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I got an Acer Aspire 5 with 8 GB RAM and 1 TB hard disk drive, and I need some advice of how to part my memory, today running Fedora and Windows on dual boot. I bought a 250 GB Samsung EVO 970 SSD to install Ubuntu and stop using Fedora (didn't get used to it).

What I have in mind:

  • Keeping at least 500 GB for Windows, because I need to use Adobe programs on it, I am not used to Gimp or Inkscape yet. And run Visual Studio once in a while for little projects. As my laptop is not a powerhouse I am forced to use Windows as a host.
  • The SSD will be used only for Ubuntu, but I would like to use half of the hard disk drive to keep bigger files and such.
  • If possible I'd like to use the hard disk drive as the home partition and easily access it.

Could you help me? I'd love to see real numbers of how would you make you partitions, e.g. 90 GB for root, 150 GB for home, 4 GB for swap, etc.

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    Put Ubuntu on one disk (the whole thing), and Windows on the other disk (the whole thing). Whichever OS you want to be faster, put that one on the SSD. RAM is plentiful enough where swap will almost never be used and it only wastes space to break things up into partitions. The only partition you might want to set up separately would be your /home partition in Ubuntu and that is just for ease of keeping the data there intact in case you want to reinstall Ubuntu or replace with a different distro. Don't over think it.
    – Nmath
    Jul 13 '19 at 18:22
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    All Acer with UEFI need "trust" setting after install. Acer Aspire E15 will not dual boot, many details Trust settings in step 35 askubuntu.com/questions/627416/… Most Acer need UEFI update & if SSD firmware update.
    – oldfred
    Jul 13 '19 at 19:34
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    You may find this answer useful.
    – user68186
    Jul 13 '19 at 22:06
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    @Nmath "RAM is plentiful enough where swap will almost never be used and it only wastes space" - That really depends what you do, it's pretty easy to create a workload that will gobble up that 8G like it's nothing. Also, swap is necessary if you want to do hibernation (which can be pretty useful in a dual-boot setup).
    – marcelm
    Jul 14 '19 at 14:50
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    @marcelm that's why there is still a swap file. Reserving a partition only serves to waste space.
    – Nmath
    Jul 14 '19 at 16:47
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I would suggest the following setup for a single user desktop:

SSD:

  • 1a. Windows. Whole disk -/- 25 GB.
  • 2a. Ubuntu. 25 GB. 20 GB for / and 5 GB for /home/

HDD:

  • 1b. partition ext4 for native Ubuntu. Size ... whatever you can spare from the NTFS.
  • 2b. partition NTFS for both Windows and Ubuntu file sharing.

This setup benefits the most of the speed of the SSD (holds all system related files) and the reliability of a HDD (holds all personal files).

Regarding 2a: 5 GB /home is enough to hold all configurations. There is a file in ./config/ called users-dirs.dirs where you can change where the user directories can be found. Simply point them to 1b. Having a separate /home/ allows for reinstalling / whilst keeping your personal configurations.

Reinstalling can be done by formatting the SSD (the whole disk for all operating systems or just the one you want to reinstall) and mounting the data partitions.

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  • I liked the way you suggested, but may I ask why wouldn't you use all of SSD's space? Jul 14 '19 at 0:49
  • what do you mean? windows has most of the ssd (250 -/- 25 = 225Gb) it is a lot bigger than Ubuntu; . Ubuntu base will be less than 10Gb. The extra 10 is just to be safe.
    – Rinzwind
    Jul 14 '19 at 7:54
  • 5GB for /home is crazy small for a system that is actually used. My desktop's dotfiles (~/.??*) alone are 3GB. Also, while 20GB is more than enough for an Ubuntu base install, it might be pretty small if you go trigger happy on apt-get install.
    – marcelm
    Jul 14 '19 at 14:48
  • I would question the phrasing of the reliability of an HDD. SSDs have progressed to the point that they can be just a reliable as an HDD. Most SSDs can easily last five or more years, by which time many users will have upgraded to a new system or to a new & larger disk.
    – doneal24
    Jul 14 '19 at 17:15
  • 5 years is indeed a lot. but nowhere near the lifespan of a hdd. but I agree somewhat:if the lifespan of a computer out lasts the lifespan of an ssd it is moot. Leaves us with speed ;-)
    – Rinzwind
    Jul 14 '19 at 19:02
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I have 1 TB HDD and 512 GB Samsung 960 Pro SSD.

The 1 TB essentially a brick but all 1,000 GB are allocated to a sing Windows NTFS partition. When Windows games are installed (60GB each) they go to HDD but are copied to SSD when it's time to play them for a few weeks / months.

The SSD has 400 GB for Windows 10 and the remaining 100 GB for two Ubuntu 16.04 partitions (20GB and 45GB), one Ubuntu 18.04 partition 25GB and one 10 GB partition for all four OS's to share.

The shared partition is primarily used to store bash scripts used in both Windows 10 WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) and the three Ubuntu distros. Occasionally screenshots and other graphics are placed there. The shared partition is in NTFS format because Windows 10 can't read/write ext4 Linux partitions. Linux on the other hand can read/write NTFS partitions with no problem (well very few anyway).

I don't believe in separate /boot or /home partitions but I understand many do and I don't fault them for it. I put everything in / so I don't have to micro manage storage allocation between /, /boot and /home.

What gives me peace of mind is every day important files are backed up off-site automatically using cron to cloud. Maybe once a year I'll use gparted to make some partitions larger and some smaller.

If you can set it up such that the HDD is used to store all your projects and the project you are currently working on for a few days/weeks/months is transferred to SSD then I think that is the best.

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