After looking through a lot of different guides and information on this site and others, I have a basic idea of a partitioning scheme to use for a dual boot Ubuntu-Win7 machine but I'm not so clear about file systems. I have a UEFI-supported board and I'm going to use the GPT partition type. I'd like to check to see if I'm on the right track or not.
My basic idea is: (updated to show Windows-required MSR partition)
sda1- EFI/ESP FAT32 0.25gb sda2- / (root) EXT4 20gb sda3- (MSR) ---- 0.13gb sda4- win C: NTFS 30gb sda5- win D: NTFS 500gb sda6- /home EXT4 300gb sda7- (swap) ??? 16gb
Now on my single physical 1TB hard drive this leaves about 100gb and change unallocated for any future OS experiments or to make a shared drive between Windows and Ubuntu using some other file system if I run into problems.
For my allocated space NTFS is of course a natively supported Windows file system and seems to be fairly stable on Ubuntu so it sounds like the best choice for my Win partitions. I briefly looked at ExFAT but it sounds like it doesn't have as good of support on either Ubuntu or Windows so NTFS wins out.
The Ubuntu situation is less clear. I'm probably not going to be doing a lot of access of Ubuntu files from the Windows side and since it seems that there is a significant performance difference between EXT3 and EXT4, I decided to go with 4. EXT3 has more support but it doesn't look like it's necessarily better support (i.e. you have to open up a separate program to access EXT3 files). There is at least decent EXT4 file support in the form of ExtFS for Windows which works with the standard file management tools, and if that doesn't work then I probably can save my files directly to the NTFS D: drive from Ubuntu. The Swap partition from what I understand is a special "swap" file system, but I really had trouble finding any info on it.
From what I understand, the order of the two larger drives (Win D: and Ubuntu /home) doesn't matter so much but I should keep the two system drives (Win C: and Ubuntu root) close to the UEFI/ESP partition. Nothing I read talked about the order of the Swap partition at all and I saw partition schemes with it towards the beginning or at the end, so I'm guessing its order doesn't matter either.
Is this a reasonable setup or is there anything I'm getting wrong (size/system)? Does it make sense to have a separate Ubuntu Home and Windows Programs/Media partition, or would it make more sense to combine them as a big happy NTFS family? I'll probably be installing different versions of the same program on the Windows and Ubuntu side (like Steam and Eclipse IDE for example), so my instinct is to keep them separate and avoid confusion. If I do choose to add in a separate partition that is primarily for cross-platform work, what would be the best file system - NTFS? Something else? Is there anything else I should be aware of compatibility-wise by using EXT4 instead of the older EXT3?
I'm going to be switching over to mostly using Ubuntu but keeping Windows for gaming. As a long-time Windows user I have approximately a billion questions about Ubuntu but I'm going to start with just the partition and file format scheme for now.