I know this is probably a question this is asked over and over again but I'm not finding anything close to an answer that I need. I am installing Ubuntu 13.04 on my Lenovo x130e netbook . It has been a long time since I have used Ubuntu (Hardy Heron) so I'm not exactly sure on how to go about this. Here's my system specs:

CPU: AMD e450 apu dual 1.65Ghz RAM: 8Gb DDR3 Corsair Vengence 1066mhz SSD: Crucial M4 128Gb SSD Vid: Radeon HD6320 384Mb

Now here's my questions:

  1. Since I am running a single SSD and have plenty of RAM, should I use a swap file? If so how large of a swap?

  2. I am going to use .ext4 filesystem but is there any specific way I should partition my drive? (1 partition for /home, another for boot, etc...)

  3. I am planning to upgrade to 13.10 when it releases, is there anything I should keep in mind until then?

I have never really used a forum before so I figured that this would be the best time to start. I have decided that I am tired of having to deal with Microsoft and want to break free of their bloated software. I have read through your forums many times before and found that this is probably the best place to begin the process of reacquainting myself with Ubuntu. Thanks for your time!


DON'T use a swap partition or file. Because of regular writes to swap, your SSD will wear faster. Make one big partition for / (format it to ext4,) so no separate partitions for /home/ or /boot/, because there is no need for and it will only make things more complicated. After installation, edit /etc/fstab, and change the only line (because you don't have other drives) to: UUID=x-x-x-x-x / ext4 errors=remount-ro,noatime,discard 0 1

(I own a m4 128 GB drive myself, with one partition "/" of 80 GB for Ubuntu.)

  • Why not seperate partitions for home and root? Just curious. On an hdd I would do 3 partitions: 1 for root, 1 for swap and 1 for home. Is there any performance increase/decrease to making different partitions like that? I am also going to upgrade to 13.10 when it releases which is why I felt I needed seperate partitions. – G1ng3r5napz May 1 '13 at 19:15
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    Then you won't have problems when one of your partitions is full. If there is no need to split your drive, why would you? – R110 May 1 '13 at 19:41
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    -1 To wear out a 10,000 cycles 128GB SSD, you'd have to write 20GB a day, per 175 years Also, in no way having separated /home and /boot makes things more complicated for the Ubuntu user. – ignis May 1 '13 at 19:56
  • To wear out a 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, you'd have to write 40 GB a day, FOR 5 DAYS. If you have a swap partition, you write a lot to a small space, so that part of the SSD will wear faster, especially if you let your laptop hibernate often. Why would you have a separate /home and /boot? I understand you could put /home on a separate drive for big files, but G1ng3r5napz hasn't got one in his laptop. /home on the same SSD, but on a different partition makes no sense. – R110 May 4 '13 at 11:15
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    No separate partitions for home and root? Good luck switching to another OS/distro (or just reinstalling). – meandre Nov 1 '17 at 11:15

I think your idea to partition the SSD into a smaller root and larger home and use the HDD for large data files (movies, backups) is perfect. At least that is exactly my setup.

Clearly, /root has to be on the SSD (because this is where the SSD will be most advantageous), and clearly, the root partition does not need much space. Actually, 20 Gb is still an overkill -- I have 15Gb and still over 3Gb free with tons of software installed.

Also, if you plan for a swap partition, put in on the SSD.

/home makes perfect sense on the SSD, as there are tons of user-specific configuration files that need to be accessed quickly.

Finally, if you run any kind of databases you might consider creating a database partition on the SSD. SSD are not much faster than HDD when it comes to data transfer rates, but they beat HDD by order of magnitude in terms of access time -- and this is often the limiting factor in databases.

As for the mount point: you can make your HDD mount for example to /data, and then create symbolic links in your /home that point to a particular directories on the /data:

ln -s /data/Videos ~/Videos/

  • The above answer does not exactly answer my question. I only have an SSD, no HDD. Thanks for the attempt though. :) – G1ng3r5napz May 1 '13 at 18:37
  • You could use fstab instead of a symlink and bind the folder, that way the folder icons don't change – GM-Script-Writer-62850 May 1 '13 at 18:42
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    Don't put swap on SSD, it will make your SSD last shorter. – R110 May 1 '13 at 18:51
  • @Scott Hunt If I used this forum more I would give you -1 for not know what you are talking about. You mean / not /root. Even that is a simplistic answer. The part about him not having a second drive is also missed but that was already mentioned. – Codeguy007 Jul 1 '15 at 20:44

If you are using a HDD and a SSD, I made a video tutorial for it
since that looks like a laptop APU, i assume you are using a laptop so you probably only have 1 disk drive you could use one of these to replace the dvd drive like I did
if you dont really need 128gb of storage i suggest leaving the extra space at the end of the drive unallocated so you will have more over provisioning, which makes write speeds higher and makes the drive last longer (at least for sandforce based SSDs), since it is your only drive you should probably run trim via cron for better performance
Here is a good guide to follow

  • Thanks! Sadly, this machine is a netbook so there is not an optical drive or spare bay. How much space would you recommend for provisioning? I've heard 10% is a good number but some say up to 25%. – G1ng3r5napz May 1 '13 at 18:43
  • 7% is typical for consumer SSDs, some enterprise drives have 28% OP; if the drive is not new and you want more OP use partedmagic and do a internal secure erase of the drive, or you cant increase the OP; i just set my desktop so it has ~37.5% OP, i will never use over 20GB for root, space is not a issue for me; some netbooks have a msata port, so you could get a msata ssd and use a hdd also, assuming you can return your 2.5" ssd. Be sure it is a msata and not a pci-e slot – GM-Script-Writer-62850 May 1 '13 at 18:50
  • I think for now I am just going to stick with the single SSD setup. Should I even bother with swap or will not having it mess with the OS? – G1ng3r5napz May 1 '13 at 18:57
  • No swap, unless you have a HDD to put it on; you will not be able to use hibernate without swap, just use suspend it is faster anyway; swap is only useful if you don't have much ram; if you dont specify a size of a tmpfs ram disk in fstab it defaults to 50% ram – GM-Script-Writer-62850 May 1 '13 at 19:00
  • There's no point in having a lot of RAM, if you're going to fill it with unused initilization pages. It reduces space for the buffer/cache, i.e. at the expense of I/O performance. Swap stores those memory pages that are written and read once, and then never reused. Even with swap enabled, you can make the kernel swap less by changing the "swappiness". – ignis May 1 '13 at 20:05

I would only make 1 partition. / that it. Reason being, say you make a /home and a 15+ GB / partition, but only use 7-8GB of that, you have 7-8GB just sitting there. There is no benefit to having or not having multiple partitions.

Concerning swap, if you're not doing any RAM intensive stuff, i.e. building Android, 4GB RAM is plenty, no need for swap. If you are doing RAM intensive stuff, with only 4GB RAM I would suggest at least 2GB swap. As was said in previous posts, swap on SSD will degrade the drive at a faster rate, although that amount is negligible. Most respectable "experts" say that a SSD should outlive your machine.

  • Just one thing for Swap, if you want to use the hibernate function (which you probably use often on a laptop) you need a swap area at least as big as your RAM since that's where Linux stores the system state. – Gladen Jun 8 '14 at 19:53
  • @Gladen hibernate is disabled in most current distros. And from what I've read, only servers really benefit from hibernate. – mikeyinid Jun 8 '14 at 20:33
  • I don't see why a server would ever benefit from hibernation, while I use it on my notebook all the time. – Marc Jun 8 '14 at 22:39
  • @mikeyinid Sleep, hibernate.. I always seem to confuse the two. :P Anyway, I mean the one that's not disabled by default. – Gladen Jun 10 '14 at 20:29

Since these answers are mostly simplistic, I will give some tips. I know this question is a couple years old but these are not good answers.

1) For a simple home system, just use the Ubuntu defaults. They should be good.

2) Depending your drive, you may want to put frequently written to partitions (swap, /var/log /tmp) on a HDD to extend your SSD but that will cost you performance if you do that. With a laptop though that is usually not an option.

3) The rule of thumb is that you make swap of at least the size of you RAM. If you are not using all your ram, you should be able to configure Linux to only use swap if run out of memory to avoid locking the system or when suspending to disk (sleep, etc).

4) Modern Reasons for partitioning:

  • You are dual booting

  • You need swap (some systems with ample ram can actually live without swap)

  • You don't want tmp files, logs or user files fill up you whole disk so some people use separate mount points for /tmp, /var or /var/logs, /home, /opt, /usr/local, etc. Sometimes you may want to lock down / so that the previous mount points along with /root are separated out so you can remount / as read-only. Then you just need to remount / (as root with sudo) when updating or making system changes.

  • Often I will use separate partition(s) for /home and/or some custom data directories so that they can be shared by different OSes and to make it easier to switch distributions or upgrade as well.

This should be a good start..


Don't create different partitions for /home /var /tmp - just put everything on the SSD. The difference in performance is amazing.

At first I followed these partitioning advices and set up my system this way. Now I decided to move everything on the SSD and got something like 5 times faster system.

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