I've been trying to install Ubuntu on some unallocated space, but I'm getting confused with the manual partition setup. I didn't want to try the other options for it suggested that everything on my drive would be erased (but I might be wrong)

I have an old(ish) laptop with a 60GB hard-drive. Theres a Windows 7 partition of 30GB, followed by 20GB of unallocated space, then HP's Windows recovery partition of under 10GB.

Do I need to format the empty space in windows first? What's the recommended method in this case?


You do not need to format the unallocated space. You can do this during the installation of Ubuntu.

From what you mention, you have two partitions already (Win, Recovery), and you need two more partitions, the Linux partition and the swap partition. For the swap partition, make it to be twice your RAM (it's a rule of thumb) and the rest goes to the Linux partition. Therefore, create the swap partition first, then allocate what is left to the Linux partition.

Also read at https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation for generic help of the process.

  • You beat me to it :) – Adam Thompson Jan 31 '11 at 23:29
  • great thanks, the thing that I was unsure about was the whole requiring more than one partition thing. I'm looking to upgrade my RAM soon, can the size of the swap partition be increased later? – Adam-E Jan 31 '11 at 23:33
  • Do a search on AskUbuntu.com for swap partition. There are several discussions. The nutshell is that the swap partition is used 1) for hibernation, so it should be at least as much as your RAM plus some more and 2) to swap running applications that are inactive. It's better to allocate the swap now so that you do not resize latter. – user4124 Feb 1 '11 at 0:20

You can format it from within the Ubuntu installer. There will be an option to do manual partitioning. Just select the unallocated space. You will need to create 2 partitions within that space, one swap partition and one partition to house Ubuntu itself. I would take a look at the Ubuntu partitioning guide: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/HowtoPartition

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