How big is your / (root)?

Correct. I’ve updated the title to make it more accurate.

Mine is 8Gb and only 6% is in use, but…

  • I have /tmp, /opt, /usr and /var on separate partitions.
  • /home and the data(sets), such as my music, images, videos etc each have their own partitions.

All, except what is needed during boot (/, /boot and /boot/efi), are part of 2 LVM groups, 1 for system related partitions (all on 1 single disk) and one for data (3TB space on 2 different 1.5TB, striped, disks). Both groups have room to spare so increasing partitions isn’t a problem.

This somewhat elaborate setup might not be what you want, though.

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A bit of user philosophy can also come in. Keeping separate partitions makes backing up and if needed restoring that bit easier.
A well mature kubuntu 18.04 (partition / size GB / used GB ) Root / 30 / 9 : Home / 20 / 4 : So even with a few years accumulated junk, not a lot used. These back up with (propriety) acronis quickly and restore if needed equally quickly and separately. Large partitions not really needed, although I believe the latest 'buntu will place a swap file in root rather than a separate swap partition. (I think)

The rest ? (1000 GB) Data partitions where I keep …errr… DATA including quite a few appimages used in place of a repo install. These get backed up to external usb using luckybackup. Easy to use and pull out old files.

Just to give you another data point: my Kubuntu 21.04 installation (upgraded continuously since 20.04 or earlier) has a 100GB / partition, 53GB of them used. This is for mixed home/office/photo/science use. The biggest contributions are:

/usr: 19GB
/var: 7GB (of which 5GB correspond to flatpak)
/opt: 10GB (5.5GB for COMSOL and 3GB for conda/python)
/srv: 17GB (14GB for VirtualBox and 3GB for Steam)

I will say something obvious, but nevertheless: how big / needs to be will depend a lot of what you use the computer for, and the location you put things. Until very recently I had a 30GB root partition that was chronically almost full, and all the stuff now on /opt and /srv was in my data partition. When I changed the drive on the notebook I decided to give / enough room to never worry about space again, and moved there everything that was a ‘program’, even if it was not the installer’s default location (COMSOL, conda, Steam, and VirtualBox would all install in a /home/username subfolder if not installed as root).

If you have room, for your use case (light office use and photography) I would give it at least 30GB just for the peace of mind (‘almost full’ partitions are not good in general, and specially if it’s constantly written into).

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I very much recommend using LVM (or ZFS/BTRFS if you feel inclined, though I think it’s still not entirely straight forward for root - not sure). It’s super simple and if it turns out the allocated space doesn’t quite fit, you can easily move shrink/enlarge partiitons.

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I used 30 GiB for many years. Recently I changed to to 50 GiB on my systems because software packages increased in number and size.

If you plan to use Flatpak, Snap or AppImage you might need some more space.

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On my main system (Arch Linux desktop host with btrfs filesystem), my / which includes /home is using 42 GB. A fair amount of that is cache, logs, and other temporary stuff that could be cleaned.

So, if I was allocating a partition on a more fixed filesystem, I would probably want around 70 GB. Or even less if I was separating / and /home.

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My root partition is 100GB, a gig for boot and the rest for swap.

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Thanks for all the replies! Looks like 40 should be a minimum, but 50 is safer.

Yes. My set up will be less elaborate. Linux on its own disk with efi, /boot, / and /home. But I notice you have /boot and /boot/efi which I have seen on many forums but don’t quite understand. If I create the efi and /boot partition as explained above, does that automatically create /boot/efi, or is it something different?

Yea I’ve read if you don’t allocate a swap partition mint will automatically place a swap file, probably 2gb. Since I’ve got 32gb ram and won’t hibernate, swap file suits me, as it can be resized.

The more the merrier!

Is there a cleaner for Linux that can remove that stuff? On Mac I sometimes used cleanmymac which could get rid of a couple gb every week just from regular use. First time I used it, after several years, it got rid of 20-30 gb. Makes a big difference when space is tight.

Geesh, I feel like a slacker posting this…

1TB. The entirety of a SSD, using 26% of it. I just don’t mess with partitions anymore, 'cept for swap.

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There’s no real need for a swap partition anymore; a file can be used: Swap - ArchWiki

inerta… :crazy_face:

I used to mess with all this stuff, from LVM to VMs, but I gravitated to programming and just wanted that to work, so vanilla Ubuntu on as many cores as I could afford…

Hm, I was under the impression that modern Ubuntu defaulted to a file swap.

Yes, and I just chose the partition option. It’s my inertia, not Ubuntu’s… :laughing:


LVM for sure - but never accept the installer defaults. Every one I’ve used allocates 100% of your space at install time, which negates one of the best features of LVM, which is the ability to increase the size of your LVs on the fly. (Yes, you can shrink one that’s too large, but this is needlessly time-consuming, and sometimes requires you to do it offline.)

Create your LVs - separate one for / and /home, (plus ones for /var and /tmp, if you’re paranoid) - allocate only what you need now (plus 20% or so) and leave the rest for future expansion. If you need swap, then you can add a swap partition at a later time.

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120 GB SSD disc all used for / formatted as btrfs:
$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
dev 16G 0 16G 0% /dev
run 16G 1.4M 16G 1% /run
/dev/sda2 112G 17G 95G 15% /
tmpfs 16G 0 16G 0% /dev/shm
tmpfs 16G 8.0K 16G 1% /tmp
/dev/sda1 511M 52M 460M 11% /boot

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There are a few scenarios and I’m not sure if all scenarios create the /boot/efi part. It, the efi part, does not need to be on a separate partition. In the end if you do not go the elaborate partition way the distro will create what is needed.

If I’m not mistaken most modern systems can use CSM (“Old” way = MBR + 4 Primary partitions + 2TB disk limit) or EFI (“Modern” way = GPT + 8ZB disk limit + much better partition control). (U)EFI also gives you more security on a lower level (Secure boot), but this isn’t forced upon you.

This is my first (U)EFI capable machine and I opted to go the EFI + UEFI Secure Boot path. If the last part sounds interesting: Do make sure that you actually want/need Secure boot [debian wiki]. Kernel and/or driver updates aren’t as easy as just telling your package manager to install them. I always have “fun” when a new proprietary Nvidia driver arrives.

I’m a Debian user so this might be somewhat Debian specific, but: UEFI [debian wiki]

My system is UEFI, GPT. I am turning secure boot off because getting the nvidia drivers to work with it did not look so “fun” to me :wink:

I’ve learnt now, through one lonely comment buried on an internet forum somewhere (so it must be trustworthy, right?), that Mint/Ubuntu mounts EFI partition to /boot/efi by default, which is why it doesn’t provide it as an option in the installer. So I’ll make my setup even less elaborate and just go with EFI, / and /home partitions.

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Yes, there is, but I ran it once and it was overly aggressive, so I uninstalled it. Now, I just clean up manually and occasionally. The tool is called BleachBit.

I ran an internet search on “linux system cleaner” and it returned quite a few articles. Here is just one: 7 of the Best Linux System Cleaning Tools - Make Tech Easier



And I thought it wasn’t aggressive enough and build a script that incorporates BleachBit and does a lot of other cleaning. Not a script that can run on every Linux box, though. Kinda tailored to my Box and my paranoia.

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