I have seen many answers with similar topic but for me it's still not clear, so I feel like I need to ask. I have a notebook with a 128GB SSD and 1TB HDD.

On Win10 mostly I would like to use apps like Visual Studio Community some basic applications and maybe some games (not so big ones). On Ubuntu mostly Blender and also some basic apps.

I made a 80GB partition on SSD where I installed Windows.

I understand that I should Ubuntu install / on SSD also, maybe 4GB /swap (I have 8GB RAM). But what about /home? Some mentioned that it's OK to place that on the HDD, some mentioned that it should be on SSD with symbolic links with Docs/Movies/Music/Pics on HDD.

Also I plan to make a 100GB partition on HDD for other Windows app/games because I'm afraid 80GB won't be enough (even after installing Windows I have only ~55GB, but there will be updates, Visual Studio will be also around 25-30GB).

And the remaining space on the HDD will be an NTFS partition for all the docs.

As you can see the main problem for me is with /home. What to do with it, where to install it with how much space, etc?

I'm new to Ubuntu new to SSD also but I would like to get a proper notebook as fast and as good as possible.

Thanks in advance!


Installing / on the SSD including /home, then making symlinks to the HDD, is slightly easier than installing /home on the HDD. Moreover, most I/O will be to small files like browser cache files, which will remain on the SSD, so you will have the benefit of the higher speed of the SSD. It is very well possible to put the entire /home on the HDD, it is just slightly trickier.

As I see it, you have plenty of space on the HDD. Use a couple of 100's Gb for a separate partition which is going to contain your real Music, Pictures and Video folders. Make a mount point for it:

sudo mkdir /mnt/myhdd

and mount it:

sudo mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/myhdd

(replace /dev/sdb1 with the actual partition). If that works, include a line in /etc/fstab to automatically mount the partition after a reboot.

After installation, you will have an empty folder /home/user/Music. Remove it:

rmdir ~/Music

and make a symbolic link instead:

ln -s /mnt/myhdd/Music ~/Music

Do the same for Videos, Pictures, etc. You could even make it an NTFS partition so it can be accessed by Windows. However, you should then disable fastboot on the Windows system, otherwise the NTFS partition may be left in a condition that prevents Ubuntu from accessing it.

  • Just to make clear to me, this line: "Use a couple of 100's Gb for a separate partition which is going to contain your real Music, Pictures and Video folders." equals to this of mine: "And the remaining space on the HDD will be an NTFS partition for all the docs."? I think I understand the others but I will try them when I get home. I will reply how it was going but until then thank you! – matthew3r Mar 29 '17 at 9:03
  • I wasn't sure what you meant by "all the docs" but if you mean the contents of Music, Videos and Pictures folders then yes, we mean the same thing. If you wanted to put the whole of /home on the HDD, then it would need to be EXT4, not NTFS though. – Jos Mar 29 '17 at 9:14
  • Yes I meant Music, Video and Pictures but I was a bit lazy to write down again :) I think I will just install /home on SSD and make symbolic links, it seems to me the easier way. Thanks again! – matthew3r Mar 29 '17 at 9:18
  • I had a problem yesterday, because Ubuntu stopped on the loading screen, but after googleing for a while I found out that booting with nouveau.modeset=0 solves it. On the other hand, Ubuntu install USB was made to boot in UEFI, but Windows boot mode is in legacy. What do you think it worth a time to install Windows again in UEFI and install Ubuntu also like that or not? (Since Windows is totally clean, no applications is installed yet, and what I read about UEFI I think I should try.) – matthew3r Mar 30 '17 at 7:29
  • Sorry, I have no opinion on that. You may want to ask a separate question. – Jos Mar 30 '17 at 7:34

Follow this guide. Just do your swap and root / partitions on the SSD and the /home partition on the HDD.

I did this yesterday and both Windows and Ubuntu are running smoothly.

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