Is it possible to install Linux on a single primary partition? I already have three primary partitions occupied by Windows 7 which I cannot give up.

  • Yes, and IMO (contra the conventional wisdom) using more than one partition on a stand-alone desktop has next to no value beyond setting yourself up for inefficient use of space.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 9, 2014 at 15:40
  • @goldilocks not even swap and /home?
    – terdon
    Jan 9, 2014 at 23:25

2 Answers 2


Yes it is. There is no requirement for separate partitions in a Linux install, it's just a very good idea. Having certain partitions separate protects you from losing everything if a single partition fails. It is also good to have your $HOME on a separate partition as that facilitates reinstalling or changing distributions.

However, you are free to set up Linux on a single partition and should have absolutely no problems with it.

A better option, however, is to create a fourth partition as an Extended Partition. That allows you to create multiple logical partitions within it and so have a Linux system with separate partitions for certain folders.

  • Great! This is all I wanted to know
    – daniel
    Jan 9, 2014 at 15:42

Using a LiveCD Linux such as ubuntu you can open gparted (Gnome Partition Editor) to organize your hard disk.
You can then resize your primary partitions and create a new extended partition on the remaining free space. Then create at least two logical partition inside the extended one :
1. An ext4 partition for the system root filesystem /
2. A swap partition with the 2*RAM as size.

Then you can start installing your Linux.

  • @terdon, Merci bien !
    – Slyx
    Jan 9, 2014 at 18:32

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