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I have recently installed Ubuntu 14.04 by using a bootable usb flash drive. After installing the software gparted I see that I have the following partitions:

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For what I understood, the OS is installed in the partition /dev/sda2 and it uses 10.81 GiB out of 461.38 GiB. Am I correct?

Here are my other doubts:

  • How come do I also have a /dev/sda1 partition? I don't recall to have create it in the past.
  • What does fat32 mean, /boot/efi mean?
  • Is it necessary to keep it? Or is there a way to get rid of it and merge the 512 MiB with the second partition?
  • How is it possible that I have 1.02 MiB of space unallocated? Is it necessary to keep it? can I merge it with the biggest partition or with the linux-swap? How do I do that?
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  • It is preferred if you can post separate questions instead of combining your questions into one. That way, it helps the people answering your question and also others hunting for atleast one of your questions. Thanks! – guntbert Dec 22 '15 at 17:57
  • I disagree; It is preferred to have more compact answars. – Federico Gentile Dec 22 '15 at 18:25
  • Everyone has different problems so what you say is quite questionable since it depends on what type of issue you are dealing with; having multiple questions split into different threads is not always functional and it may require to be repetitive and keep referencing to other questions. Efficiency should be pursued over bureaucracy. In this case I don't think splitting is useful; as a matter of fact at least 2 people gave good answers that satisfied my needs. – Federico Gentile Dec 23 '15 at 12:27
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For what I understood, the OS is installed in the partition /dev/sda2 and it uses 10.81 GiB out of 461.38 GiB. Am I correct?

Correct.


How come do I also have a /dev/sda1 partition?

/dev/sda1 is the EFI partition which contains the GRUB boot loader files.
It is created automatically during the Ubuntu installation.


What does FAT32 mean?

FAT32 is the file system format of the EFI partition.
Refer here for more informations about the FAT32 file system.

If you continue, you will see that /dev/sda2 is in ext4 format. It's another file system format.


Is it necessary to keep it?

Yes! Do not delete it or your Ubuntu installation won't boot anymore.


How is it possible that I have 1.02 MiB of space unallocated? Is it necessary to keep it?

Read the answer from @Rinzwind for a good explanation of this small partition.

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Mostly hg8 has provided good answers; however....

How is it possible that I have 1.02 MiB of space unallocated? Is it necessary to keep it?

The answer to which hg8 has linked on this one is poor. In order to optimize performance on a variety of disks, most modern partitioning tools align partition start points to 1 MiB values by default. (See this article I wrote for technical details and some benchmarks for one particular disk technology.) Thus, there will be a close-to-1MiB gap at the start of the disk, since there's a small bit of space used at the start for partitioning data structures. GParted hides this gap because it's unimportant.

Many tools, including libparted (used by GParted, parted, and the Ubuntu installer) also align the ends of partitions. This isn't necessary for optimizing the performance of the partition being created, but it enables the next partition to be properly aligned without a gap. One consequence, though, is that there's often about 1 MiB of unused space at the end of the disk. In your case, it's a tiny bit more than 1 MiB (I'm guessing because a rounding error caused it to be too big, although that's just a guess), and GParted is showing it, unlike the gap at the start, which is hidden.

Small ~1 MiB gaps betwee partitions, or at the start or end of the disk, are no big deal. Your disk in particular is 465.76 GiB in size, so that 1.02 MiB gap is (1.02 / (465.76 * 1024)), or 0.00021%, of your disk's capacity. It's trivial. You can certainly extend the partition to fill that gap by using another tool (like gdisk -- you'd delete the existing partition and create a new one with the same start point but an end point a little further out); but then to use the space you'd need to extend the filesystem it contains, and the filesystem's own data structures might not even make use of the extra space. Furthermore, mucking about with partitions in this way carries some danger, so you'd be risking your entire OS installation to get 0.00021% more disk space. If you're that desperate for disk space, you need to buy another disk, not waste time trying to recover enough disk space to hold about 1/600th of an Ubuntu .iso file.

So: Don't worry about it.

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