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I'm going to shrink my Windows partition to install Ubuntu, and I was wondering how many partitions I should make if I wanted to share files between both OSes.
Can I share all my Ubuntu and Windows files with each other? By files I mean documents, multimedia (music, photos, videos, etc.)

My plan is to make the following partitions for Ubuntu:
/swap [size: 4-6 GB]
/ (root) [size: 20 GB]
/media/myname [size: ?]

The "/media/myname" partition is where I'd store all my files for both Windows and Ubuntu, but I don't know if that would work. Please, let me know. Thanks

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You don't really need to have an extra partition to swap between Windows and Linux. You'll see the Windows disk space under Linux, so just linking it up will do.

The very minimum you need is just a single partition for all the Linux stuff. But apart from the root partition (mounted as /) you can also go for:

  • swap - You know this one already and I don't feel competent to advise on the size.

  • /home - This one keeps user personal data and can be encrypted. It's a good idea to keep this one as a separate partition. It's like Users in Windows. You can link together directories like Documents or Pictures from both Windows and Linux. This way, as long as you store your stuff in the places where Linux points at the common directories, you'll see them in Windows. I'm not sure if Linux could mount an NTFS partition as /home, which could be another option. This might involve linking it on the other side with corresponding Windows directories under Windows, which I guess should be possible, but I don't know Windows well enough.

  • Other advanced fragmentation like separating the /usr. But if you're a beginner, you're not going to need it soon.

  • Thank you. I've just installed Ubuntu and I made the three partitions you recommended, and it works perfectly! – Rilow Dec 16 '15 at 16:18
  • That's good news. Enjoy your Ubu. – Tomasz Dec 16 '15 at 16:59
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Both Windows and Linux are capable of reading NTFS, so yes, you can create a multimedia NTFS partition to share your files (though not applications such as media players, which are compiled for a specific OS). You can create /home as a separated partition from /, and an additional partition for shared files, or share everything under /home (must be NTFS then). Personally I'd create:

/swap 2GB
/ 20GB, ext4
/home [enough for your Linux-exclusive stuff], ext4
/shared [enough for your shared data], NTFS

If you swapped more than 2GB to disk your system will already be crawling to a halt, no point on having 4-6GB swap nowadays.

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Yes this works. I have systems here, which are configured this way. I made the experience that ubuntu isn't as picky on filesystems than windows, so ntfs is a good option to work with both Systems. Maybe this side helps you too: https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Partitionierung

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