I am completely new to Linux and Ubuntu.

I have installed Ubuntu 13.04 using the "Something Else" option. My HDD was new, so I created the partitions as follows, in sda:

Partition 1: Mount Point = /; Type = Primary; Size = X; Format Type = EXT4
Partition 2: Mount Point = /home; Type = Primary; Size = X; Format Type = EXT4
Partition 3: Mount Point = /usr; Type = Primary; Size = X; Format Type = EXT4
Partition 4(SWAP) : Type = Primary; Size = X (MY RAM SIZE)

I expected that I should see 3 different partitions (excluding SWAP) in my computer, as I see in my Windows 7.

However, there is nothing like that. Whenever I enter the "Files" section, I only see my Home, Documents, Downloads etc. But not the other partitions I created to use.

Would you please explain it?
Isn't it possible to create separate partition as I am expecting?

  • First use Disks (search in dash) to see your partition. It would be there but not activated or mounted. You can also use gparted to see and mount them. Install it by: sudo apt-get install gparted. Finally edit your question and paste the results of: sudo blkid and sudo fdisk -l – Saurav Kumar Sep 13 '13 at 17:22

Linux uses a Unified file system. So in have there is only ever one file system (/). Your partitions are there as mount points. So partition 1 is mounted as / and partition 2 is mounted as /home (etc.).

This can be a bit confusing at first, because Windows has two drives as C: and D: but Linux will have them as their mount points.

There are certain strengths and weakness to this setup. The largest single strength is that you never have to worry about where something is. Configuration is in /etc it doesn't matter if /etc in on a hard drive, a usb key, a pocket calculator, or a wrist watch, it's always /etc (and don't think for a second that mounting drives is not that diverse because it is). Some would say the single biggest downside is that it's more work if your run out of space on /usr then it is if you ran out of space on C:. However apples and oranges and better partition schemes solve that problem, and to be honest I find it actually easier to deal with.

Now as to your partitioning scheme I am going to assume you read that some where, and did some kind of recommendation. The truth is that is pretty horrid, and will likely cause issues with no benefits.

You probably should have done either

Partition 1 / partition 2 /home


Partition 1 /

Having a separate /home is a bit easier on re-installs though I prefer backups. What you have done is made an artificial boundary (around /usr) that server no purpose (your not going to gain any speed or redundancy cause there on the same physical disk).

Try reading: http://www.tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy/html/Linux-Filesystem-Hierarchy.html for more info.

  • Also what your seeing in the file explorer (you don't mention which one) is just bookmarks. Commonly used folders. Almost everything you do will be under /home/username. – coteyr Sep 13 '13 at 17:27
  • Oh and to see what is mounted running mount from the terminal or df -h from the terminal is a great way. Keep in mind that every single storage device will get mounted under / somewhere. Removable media by default is under /media/volume_name for example. – coteyr Sep 13 '13 at 17:29
  • So it came to my knowledge that I can't create seperate partitions like Windows. So why don't just use the default installing option: "Erase Hard Disk and Install Ubuntu", instead of "Something Else". Is there any disadvantage of installing Ubuntu with the default option? (erase hard disk...) If not, then I want to try the easy way – Ahmed Sadman Sep 14 '13 at 8:06
  • The Erase Hard Disk and Install Ubuntu option is what I would recommend. The "Something else" option is for people that can't or don't want to install Ubuntu on their "entire" disk. For example I am using Apple Hardware so I MUST leave the efi and OS X partitions in place or risk certain doom. So I choose something else and only re-partition parts of my disk. Another example would be setting up /home on a separate partition. I feel this is mostly pointless if your only using one disk. However some people like it. (I prefer to use backups after a fresh install, should I need it). – coteyr Sep 18 '13 at 19:21
  • "Mostly pointless" cause there are use cases where having a separate /home makes sense. They are just few and farm between IMO. – coteyr Sep 18 '13 at 19:25

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