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2287 posts

Uber Geek


# 248032 7-Mar-2019 21:04
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I'm in over my head here. I've always used the guided partitioning approach so have never engaged on best practice for manual partitioning and now need some help. I have a single board computer (Udoo x86). I'm trying to install Ubuntu to a new 32GB SSD. I'm installing Ubuntu desktop but intend to use it primarily headless as a home automation server (currently planning OpenHAB but might change that). I'm currently thinking:



sda1 512 MB - Primary - Beginning - swap


sda2 20 GB - Logical - Beginning - ext4 - /


sda3 512 MB - Logical - Beginning - ext4 - /boot


sda4 (remainder - 11GB-ish) - Logical - Beginning - ext4 - /home



Does this sound about right? Sizes? Does the order of partitions matter? Do I need a /var or /tmp mount point? Am I completely missing something crucial?

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Mr Snotty
8768 posts

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  # 2193273 7-Mar-2019 22:07
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Doesn't matter too much on the position of the partitions from experience however would recommend Home Assistant over OpenHAB. They do have their own distribution (


I'd personally keep it simple and have 2 partitions. Use a swapfile (1gb) instead of a swap partition ( and just have a large root filesystem instead of splitting it into /home and /.

198 posts

Master Geek

  # 2193275 7-Mar-2019 22:07
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The Arch wiki is always my goto. Everyone should setup an Arch machine at least a few times just to see what actually goes into building a Linux environment from scratch.


The full install guide:


And what you really want, recommended partition layouts:


Note: it depends whether you use EFI or BIOS.




-e- Agree with Michael's advice to have a large root partition rather than split /home.


Mr Snotty
8768 posts

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  # 2193277 7-Mar-2019 22:11
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Yes Arch Linux is a good way to learn. I was also going to recommend Debian over Ubuntu (personal preference on my side) and just follow the default install which installs things quite nicely and in a clean manner. That way you end up with a minimal system ready for whatever you want to do with it.


Don't go installing a full desktop - basically install it with the standard system utilities and SSH only. It is better to keep Linux distributions as light as possible when you're dealing with running it headless anyway. You'll find you're going to be using the terminal for any and all configuration regardless (however, does have some nice features to do a bulk of this in the browser now).

6 posts

Wannabe Geek

  # 2193324 8-Mar-2019 07:20
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I'd keep it simple. Install a standard hard drive alongside the SSD. Place Root on the SSD and Home and swap on the hard drive. Swap need not be large but most distros insist on one. You can partition the HD as many ways as you need depending on the final use of the box.


Hope this helps.

6850 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2193345 8-Mar-2019 08:24
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Hi if it does not require a full desktop then I recommend webmin if your not comfortable driving by shell alone.



2287 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2193438 8-Mar-2019 10:03
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Thanks all. Will proceed accordingly and have a bigger swap and everything else in root. 👍


The single board computer I'm using is fairly unique (kickstarter project I backed, forgot about, received, put in drawer, forgot about again, and am now finally trying to do something with). It has an embedded Arduino microcontroller among other things. I'm not confident enough in my ability not to Stuff Things Up to try going straight to the Arduino CLI inside shell-only access so wanted to set it up using (a) the recommended distro for the funky hardware and (b) have the ability to drop into a GUI.


Longer term, once I know I can make it work, I will look to do a clean install (clearing out all the mistakes made previously) with server only.


762 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 2193481 8-Mar-2019 10:57

The latest versions of Ubuntu no longer creates swap partitions by default. Ubuntu does the same as Windows and uses a swap file instead.


I'd recommend sticking with that scheme for home use. It is much easier to setup and maintain.



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