• How do I define a separate partition for Home?
  • How does it affect systems with multiple users?

EDIT Okay, thanks for all the answers, I understand the thing about Home on adifferent partition, so now, I would like some info about the second question:

  • How does it affect systems with multiple users?

It will not affect anything negatively. No bad performance. To make /home exist on another partition, select manual partitioning during installation from the liveCD or liveusb.

In the following images you can see the options to pick:

First, Select Manual Partitioning

"Allocate drive space" window with option 'Specify partitions manually (advanced)' selected

Second, select the partition you want to format/partition. (In this case I have an empty hard drive. not yet partitioned).

Second "Allocate drive space" window, with the /dev/sda drive selected

Third, select the partition size, and the most important part is to have the MOUNT POINT entry point to /home. This will make a partition for home. Also remember to add the root partition and swap partition.

"Create partition" dialog box is open, with mount point set to /home .

For multiple users it will not have an effect on performance, but it will add a little bit of complexity in handling user data. For example, when upgrading to a newer version, you will not need to delete or backup the user's content since /home is in its own partition. You just need to tell the newer version that THAT partition is the one that has the /home information. That is all. It will help in upgrading faster.

For safety, it will also help since if the system has an error or the boot partition has an error, they are outside the user's partition, so the user's information is not affected (except in the case where the whole hard drive dies, but this will affect you whether you do or do not do a /home partition).

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  • Have a look at my second question. – Oxwivi Mar 9 '11 at 17:50
  • Updated to include a better answer for you second question. – Luis Alvarado Mar 9 '11 at 18:19
  • The same way as always. There is no change in structured. It will still be like: /home/cyrex, /home/oxwivi, /home/zelda, /home/rambo.... – Luis Alvarado Mar 9 '11 at 18:23
  • Yeah, now I got it. I forgot the user folder and was thinking that Download, Music, etc folders were directly under Home, hence my confusion. – Oxwivi Mar 9 '11 at 18:25
  • No problem buddy. At least you did not confuse /root with /dev/null hehe – Luis Alvarado Mar 9 '11 at 20:15

I always create a separate partition for /home when installing. This has great benefits if reinstalling or trying another distribution. Firstly decide on your partitioning strategy. I usually set things up with a root partition of 20GB a swap partition of 2*memory size and then allocate the rest to the /home.

Go through the installer, and at disk partition step choose the manually partition the disk. Assuming you are using the whole disk, first erase the partition table, then create the partitions in order. First the root partition, size 20GB, mount point "/" and set to format new partition, then swap, then the home partition, size rest of the disk, mount point "/home" and reformat.

If you are reinstalling, again go to the manual partitioning option, this time just use the partitions that are there, but you will need to set the mount point and whether to reformat for each partition (except swap). Remember to reformat the root partition but not the /home partition.

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  • @Oxwivi I have set swap after setting / and /home. Is there any benefit setting swap after /? My all partitions are primary and at beginning. – rainlover Jun 9 '13 at 8:00
  • @rainlover I am no expert, and as far as my understanding goes, I believe swap is used for hibernation, where the entire RAM's content is moved to swap, and when you run out of RAM so that extra content overflowing from RAM are redirected to the swap. Basically, I don't think I am supposed to experience any perceivable difference from creating a swap partition. And the only time I am supposed to observe any difference is when there's a need of more RAM space—and that is supposed to be horrible as HDD speed is many times slower than the RAM's. – Oxwivi Jun 10 '13 at 9:14
  • @rainlover The placement of swap between / and /home is to put this the most accessible part of the drive. If it is at either end then the drive heads need to move all the way to this limit for each read or write to swap. This doesn't matter in the era of SSDs though. – Stuart Sep 25 '13 at 9:36
  • @Oxwivi The reason for the order is the most used files will be in the root / and swap. Putting these partitions first and close together uses the outer rim of the disk which can be more reliable as the bits are spaced further apart. But mainly reducing head movements. Files in the /home partition will be accessed much less often. If your system has lots of memory then swap will only be used for hibernate, if not it can be used quite a lot. – Stuart Oct 27 '17 at 15:24

Somewhat related to your question.

If the /Home location is on a partition on another drive, there will be a performance improvement. Not a huge gain, but there is an improvement.

The system will read program data from one drive and the data file/configuration info from another drive. Moving the I/O to two drives results in an improvement in load times.

You still get the benefits of having a separate /Home location, just one that also gives a performance boost.


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You have the BEST manual here that explains exactly every step of the process.

How does it affect systems with multiple users?

It foes absolutely nothing, you will feel like you have your /home folder in your root folder. This is done just in case you want to reinstall or something. Having one user or 100 users won't make any difference regarding this question.

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