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So, I have a disk with a MBR setup(image below). I've managed to have 50 GB unallocated space for intalling Linux Mint 14. And I want to keep the current windows OS too(but don't want the Mint inside windows).

enter image description here

Now I've seen in some tutorials that Linux Mint needs several partitions for bootloader, swap, & home. I don't like to have so many partitions & maybe MBR stuff won't let me create more than one now. So, is it possible to install Linux Mint in one partition only? If it is really impossible than what's the minimum number? & how can I accomplish that?

Thanks in advance.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can simply create a root / partition in your free space when you install Mint then, and avoid creating any other partition (you can decide this during the Linux installation process).

If you have enough RAM memory, you can skip creating a swap partition entirely. If you don't want a separate /home partition, you will simply have your home folder inside the root partition.

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I've 4 GB RAM. Is it enough? And I should use / as mount point in that partition & partition for mount point /boot is NOT needed, right? – sha404 Dec 18 '12 at 16:33
Please see this image:… I'll only create one partition, set its Mount point as / and select that partition for Device for boot loader installation right? – sha404 Dec 18 '12 at 16:36
It always depends on how you want to use your machine. For example, if you want to be able to hibernate, you need a swap partition of at least the size of your RAM. You can also decide not to use it entirely, although it is often suggested to have some. And yes for your second question, if I understand correctly. – user1301428 Dec 18 '12 at 16:38
Wait a second, how did you end up with that image? Suggestion: always make a full system backup before messing up with the partitions! – user1301428 Dec 18 '12 at 16:40
Haha. that's from a blog, I was following that tutorial,… – sha404 Dec 18 '12 at 16:42

Base on comment OP is asking. I would suggest VirtualBox as an alternative, which is a safer way if you are not that experience in configuring dual boot.

Download VirtualBox( and install Linux within it. Linux will run as a guest OS on top of your Windows.

Performance of Linux will depends on memory and cpu power.

You can expend your G drive to use the 50G space.

Original Answer

You can install Linux in a single partition. As this is a dual boot / small deployment, I am not going into the pro and con.

You should add a swap file (not swap partition) after the installation. This is the guild for creating it. You do need a current enough kernel (2.6.x or above) to do it though.

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So, if I just select a partition for boot loader that would be enough? I'm worried about data loss if the process automatically creates partitions for swap! – sha404 Dec 18 '12 at 15:45
(1) Have you configure dual boot before? – John Siu Dec 18 '12 at 15:51
If you expand the logical partition then you can create multiple logical volumes in that. Unlike the set of primary partitions that is not limited to four. – Hennes Dec 18 '12 at 16:03
If you select your 50GB partition as the boot partition and install GRUB to it, the PC will still boot only to Windows. You can then reconfigure the Windows Boot Loader to chain to GRUB. – Julian Knight Dec 18 '12 at 16:05
You can always copy your VirtualBox "disk image" for backup or migration. It is actually safer as you don't have to mess around with dual boot. Which may end up with a non-bootable machine. That is my main concern for you. – John Siu Dec 18 '12 at 16:28

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