I decided it's (finally) time to make my eee a debian/WinXP dual boot. I have Windows already installed and chose to sacrifice most of an existing data partition for debian. Here's how the partitions look like in the debian installer:

SCSI2 (0,0,0) (sdb) - 2.0 GB TE USB
    #1              2.0 GB      fat16
SCSI5 (0,0,0) (sdc) - 160.0 GB ATA ST9160314AS
    #1 prmiary     77.4 GB  B   ntfs
       pri/log     77.4 GB      FREE SPACE
    #3 prmiary      5.2 GB      fat32
    #4 primary     49.4 MB 

From what I read the last two partitions are ASUS' hidden recovery partitions for reinstalling windows when the time comes. I have also read, that there's a general 4 primary partitions limit and I need at least 2 primary partitions (/ and swap) for my debian install.

The limit is why (I believe), when I create one partition on the FREE SPACE, the rest of it is described as 'unusable' by the installer.

What's the best thing to do now? I wouldn't want to lose the recovery partitions (they will come in handy eventually, creating your own USB bootable win image is a pain, and most of the firmware is useful) and I definately wouldn't like to give up mu first non-server debian use.

Is there any workaround? Am I missing a point somewhere along the way?

Plus, if I can be choosy I'd still like to have a small fat32 partition for swapping data between systems if necessary


Linux doesn't need any primary partition. Just create an extended partition using all that free space, and create logical partitions for Linux, at least / and swap, and possible /home. Primary partitions normally contain a filesystem; an extended partition contains logical partitions, which in turn normally contain a filesystem. You'll end up with

sda1 = windows
sda2 = extended, consisting of
    sda5 = /
    sda6 = swap
    sda7 = /home
sda3, sda4 = recovery
  • You were right, the primary partition wasn't an issue. For the record: I ran into some grub problems in the process, but they seem unrelated, everything is now up and running. – nietaki Apr 11 '11 at 2:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.