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What should be the ideal partitions for installation?

asked 2014-10-28 13:39:50 -0600

Gaurav Dighe gravatar image

updated 2015-01-31 18:45:21 -0600

mether gravatar image


I have dual booted Fedora 20 XFCE , GNOME and Windows 8.1. Now I have permanantly decided to switch to Fedora20-XFCE edition and use complete 500GB of Hard-disk.

Normaly fedora creates drives for boot, root, home and swap. And if I am not wrong, Fedora 21 will be released somewhere in December end and I will definetly be loking to upgrade it. Also, I will be performing clean install, so during that time, can i keep my /home drive intact and make F21 use /home as my default /home.I do have lot of data - songs, movies, oracle, eclipse and projects.

Therefore, please guide me what should be the ideal partitions for F20-XFCE for now and when F21 will be released i will be installing that rather than upgrade.

Below are my configurations:

  • 500 GB HardDisks
  • 4GB RAM
  • 1 GB Graphics Card
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what is your actual fs layout for your f20 install ext4 partitions, lvm, btrfs ?

baoboa gravatar imagebaoboa ( 2014-10-28 15:56:12 -0600 )edit

As I understand it, you would like to:

Erase the Windows partitions right now. Expand Fedora 20 to occupy the entire hard drive. Install Fedora 21 when it is released while keeping ONLY your current /home partition.


Like @baoboa said, we need to know your current partitioning scheme. Try fdisk -l. Post the results.

cgonz31 gravatar imagecgonz31 ( 2014-10-28 16:52:57 -0600 )edit

Just adding that partition layouts vary from person to person. A novice user would have a different one, an advanced a different one etc. There isn't such a thing as an ideal partition - you use whatever best suits you. If we get too many solutions to this question, we'll have to close it as a subjective question.

Anaconda is already set up to automatically set up a good user centric partition layout in F20 and F21. This consists of a swap, a /, and a /home partition which is a good layout for normal and advanced users.

FranciscoD_ gravatar imageFranciscoD_ ( 2014-10-28 17:09:56 -0600 )edit

I exactly don't know whether it is ext4 or lvm. I think its lvm.

Anyways the thing is when I will do a installation of f21, I don't want my data to loss as I don't have any other machine.

Second, thing I tried to keep /home disk drive of f20 intact and remove all other drives- but it wasn't allowed me to do that. So if such thing happens then I will loose my data.

This is the only concern I have. May be if this question is subjective, then should I open a new question which is more specific

Gaurav Dighe gravatar imageGaurav Dighe ( 2014-10-28 21:02:01 -0600 )edit

Before a fresh install or an upgrade, you should always back up your data to start with. Having said that, I've continously used the same /home partition through the past few Fedora releases and not had an issue. I don't remove the other partitions (not drives), I mark them for a reformat and remount them as they were mounted before. However, I see no reason why you shouldn't be able to remove and recreate them too. Can you provide the error message it gives you, or an image? It'll make the issue clearer.

FranciscoD_ gravatar imageFranciscoD_ ( 2014-10-29 03:41:10 -0600 )edit

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answered 2014-10-29 09:16:07 -0600

liquidat gravatar image

Before we start: when you alter partitions...

... make a backup of your data. There are no excuses.


As the others have already mentioned, a partition layout is a very individual thing and strongly depends on the actual use case.

Basic setup according to Fedora documentation

However, there are some basics you usually start with. From there on, you can evolve the layout to better fit your (also probably moving) needs. As mentioned in the Fedora Installation Guide, Section 9.14.5.: Recommended Partitioning Scheme there should be four partitions:

  • A swap partition
  • A /boot partition
  • A / partition
  • A /home partition

According to the documentation, the swap partition should be 8 GB, since for roughly $ GB of Ram it recommends a swap partition twice that size. The boot partition is supposed to be ok with 500 MB.

Since you use a graphical system, the root partition should be at least 20 GB, according to the document. If you want a recommendation, I would go with 25 GB.

The rest of the space can be given to /home - given that you store most of your data there.

More complex setups

The documentation also notes that there are more complex setups out there - if you work with servers, you quickly run into servers with separate /var/ partitions. This is rather common so that the system can still run perfectly even if a lot of logs are generated due to an attack.

Also, in virtual environments you might see /usr on a separate partition - this makes it easier to reuse entire file systems for various virtual machines.

However, both described examples are far from what you currently have and need.

Personal recommendation

Having quoted the documentation, there is one final recommendation I'd like to give: use LVM. With LVM you can rather easily change the partition layout later on, even creating new partitions out of nothing with just a few commands. This makes it much easier to respond to changing needs and you can do it on the fly in contrast to re-formatting the entire machine.

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Asked: 2014-10-28 13:39:50 -0600

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Last updated: Oct 29 '14