Linux Installation basics

Submitted on Fri, 08/14/2020 - 16:34

Note: This article does not cover installing Linux alongside Windows.

There are basically two ways you can install Linux in you computer.

1. Erase everything on the hard disk and install Linux

2. Manual partition scheme

Options 1 is an easy and hassle free way to install Linux as it will configure necessary partitions for you. Whereas, Option 2 will require manual configuration of the partitions and mount points. Before we proceed with option 2 we need to understand the basic requirement for Linux Installation. 

Note: Mount point refers to directory in Linux.

While installing Linux we need to define our partitions and map them to respective mount points.

Linux needs two partitions at least to install:

Root Partition

The parent directory of the file system in Linux is / ("root"). The root partition should map to root as mount point. 

Swap Partition

Swap partition is analogous to virtual memory in Windows. This space of the hard disk will be used as virtual memory in case of unavailability of actual memory.

Note: We dont need to map this partition to any mount point.


Partition size

The size of the swap partition can be in the range 1-2 GB. Rest of the space can be assigned to the root partition. 


Hard Disk and partition notation

Let us assume your computer has a single hard disk. Linux identifies it as sda.
Note: If there was a second hard disk it would be read sdb.

Now if we create two partitions in this hard disk (sda), it would be called sda1 and sda2.

Ultimately our partitioning scheme would look like below:



Mount Point





sda2 (swap)



This partition scheme is good enough to proceed with Linux installation.