So I have this 128 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD. And I plan to install Ubuntu on this system that uses them.

Now all the info that I have found in here about similar problems, are usually with limited SSD space, but mine is pretty big. It is a Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB.

So my question is, what would be the intelligent way of partitioning my system in this case?

Obviously the / will go on SSD. Then /home and /swap will go on HDD. But what else? Should I care about "/tmp" and "/var" also and move them on my HDD? How much size would it be smart to allocate for them then?

  • I have /var on my HDD simply because the logs are also written to /var/log.
    – Allard
    Sep 2, 2014 at 21:20
  • But how much space did you allocate to it?
    – inimene
    Sep 2, 2014 at 21:22
  • 4
    You really, really wanna put the swap on the SSD instead of the HDD. It makes a world of difference if you ever start hitting swap, with an SSD it just gets mildly annoying, with an HDD you can pretty much just hit the hard RESET button.
    – TC1
    Sep 2, 2014 at 22:37
  • 2
    This question is not a duplicate of the marked question Aug 11, 2016 at 15:21
  • 1
    I would agree. The marked duplicate has answers completely irrelevant to the question here.
    – inimene
    Aug 15, 2016 at 10:48

2 Answers 2


I have a 128GB SSD. I have 20 GB for / which I really need (running both Gnome and Unity and a bunch of games, several db servers, etc.)

In your case I would put both / and /home on the SSD, but I would put the individual large folders as projects, videos, and pictures on the HDD.

The advantage of keeping all your documents on the SSD is that they open in under a second. Very nice.

Edit: If you actually make a /home/media and put that on the HDD then you can configure it so that all the users of your computer (apart from guest) can access it. That comes in very handy.


I'm running a similar system at home. I've got a 256 GB SSD with ~ 90 GB allocated to linux. Even with a 15 GB game on the SSD, I've still got a lot of space left over. So basically, you probably don't need /home to be on a separate HDD.

/tmp you can likely just leave on your SSD without giving it its own partition. /tmp is cleared on every reboot. Giving it its own partition with a fixed size just opens yourself up to not have enough space to open a file in tmp with little to no benefit.

I can't really speak to /var, but this question on the Unix stack exchange may help you make the decision.

  • But if I leave /home on HDD, what would be a nice way of adding a seperate part into the SSD where I can keep some more used programs? Because I plan to keep a lot of data on my /home which is on HDD but there are some stuff that would benefit from the speed of SSD.
    – inimene
    Sep 2, 2014 at 16:45
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    What I personally do is this: /home is for things that benefit from speed, and things that HAVE to be in /home I set up my other HDDs to be mounted at boot with specific destinations (/media/username/1TB and /media/username/2TB) On those folders is where I put all my other stuff. For Example, on the 1TB I have a Downloads folder; I removed the ~/Downloads folder and put a symlink from that one to the one on my 1TB drive.
    – Mitch
    Sep 2, 2014 at 16:52
  • But will you see the new Download folder nicely in nautilus like we do right now?
    – inimene
    Sep 2, 2014 at 18:22
  • Yep! Here's a picture in thunar (xubuntu's file manager): imgur.com/zTg3M4z
    – Mitch
    Sep 2, 2014 at 18:51
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    It's recommended to leave 10-20% free
    – Mitch
    Sep 2, 2014 at 21:44

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