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I am in the process of dual-booting my Windows 10 PC to also run Linux Mint. I have both a 240 GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. The SSD is for the Windows 10 OS, and the HDD is for my files/documents/everything else.

I have just freed up 40 GB on the SSD and 200 GB on the HDD to install Linux. My question is, can I create the "/" partition on the SSD and the "/swap" and "/home" partitions on the HDD? If so, how?

I am completely new to Linux, and so far have been stumped by other questions I have looked at. I am wanting to install the Linux OS to my SSD for speed reasons, and then keep all my files on the HDD.

Let me know if I need to include anything else?

  • I mentioned Linux Mint in my question; is there more specific information I need to include? I already chose the option to expand/change partitions. – Kendall Roth Sep 23 '15 at 23:46
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Of course you can.

As to "how," that will be covered in your OS's installation manual. At some point during the installation, you will be given a choice to do either an automatic installation, which will try to guess where to install things, or an installation allowing manual disk partitioning, which will let you distribute the data as you wish.

The only thing difficult about what you propose is avoiding nuking or otherwise making Windows unbootable. But that's been covered to death elsewhere on the Internet already, for the past 20 years.

Make and test backups before you proceed.

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Short answer is yes. As always, remember to back up your critical files before attempting anything. At some point during installation you are shown what partitions are available, then usually there are three options.

  1. everything to ... where you pick just one partition
  2. /home on one partition, everything else on the other
  3. custom... where you get to choose.

I would recommend try #2, if that option is available, since that option may be just what you were looking for.

Custom allows you to fine tune everything, of course at the cost of requiring more decisions and research on your part. You could explore it if curious and hit cancel to return to the previous menu. But if you want something ready to work, probably #2 is better.

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For a start speed is not usually a problem with Linux as it does not suffer from Windows bloat.
Second, I'd be very wary about putting your linux on the SSD as from the perspective of a linux user of 18 years, not a tech pro, when I checked into this for myself I was not happy that Linux distros were organised for SSD. There were fixes but it didn't seem mainstream in the distro install. When putting Windows on I hope you used the SSD manufacturers program to stop Windows defrag etc which will wear out your SSD with too many writes. I've got Win 10 on my SSD, a couple of partitions for important documents, and a large spinning drive with linux partitions, swap, /home etc. Do not put a linux swap partition on your SSD.

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