I am a new Linux user, and I installed Ubuntu from scratch yesterday for the first time. I am dual booting Ubuntu and Windows 10, so following these instructions, I partitioned my drive to leave ~100GB for Ubuntu, with 10GB as root, 5GB as swap and 80GB as home.

I was installing packages, and went to install TeXlive (it's around 3.5GB). I got an error saying I'd run out of disk space. Sure enough, I open Disk Usage Analyser and the / directory (is this called root?) is using up 9.8 GB. Quick googling informs me this is where packages are stored. If that's the case, then I'm not surprised it's using up all of its space - if I intend to continue to install packages, do I need to enlarge it in some way?

If I do need to change the sizes of my partition, is this likely to be dangerous? The first time I tried to resize my partitions I made a mistake and had to format the whole drive to start from scratch, so I'd prefer not to mess around with that until I have some more experience, unless I really have to.

Finally, if it really is the case that I need to wipe everything and start again, please say so (the installation is still quite clean so I won't lose anything more than the time I've spent on this one). But please also tell me how to avoid making this mistake in the future!

  • 10GB for root is too small nowadays but that also depends on what software you intend to install later. 25-30GB is a much saner provision. You don't have to install again but perhaps you should. It takes much less time (and is safe) than resizing partitions. And having a separate /home is useful but not mandatory.
    – user252181
    Apr 10, 2018 at 21:33
  • That's fair enough, I didn't know in advance what they'd be used for or I'd have given it much more - so I understand you correctly, is your suggestion to go through the installation, clear out the partitions on my Ubuntu-half of the drive, and only split them into /swap and /? Like I say I'm new to this and would prefer the suggestion that requires least maintenance if it can be helped. I don't mind reinstalling as long as I'm not liable to break anything. Apr 10, 2018 at 21:38
  • You can use the automatic options. First, in the live session, open GParted and remove all the Ubuntu partitions. Then start the installer a choose the install along option. The installer will that automatically for you.
    – user252181
    Apr 10, 2018 at 21:42
  • I see, I considered that option at install but the instructions I was following didn't include/explain it so I wasn't sure it would do exactly what I was hoping for. I'll give that a shot and probably close this question if I don't have any further problems. Thanks! Apr 10, 2018 at 21:44

1 Answer 1


I'd use the following partitioning:

/       30 Gb
/home   68 Gb
swap     2 Gb

Swap isn't as important nowadays - due to the high amount of RAM - as it was in the past. So unless you plan to hibernate your machine, 2 Gb of swap is fine. Since this looks like a small install, you could even ditch the separate home partition and go for this:

/       98 Gb
swap     2 Gb

In this way any free space will be shared between root and home.

As said in the comments, it is possible to live repartition the whole disk, but for cleanliness I'd suggest you go for a fresh install (after backing up any personal data).

  • I believe this is roughly the setup I ended up going with - still going strong to this day Feb 25, 2020 at 10:31

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.