By default during installation Linux Mint will make one root partition and one swap partition. If you are looking to create separate partitions (which would be best), then you would need to create the partitions manually.
In the example below Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon is used. The same applies to MATE, Xfce and KDE releases. In the example below, we will be using a 250Gb hard disk. We will be setting up the partitions as below.
Why would anyone want to create separate partitions? Assuming you have the above partitions set up, the next time you reinstall Linux Mint, only choose to format root and leave /home intact. All your files in /home will be there after the reformat.
Step 1: Choose Something else during Installation type.
Step 2: If you have partitions on your hard disk that you want to keep, skip to Step 4. Otherwise, click on New Partition Table if this is a new hard disk or if you want to use the entire hard disk.
Step 3: To create a new partition and erase everything click Continue.
Step 4: Select Free space and click on Add.
Step 5: In this example we’ll be using 30Gb for the root partition. 30Gb will give you enough space for most systems.
Step 6: Next create the /swap partition. How much should you allocate for swap? This seems to be the question everyone is asking. Personally, I would allocate twice the amount of RAM I have. If I have 4Gb RAM, I would set 8Gb swap. If you do not have that much space, then at least allocate as much RAM you have to swap. If you have 2Gb RAM then 2Gb swap.
Step 7: Next we will be setting up the /home partition. We’ll use the remainder of the disk for /home.
Step 8: Once you have set up all partitions, you can review the partitions then click on Install Now to start installation.