I need some advice for a dual boot configuration Windows 7 - Linux Ubuntu 11.10
Specifications: 2.7 GHz AMD Athlon 7750, 3 GB RAM, 1000 GB HDD: 100 Gb allocated to Windows 7 (I use large number of programs) - already used two primary partitions (100 GB and 100 MB Windows - partition made ​​by him) of a maximum of 4 primary partitions on HDD

Linux ?

I want to make separate partitions:
/ - I think it should be primary, 5 GB enough?
swap - primary or logical ? 1GB enough ? (the system has 3 GB)
boot - 300 MB ? Primary - logical? (however there are only four primary partitions of which 2 are taken from Windows)
usr - install programs, considering the large number of programs use on windwos, 40 GB enough for linux ? (space is 1000 GB HDD)
tmp - size ? I know it's for temporary files
var - size ? I think it is similar to tmp but for: FTP, sites, server
home - use a lot of multimedia files, 150 - GB is enough ?
win / linux shared data - this partition I want for storage data between Windows and Linux, I think the solution is NTFS because FAT32 not support files larger than 4 GB and most movies are DVD (4.7 GB)

Help me for deciding correct partition and sizes. If you believe that more partitions(dev, lib, srv .... ) are needed let me know.

Thank you !

PS: format file for linux best is ext 4 or ext 3 ?


OK first of all use ext4 filesystem


  1. '/' 5GB perfect (could be increased to 10GB if a number of different softwares need to be installed)

  2. swap partition do it as follows it should be between 25% to 50% of your RAM size.

  3. /tmp and /var don't make any partitions let them be integrated within / (or as you wish)

  4. /home must be a separate partition as this will be handy in case of system upgrade (again size depends on you)

  5. Shared drive as you wish (NTFS is the best option)

May I ask why you want to partition off your system folders? If they're all on the same hard drive and all use ext4 then you are only placing restrictions on yourself with no benefit (except perhaps home folder in the backup/update case talked about above, but even this is not really necessary).

You are right to choose NTFS for your shared partition, it is the Windows default file system and is the best you will be able to use until Windows gets ext4 support (not likely!).

One warning though, which comes back to you partitioning away your file system. Some programs do not install themselves to /usr. Some install to the home folders and (in the case of some games) the /opt folder. This is why you should be careful with separating your system folders because you never know when something might want to go into a folder you wouldn't expect, and if you're only assigning 5GB to /opt and the others, you could run into trouble.


'/' should be 6GB since it contains 'etc', 'var', 'tmp', etc. Swap space should be the same size or x2 the memory you have. '/home' should be the rest of free space.


The swap partition should be at least the size of your RAM.
Normally I set it 2x of my RAM size.

  • Swap really does NOT need to 1x your RAM. Swap is for when you don't have a lot of RAM. If you have 3GB or more RAM you should need very little swap. – Seth Nov 25 '12 at 5:36

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