OK, as I've seen, there have been many many questions on partition schemes and how they should be set up, so I figure i'll write a little something on how it generally should be.

*Note* This is also partially opinion, so you may not follow it exactly.

Linux overall calls for two parititons for an install to work: the linux native, and the linux swap. Linux native is the target parititon where you install your system (where windows has C:\, the Linux native is just \) and Linux swap is generally a virtual memory handler, so instead of your root parititon (or /) handling virtual memory, your swap partition does the job.

There are three generally used file systems with Linux native: Ext2, Ext3, and ResierFS. Primarily, I use Ext3, and you can find ways to make Ext2 and Ext3 work alongside with Windows, and Ext3 has better handling for data loss and sudden crashes (if you actually get any).

ResierFS is good, and fast, but I've heard it's less stable. Choose whichever you like, and maybe look around the forums for more information about them.

The Linux Swap does not have any specific file system, because you don't write any data to it, so when you create that, just make it "Linux Swap" and don't worry about it being a certain file system.

There also can be a third partition with Linux, the /boot partition. This handles what's called the boot manager. The boot manager is a list of the different operating systems you have installed on your hard drive(s) and you can select the one you wish to boot. I never actually used a /boot partition, and it isn't nessisary because you can write your bootloader to the MBR (master boot record) which is pretty much the beginning of your hard disk handling how things boot and what they boot.

Now this is an opinion: if you're an NT-OS based user, running NTFS things can become a little challenging. Linux generally has either no support for writing to NTFS or has it disabled. This is because writing to NTFS can be dangerous and can damage data on this filesystem. For data transfer between NT and Linux, I'd recommend creating a Fat32 partition.

Most of these choices are up to your own preferences, like creating a Fat32 partition, boot partition, ect. but this should generally guide you to getting started.

If I made any errors or have another suggestion/opinion please post it.