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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Hi, thank you for the reply.
So with my 80gb hard drive,
How would i share the 80gb hard drive between the following?
Linux - / /boot /home swap space
I think they would probably be the only partitions i would need for linux.