I recently set up a dualboot with Ubuntu 17.04 and Windows 10 (Home 64). My system came with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD. I followed some tutorials and most of them recommended a 15-25GB partition to install Ubuntu, regardless of the available space on the hard drive or SSD. Here's the partition breakdown:

Ubuntu partition: 25GB, the OS takes up about 5GB and I allocated 10GB for swap space Windows (C:) partition: 450GB, the OS takes up about 30GB

The remaining space on the Ubuntu partition is roughly 10GB out of 25GB. I'm trying to understand the file system. So everything in /home directory and / (root) is in the 25GB partition.

How do I access (or make use of) the rest of the SSD on the primary (C:) drive which is roughly 420GB (not including Windows OS) for bulk storage (projects, assignments, etc)? Would this also be a good place to install SDKs and other developer tools & packages? Should I allocate a separate partition for this?

If this isn't the right approach, is there a way to re-adjust the partition sizes to make sure I have plenty of bulk storage? Like re-allocating space from Windows (C:) drive and adding it to /home. Looks like most people work out of the /home directory and store all their work directories there, should that partition be as big as it can?


2 Answers 2


While your current set up is enough to install ubuntu, it leaves little room for installing and upgrading.
I recommend the root partition ( / ) to be 15-20 GB.
If you use hybernate, I recommend 14 GB for swap; though 10 GB works if you don''t hit swap much during normal use.
Most people store data in their /home partition thus it needs to be as large as you can make it.
As you suggested, you can make a third partition for data that is mounted to a folder in /home. In this case home should be 15-20 GB, and the data partition as large as you can make it.

If you haven't done much with ubuntu, then clearing more free space from windows partition and reinstalling ubuntu is the easiest way to make the changes.

  • for ages I felt 16gb was fine for /. i now assign it 32gb as I got sick of the space issues (i like installing multiple DEsktops). the size you need depends upon your use of it. I like my ubuntu giving me the choice of XFCE, MATE, Unity (standard Ubuntu) ... hence I go for 32gb as a minimum. the more software you'll install - the more space you'll need (as you want space for updates -- more software means more space needed for updates). only you can guess your needs. i'd recommend a /home partition too; it allows you to re-install with little risk to your data (even change distros).
    – guiverc
    Sep 10, 2017 at 6:57
  • i'd recommend a 'shared' partition for data you want to share between windoze & ubuntu. i've not used w10 so it may not apply; but I've felt safer with it.
    – guiverc
    Sep 10, 2017 at 6:58
  • @ravery: Sounds like a good idea, I do plan to use the hibernate feature in Ubuntu. I think the 3rd partition sounds like a good idea. So, I'll shrink the Windows partition to about 80GB since I don't plan to use it much and leave the remaining 370GB for the /data partition. For the 370GB of unallocated space, how do I make it usable in Ubuntu? I heard a program called "gparted" mentioned before. I think once that's set up, I can run sudo mount [drive details] which will let me browse to the /data partition from the /home directory. Is this correct?
    – RCube123
    Sep 10, 2017 at 21:09
  • So it looks like Windows won't let me shrink its own partition beyond 250GB. This leaves me only 200GB to use for the /data partition. Now I'm wondering if I should redo everything, merge all partitions back to one and replace Windows with Ubuntu entirely. I don't really need Windows on this system as I already have it on a separate machine. I'm still in the blank slate and have not used the system for actual work yet.
    – RCube123
    Sep 10, 2017 at 21:26
  • @AlgoTron hibernation is normally disabled in Ubuntu. It requires some minor mods to enable, and a swap partition (not swapfile) that's larger than RAM memory. See my comment below about shrinking your C: drive more.
    – heynnema
    Sep 10, 2017 at 21:57

Because you've got a smallish SSD, and I assume that you want similar sizes for each of Windows and Ubuntu... don't do ANY of the crazy partitioning schemes! You'll either end up wasting usable space, or not defining the sizes correctly (guaranteed). Use the Ubuntu partitioning defaults.

If you want to share files between Windows and Ubuntu, you could manually create a NTFS partition (using Windows Disk Management app) to do that.

Update #1:

If you're going to mount your Windows C: drive in Ubuntu...

If the NTFS drives are mounting as read-only, or not mounting at all, it's probably because Ubuntu thinks their filesystems are unclean, probably due to hibernation, or a damaged file system. Do this...

in Windows

  • boot into Windows
  • open the Power control panel
  • choose change what the power buttons do
  • choose change options that are unavailable
  • uncheck fast startup
  • close the Power control panel
  • open an administrative command prompt window
  • type powercfg /h off
  • type chkdsk /f c:
  • approve to run chkdsk at next reboot
  • type chkdsk /f x: (replacing "x" with drive letters of other visible NTFS partitions)
  • reboot into Windows to let chkdsk run on drive C:
  • Hmm.. not sure if 512GB is a small SSD. Actually, I plan to use this system to learn coding and software development, so I don't plan to use Windows very much and I'm fine if it's on a smaller partition, maybe around 80GB. I'm only keeping Windows just in case there's something I absolutely need to use or run that's exclusive to Windows. So, that leaves roughly 370GB for the /data partition, which I plan to mount to /home to store user files, project directories, and other media files.
    – RCube123
    Sep 10, 2017 at 20:56
  • After attempting to shrink the Windows partition, I discovered that it won't let me shrink beyond 250GB for the Windows (C:) drive which leaves me with only 200GB to use as bulk storage for Ubuntu. From the disk management software in Windows, it looks like the Windows (C:) partition is already NTFS. How do I share the remaining space in Windows (C:) with Ubuntu? Without needing to create a separate partition.
    – RCube123
    Sep 10, 2017 at 21:29
  • You can't shrink Windows C: drive any more because it's got one or more immovable files (while they're in use), and that normally means the paging file. Temporarily disable paging. Reboot. Shrink. Re-enable paging. And you should be good. Mounting the C: drive in Ubuntu is possible, but is not recommended. There are some Windows mods that need to be done if you decide to do so anyway. I'll add the mods to my answer. Much better to create a new NTFS partition that both OS's can access. Then do a normal Ubuntu install with the space that's left.
    – heynnema
    Sep 10, 2017 at 21:35
  • @heynnema: Success! The hard part is done. I temporarily disabled the hiberfil.sys, pagefile.sys, and swapfile.sys files, then shrunk the Windows partition down to 80GB, then re-enabled the system files (above). Now I have 370GB of unallocated space on the SSD. How do I use it as a /data partition and mount it to the /home directory in Ubuntu? Once successfully mounted, the /data partition will act as another directory under /home? And from /home, I can just type cd data and use it for project directories and user files?
    – RCube123
    Sep 10, 2017 at 23:26
  • @AlgoTron -- yes you make a directory in /home to mount the partition to, then it is accessed just like addressing subdirectories.
    – ravery
    Sep 10, 2017 at 23:36

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