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I have a 128GB SSD I bought to install Linux on, and also a bunch of Magnetic HDDs, including one with a ~50GB empty space I can use for some of my Linux installation partitions (the other partitions are for use with Windows, and for storing all sorts of OS-independent stuff). I also have a 4GB swap partition on one of the HDDs. This is a desktop machine (trying Linux Mint 15 KDE), it doesn't even do filesharing (which I've offloaded to a server). It's for SW development work, browsing, surfing, image editing, viewing media etc. My computer has 8 GB of RAM.

How would you suggest I partition the space I have? Specifically:

  • Should I create a swap partition on the SSD as well?
  • How big should my /boot, /, /home be?
  • Do I need a separate /var?
  • Which of the partitions, if any, would you place in the the empty space on the existing HDD?

and any other advice would be appreciated.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Karan, Canadian Luke, Michael Kjörling, gronostaj, Simon Sheehan Jul 23 '13 at 13:47

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

How much RAM do you have? I wouldn't suggest a swap partition or file on a sd drive anyway tho. – ott-- Jul 13 '13 at 21:02
My computer has enough RAM, but sometimes I'm doing something that is RAM intensive and do not want to risk my application crashing. I would recommend to use a small swap if you think that your system will reach the limitations of the amount of RAM you have. – kobaltz Jul 14 '13 at 2:41

This is highly subjective, but -

  1. If you think you will use any appreciable amount of swap, putting it on the SSD is a good idea.
  2. If you use LVM you can resize partitions and move data arround between the devices if your requirements change or your initial setup scheme chooses to be imperfect.
  3. /boot should typically be between 200 megs and 1 gig.
  4. SWAP would typically be the same size as RAM. If you have less then 2 gigs of ram use more swap, if you have more then 8 gigs use less swap.
  5. No, you don't need a seperate /var
  6. /home will totally depend on what you do. You can symlink either /home or /home/??? to other parts of the filesystem for greater flexibility.

Generally I'd suggest the OS and programs on the SSD and the data (ie /home) on the HDD if you believe you will be constrained for space on the SSD. YMMV

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