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Ubuntu 10.10 manual disk partitioning guide

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The last partition, which will be a logical partition, will be for /home. For this tutorial, 15 GB has been assigned to this partition. 15 GB is too small for a partition that will be used for /home, but this is an example. Since this is not an LVM-based partitioning scheme, be very generous with home. If this were a permanent installation that I intend to use, and given the available disk space, I could easily allocate 50 GB to 150 GB to /home. For the Mount point, select /home and click OK.

A little note about logical partitions: When you opt to create a logical partition, something else takes place that a graphical installer does not reveal: An extended partition is first created, then the logical partition is created under the extended partition. By creating an extended partition, it is now possible to create a virtually unlimited number of logical partitions. It is highly unlikely that you will ever need to create more than a few (2 to 4) logical partitions, but just know that you can, if you need to.

15install

Create the /home partition

If you intend to create separate partitions for other file systems, you may continue. For this tutorial, this is the end. You will notice that there is still plenty of disk space left. That is by design. I intend to install another OS alongside this one. That is how to set up a hard drive for dual-booting. It makes it easier when you it comes time to install the second OS, especially if you are also going to create partitions manually. With the partitioning completed, click Install Now to continue with the rest of the installation.

16install

Complete disk partitioning

I hope this guide has been helpful. If you need further assistance, feel free to ask for help at the forum. It is a better environment for discussing and resolving issues than the commenting system. You can have quality articles like this delivered automatically to your feed reader or inbox by subscribing via RSS or email.

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24 Comments

  1. Apkarp says:

    Can you help me? My older brother installed Linux on my computer and created another partiton just for other data, like files, gtames, images and so on. And he left, not telling me how to swap partitions from the main one, with ubuntu system files to the other, memory one. I would be glad if you can reply, as I couldn’t find anything.
    Apkarp

    • finid says:

      Provide a little bit more detail, and we’ll see if we can help. What operating systems are installed on the PC?

      Have you called your bro to find out exactly what he did?

      • Apkarp says:

        I don’t have contact with him right now, but I was watching what he was doing. First he started installing Ubuntu, and created a system partition, on which system was saved. There is a little place for files too, but it’s not much, then he added a swap partition and a partition only fro files, with no system on it (not sure how is it called though). I have only Ubuntu on my computer. Ah, and he said, that he is adding a partition, so if someday I would install windows, then files on this partition could be used from both linux and windows
        Sorry for my english, I’m from Poland.

        • finid says:

          Ok, what do you want to do, that is, what do you want help with? What edition of Ubuntu is installed on the PC?

          Also, can you post the output of “df -h”. To do that, open a shell terminal, then type “df -h” without the quotes. Then, copy and paste the output so we can see what the partitioning scheme looks like. I think your bro likely created an NTFS partition, but post the output and let’s confirm.

          • Apkarp says:

            I have Ubuntu 11.04, but I use ubuntu classic skin (probably it doesn’t change anything, but in case of…)

            /dev/sda1 33G 24G 7.6G 76% /
            none 1.6G 680K 1.6G 1% /dev
            none 1.6G 1.4M 1.6G 1% /dev/shm
            none 1.6G 216K 1.6G 1% /var/run
            none 1.6G 0 1.6G 0% /var/lock
            /home/adam/.Private 33G 24G 7.6G 76% /home/adam

            This is what was shown when I entered “df -h”, but I’m kinda sure, that I have more memory there… But I am still learning very basics of Ubuntu, so probably I’m wrong.

  2. Abhi says:

    My instalation gets stuck at “detecting file systems” ? please help me out. how to continue instalation after that.

    • finid says:

      Have you tried restarting the installation? What are our hardware specs?

      Btw, I hope you are aware that Ubuntu 11.10 has been released. If you are going to install a distro, you might have well install the latest. See the review here

  3. Leon says:

    I have one physical and one logical for my WinXP. When I try to install Ubuntu 10.10, I cannot create more than 2 partitions. May I know how to do it? (creating 3 primary and 1 logical as shown in this example)

    I tried to partition in my WinXP first, but I found out now, I can only create logical partition in WinXP.

    Please advise. Thanks

  4. Raff says:

    Hey, I’ve installed Ubuntu 10.10 with no swap, and now I want the system to use a swap memory. With GParted I created the swap space and formated it for doing that, and now this memory is not in use. How do I make Ubuntu see and use this swap memory? Thanks in advance!

    • finid says:

      I think you have to add an entry for it in /etc/fstab.

      Here’s what an entry in Linux Mint 10 looks like:

      proc /proc proc nodev,noexec,nosuid 0 0
      /dev/sda3 / ext4 errors=remount-ro 0 1
      /dev/sda1 /boot ext2 defaults 0 2
      /dev/sda2 none swap sw 0 0

      Be sure to change the file system (/dev/sda2 above) to match your system.

      Btw, I did not know that you could install Ubuntu without swap.

  5. pb says:

    Hey, I am wondering how I get past the ‘Detecting File Systems… 0%’ stage?

  6. carolinason says:

    agreed! no ext4 for /boot, this is a case where journaling doesn’t apply. ext2 is sufficient and faster.

    • carolinason says:

      and further i can’t see anyone needing 20GB for /, ever! unless they are using /opt for extra programs. 8GB should be a super dooper liberal amount even for the most “load every program from the repository and never clean apt” kinda user.

  7. me says:

    You love troubles. Or is there other reason why you formated /boot with ext4 fs? ext2 is far better option for /boot partition…

  8. mario says:

    Another note: the Ubuntu desktop installer is pretty lo-fi. But you can use encrypted partitions with it anyway. Just prepare your partitions with fdisk, set it up as LUKS, pre-mount the crypted partitions, and start the installer afterwards. It will pick those settings up. However, it requires some post-processing still (chroot to target partition, adapt fstab and crypttab, and install ‘cryptsetup’ package to have boot image updated).

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