I'll get straight to the point.
When I started Pop!_Planet, I launched it because I saw a need for a centralized community for Pop!_OS. To be frank, I never expected the level of popularity it has achieved. Over the last year, we have gone from under 50 users, to almost 400 users. That's awesome! However... it also comes with a downside. We are rapidly running out of disk space on our server, and the bandwidth costs go up every month.
Pop!_Planet is not affiliated with System76 in any way, and is funded completely out of pocket. From day one, I said that I'd never use on-site ads (I hate them as much as you do), so the only monetization we get is through donations. Right now, the donations we receive don't even cover our overhead.
I know that most users will ignore this message, and that's ok. However, if even a few of our users are willing and able to donate a few dollars to help offset our expenses, it would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time,
Partitioning a hard drive divides the available space into sections that can be accessed independently. An entire drive may be allocated to a single partition, or multiple ones for cases such as dual-booting, maintaining a swap partition, or to logically separate data such as audio and video files.
The required information is stored in a #Partition table scheme such as MBR or GPT.
Once created, a partition must be formatted with an appropriate file system before data can be written to it.
parted /dev/sda printor
fdisk -l /dev/sda, where
/dev/sdais a device name.
There are two main types of partition table available: Master Boot Record (MBR), and GUID Partition Table (GPT). These are described below along with a discussion on how to choose between the two. A third, less common alternative is using a partitionless disk, which is also discussed.
The Master Boot Record (MBR) is the first 512 bytes of a storage device. It contains an operating system bootloader and the storage device's partition table. It plays an important role in the boot process under BIOS systems. See Wikipedia:Master boot record#Disk partitioning for the MBR structure.
In the MBR partition table (also known as DOS or MS-DOS partition table) there are 3 types of partitions:
Primary partitions can be bootable and are limited to four partitions per disk or RAID volume. If the MBR partition table requires more than four partitions, then one of the primary partitions needs to be replaced by an extended partition containing logical partitions within it.
Extended partitions can be thought of as containers for logical partitions. A hard disk can contain no more than one extended partition. The extended partition is also counted as a primary partition so if the disk has an extended partition, only three additional primary partitions are possible (i.e. three primary partitions and one extended partition). The number of logical partitions residing in an extended partition is unlimited. A system that dual boots with Windows will require for Windows to reside in a primary partition.
The customary numbering scheme is to create primary partitions sda1 through sda3 followed by an extended partition sda4. The logical partitions on sda4 are numbered sda5, sda6, etc.
The first 440 bytes of MBR are bootstrap code area. On BIOS systems it usually contains the first stage of the boot loader. The bootstrap code can be backed up, restored from backup or erased using dd.
GUID Partition Table (GPT) is a partitioning scheme that is part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface specification; it uses globally unique identifiers (GUIDs), or UUIDs in the Linux world, to define partitions and partition types. It is designed to succeed the #Master Boot Record partitioning scheme method.
At the start of a GUID Partition Table disk there is a protective Master Boot Record to protect against GPT-unaware software. This protective MBR just like a real MBR has a bootstrap code area which can be used for BIOS/GPT booting with boot loaders that support it.
GUID Partition Table (GPT) is an alternative, contemporary, partitioning style; it is intended to replace the old Master Boot Record (MBR) system. GPT has several advantages over MBR which has quirks dating back to MS-DOS times. With the recent developments to the formatting tools, it is equally easy to get good dependability and performance for GPT or MBR.
Some points to consider when choosing:
Some advantages of GPT over MBR are:
PARTUUID) for each partition - A good filesystem-independent way of referencing partitions and disks.
The section on #Partitioning tools contains a table indicating which tools are available for creating and modifying GPT and MBR tables.
Partitionless disk a.k.a. superfloppy refers to using a storage device without using a partition table, having one file system occupying the whole storage device. The boot sector present on a partitionless device is called a volume boot record (VBR).
It may be possible to recover a destroyed MBR partition table with. See for instructions.
For GPT it is possible to restore the primary GPT header (located at the start of the disk) from the secondary GPT header (located at the end of the disk) or vice versa. See gdisk#Recover GPT header.
Another option is TestDisk, which supports recovering lost partitions on both MBR and GPT.
There are no strict rules for partitioning a hard drive, although one may follow the general guidance given below. A disk partitioning scheme is determined by various issues such as desired flexibility, speed, security, as well as the limitations imposed by available disk space. It is essentially personal preference. If you would like to dual boot Pop!_OS and a Windows operating system please see Dual boot with Windows.
This scheme is the simplest and should be enough for most use cases. A swapfile can be created and easily resized as needed. It usually makes sense to start by considering a single
/ partition and then separate out others based on specific use cases like RAID, encryption, a shared media partition, etc.
Separating out a path as a partition allows for the choice of a different filesystem and mount options. In some cases like a media partition, they can also be shared between operating systems.
Below are some example layouts that can be used when partitioning, and the following subsections detail a few of the directories which can be placed on their own separate partition and then mounted at mount points under
/. See for a full description of the contents of these directories.
The root directory is the top of the hierarchy, the point where the primary filesystem is mounted and from which all other filesystems stem. All files and directories appear under the root directory
/, even if they are stored on different physical devices. The contents of the root filesystem must be adequate to boot, restore, recover, and/or repair the system. Therefore, certain directories under
/ are not candidates for separate partitions.
/ partition or root partition is necessary and it is the most important. The other partitions can be replaced by it.
/boot) must be on the same partition as
/or mounted in early userspace by the initramfs. These essential directories are:
/ traditionally contains the
/usr directory, which can grow significantly depending upon how much software is installed. 15–20 GiB should be sufficient for most users with modern hard disks. If you plan to store a swap file here, you might need a larger partition size.
/boot directory contains the kernel and ramdisk images as well as the bootloader configuration file and bootloader stages. It also stores data that is used before the kernel begins executing user-space programs.
/boot is not required for normal system operation, but only during boot and kernel upgrades (when regenerating the initial ramdisk).
/bootpartition is only needed if your boot loader cannot access your root filesystem. For example, if the boot loader does not have a filesystem driver for it, or if
/is on software RAID, a encrypted volume or a LVM volume.
/boot. See EFI system partition#Mount the partition for more information.
A suggested size for
/boot is 200 MiB unless you are using EFI system partition as
/boot, in which case 550 MiB is recommended.
/home directory contains user-specific configuration files, caches, application data and media files.
/ to be re-partitioned separately, but note that you can still reinstall Pop!_OS with
/home untouched even if it is not separate—the other top-level directories just need to be removed, and then pacstrap can be run.
You should not share home directories between users on different distributions, because they use incompatible software versions and patches. Instead, consider sharing a media partition or at least using different home directories on the same
/home partition. The size of this partition varies.
/var directory stores variable data such as spool directories and files, administrative and logging data, etc. It is used, for example, for caching and logging, and hence frequently read or written. Keeping it in a separate partition avoids running out of disk space due to flunky logs, etc.
It exists to make it possible to mount
/usr as read-only. Everything that historically went into
/usr that is written to during system operation (as opposed to installation and software maintenance) must reside under
/varcontains many small files. The choice of file system type should consider this fact if a separate partition is used.
One can consider mounting a "data" partition to cover various files to be shared by all users. Using the
/home partition for this purpose is fine as well. The size of this partition varies.
A swap partition provides memory that can be used as virtual RAM. A swap file should be considered too, as they do not have any performance overhead compared to a partition but are much easier to resize as needed. A swap partition can potentially be shared between operating systems, but not if hibernation is used.
Historically, the general rule for swap partition size was to allocate twice the amount of physical RAM. As computers have gained ever larger memory capacities, this rule is outdated. For example, on average desktop machines with up to 512 MiB RAM, the 2× rule is usually adequate; if a sufficient amount of RAM (more than 1024 MiB) is available, it may be possible to have a smaller swap partition.
To use hibernation (a.k.a suspend to disk) it is advised to create the swap partition at the size of RAM. Although the kernel will try to compress the suspend-to-disk image to fit the swap space there is no guarantee it will succeed if the used swap space is significantly smaller than RAM. See Power management/Suspend and hibernate#Hibernation for more information.
The following programs are used to create and/or manipulate device partition tables and partitions. See the linked articles for the exact commands to be used.
This table will help you to choose utility for your needs:
fdisk and its related utilities are described in the fdisk article.
gdisk and its related utilities are described in the gdisk article.
These group of tools are described in the GNU Parted article.
For certain drives Advanced Format might be able to provide a better-performing alignment.