Partitions - again (dual boot, /home on separate hard disk)

Hi there,

I was totally overwhelmed by the installer again. I don't install any Linux on a regular basis and partitioning depends on BIOS/UEFI, installed hard disks and much more...

So the installer described the partitions in a strange way, I had to open Gparted beside it to understand which operating system can access which partition on which drive. And where the heck my /home is - that shouldn't be overwritten, of course.

Now I found /dev/sdb (250GB SSD) to be my "old" Zorin drive.
sdb1 is now /boot with 500 MB.
sdb2 is now efi with 200 MB.
sdb3 is now / (root) with about 180 GB.
What I don't know for sure, because the Zorin help isn't any help in this case and different sources say different things: Is that space for /boot and efi enough?

I understand that Zorin is meant for absolute beginners, that I am not anymore. But my mainboard is the first UEFI one and everything changed with it, together with SSD hard disks that shouldn't hibernate any more (what would mean writing the whole RAM to them every time hibernation is executed), so there's also no swap any more...

I would be very fond of a professional giving some updated hints on which partitions a new Zorin install has to have (and maybe which additional ones would make sense) on a UEFI system and which sizes they should have.



the information you provided you is a bit scattered and hard to understand.

your boot files, EFI partition, and the root partition should be on the same hard drive. the EFI partition and the root partition are typically separate partitions on that drive. you have the option to have different partitions for /home and /boot, or you can choose to have them in the same partition.

for /boot 500MB is enough
for /efi 250MB
for /home, it depends on your personal needs, the home directory stores user data for example your downloads, personal files. you can even have it as low as 50GB if you plan to not store much of your personal data on your hard drive.

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First off, I have never used /boot with one exception which involved a work machine, eeepc netbook which had an SSD of 10 Gb hard split into 4 Gb and 6 Gb. Normally EFI (sometimes labelled ESP) should be 512 Mb. '/' root file system; I used to recommend 50 Gb but after an issue of it getting filled quickly when using Feren OS I now recommend 80 Gb as a minimum. Where any installation has /home partition on same drive as '/' I recommend placing it in an extended partition, with swap area, double the amount of what physical RAM is present but this only applies to traditional HDDs, swap is not needed for SSDs. Ext4 is best used for SSD, it will not shorten the life of the drive.
sdb indicates it is the second drive in your system. sda will be your primary drive. If you press the drop-down arrow in GParted next to the drive indicating the drive being viewed you will see other drive names listed.

Good article on /boot here:

and issues on EFI here:

Might help explain why it's using /boot/efi - as the system may be a BIOS / Legacy boot device, which EFI would not be used; it is used, just differently. My mums older Dell laptop is like that, but still uses EFI - just not a separate partition due to BIOS / Legacy boot.

What machine are you using (specs)? Also what year was it produced, that will definitely help pin-down what boot type is being utilized.

For HDD's - sda, sdb, sdc = internal disks | sda = disk 1, sda1 = disk one, partition one | sdb = second disk, sdb1 = second disk, partition one - and etc. EMMc and NVMe are labeled 'mmcblk01' for EMMC, 'nvme0n1' for NVMe.

Also - are you setting manual partitions? If it's a full install, no dual-boot - I'd suggest letting the installer take control for partitions and all; even with dual-booting, I suggest using the installer recommendations. Anything EFI related is suggested to use ~512MB, so that sounds right.

Swap - yes, it's there; I can assure you of that :wink: Swap isn't handled by a set partition anymore but, you may still use the partition if you wish. Swap is handled by a swapfile now, kind of like zram, but not quite. The swapfile, I think, is easier to deal with - especially resizing swap. Before, I would run out of swap space but it was a partition - then, I tried resizing the swap partition and killed my system lol.. So, yes - swap is still used. It may be configured as a partition if you wish. I don't have hibernation options in Zorin - that I'm aware of, I only have suspend. Also running no swap, so that might not be an option for me overall. For hibernation, though - it's normally suggested to have a swap space either matching, or over the size of your physical RAM.

Home - was normally a separate partition, like swap. And killed many systems in the past trying to resize that as well :joy: I've learned a lot the hard way hahaha But, 'home' folders are normally in the /home/user/ format from the root of the drive. Like with Windows and the 'users' folder, it's 'c:\users\user' as Ubuntu is /home/user'. Linux uses the '/' forward slash, vs Windows that uses the '' backslash - just some slight differences.

But, yeah if you're setting manual partitions - first partition: EFI/boot ~512MB, second: swap if needed, or home, up to you for size on either - third: your ext4 or other filesystem type (btrfs, ext4, etc.), and for the rest of the size left; much like C: for Windows, that's your user space..

Do suggest letting the installer make the partitions though - it can get pretty complicated, very fast..

(edit) Forgot one tiny thing :smirk: - if the machine can't see UEFI boot devices or installers (or doesn't install correctly, i.e. no boot), you could use Unetbootin to make the install USB - that still uses the BIOS / Legacy format. Have had to use that to get installed vs using Rufus or Etcher in the past. Rufus has legacy boot options but, they don't really work out for me haha but are there.


Sorry for the scattering - it's the same in my head :face_with_peeking_eye:
Thanks for the suggestions for boot and efi - that was mostly the information I was looking for.

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Thanks for the additional information. I'm using my /home for about 10 years now - yes, it is big enough :grin:

That is a nice, big story...
As my title says "dual boot" - of course with Windoze, still can't completely let it go to hell -.-
And no, I don't need any BIOS/UEFI working - in my third paragraph I mention having an UEFI board (if it is any help to you: An Gigabyte Aorus Elite AX V2, which I bought last year to build my computer after leaving it 10 years alone).
I think I will have to dive into my profile a bit :face_with_peeking_eye:

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Thanks for all your answers. I can only mark one as solution, though.

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