Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question

migrated from Apr 16 '11 at 21:57

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

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.

share|improve this answer
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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.