Need help. First time partitioning.

Hello, my name is Justin and this will be my first time partitioning my disk.

But I need help. I’ve never used openSUSE (or Linux for that matter). I have a copy of the KDE LiveCD 12.1 and I’ll install openSUSE from that. The CD works fine, it boots, I can install if I want, but I need help partitioning: it’s beyond my knowledge.

I’m currently running off Windows XP Home and I’d like to change to openSUSE completely.
Could anyone direct me to a helpful link or help here on the forums? I’m looking forward to ONLY running openSUSE.

Thank you,

Hi Justin,

if you completely switch to openSUSE there should be at least 3 partitions:

  • Swap partition, which should have twice or triple the size of your RAM memory
  • root partition, which should probably have 10-12GB (optimal value, may be chosen
    less if you have a an older small hard disk)
  • a home partition for your personal data (like e.g. eMails, photos, correspondence, and whatever).

The separation between root and home is necessary in order to be able to easily
be able to format the root partition when installing a future version of openSUSE
without deleting your personal data on the home partition.
Although proceeding this way is recommended, the installers (from e.g. DVD) for older versions
of openSUSE would create only one single partition for root and home.
You had to choose manual partitioning to get separate partitions for root and home.

Another point is your XP:
I still use an old win ME for one reason:
If I want to run Apps like programs training my kids in math,
windows is still necessary, because these kinds of programs
still usually aren’t offered for the use under Linux yet.
Of course I don’t go online with that win ME anymore,
which in my case is simple, because I still connect by a 56k modem
and can manually control very well, whether a connection to the internet
is established.
For you this may mean that you need to pull the plug.

You can shrink you XP partition using gparted (after having made a backup
of your personal data). But you may need as well to defragment / optimize
the allocation of your data on the hard disk beforehand.

Don’t ask personally me for any more details on gparted.
I never used it and just know that it’s a quite well-known tool
that usually works.

Another convenient way to remain flexible in any way and to keep XP for now
would be to physically install a second hard disk in your PC, on which you then
install openSUSE.

Good Luck

For the price of a new hard drive (<$70), an option is just to install to that, using defaults. Then, swap drives if the Win install is ever needed again.

On Wed, 16 Nov 2011 20:56:03 +0000, steven p wrote:

> For the price of a new hard drive (<$70), an option is just to install
> to that, using defaults. Then, swap drives if the Win install is ever
> needed again.

Or for that matter, just shrink the Windows partition(s) down using gnu
parted and then install on the system and leave the Windows partitions

At the very least, use something like partimage to back up the Windows
partitions in case they’re ever needed again for some reason.


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
Forum Use Terms & Conditions at

Crispy24 wrote

I’m looking forward to ONLY running openSUSE.

than format your HD-Drive for opensuse from the live-cd (install-click and accept the choose: format the entire HD) and let it work.
This is by default
Should choose the option to install a separate /home-partion for private and program-datas and a /swap-partition

Otherwise u can keep your windows-partition and create a double-boot-system, with both win and linux-system for boot-choice
it’s easy and all in the installation -window of opensuse explained
Pictures for this procedure u will find on the opensuse-website



Don’t we get the chance to set disklabels and dump mba/sdX stuff in 12.1? That needs a boot partition too doesn’t it?