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I'm a relatively new Ubuntu user and am about to set up a new computer with Ubuntu 15.10. I've added a 2 TB drive to the unit but I'm unsure what format I should use. I've been using NTFS for all my Windows machines previously but have understood that this is not the best match for Ubuntu. So which format should I use?

The computer will have a 128 GB SSD for the OS and then the 2TB for storing media.

All tips will be appreciated.

share|improve this question
Also type of partitioning. If new system is UEFI you want gpt(GUID), not the old MBR(msdos) partitioning. If dual booting with Windows then with gpt you can only boot with UEFI. Ubuntu can boot with UEFI or BIOS on gpt partitioned drives, but needs correct supporting partitions.… OR: – oldfred Jan 21 at 14:44
In terms of specific filesystems (as you mentioned NTFS), ext4 (on GPT or MBR) is likely what you'll want. (Note that GPT is not always better.) – cat Jan 21 at 17:20

Ext4 file system is recommended for all Linux operating systems because has backwards compatibility with its predecessors, you can mount Ext2 and Ext3 as an Ext4 file system


  • reduces file fragmentation
  • employs delayed allocation which helps with flash memory life as well as fragmentation.
  • Good choice for SSDs and HDD


  • it allows for drive pooling, on the fly snapshots
  • transparent compression
  • online defragmentation
  • it’s not stable in some distros


  • Has great performance for small files such as logs and is suited for databases and email servers.
  • ReiserFS can be dynamically expanded but not shrunk and does not support FS level encryption.


  • Good for a media file server because of constant throughput for large files.
  • Most distributions require separate /boot partition because XFS and GRUB can be unpredictable
  • Performance with small files is not as good.


  • Good performance for both large and small files and because of its low CPU usage is probably best for low powered servers and computers
  • It does not have built in tools for drive pooling
  • It also has fast disk checking compared to Ext but there have been some reports of disk corruption after long term use.


  • Shows great performance in large disk arrays.
  • Supports a lot of advanced features including drive pooling, snapshots, and dynamic disk striping.
  • It may be difficult to install in Linux because it requires FUSE and might not be supported by your distribution.

More info found Here

Pick the file system best for your setup.

GParted supports the following actions on file systems

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Ubuntu's default (and recommended) filesystem is ext4. I always recommend to make the following partitioning scheme for the OS as follows:

  • One ext4 partition (with at least 20 GB) to be the root (/) partition.

Even though it's possible to make separate partitions for /home, /boot, /var and actually any subdirectory inside the root partition, don't do that. It's much easier to deal with a single volume and you won't get "low disk space" problems very soon.

  • One swap partition (formatted as linux-swap). Some people recommend to make its size the double of your RAM memory, but that's not a rule. About 150% of it sould be fine.
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If you have 4Gb of RAM or more, then a swap of equal size will work just fine. – dr01 Jan 21 at 14:48
Yes. And if you have low RAM and a slow HDD, like me, a swap partition can actually be bad. With 1512 MB of RAM I don't have one. With two or three programs open the system renders unusable with a swap partition. – Eduardo Cola Jan 21 at 14:51

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