The default partitioning schemes for Fedora—and most other distributions—are fine for beginners with no knowledge of filesystems, or for really quick and dirty testing of various non-filesystem related functions. However, they are definitely not optimum for many environments, especially servers or commercial installations of various types. Even advanced users will probably find that the default partitioning could be improved upon.
A better partitioning scheme will definitely require manual partitioning during the installation, planning for future expansion, and some knowledge of filesystems, Logical Volume Manager (LVM) and partitioning.
The best partitioning scheme for any environment will depend upon the use to which the Linux computer will be put.
Minimum partitioning scheme
This partitioning scheme is a very minimal scheme designed to be a starting point for your own partitioning scheme. The table below shows all of the partitions you should have when you are completed including the /boot partition. This scheme is based on historical best practices and contains the recommended partitions for optimum reliability and flexibility.
Mount Point LVM Filesystem Type Size Notes /boot No EXT 500M / Yes EXT 5GB /home Yes EXT 2GB Expand this partition as required /tmp Yes EXT 2GB Expand this partition as required /usr Yes EXT 10GB Expand this partition as required /var Yes EXT 2GB Expand this partition as required NA Yes Swap 2GB Expand this partition as required
Table 1: Filesystem and Volume mount points and sizes. I have installed a full version of Fedora on a NetBook computer with the KDE Desktop along with LibréOffice, Thunderbird, Firefox and other application programs in about 8GB of disk space.
Differences in Fedora 18 and higher
The primary difference when you manually partition your disk space during installation between Fedora 18 and all prior releases is the way that unpartitioned disk space is handled.
Prior to Fedora 18, that is for Fedora 17 and earlier, the remaining unused disk space is all allocated to a single large logical volume that includes all physical hard drives.
For Fedora 18 and (Possibly) later, the unused disk space is left free and is not part of any volume group or physical volume. Starting with Fedora 18, however, it is possible to edit the volume group size and specify any arbitrary size or that the volume group should take up the maximum available disk size.