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When i'm looking at my Disk Utility, I have 3 partitions:

  • Filesystem | Partition 1 | 99 MB FAT
  • Filesystem | Partition 2 | 636 GB Ext4
  • Swap | Partition 3 | 3.7 GB Swap

What are the three for? Can I delete any of these?

christopher@christopher-Ubuntu:~$ sudo blkid
[sudo] password for christopher: 
/dev/sda1: UUID="B566-A28C" TYPE="vfat" 
/dev/sda2: UUID="efea80ee-715a-44de-9c74-57b38fc9b25c" TYPE="ext4" 
/dev/sda3: UUID="7b763a32-e4c4-48a1-9ced-1b87ef3d80fd" TYPE="swap" 

christopher@christopher-Ubuntu:~$ fdisk -l
christopher@christopher-Ubuntu:~$ sudo free
             total       used       free     shared    buffers     cached
Mem:       3436848    1256972    2179876          0      65776     577704
-/+ buffers/cache:     613492    2823356
Swap:      3639292          0    3639292

christopher@christopher-Ubuntu:~$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sda2       584G  6.5G  548G   2% /
none            4.0K     0  4.0K   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
udev            1.7G  8.0K  1.7G   1% /dev
tmpfs           336M  1.2M  335M   1% /run
none            5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none            1.7G  288K  1.7G   1% /run/shm
none            100M   40K  100M   1% /run/user
/dev/sda1        93M  2.2M   91M   3% /boot/efi

sudo fdiks -l:

WARNING: GPT (GUID Partition Table) detected on '/dev/sda'! The util fdisk doesn't support GPT. Use GNU Parted.

Disk /dev/sda: 640.1 GB, 640135028736 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 77825 cylinders, total 1250263728 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x16a83e64

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sda1               1  1250263727   625131863+  ee  GPT
Partition 1 does not start on physical sector boundary.
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2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Third partition is Swap:

Swap space in Linux is used when the amount of physical memory (RAM) is full. If the system needs more memory resources and the RAM is full, inactive pages in memory are moved to the swap space. While swap space can help machines with a small amount of RAM, it should not be considered a replacement for more RAM. Swap space is located on hard drives, which have a slower access time than physical memory.

Swap space can be a dedicated swap partition (recommended), a swap file, or a combination of swap partitions and swap files.

Swap should equal 2x physical RAM for up to 2 GB of physical RAM, and then an additional 1x physical RAM for any amount above 2 GB, but never less than 32 MB.

I'm not sure about the 1st partition, but your system(OS) should be installed in 2nd partition that you can't delete.

Yes you can delete/disable/enable/add/remove 3rd partition i,e Swap.

But it is not recommended to not allot any memory space for swap.

Here is the command which you can use to enable/disable swap memeory:

to disable:

sudo swapoff -a

to enable:

sudo swapon -a

Get more info:

sudo swapoff -h 


sudo swapon -h

If you provide some more information by posting the output of these commands then I'll be able to give some more information:

sudo blkid
sudo fdisk -l
sudo free
df -h

Reply if you need further assistance..

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If it is recommended to not allot any memory space for swap, then I should disable it using sudo swapoff -a Thanks for the quick response –  Joel Oct 22 '13 at 1:52
Sorry @Joel! My bad!! I missed not word.. I'm really sorry!! Now I've updated my answer.. :) –  Saurav Kumar Oct 22 '13 at 1:54
I posted the commands you asked for. Thanks –  Joel Oct 22 '13 at 1:58
ok, I just seen your updated answer. Thank you again for the quick response. –  Joel Oct 22 '13 at 2:03
So what did you get from the commands,I think it is clear for your now? The memory you've, used/free , the memory for Swap is allocated: used/free etc. The partitions and the space for each partition. I think you missed to execute fdisk -l with sudo keyword, i,e why it didn't reply any message.. :) try it once by : sudo fdisk -l ;) –  Saurav Kumar Oct 22 '13 at 2:03

Saurav Kumar's answer is correct, but to address your first partition, it looks like an EFI System Partition (ESP). This partition holds boot loaders on computers that use EFI/UEFI firmware. If I'm right, you should NOT delete this partition, since doing so will render the computer unbootable.

Also, your disk uses the GUID Partition Table (GPT). The fdisk utility is useless on GPT disks. (The very latest version has limited GPT support, but you're obviously not using that version.) Instead of fdisk, you should use gdisk or parted on GPT disks.

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