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Dual Boot / Partition

John Bartlett
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2006
Posts: 116

I am just about to start my first dual boot installation and was hoping someone could help me with a question i have.

I have an 80gb hd and want to have XP and Fedora as my two operating systems on dual boot, but i am a little bit stuck on how much hard drive space i should give each one. I have an 80gb hard drive.

Also i was hoping someone could help me with what partitions to install for fedora, i keep reading about these:


I understand that / is the root partition and is needed but im not sure whether the other two are needed?

Thank you,

Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 17421

You can get by with 1 partition, but 2 is the minimum recommended, since it's better to have the swapfile in its own partition.

To move up a step, the next-best partition candidates are /home (makes it less likely you'll nuke your personal files if you install a new OS) and /boot (120M is plenty - useful if you're into VMs).

Next up are /var (easier to grow) and /usr (if sharing executables between multiple system releases).

If you want an all-in-one partition of a recent Linux release, probably about 8GB is enough. If you allocate the Linux stuff to LVM, you can expand the logical volumes somewhat more easily.

"/" is the filesystem root. It isn't so much a partition as the master anchor point, so it's quite possible for "/" to have nothing in it but softlinks to filesystems mounted on other partitions.

As for needed, Linux pretty much requires /bin, /sbin, /usr, /var, /etc and /tmp, and it's unlikely you'll be able to do without /opt, /selinux, /media, or /sys. However, these are just nodes in the filesystem and don't require their own separate partitions unless you want it that way.

/proc and /dev, BTW are built up more or less dynamically by the OS each time you boot.

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John Bartlett
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 25, 2006
Posts: 116
Hi, thank you for the reply.

So with my 80gb hard drive,

How would i share the 80gb hard drive between the following?

Windows XP

Linux - /
swap space

I think they would probably be the only partitions i would need for linux.

Thank you,

Lewin Chan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 10, 2001
Posts: 214
Well, it really depends on what you're doing. I assume that WinXP is your main machine, in which case I would probably split it 60/20 in favour of XP.

For the 20Gb you leave for Linux I would advocate at least 4 partitions.

/boot - 100 to 150Mb
/tmp - anything from 500Mb - 1Gb
swap - Some, probably 512Mb or similar will do.
/ - The rest of the space.

I always have a /tmp partition, as I have had bad experiences of badly behaved apps filling up /tmp and as a consequence of not having a separate partition, filling up the entire disk...

You probably don't need a separate /home partition, unless of course you are often reinstalling the OS and don't want to nuke your own files

Whatever you do, it will still quite flexible afterwards. You can also add a new disk, create a partition, and mount it as /var if the existing /var is running out of space.

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subject: Dual Boot / Partition
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