Currently I am running a Windows 7 / Ubuntu12.04 dual boot. But I would like to add some other linux distros like Arch and Slackware.

  • Windows will be used only for gaming
  • Ubuntu is for productivity
  • Arch or Slackware only for experimenting and learning more about linux

I want to have music and movies in one central place that can be accessed from Windows AND Ubuntu. I am going to used emacs and vim in both linux systems it would be nice if there was some way to share their configuration files.

For all that I have a single 500GB HDD available and I'd like to have some advice how to partition it. After doing some research I think something like the following is needed:

  • Primary (sda1): NTFS Windows (80-100GB - games eat up so much space these days)
  • Primary (sda2): /boot (200MB - GRUB)
  • Logical:
    • (sda3): ext4 / Ubuntu (25-30GB - some space to bloat up)
    • (sda4): ext4 / arch (10 GB)
    • (sda5): ext4 /home (some size GB - daily work, [sensitive] documents, projects and configuration files)
    • (sda6): NTFS Data partition (remaining space - mostly media files)
    • (sda7): swap (4GB = RAM size)

Another thing I thought about are seperate partitions for /root and /etc? It's the same machine and I am going to need the same settings for networks, administrative tasks and going to used mostly the same bash scripts and aliases, right?

  1. Are there special things regarding the order of the partitions?
  2. What file system needs /boot to be?
  3. Any other things to consider?

oh and by the way: No, I do not want to run Arch/Slackware in a VM since I want to feel the speed and estethic that comes with living in a terminal-only world. This OS will most likely never see a Desktop environment :)

  1. You want the swap partition to be as close to the beginning of the drive as possible for performance, on hard disks.

  2. EXT4 is fine. It can sometimes make it easier with finnicky GRUB configurations if /boot is primary and the partition table isn't changed anywhere before it.

  3. You shouldn't share /root and /etc as if you will be experimenting with Arch, you may be messing up configuration. Also, during the Arch installation, the installer may write to said partitions with its own config in a way that could restrain or confuse Ubuntu.

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