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Normally when I install Ubuntu or any other desktop distributions of Linux I let the installer do its thing with minimal interference from me. In the last couple of installations I noticed that I frequently run out of space in my home directory which makes me wonder how do I decide how much space to allocate to all the directories under root '/'.

Is there a hard and fast rule or do I have to look into a crystal ball do guess what my needs could be in the future?

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2 Answers 2

Use lvm2, and start out with sane defaults (I use 6gb for /, 2gb for home and no swap (8GB RAM))

lvm2 ensures you will be able to allocate/resize more as needed and where needed.

I use ext4 (after a long period of favouring xfs because of it's online resize; however ext4 allows you to shrink fs-es as well, though (often?) not online; big win)

The alternative and server install disks have long since supported lvm2, grub2 also supports loading from lvm2 boot (though not on striped volumes), so it is generall y a joyfull experience these days.

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Shrink on both ext4 and LVM2 must be offline, although many of the other operations can be online. –  Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Apr 16 '11 at 22:00

For desktop purpose, I usually allocate:

  • 1-time up to 2-times more than physical memory for the swap partition
  • 8 up to 12 GiB for the system
  • rest for the /home

It is important and practical to separate /home and the rest of the system.

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