I'm trying to dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu 14.04.3 from a USB stick.

Really quick question, when I partition my hard drive in Windows and create unallocated space for the Ubuntu OS, is that space meant solely for the Ubuntu boot files and the rest of the hard drive will be shared between both of my operating systems for storing stuff, or am I setting the amount of hard drive space that Ubuntu is allowed to use overall?

For an example, if I make 20 GB of unallocated space on my hard drive and install Ubuntu onto that space, will that mean Ubuntu only has 20 GB of hard drive space that it can use? Or will all of my empty hard drive be usable and that initial 20 GB of unallocated space I created is meant for storing the boot files for Ubuntu?

I'm planning on storing large files onto Ubuntu and manipulating them just to try it out, I just want to get it right the first time and not have to go through the trouble of uninstalling, repartitioning, and trying it again.

Thanks! Tell me if the ? doesn't make sense and I'll try to explain better.


The 20GB partition is where Ubuntu (and all its apps, including desktop environment and GUI tools) will be stored. If possible, I'd recommend more than 20GB for that (maybe 50GB) as you will run out of space if you have a lot of programs installed.

If the other partitions are formatted with a filesystem type understood by Ubuntu (including NTFS with the ntfs-3g packages installed), your Ubuntu system will be able to access files in those other partitions.

This include partitions on other disks, e.g. your hard disk - such as /dev/sda1 or the C: or D: etc drives on Windows.

FYI, It's not uncommon to have multiple partitions even on dedicated linux-only machines - e.g. one partition for /, another for /boot, and another for /home. All of them are used by the Linux operating system.

Finally, if you have already partitioned and formatted your hard disk and installed your operating system(s) but want to change the partition sizes, you can boot a gparted rescue CD/DVD/USB-stick to resize and move your partitions.

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