1

I've already used Ubuntu a little bit on a virtual machine before but now I have to have a real Linux system for a college course so I'm trying to prepare in advance for this course by installing it.

However, as I've been a Windows used thusfar, I still have windows 10 on my main SSD 250GB on the laptop. I will most likely use windows10 for some python programming and games, because all my tools and visual studio are installed on my windows SSD.

So, I decided that since my laptop has a second hard drive bay for another hard drive, I decided to buy a Kingston 960GB SSD for this purpose of having Ubuntu on it.

I haven't done anything yet, because I don't have the proper screw driver to install the big Kingston SSD yet.

some questions about dual booting for my case

  1. I was thinking about having a smaller partition for the Ubuntu system if that is possible, so that I would only have about 500 - 600GB for the Ubuntu system on the Kingston SSD. How do I partition that new Kingston SSD?

  2. I would like to have the rest of the Kingston SSD partition available for extra storage space for my windows system (something like 460- 360GB) if that makes any sense, because my main windows SSD is only 250GB and I would like little bit extra space occasionally on the windows side. How do I make the bigger Kingston partition available for Ubuntu, and the smaller partition available for windows10 if that is possible?

  3. Windows10 is already installed of course on the smaller current 250GB SSD

  4. I have backed up most of my personal files from the Windows 10 SSD of course

  5. The laptop is an Acer Nitro 5. It has 8GB RAM.

  6. I'm a little bit worried if I choose the correct or wrong hard disk in the Ubuntu installation, so I started to make full system backup to external drive at the very least before any Ubuntu installations.

windows 10 disk manager information

  1. How do I properly prepare the bootable USB-stick with the Ubuntu, such that I'm able to dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu, in the future. I think the windows 10 had the UEFI thing for the booting, whatever that means... I have installed raspbian from USB stick before, but that process did not involve dualbooting or installing on separate hard drive, or even partitioning as I recall...

  2. How many partitions and which partitions do I actually need for Ubuntu? I would rather avoid the issue of running out of the space for a specific partition, and having to resize them any time soon.

  3. I dont think that I will be doing any kind of heavy web development like Word Press, so I'm not sure if I will need /var partition. If I need it, can I create it later when I need it?

  4. I will be doing some development with/or otherwise using Yocto Project and embedded Linux, but I'm not sure if I need /var partition for that. I don't know much about that subject but I will know more on next Wednesday!

  • 1
    It seems there is already an answer, @Late347, so read this: askubuntu.com/questions/1127364/… – Marmayogi Mar 24 at 17:01
  • 1
    Also: UEFI/gpt partitioning in Advance: askubuntu.com/questions/743095/… I would include an ESP on HDD, even thought grub will add a folder to ESP on SSD. Be sure to install in UEFI mode, but Acer requires "trust" and UEFI updates and maybe SSD firmware updates. Acer Aspire E15 will not dual boot, many details Trust settings in step 35 askubuntu.com/questions/627416/… – oldfred Mar 24 at 17:05
  • Just to clarify I don't have mechanical hard drives, I only have the default 250gb SSD with win10, and the newly purchased kingstong 960gb SSD (not sure what you meant by HDD) – Late347 Mar 24 at 17:22
0

The default Ubuntu Desktop installation takes under 10 GB. Nowadays Ubuntu doesn't need a separate partition for swap, because uses swap file. It is good idea to have swap equal or bigger of the amount of you RAM. let's say you have 16 GB. Let's add 2 x 10 GB for further package installations, so at this point 50 GB looks pretty enough.

If you haven't used Linux/Ubuntu before, one new thing you must know is that the file system is organised in different way (such things as C:\ doesn't exist). There have one directory called root /, that represents the main partition and all other partitions could be mounted on a preferable location in the tree of root.

I think 250 GB should be okay for all user files. In Ubuntu, the user's home directories will be created as sub directories of the directory /home. On the private computers usually there is only one (main) user and its home directory will be /home/username. So based on my opinion, you need about 300 GB.

To do partitioning, during the installation process of Ubuntu, on the step Installation type you need to choose Something else. Then you will be able to create one partition with mount point / and one with mount point /home. Do not mount any Windows partition at this stage, they will be automatically mounted after the installation.

I would allocate 50 GB for / and 250 GB for /home. But you can choose a different scheme. Here are few premises that can help you with this decision:

  • Except the installation files, almost all other files will be saved in the user's home directory.

  • If you need extra space for media files, such these in Downloads, you can use the Windows (NTFS) partition(s) that you can access without problems from the Ubuntu side. The limitation is that NTFS doesn't support the Linux's permissions, but this is not a problem for the media files. For easy access, you will need to disable the fast boot option of Windows, which is not a big deal. Thus you will be able to share files between Ubuntu and Windows, easy.

  • Other huge things are the games. As I know you can play almost all Steam and Blizzard games on Ubuntu (under wine), so if you playing much games, maybe you will want to allocate more space (to /home). I'm a fan of StarCraftII and, on my poor i5-3rd generation laptop, it is much faster under wine rather than under Windows. But 2-3 games will spent about 50 GB.

  • If you work with some big raw media files (videos, photos), probably you will need more space, but the NTFS partition will serves well also in that case, I think.

  • If you plane to work with databases and some kind of services such as Apache, Nginx, Tomcat, etc., the directory /var will be important to you, and probably you will need to allocate more space to / or even you can create a separate partition for /var. For example an average MediaWoki installation is about 1.5 GB, the initial WordPress installation is about 50 MB, their databases will be 20-50 MB...

  • The last thing that comes to my mind is about the virtual machines - each of them will spent space at least as the minimal installation size of the guest OS.

After the creation of the partitions that you need for Ubuntu, you can leave the rest space as un allocated and create a new NTFS partition, later, under Windows. Or you can create this NTFS partition on the very same step and go forward.

Probably your Windows is installed in UEFI mode, so you will need to do some pre-installation setup - at least you need to disable the secure boot option from the BIOS. Within the comments already was provided an additional useful information according to that point.


I'm not going to disconnect the windows 10 SSD drive C:\ (NTFS) either, because it seems like it might be connected all the way in the innards of the laptop.

It is okay, Ubuntu will install its boot loader - GRUB - on the the boot partition an you will be able to chhose the OS you want to boot after the installation.

I will just install the second SSD into the other hard drive bay and I must be able to choose the correct drive in the Ubuntu installation phase. I'm a little worried about that, because how can I know which drive is which?

When you choose Something else ot the next step you will see two devices - most likely /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. The drive that contains your Windows will have 2 ot 3 partitions: one small EFI boot partition, one big partition with the Windows installation and perhaps one recovery partition. The other drive should be un-partitioned . So you will see something like:

/dev/sda
    /dev/sda1
    /dev/sda2
    /dev/sda3
/dev/sdb

In that case your second device that you must partition is /dev/sdb and it must be partitioned.

I have a feeling that my windows 10 was pre-installed, and it is the UEFI mode thingy (I dont know what that means exactly though)

UEFI is just another type of interaction between software and hardware. As I know in this mode the OS can take control over the BIOS of some settings. The most important is that all OS must be installed in the same mode. So you must not disable EFI/UEFI from BIOS to install Ubuntu, just keep it enabled.

I don't understand why different guides tell to make swap partition for the Ubuntu and make also /var partition, and should I do that or simply make two partitions only, root partition for Ubuntu and /home partition for Ubuntu?

  1. On Ubuntu 18.04, by default, the swap is a file located in you root partition, thus you can easily resize it without re-partitioning the drive. The previous versions of Ubuntu, by default, require a separate partition for swap.

  2. You can use only one partition for your Ubuntu 18.04+ installation. The idea to have, as we say, /home and probably /var on separate partitions is that if you need to reinstall the OS, which usually requires format of the root partition, your user's data will stay untouched.

  • Thanks. Anyways it was a bit overwhelming all the different advices so I don't really know what I should do exactly. I've never done any partitioning before for hard drives. I'm not going to disconnect the windows 10 SSD drive C:\ (NTFS) either, because it seems like it might be connected all the way in the innards of the laptop. I will just install the second SSD into the other hard drive bay and I must be able to choose the correct drive in the Ubuntu installation phase. I'm a little worried about that, because how can I know which drive is which? – Late347 Mar 24 at 23:27
  • I have a feeling that my windows 10 was pre-installed, and it is the UEFI mode thingy (I dont know what that means exactly though) – Late347 Mar 24 at 23:29
  • I don't understand why different guides tell to make swap partition for the Ubuntu and make also /var partition, and should I do that or simply make two partitions only, root partition for Ubuntu and /home partition for Ubuntu? – Late347 Mar 24 at 23:30
  • there is 8GB RAM on this laptop – Late347 Mar 24 at 23:35
  • ok I verified that other people have had that dual boot problem with acer nitro laptops so I think I wil try to prepare for this eventuality when I get to installing phase community.acer.com/en/discussion/543729/… – Late347 Mar 25 at 1:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.