I built a new computer a few days ago and I'm not quite sure how I should go about installing my operating systems. Currently, there are no operating systems on the computer (Just the BIOS). I have made two bootable USBs (one ubuntu and one windows installer).

My questions are:

  1. How should I partition my SDD(250gb)

I am envisioning that only the Windows OS (200gb?) goes on here and for Ubuntu I have a root partition(20gb?) and a boot partition(500mb?). Do you agree with these sizes and/or do I need any other partitions on here? Maybe I make the Windows partition smaller and add a usr partition(15gb?) for Ubuntu.

  1. How should I partition my HDD(2tb)

I am envisioning that I have a large partition for Data (music, vids, photos, movies, documents). If this is going to be shared between operating systems, I could see this being 1.5tb. If it were together, probably 750gb each. Data (music, vids, photos, movies, documents). And then for Ubuntu I would probably do 8gb of swap (I have 16gb of ram and don't plan on hibernating). To limit the writes on the SSD, I also would think it would be smart to have a var partition(3gb?), a tmp partition (8gb?) and a home partition (50gb?). Do you agree with these partitions and their sizes? Do you recommend I make shared or separate storage (i prefer what ever is more efficient).

  1. How do I go about doing the actual installing

I will make the partitions in gparted. Do i do this first before everything? do i make all the partitions at one time. what type of partition table? Do i install windows first? Im most confused about this part.

  1. I would recommend first installing Windows on SSD with a 150GB partition. Then install Ubuntu on that SSD with just using the remaining 100GB (not worrying about boot or other partitions). 150-100 ratio can be altered according to your use case.
  2. Regarding the data partitions on the second drive; I would use most space reachable from both OS, which would be an ntfs formatted partition.
  3. Actual install: I would first install Windows, without making any prior partitioning. Just arrange the Windows partition as 150GB on the first drive selection / partitioning window. After installing and booting in Windows successfully, reboot with Ubuntu installer and arrange partitions within the installer. Don't forget to make the device dual bootable during final phase of the Ubuntu install via Grub. Hope it gives some useful idea. Have fun!

You will definitely receive answers that contain many different points of view on this subject. Personally, I hate experimenting with dual booting and all the problems this could create, so these are the rules I've been following so far and things were going smooth.

  1. Whatever method you choose, it's better to install Windows first and disable both fast boot and secure boot. Windows bootloader is not so friendly to other OS's. If grub finds Windows, it just adds an option to its menu and you're done.

  2. Since you have two disks, it's 100% better to install each OS on its own disk entirely avoiding dual booting completely. You will have to use your BIOS's boot menu this way but believe me, this method eliminates all dual booting issues. If you choose to follow this method, it's essential that you instruct the installer to install grub on the same hard disk you install the rest of Ubuntu. So, if you choose to install Windows on /dev/sda and Ubuntu on /dev/sdb, grub has to go on /dev/sdb too, otherwise it will create a dual boot menu on /dev/sda which is something we're trying to avoid.

  3. If you choose to use dual booting, make sure you use the same method for both OS's. If you install Windows using UEFI, do the same for Ubuntu. Again here, personally, I see no reason for anyone to use UEFI but this is entirely your choice.

About the partitioning

I can't help you on Windows needs. For Ubuntu though, a /boot partition of 256-300 MB is ok but make sure you remove old kernels regularly so that it doesn't run out of space.

A 160 GB partition mounted as /, a 60 GB partition mounted as /home and a partition that would be readable by both OS's for the rest of the space of your 2 TB disk for data would do the job just fine I think.

I don't think you'll need more than 4 GB swap space unless you're a really power user.

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