i.e 6 GB.

From "Use as" I selected Ext4 journalling file system.

From "Mount point" I selected /.

Press Add button to create / partition.

Create Swap:

In the previous screen select free space, and press Add button.

Swap doesn't need much space. In my case I put 500 MB

From "Use as" select Swap area

No need to Mount point.

Click Ok button to create swap.


Now we have /, partition, and swap so we are ready to install.

To start installation process press Install now button.

Manual partitioning on Ubuntu installation

For installing Windows on a separate partition, this should be fairly self explanatory from the "Install Ubuntu alongside them" option, however you may come across the following bug.

Your existing partition (Windows) is on the left, Ubuntu is on the right. That's the standard order when shrinking one partition to create another for dual-booting.

Installing Ubuntu with Windows installed on a partition

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Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. –  Danatela Sep 9 '13 at 12:35
I agree, and I am more than happy to bring in the textual parts of the links, however copying print screens from the attached resources seems somewhat superfluous (and they probably supply the "better" answer). –  Tom Sep 9 '13 at 13:11
You can pay some time and write your own guide. This site encourages such income. –  Danatela Sep 9 '13 at 14:09
And if you write the third part, since I'm working on second, I'll accept it as right answer ;) Of course, it should be the great answer, but I promise that I'll be objective in evaluation. And will correct minor mistakes if they appear (though I prefer that you'll make me free of them). –  Danatela Sep 9 '13 at 14:23
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If you have disk that contains Windows installed

  1. Boot from Ubuntu Installation media.
  2. Unmount any mounted drives if they exist.
  3. Proceed to Step 4. Choose "Something else" and click Continue: Something else You will see partition table. It will look like this: partition table
  4. Free some space for Ubuntu:

    • Select the Windows drive (not the loader!). It should be the biggest drive in the map.
    • Click Change... button. Reduce Windows' partition to 60% of it's size. Notice that you should remain some free space on it (8 – 20 GiB should be enough). windows partition resize

    And ~40 GiB should be kept for Ubuntu. Click OK and Continue to write changes on disk.

  5. Now your partition table should look like this: New partition table
  6. Now, you can proceed with steps 4 – 7 of part about blank installation. Notice that swap will be placed on logical partition. This doesn't matter, in any case it will work perfect.
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