I was lucky enough to be given a 40 GB SSD as a Christmas gift; and, given the inherent speed of these drives, decided it would be best used as the / partition; but then it occurred to me that this might not be enough space.

The plan I have in mind is:

40GB SSD - /

1TB HDD - /home

I'm not quite sure about where to put swap, but I'm toying with the idea of keeping that in RAM (if it's feasible), or on the HDD (if RAM isn't feasible).

I guess my question is three-fold:

  1. Is a 40GB SSD practical for use as /?
  2. If it's not practical, is Ubuntu (it'll be 10.10) able to use the extra space on the HDD?
  3. ...as an after-thought: is it possible to separate / out at all? So that /etc/ and /var (for example) are on different drives? (Since /var/www/ is, to me, more closely related to the contents of /home than anything else).

2 Answers 2


I've used a 32gb one in the past and a 40gb SSD as / for some time now. I leave the swap on / and /home on my spinning disk. It's a great way to add some performance for about a hundred bucks.

I created a directory called /var/jorge (on the SSD) to hold things from /home that would benefit an SSD, so I moved and symlinked the following directories:

/home/jorge/.cache -> /var/jorge/.cache
/home/jorge/.config -> /var/jorge/.config
/home/jorge/.gconf -> /var/jorge/.gconf

This way your browser profiles and other things that matter are on the fast SSD. I've been using about ~15GB for my desktop install (with a bunch of -dev packages) and it doesn't seem to get larger than that. To answer your third question, yes, it's always possible to have different disks and partitions and split it up.

Look here for instructions on how to link them up and other directories to consider:

  • Thank you for quick, and fantastic, answer =) I hadn't even considered symlinking from /home/user to any place on /var...great tip =) Commented Dec 26, 2010 at 17:36

I've been using a 60Gb SSD for the past year and I've never gotten less than 23Gb free space, so yes - 40Gb is fine as long as you're not planning on putting lots of video on there. If you have a spinning disk available as well, then choose a manual format in the installer and create :

  • / -> 10Gb
  • Swap -> 4Gb (I have 2gb memory, so I double it for hibernation purposes)
  • rest -> /home

Then I link directories from the spinning disk symbolically into the home directory to get the best of both worlds.

  • 2
    10G may get full during distribution upgrade or if you install lots of programs. Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 8:13

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