This is my compilation of my questions regarding distro switching. To begin with, where are all my programs stored in linux?(like the c:/ drive in windows) If I switch distros (I know my files will be intact but..)will my programs be removed? Do I have to install them once again? As of dual booting: How much space would you recommend allocating for linux?(My use case: I will use linux for everything except ms office and games.) I know the file system of windows is NTFS and linux uses ext4. So will I be able to access my windows files in linux and linux files in windows? Will there be a performance degradation in doing so? If so, how much? How much swap area would you recommend? How do I install Windows alongside Linux? Will windows take over linux or will the vice versa happen? If so, how to prevent it? All in all I love linux but occasionally I want to use windows as well.
In the future, it is advised to stick to a single question and your question may get closed for asking multiple questions but I will go ahead and answer.
Personally, I would recommend using at least half your drive for Ubuntu but that depends on how much you plan on using Windows in the future and how much you plan on using Ubuntu. If you plan on primarily using Ubuntu, you may want more. If you plan on primarily using Windows, you might want to use less. If you plan on using them both equally, you might just want to use half and half.
Applications are not stored in executable
.exe style packages the way they are in Windows. Applications are initially stored in compressed
.deb files but they are expanded and the contents are distributed to different directories during installation. The bin files typically run the application and they are typically stored in
/usr/sbin or other
sbin directories that may exist.
However, you don't have to worry about this stuff because installation and removal of applications are handled through a package manager. Similar to how we use the "play store" on Android operating systems, there is an application package that you will use to search for and install applications.
Alternatively, you can use the command line to install applications using the
apt command. For example, to install
gimp, you would run the command:
sudo apt install gimp
Next, you will often hear that "everything in linux is a file." Also, what you call "folders" are typically referred to as "directories." Typically, your main drive is mounted at
/ instead of
C:\. However, when you have an extra drive, it can be mounted anywhere in the filesystem that another drive is not mounted to.
For example, your main drive is mounted to
/. You can create a new directory to mount a new drive such as
/mount/ and external drives are often automatically mounted to a directory under
/media/. However, you cannot mount a new drive to
/ because you already have a drive mounted to this directory. In other words, unlike windows which has an individual filesystem for each drive, there is one single file system and extra drives are mounted to directories under your main filesystem. So it functions more like a tree with branches and extra drive is like an extra tree that can grow from one of the branches.
As you probably know, partitions function like individual drives. However in windows, if you have two partitions they will be labeled as
D: etc. and the same applies to partitions of any additional drives which may be
On linux type systems, individual drives are labeled
/dev/sdb etc. and individual partitions are labeled
/dev/sda2. These labels are not referred to when referring to your filesystem the way the labels are in Windows but we do use these labels for mounting purposes. So we may say that
/dev/sda1 is mounted to
/ and that
/dev/sda2 is mounted to
Swap space is typically added automatically on newer versions of Ubuntu and it is not recommended to mess with swap.
You can access NTFS from Ubuntu but you most likely cannot access ext4 from Windows. Here are some performance benchmarks provided by Phoronix.
Finally, just to let you know, your "home" directory is located at