What partitions do you use?

Posted on 2000-04-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-13
Just wondering how you people are partitioning your drive for linux. I know how to actually do the partition I am just wondering what and how many partitions you think are best with respect to what you are running.I will give points to whoever draws the path that is closest to my ideas on partitioning
Question by:Kogaru

Accepted Solution

philiph_elvis earned 40 total points
ID: 2710406
I have exprerimented with three approaches:

1. Minimal partitions.  One big root partition and one swap partition.  Make the swap partition 1.5 - 2x physical memory.

This works fine on workstations.  In particular, it boots the fastest (not as many partitions need fsck'ed).  However, it doesn't seperate data very well.  In particular, users should probably have their own partition.  So if more than 1 person is going to use the system you can go to 1b:

1b: Root and swap as above.  In addition, create a /home partition.  Make it 2 or 4gb.

That way it's easier to do things like retrieve user files from backups.  Also, you can easily move the /home partition to another system during an upgrade.

2.  Finally, you can go crazy and make lots of partitions.  I have a number of servers like this:

/ - 256mb
/tmp - 256mb
/var - 1024mb
/usr - 2048mb
/home - 4000mb
/ftp - 512mb
swap - 2x physical memory

This provides the most modular approach.  In particular, it's really nice to separate the ftp server directory from everything else, if you are running an ftp server.  Also, it's harder to fill up the whole disk (say if a log file gets out of control in /var).

Downside is that you have to have enough space for everything.  In a sense, it's not very 'dynamic', ie you could use up all your /tmp space easily, as opposed to /tmp just taking up more of a larger partition.

So my recommendation is keep it simple on a workstation, but at least seperate /home and /ftp on a server.

hope that's close yto what you are thinking.  I base this on about 10 actual production Linux servers I run for my company.
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 2710526
I don't go to quite that extreme, but I do break up the system into more than one giant / partiton.

Typically I use:

/     of about 1000-200Mb
/var  of about 100-300Mb
/opt  of about 1000-2000Mb
/home rest of the disk

The idea is that the stuff that comes off the OS CD (and those packages installed via rpm's) go onto the / partition. Once set up, the / partition is pretty static and won't change that much in a running system. After you've done a few installs you'll pretty much know about how big it needs to be. Unless you've got a problem with the 1024 cylinder boundary (and you ought not to for those sizes), I see no point in splitting / into / & /usr. When disks weren't all that reliable and dynamic libs didn't exist it made sense as / held just enough to boot single user so you could fix other things. Just about everything now is dynamically linked and if you don't have a useable /usr/lib (and didn't have to foresight to build your own static utils) single user mode isn't an otion.

/var is pretty obvious. How big it needs to be depends on what you are logging and if the system is an email and/or print server. On a large email or very active print server it's good to further subdivide /var into /var & /var/spool.

There are a number of things that aren't all that OS version dependent (Netscape, Acrobat Reader, StarOffice, Apache, etc) and don't necessarily need to be re-installed following a minor OS upgrade or re-install. I like to put as much of that sort of stuff as possible in /opt. Sometimes that means building from sources or forgoing an rpm in favor of a tarball, but it helps lots to not have to re-install those items all the time.


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