Partitioning a Laptop

piLpiL Registered User regular
edited August 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Firstly, I have a laptop I'm formatting and starting over on. On this laptop, I'd like to install both XP and Ubuntu. I've never used Ubuntu, but this seems like a good time to get used to that Linux thing. Second, I only have 30 gb to work with, which is some tight space, and so I'm worried about how I should split them up.

The current idea is to have a 15 gb windows partition, a 10gb Linux partition, and 5 there for whatever. 5 seems very small to me, but I'm worried about windows swelling and I'm not sure what I'll need for Ubuntu.

Advice? Help? Can I safely trim those partitions down to make a bigger "misc" partition (I would put software, games, etc. there), am I doomed to failure?


piL on


  • whuppinswhuppins Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Are you sure you need a third partition? Maybe you can explain your reasoning for that 5 GB doohickey in greater detail and people can tell you if it's necessary or not. I imagine that it's for stuff you want to have access to regardless of what you're booted into, but I'm not sure you need a separate partition for that.

    whuppins on
  • piLpiL Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Well, part of it was that neutral land outside the domain of any OS, because I didn't know if I'd run into trouble for trying to access software from one onto another, but also because I like to try and keep most non-OS data on a partition, thus keeping the OS on the fastest reading portion of the disk and relatively separate from the rest of the data (allowing me to reinstall an OS and still be able to access old data if I wish).

    In this situation, would it probably be better to just nix that standard and go with 20/10 or 15/15 or some such?

    piL on
  • DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Having a third partition for data and "common ground" between the operating systems is not a terrible idea. Linux's support for writing to NTFS is relatively new and although people say it's reliable, do you really want Linux having the opportunity to hose your Windows partition? Conversely, do you really want to install Windows on FAT32? Having a 3rd FAT32 partition or NTFS that doesn't have the OS on it wouldn't be bad.

    30GB isn't a tremendous amount to work with if you're doing serious work, and having to split it up makes that even worse. Have you considered just going out and getting a bigger laptop hard drive? They're inexpensive, quite easy to replace, and I highly, highly recommend getting a 7200RPM laptop drive. Most stock laptop drives are 4200 or 5400RPM, and bumping that to 7200 increases your machine's speed noticeably, without a large increase in heat or drop in power.

    Also, why do you want both Windows and Ubuntu on the same machine so you can dual boot? Dual booting is a major pain in the ass. Do you plan to spend your time more in one than the other?

    If you just want to install Ubuntu for shits and giggles and farting around and learning Linux, then don't set it up as dual boot. Go download the free VMWare server and install it on Windows. Run Ubuntu within Windows under VMware. Share files by remote-mounting a shared directory, or just mount -t smbfs your whole C drive under virtual Ubuntu. Then, even if you mess up your Linux installation somehow, the worst that happens is you delete the virtual machine and install a new one. Want to try out a different Linux distribution? Go ahead and just whip off a new VM and install it there.

    DrFrylock on
    Pheezer wrote: »
    I would strongly recommend reading DrFrylock's post thoroughly and considering all of his points individually.
  • piLpiL Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I have to head out right now unfortunately, but I will look into a larger Hard Drive--I just sort of assumed it was a pain. I'm kind of a cheapass, so I'm not sure how well that would work.

    The laptop is not a main machine, but rather something to carry around to Dungeon and Dragons games, typing things, and also just a general all around internets box. No serious business really needs to go on there. The Ubuntu was mainly shits and giggles and learning linux, so a virtual machine sounds like a real good idea. While I'd like to do as much in Linux as I can, just to force myself into familiarity, I imagine that after three weeks I'd get fed up and just use windows most of the time.

    Thanks again for the sound advice, with the VM I could probably get away with just one large install.

    piL on
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