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How to partition a disk for installing Ubuntu?

I bought a new laptop with following configuration: 640gb hard disk and 4gb RAM with pre installed windows 7. right now the hard disk partition is dynamic in nature. now I want to multi boot my system with windows 7 and ubuntu,may be A third OS in future. so kindly please suggest me the appropriate partition scheme along with the file system which can work efficiently. roughly I want 3 primary and 1 extended partitions.I am not able to decide about the sizes of each.I need to share my data with both the operating systems.kindly mention in detail about the partition scheme ? thanks in advance

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have you seen this question ? askubuntu.com/questions/64671/… –  viyyer Jan 9 '12 at 16:43
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marked as duplicate by Marco Ceppi Jan 14 '12 at 14:20

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2 Answers

Partitioning is more a art then a science, and there is more then one way to set up your partitions.

I would start by backing up your data. Although rare, if there are problems partitioning data loss can occur.

Second, resize your ntfs partition from within windows. How much space you need for an depends on how much data and how many applications you have installed.

Next you need to understand linux partitioning terminology. Windows uses letters, C:\ and E:. Linux user /dev/sda1 /dev/sda2 ....

Boot a desktop, live CD and start gparted. Make an extended partition. Within the extended partition make several logical partitions:

  1. A shared data partition. NTFS or FAT can be used by both os out of the box. Size depends on quantity of data.

  2. A swap partition. I would advise a swap partition of 4.1 Gb, you can share it across versions of Linux.

  3. As many / (root) partitions as you want for Linux. I would use 15-20 Gb minimum per OS, although you can go as low as 5-10 Gb.

There is a nice guide on gparted here : http://gparted.sourceforge.net/display-doc.php?name=help-manual

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The first thing you need to do is have windows convert the disk back to a basic disk, since only Windows can use dynamic disks. Then if you just install Ubuntu and tell it to install along side windows, it will automatically shrink the windows partition to make room to install Ubuntu. It will give you a slider so you can configure how much space to allocate to each.

Once Ubuntu is installed, it will be able to recognize the windows partition and you can store files there and be able to access them from Windows as well. If you plan on storing most of your files on the Windows partition, then 15-20 gb will be enough for Ubuntu.

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