Linux n00b here, hoping to attempt my first dual boot Ubuntu setup alongside Windows, been reading up on the partitioning scheme for 3 days solid now and just wanted to get some second opinions on what i've come up with before taking the plunge!

My Current Situation:
I'm running an Acer Aspire V5 laptop with Intel Core i3, 6GB RAM, 500GB HD.

I had originally planned to install alongside Windows 8.1 but then Windows put the time limit on upgrading to Windows 10, so I upgraded yesterday and quite like it so I think i'd like to keep it. Hopefully this doesn't totally change my plans for Ubuntu.

I'm not sure if upgrading to Windows 10 will have any major effect on how I should set up my partitions, but it may be worth noting that it has added a new recovery partition (Primary 4, 822MB) in addition to the one that was already there from Windows 8.1.

My Goals:
I DJ and produce music which means juggling around large collections of audio files, so i'm really hoping to optimise my setup for easy data transfer between operating systems.

I use a lot of Windows specific plugins so i'm hoping to leave Windows plenty of room to breathe, but I also want to give Linux a decent wedge, have a reasonable shared NTFS volume for moving music files back and forth between Windows/Linux, and i'd also like to ideally put a chunk aside for experimenting with alternative distros in future without having to wipe out my Ubuntu installation.

My current Windows partition scheme looks like this:

PRIMARY 1 Windows 8.1 Recovery Partition (300MB)
PRIMARY 2 EFI System Partition (100MB)
PRIMARY 3 C: - Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition (464.44GB) [NTFS]
PRIMARY 4 Windows 10 Recovery Partition (822MB)

And here is what i've come up with for the dual boot:

PRIMARY 1 Windows Recovery Partition (300MB)
PRIMARY 2 EFI System Partition (100MB)
PRIMARY 3 C: - Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary Partition (304.11GB) [NTFS]
Logical 1. swap (8GB) [linux-swap]
Logical 2. / (50GB) [ext4]
Logical 3. /home (52GB) [ext4]
Logical 4. distro2 (20GB) [ext4]
Logical 5. shared (30GB) [NTFS]
(TOTAL: 160GB)
PRIMARY 4 Windows 10 Recovery Partition (822MB)

Does this seem like a reasonable structure for what i'm hoping to achieve?

My laptop is UEFI boot but I have downloaded EasyBCD so I can hopefully fix any bootloader issues that might come up, although I must admit I am still a little hazy in this area with regards to any precautions I may need to take around UEFI. I have been switching to Legacy BIOS in order to boot from my live Linux USB, but I'm somewhat confused as to what effect (if any) this will have on the installation process. Any links to further reading on this topic would be welcome!

Thanks in advance for any info or advice, really looking forward to getting involved with the community here :)

  • 8Gb swap D: See, it's a common misunderstanding: given you have 6 Gb RAM, you'd need about 6Gb swap space if you want hibernation to work (actually, you could hibernate to a file, but last I tried it was a bit tricky; and actually hibernation would take as much space as RAM were used, so you can leave even less swap space). Hibernation aside, given I've had 6Gb RAM, most probably I'd disable swap at all, because if a process would take all that memory, I'd assume something wrong with it, and would prefer it to be killed by OOM-killer. But I'm a dev, so I may have a bit different situation. – Hi-Angel Jul 29 '16 at 5:13
  • Logical 1. swap (8GB) [linux-swap]

    I'd suggest you to reduce it to 6GB (at least). In fact, if swap space getting used for whatever reason, apps start lagging (because they're swapping), and system becomes hard to use, so I'd leave ≈2GB just to be sure that I notice that RAM is dried, so I have to do something. As for hibernation: it depends on your usage. E.g. on the office (8GB RAM) I use hibernation every day, and the swap-partition is just 3GB. It covers everything which I usually have running, except for VirtualBox, but I prefer it to turn it off because it takes a few GBs most of which goes unused internally anyway.

  • Logical 2. / (50GB) [ext4]

    Given that you decided to leave a separate partition for /home, I'd suggest to reduce /. I just looked at how much space / (excluding /media, /home, and /mnt, obviously) takes on my office PC, and it's just 19GB. And I have there many apps installed. upd: just for statistics: I've got 3569 packages here ☺ So, just for the safe case, set it to 25GB. I know, you're going to say that nowadays games takes very much space, but steam games would go to your home directory, and those that in repositories doesn't take very much space, so you better off give the freed space to the home dir.

I'm not sure I get what do you want with distro2, but if it's for experimentation with other distros — well, I think that space would be well enough. Here're some good distros you could be interested in: Fedora (very stable, developed by RedHat who're contributing into the ecosystem very *very* much. In particular they fully ported Gnome to Wayland), and Archlinux («do it yourself» distro, have advantage of having latest versions of most packages, easy installation from source code when needed, and… well, from my experience, it boots way faster than Ubuntu does).

  • Hi-Angel, thankyou for the response! Good points, I will take those on board :) I will set my swap space to 6GB. I was expecting the / partition to fill up quickly once I get to installing packages but I suppose that's just how I've been conditioned from years of dealing with Windows :P I will give 20-25GB to / and increase the space in my /home directory, thanks! Yes that's correct, distro2 is for trying out new distributions (so i'd be essentially triple-booting) in addition to my Ubuntu. This will come further down the line but I just wanted to leave myself with the option in future. – MistaManic Jul 29 '16 at 8:11
  • @MistaManic well, GNU/Linux packages taking less space for a reason. Most important: WIndows packages tends to duplicating libraries, whilst in GNU/Linux they set up dependencies, and use the same library. That also reducing RAM usage, because library not get loaded twice (I must say, things might change with those brand new snap/flatpack formats, that's why I dislike them, and going to refrain of them, but it's possible that I misunderstand something. Doesn't seem so though…). Another reason: WIndows apps nowadays often use .net, whilst GNU/Linux doesn't :Ь – Hi-Angel Jul 29 '16 at 9:02

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