Partitioning Notes

Partitioning for a modern Linux distribution is generally very simple, however the introduction of GPT and UEFI booting does bring new complexity to the process. When creating your new partition table you will need a partition for the root filesystem, along with a swap partition and possibly another partition or two to facilitate booting, if required.

Note that if the disk has already been initialized, the top of the cfdisk screen will show the partition layout already present: Label: dos for the MBR scheme, Label: gpt for the GPT scheme. If you just want to erase the partition table before starting the installer, use wipefs(8). Otherwise, you can run cfdisk(8) manually with the -z option to start with an uninitialized disk layout; cfdisk will prompt you for the label type before continuing to the main screen.

The following sections will detail the options for partition configuration.

BIOS system notes

It is recommended that you create an MBR partition table if you are using a BIOS boot system. This will limit the number of partitions you create to four.

It is possible to use a GPT partition table on a BIOS system, but GRUB will require a special partition to boot properly. This partition should be at the beginning of your disk and have a size of 1MB, with type BIOS boot (GUID 21686148-6449-6E6F-744E-656564454649). Don't create any filesystem in it. GRUB should then install itself successfully.

UEFI system notes

UEFI users are recommended to create a GPT partition table. UEFI booting with GRUB also requires a special partition of the type EFI System with a vfat filesystem mounted at /boot/efi. A reasonable size for this partition could be between 200MB and 1GB. With this partition setup during the live image installation, the installer should successfully set up the bootloader automatically.

Swap partitions

A swap partition is not strictly required, but recommended for systems with low RAM. If you want to use hibernation, you will need a swap partition. The following table has recommendations for swap partition size.

System RAMRecommended swap spaceSwap space if using hibernation
< 2GB2x the amount of RAM3x the amount of RAM
2-8GBEqual to amount of RAM2x the amount of RAM
8-64GBAt least 4GB1.5x the amount of RAM
64GBAt least 4GBHibernation not recommended

Boot partition (optional)

On most modern systems, a separate /boot partition is no longer necessary to boot properly. If you choose to use one, note that Void does not remove old kernels after updates by default and also that the kernel tends to increase in size with each new version, so plan accordingly (e.g. /boot with one Linux 5.x x86_64 kernel and GRUB occupies about 60MB).

Other partitions

It is fine to install your system with only a large root partition, but you may create other partitions if you want. One helpful addition could be a separate partition for your /home directory. This way if you need to reinstall Void (or another distribution) you can save the data and configuration files in your home directory for your new system.