The partition table

With a bit of help from Sjors I devised the following partition table for my mother’s computer.

First of all, there’s the main hard drive that Windows is currently installed on. Resizing the NTFS partition using Ubuntu’s installer, I’ll make another, ext3, partition for /boot of 500MB, which might be bigger than needed, but it’s not like she can’t miss that space…

Then there’s the external 160GB hard drive which will be fully used for Ubuntu. I’ll create an ext3 partition of 30GB to store /, a swap-partition of 10 GB (yes, that is more than enough, too) and I’ll fill up the rest with an ext3 partition for /home.

The reasoning behind the /boot partition on the first hard drive is that it can now safely boot even when the external hard drive is disconnected, and if something would go wrong with the other Linux partitions, it would still be able to boot Windows.

Then there’s the /home partition. This might save me a lot of headaches – when there’s a problem I can do a fresh installation of Ubuntu without erasing all documents and settings my mother created. Of course, were this situation ever to occur it would be really shameful for Ubuntu, but on the other hand, it’s a plus that this is possible. And of course, another situation where it would be useful is when I want to install a newer version, though it might cause problems with outdated configuration files.

Of course, if anyone has any further suggestions for the partition table they are more than welcome. Let’s hope everything works out as expected tomorrow…

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3 Responses to “The partition table”


  1. 1 n00b 30 May 2009 at 5:39 am

    swap-partition of 10 GB – ok!? So you have 5GB of memory installed.. what an unusual number. Not that it’s impossible of course, just odd.

    Ubuntu has this to say about swap-partitions.

    # If you have n MB of RAM, you need between n and 2*n MB of swap.
    # If you have a large enough disk, use 2*n MB swap.

    Hard drives are considerably slower than RAM.

    Now then, personally I’d say if you have 1GB system memory, use around 512mb for swap. This case for using massive swap is really going to degrade performance as the hard drive is going to be… well nothing really a Linux kernel isn’t that silly… of course it won’t try to use anywhere near that!

    Why have 4GB of really nice fast DDR memory to then trash your O/S with a lame old 10k hard drive swap-partition?

    Fix your system if you got swap wrong.

    sudo mkswap /mnt/512Mb.swap

    sudo swapon /mnt/512Mb.swap

    gksudo gedit /etc/fstab

    add this line at the end of the file:

    /mnt/512Mb.swap none swap sw 0 0

    What’s there to put to the test? It’s debian with some user friendly bits…

    • 2 Vincent 30 May 2009 at 9:41 am

      Hmm yeah… I’m a bit at a loss as to why I did that as well. If I were to redo it now I’d have chosen 2GB. It hasn’t really done harm, I suppose, since she was far from short of space.

      Anyway, I can’t redo it now – the external hard drive is broken so it’s just Windows now…


  1. 1 Installation « The Ubuntu Experiment Trackback on 4 January 2008 at 9:40 am

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