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installing ubuntu 14.04 on old Dell Vostro -- what partitions?

Posted on 2014-10-07
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Dell Vostro 3500
240GB SSD hard drive
8GB system memory
Ubuntu 14.04.1

I'm installing Ubuntu on this old Dell.

I'm in the Advanced Partition screen. I've got 240GB of space to work with.

What partitions should I set up, and how much space should I give to each?

I think I need these partitions:
/ (root)
/boot
swap

.... correct?

What are your thoughts? Thank you for your advice.

Eric
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Question by:Eric Bourland
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serialband earned 250 total points
ID: 40367184
Are you using this as a server or just a desktop?  If it's just your desktop, then let the system configure it for you automatically.  I would generally configure it manually and have just a swap of 4 GB and allocate everything else to /.  There's really no need to worry about the disk space that much anymore for a desktop user.  That was more critical in the old days when you needed separate disk partitions to keep users from killing root and /boot by filling up the disk.

If you really want a /boot, you could make it about 500 MB if you plan on updating your kernel and keeping several older versions around.  Otherwise, 200-300MB should be  sufficient.

If you want to run it as a server, I'd probably go with / (10-15 GB), /boot/ (500 MB), /var/ (10-15 GB), /home (rest of disk).  I might put more into / and /var depending on how much software I want to add.  With a real server system, I'd have an entire disk dedicated to /, /boot, and /var, possibly partitioned, or not these days, with a RAID unit mounted on /home for user files.  You do not need a lot of swap.  The more you add, the slower your system will eventually run when something gets put there.
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by:Eric Bourland
ID: 40367209
serialband, thank you! I will try it out and let you know what happens.

best from Eric
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by:Eric Bourland
ID: 40367210
It's a desktop installation.
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 40367337
I wouldn't use a separate partition for /boot.  Are you going to use hibernate functions? If yes, make the swap partition the same size as your RAM. If not, it can be much smaller. For Linux Swap, particularly if you have enough RAM, is hardly used, so you can keep it small. But for hibernation or sleep modes it needs to be the size of the RAM.

I usually make the root partition about 10GB (this depends a bit on the size of the installation CD/DVD, and what other software you want to install additionally), but generally a standard installation of a Linux distro has almost everything needed in it's default setup, so not much needs to be added. The rest you can use for the /home partition. You could also make the home partition smaller, and leave some GB's free. That would allow you to install and try other Linux distro's in the left over space in dual boot setups.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Eric Bourland
ID: 40367367
Dear serialband and rindi,

Thank you very much for these helpful replies. I applied your advice, and I've got Ubuntu running on my old Dell Vostro 3500. Works like a charm.

Wishing you the best. Have a great evening.

Eric
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