Here is where many users become nervous. In fact, partitioning is making available space for installing an operating system. If you want to allocate all of your hard disk, then you can skip this section because the Linux installer will ask you later if you want to use your entire hard disk for installation and will do the rest. If you will not do that, then you have to allocate some space for your Linux installation. A 10 Gigabyte partition will do fine for the beginning, if you run out of space, you can use the empty space in your Windows partition.
The easiest tool for partitioning is GParted, a Live CD which you will boot and be able to resize the partitions with a graphical tool. When you make some space of your choice, tell GParted to a primary partition in ext3 format. As this process may take a while, this would be a good time to get a cup of coffee.
If you are using Windows Vista, right click on “My Computer," select “Manage," and then “Disk Management." Right click on the Vista partition at the bottom pane and select “Shrink partition." The tool will do its job and free up some space in your hard disk, available for partitioning.
[Ed. If the Vista Disk Management tool fails to provide adequate shrink space to install a new OS you can refer to this article. It was written for Windows 7, but the same steps apply for installing Linux on a new partition on an existing hard drive.]
If you want to have Linux together with Windows:
- Make sure that you have backed up all your important files,
- Make sure that Windows is installed first,
- Before partitioning Windows, make sure to defragment your hard disk.