I am new in the Ubuntu world. I have been looking around but could not find anything specific for my situation. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

I would like to dual boot Ubuntu 16.10 or Opensuse Tumbleweed on my HP 8570w laptop. In my current situation I have a 447 GB SSD, where Windows 10 is currently installed. I recently bought a 232 GB mSATA, which is still unallocated, and correctly seen in Win Disk Management. My Win 10 has been installed in Legacy mode.

My idea was to install Ubuntu on the new mSATA, and just use the BIOS to decide whether boot SSD or mSATA. This is not possible, because the mSATA can't be accessed through BIOS (an HP limitation, was meant to be used for Intel Rapid Storage Technology caching). Basically, every time my PC boots from the SSD, no way to boot from mSATA.

I then thought about the possibility to slightly shrink my Win 10 installation (10 MB), and place the Ubuntu BIOS-Boot partition in the SSD. This would hold the GRUB2. The / root partition will be then placed on the mSATA, as well as the /home partiton and a partition for sharing data /media/shared. Further more, I am running 24 GB of RAM on my Laptop, as far as I understood, the /swap partition can be avoided and even the /tmp folder can be moved to RAM.

To summarize, will this partitioning work? (NEW partitions created during Ubuntu installation)

Will the GRUB2 correctly point to Ubuntu and Win 10?

/sda (447 GB) SSD
    /sda1   - 350 MB    - NTFS  - System reserved (Primary)
    /sda2   - 444 GB    - NTFS  - Windows_OS (Primary)
    /sda3   - 10 MB     -       - Bios GRUB flag          <-- NEW
    /sda4   - 868 MB    -       - Recovery Partition
    /sda5   - 1.92 GB   - FAT32 - HP_TOOLS (Primary)

/sdb (232 GB) mSATA
    /sdb1   - 100 GB    - EXT4  - / root Ubuntu           <-- NEW
    /sdb2   - 82 GB     - EXT4  - /home                   <-- NEW
    /sdb3   - 50 GB     - NTFS  - /media/shared (shared with Win)<-- NEW

Can my laptop correctly run without the /swap partition?

  • The debate continues regarding swap. Here's my take. Your system will run without swap... until you run out of RAM... then it'll freeze or crash. Now you have a lot of RAM, so you may never see that for some time, but why take the risk. I believe that every system needs either 1) a swap partition, or 2) a swapfile. And if you enable hibernation in Ubuntu, you'll also need swap. – heynnema Dec 28 '16 at 14:53
  • don't do any changes to existing SSD drive
  • you don't have to have swap partition
  • Use gparted to format the mSata drive according to your needs - just prepare the partitions
  • in Ubuntu installer go to advanced/manual partitioning and select the the mount place for root (/) and home (/home) on your newly created partitions
  • when asked by installer where to put grub, select the SSD drive and installer would handle that automatically
  • You don't have to have a swap partition... the system will still work... for a while... but you should have a swap partition or a swapfile. – heynnema Dec 30 '16 at 5:38

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