# Partitioning

Lets cover some basics here, because this part could be confusing.

To see your partition scheme type:

lsblk

# Scheme example

You should see at least 1 drive, this example has 3, including temporary flash drive:

NAME   MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
sda      8:0    0   465G  0 disk                   *SSD*
├─sda1   8:1    0   499M  0 part 
├─sda2   8:2    0   100M  0 part /boot          
├─sda3   8:3    0    16M  0 part 
├─sda4   8:4    0   185G  0 part 
└─sda5   8:5    0   200G  0 part /
sdb      8:16   0 931.5G  0 disk                   *HDD*
├─sdb1   8:17   0   400G  0 part /home
├─sdb2   8:18   0    24G  0 part [SWAP]
└─sdb3   8:19   0   508G  0 part 
sdc      8:32   1   7.5G  0 disk                   *Flash Drive*
└─sdc1   8:33   1   7.5G  0 part

TIP

For now you shouldn't see any mount points unless you mount partitions to them, this will be done later.

# Dual boot disks partitioning

If a single arch installation is desired, just ignore "windows" steps.

TIP

If you're making dual boot system with Windows, then EFI System Partition has been created with Windows installation.
You must mount it as a /boot for the Linux bootloader.

Wiping disk

This will destroy all data on chosen drive. Use with caution!

Don't wipe sda in case you had installed Windows for dual boot system.


Now simply wipe drive with gdisk:

Note!

gdisk is for GPT only, if you need MBR(old way), rather use fdisk or parted because they could cover both GPT and MBR.
It is also possible to convert between MBR and GPT with gdisk.

gdisk /dev/sdX # where X is your drive name 

Press RET first, then x for advanced config and z for zap. And now create a new one:

cgdisk /dev/sdX # where X is your drive name

WARNING

It will warn you "Non-GPT or damaged disk detected. This program will attempt to convert to GPT form or repair damage to GPT data structures, but may not succeed. Use gdisk or another disk reapir tool if you have a damaged GPT disk.", this is general case just skip it.

The upper part of the screen will show you disk(sdaX) with free space to create new partition, in the bottom part of the screen there is a menu with [ New ] selector is picked by default, just press RET. Now it's asking to allocate minimum and maximum space sector starting from 2048 by default, press RET for the minimum and put your desired space.

TIP

If you want to create any stacked block devices for LVM, disk encryption or RAID, do it now. You also can enable TRIM for SSD.

The wise idea will be to devide separate discs by their logic, dynamic and static.

# SSD

SSD - The best usecase for SSD is the system files for which speed is crucial e.g.: bootloader, browser, games, et cetera...

I'll put both Linux and Windows dynamic files on SSD ( #sda).


Tables size FS type mountpoint
sda1 499M 0c01 -
sda2 100M EF00 boot
sda3 16M 0c01 -
sda4 185G 0700 -
sda5 500G 8300 root
  • sda1,3 Microsoft reserved space. (Dual boot case: Windows partitioning system created them automatically.)
  • sda2 To boot the system it must be exactly EF00. (Dual boot case: The reason of Windows installation on the first place, created automatically.)
  • sda4 Windows partition. (Dual boot case: You'll need this space to install Windows)
  • sda5 I'm personally using around 500G for the root, but it could be less: ~50-100G - should be fine; depend on your needs and usage, because it's possible to make system really tiny.

# HDD

HDD(#sdb) - The best usecase for HDD today to be used as a user static files storage e.g.: music, projects, configurations, et cetera...


Tables size FS type mountpoint description
sdb1 400G 8300 home linux file system
sdb2 24G 8200 swap 1.5 of my RAM memory (16G)
sdb3 508G 0700 winhome microsoft basic data
  • sdb1 /home place for the user's linux static files.
  • sdb2 SWAP depends on your RAM quantity. Usually you should take x1 or x1.5 of your RAM.

SWAP NOTE

So if you have 16G of RAM, you should be fine with 16G of SWAP disc space.

If you will take less RAM, there is still a good chance of successfull hibernating.

  • sdb3 (Dual boot case: It will contain static Windows files.)

TIP

You also have choice to use space to mount e.g.: /usr or /var.

# Mount partitions to the folders

We want to assign /mnt to the root partition:

mount /dev/sda5 /mnt

Next we need to create some new folders in our /mnt:

mkdir /mnt/boot
mkdir /mnt/home

Mount them accordingly:

mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt/home

# Format the partitions

Partitions must be formatted with an appropriate file system:

  • SWAP:
mkswap /dev/sdb2
swapon /dev/sdb2
  • Linux:
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda5
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdb1

TIP

Press y if you have this warning: /dev/sdxY contains a ext4 file system

  • /boot:
mkfs.fat -F32 /dev/sda1

TIP

Boot must be Fat32 as UEFI requirement.

You already have EFI partition if you installed Windows.