I plan to install Ubuntu 13.04 alongside Windows 8, and I'm looking for a CLEAR answer on how to conduct partitioning appropriately.

I'm very new to all of this so a thorough explanation with minimal jargon would be great. I have an Acer Aspire M5 x64 with 6G RAM. I think I already figured out how to deal with the fast startup, UEFI and SecureBoot issues (I disabled fast startup and disabled Secure Boot). I am able to boot into Ubuntu from a LiveUSB, and I think I am ready to install Ubuntu. Note - despite some advice found here, I do have to disable SecureBoot to boot 13.04 from my LiveUSB.

From what I have read here, it seems that I should (at least at first) create the partitions from WITHIN Windows 8, not from the LiveUSB, to avoid reported problems. I have run compmgmt.msc and I see the existing partitions. I see the following:

Disk 0: 400 MB Recovery; 300 MB EFI System; Acer (C:) 444.95 GB (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition); 20 GB Recovery

Disk 1: 3.74 GB Primary Partition; 14.90 GB Primary Partition

I gather I need to create a mounting point '/' Partition (??), a swap partition, and a home partition. Please explain what these are, how big they should be, how I create them from Windows Disk Management, and anything else I need to know.

Eventually, I plan to fully replace Windows 8 with Ubuntu, but for now I want to run alongside Windows 8 and not screw things up. I don't have any critical files saved on this computer yet.



Initially, you have to free space on your hard drive. Right-click the C: partition and choose Resize option. I recommend you to free 50+ GB. Then you should add 3 new partitions: swap, Ubuntu and home. Simply right-click on free space and choose appropriate option to do this.

Swap usually takes the exact amount of your RAM and has purposes similar to Windows swap, but you're permitted to make it of any size, depending on how hard your computer is loaded. Big swap can help you run more applications when you have small RAM, but slows performance. Ubuntu partition is the system partition. It contains the kernel, boot files, GNU executables and related stuff. For most cases it should be about 20 GB, but 10 GB is enough too if you not plan to install many packages. And the remaining space (~20 GB) you can give to home partition which is analog of user's folder in Windows.

After you install Ubuntu, you can add some symbolic links pointing to your music, pictures and videos on Windows partition from the home folder for convenience and salvation of free space.

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  • Thank you, this was very helpful. Question: I believe I need to have Ubuntu boot in EFI mode; the instructions indicate I should only have 1 EFI partition on my HDD - is it OK to install Ubuntu in the existing EFI partition without compromising anything already in that partition? Also, I should NOT format that partition - correct? – mengelkoch Jul 2 '13 at 5:41
  • @mengelkoch, you should not install anything in this partition, because it probably will prevent Windows from booting. Only use the suggested 3 partitions. The Ubuntu installer has manual disk partitioning mode in which you can choose them. – Danatela Jul 2 '13 at 9:09

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