What is the rationale behind having a seperate partition for home folder?

I get it for SWAP space but I prefer to use all of my disk size for root(/) except SWAP and boot.

This way I can utilize all disk space no matter what folder my programs are installed.

But seeing that installer is suggesting a different partition makes me think why?

1 Answer 1


Whether to have the /home directory on a different Partition or not, is totally up to You.
However, it is good practice to separate user data from System Data.

Pros of Partition Separation:

  • Safety: assuming You accidentally corrupted the system (Panic),
    You can safely reinstall the OS, while keeping the /home partition and its data intact.
  • You can literally redirect the /home partition to point to a (New) separate storage device.
  • Users downloading or saving big files cannot jam the system due to exhausting the Storage Space.
  • Partial Encryption: You can encrypt one partition with a passphrase,
    while leaving the other one accessible.

Cons of Partition Separation

  • slight read-write speed reduction. (negligible)
  • running out of memory on one partition yet the storage device is not full.
    This often means manually moving things from one partition the other.

Side Note:

In case You dislike Physical / Manual Partitioning of the Storage Device, You can use a Logical Volume Manager (LVM) approach instead, which provides dynamic resizing of the Partitions when the need arises.

  • Agree except for 1 thing: /home is not user data. /home/$USER/{directories}/ is user data ( and it is adjustable by editing .config/user-dirs.dir. /home should be on the bootable disk. If the system does not spin the 2nd disk up in time it might have unwanted results so /home with config can be a partition but should be on the same disk as /.
    – Rinzwind
    Mar 19, 2020 at 15:55
  • @Rinzwind Thanks A Lot for the clarification. In some cases, (e.g hosting services), the ability to expand a storage device often comes in handy. With /home directory on it's own partition, it is possible to shift it to a totally separate (bigger) storage device, by editing the UUIDs in /etc/fstab file to specify mandatory devices during booting, and those that can be mounted later on. When the separate /home partition is, lets say commented out, the default behavior will be to include it as part of the / partition.
    – ByronTaaka
    Mar 19, 2020 at 17:02

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