How to create partitions in Ubuntu while installing?

  • I had Windows 7 crashed. So I wanted to install 12.04. While installing, I am not able to create a new partition after deleting all earlier partitions. I mean I am able to create but not able to understand the technical jargons as I am new to any version of Linux.

    Please help me with the steps for creating to create three partition of 50GB, 50GB and 150GB. I want my Ubuntu files to be in one of the 50GB partition or suggest any better way to partition. (I have only 1 hard disk of 250GB in my laptop).

    If possible please explain to what the technical terms mean.

  • There are two kind of disk in terms of legacy partition table.

    1. Primary - Generally OS are use this kind of partition.
    2. Extended - A special type of primary partition that holds many logical partition.

    Max number of primary partition (including extended partition) can be 4. Extended partition doesn't take much space. Consider its a packing box and your logical partitions are packed inside it.

    Filetypes of disk parition:

    • These defines how the files will written in disk. Earlier windows (upto xp) used FAT, FAT32. Newer windows file systems called NTFS.

    • Unix / Linux uses different file types like ext, ext3, ext4. In addition linux uses a partition with special format called swap.

    Now I am assuming you want to have dual boot with windows. So first 50 GB is for ubuntu, second 50 GB for windows system and rest 150 GB for data.

    Now ubuntu requires a swap partition (not necessarily if you have big amount of ram). Its generally calculated 1.5x RAM SIZE. If you have a 2GB RAM, preserve 1 GB for SWAP, have 4 GB RAM , preserve 512MB. Its your choice. Good amount of SWAP improves performance.


    1. Click on unallocated space, click on new. Enter size as 48GB (you have to enter in mb), choose file system type as ext4, mount point /, partition type primary This means ubuntu root partition.

    2. Click on unallocated space, click on new. Enter size as 2GB, choose primary partition, file system type SWAP.

    3. Click on unallocated space, click on new. Enter size 50 GB, choose primary partition, file type ntfs (I don't remember whether this option available, you can use gparted later to format if its not available .)

    4. Click on rest unallocated space, click on it. Choose ntfs as file system, partition type logical and create it. This will automatically create extended partition.


    • Why logical drive in ntfs? Its because it will be available to both windows and ubuntu. Windows can't work with ext file system.

    • If you don't want windows at all, you can create all file system with ext4. But remember if you ever try to install windows, you have to reformat everything. Otherwise those drives won't be visible.

    • If you don't want to install a windows system, in step 3, choose logical instead of primary.

  • If you really have anything on your disk and you don't understand how to create partitions, you are supposed to use the default option, to use all the disk for Ubuntu. Think that I never did it so I don't know how to do it.

    Otherwise you have to create only two partitions:

    First one (ext2, ext3 or ext4) which is called '/'. Its the root partition for all the Linux Operating System.

    Second one (linux-swap) with about 4 GBytes, its a disk space for Linux that where users never reads from or writes in, only Linux manages this partition.

    Once you have installed Linux, you can resize the first partition and then create others, even compatible with Windows OS. You can perfectly have 5 partitions of 49 Gb and one Linux-Swap partition.

  • If you are attempting to install Ubuntu alone on the disk, the installer will create the first partition as a primary partition. And that first partition, following the recommendation made earlier, should be mounted at /boot. The default file system for /boot on Ubuntu is ext2. You can use that, or ext4, the default journaling file system on Ubuntu 11.04. The partition number of this boot partition, if it is the first partition on the disk, will be /dev/sda1. While many Linux distributions assign about 500 MB of disk space to /boot, only about 30 MB is used on a new installation of Ubuntu 11.04. If you are tight on disk space, you can go as low as 50 BM, but keep in mind that disk usage on /boot will grow with each upgrade. Click OK to create it.

    Now that /boot has been created, select the free space and click on Add to create other partitions. Note that this step will have to be repeated for all other partitions.

    The second partition will be for Swap. The installer will attempt to create it as a logical partition, but you do not have to. Like /boot, it could also be a primary partition. The first logical partition of an extended partition is /dev/sda5. If you create this partition as a primary partition, it will be /dev/sda2.

    Select “Swap area” from the “Use as” dropdown menu. The “Mount point” menu will be disabled because Swap does not need a mount point. A disk size of 2000 MB or 2 GB is usually good enough for Swap. Add.

    The third partition will be for /. The installer recommends a minimum of 4.4 GB of disk space for installing Ubuntu 11.04, but on a new installation, just 2.3 GB of disk space is used. As more applications are installed on a running system, disk usage will grow, so you want to be very generous here – if you have disk space to spare. The default file system on a non-boot partition is ext4. Other options available are ext3, xfs, jfs and reiserfs. Btrfs is also a file system option, but the disk partitioning scheme for installing Linux on a btrfs file system is slightly different from this one. That will be covered in another article.

    OK to create this partition.

    The final partition will be for /home. The file system is ext4, and you may use the available disk space here. OK

    Back to the main manual partitioning window, you can see all the partitions just created. Before you click Install Now, you have to determine where GRUB, the boot loader, will be installed. On a standalone installation, the best location is the default – in the Master Boot Record of the disk. It is also possible to install it in the /boot partition, but that is not recommended for this installation.

    This solution worked for me. My problem was that i was trying to install ubuntu on a separate hdd that is part of a Windows-7 setup. I created the above partitions on this separate disk, installed GRUB on the same disk, and sets its priority as 1 in BIOS. Now Grub correctly recognizes both Ubuntu and Win-7 partitions and lets me pick one to boot into.

    1. If your Win7 is running normal then use Windows disk management and unallocate your desired free space for Ubuntu 50GB for ext4 journal and same size of your RAM for swap.
    2. Install Ubuntu via USB disk and a select the option that states Other...(something in that sense...). Then select your unallocated free space to create ext4 and swap.
    3. If your Win7 is gone as in kaput then you must install it first if you want dual booting.
    4. If you can do computing without Windows then install Ubuntu in item 2 above with all your drive ext4 and some swap.

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Content dated before 6/26/2020 9:53 AM

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