nelamvr6 wrote: If this is the case, is it possible to make this the default behavior for the Mint install routine?
Sure, we could change it so that every Windows partition gets automatically formatted and deleted (too bad if you wanted to keep it). Or we make /home use 80% of your second hard disk (too bad if you don't have one). .....
You see the problem, yes? No installer can replace human intelligence.
*YOU* have to tell it what you want. To correctly guess the "right" partition scheme (and what is "right" or not is a hot topic in it self) for each and every user and each and every system is impossible
. The other problem I see: Even if the installer did suggest to create a separate /home partition I fear it would confuse the heck out of newbies. Chances are also they'd get the sizes wrong, e.g. make /home too small because they don't realise yet what they need it for. Or they make " / " too small ... or they by accident delete their Windows partition because they thought they could re-use the same partitions and settings under Linux ... and and and.
It's better if the user informs himself and then decides for himself what he wants to do.
nelamvr6 wrote: when I asked the Mint installer to do the right thing it gave me a / and a swap, and nothing more.
See above. You want a separate /home? Then tell the installer.
If you think this is "unfriendly" try the Solaris installer for contrast ... it will overwrite whatever it finds and take no prisoners and show no mercy to whatever is on your harddisks. And it will enforce it's partitioning scheme: e.g. per default slice 0 is always root " / ", slice 1 is always swap, slice 2 always covers the entire disk from first sector to the last sector and is reserved for Solaris-internal use (this by accident also makes sure that normal partition programs get confused like hell when they see that the third partition overlaps with the rest ... but this is "normal" here!), slice 3 is always /export, slice 4 is always not really defined, slice 5 is always usually used for /opt, slice 6 is always /usr, and slice 7 is always /home ... and there are always exactly these 8 partitions, slices 0 - 7 on each Solaris disk. Not more. Not less. And nothing else .... usually.
Trust me, you don't want the Mint installer (or any other Linux installer) do this to you. Being able to tell the installer about your partitioning wishes is precisely what you as home user want. An installer that would enforce the "right" partitioning scheme whether you want it or not would make you very unhappy.