When preparing to install Red Hat Linux, you will need to give some consideration to the number and size of the partitions to be used by your new operating system. The question of "how many partitions" continues to spark debate within the Linux community and, without any end to the debate in sight, it is safe to say that there are probably as many partition layouts as there are people debating the issue.
Keeping this in mind, we recommend that you should create at least the following partitions:
A swap partition — Swap partitions are used to support virtual memory. In other words, data is written to swap when there is not enough RAM to hold the data your system is processing. You must create a swap partition to correctly use Red Hat Linux. The minimum size of your swap partition should be equal to twice the amount of your computer's RAM or 32MB, whichever is larger, up to 1GB. A swap partition of over 1GB is typically not necessary.
A /boot partition — The partition mounted on /boot contains the operating system kernel (which allows your system to boot Red Hat Linux), along with a few other files used during the boot process.
Make sure you read the next section — the information there applies to the /boot partition.
Due to the limitations of most PC BIOSes, creating a small partition to hold these files is a good idea. For most users, a 32MB boot partition is sufficient.
A root partition (/) — The root partition is where / (the root directory) resides. In this partitioning layout, all files (except those stored in /boot) reside on the root partition. Because of this, it is in your best interest to maximize the size of your root partition. For example, a 1.2GB root partition may permit the equivalent of a workstation installation (with very little free space), while a 3.4GB root partition may let you install every package. Obviously, the more space you can give the root partition, the better.
Specific recommendations concerning the proper size for various Red Hat Linux partitions can be found in Chapter 1.