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How to best partition a 250GB drive for CentOS 5.3 x86_64?

bndit
bndit asked
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Last Modified: 2013-12-15
Hello,

I'm relatively new to Linux, and I need help setting up a workstation that will be used to run VMware Workstation for lab scenarios and testing. The relevant hardware config is as follows: (1) 250GB and (4) 500GB drives and 16GB RAM. I've been reading about LVM and it sounds like something that I'd want to use on the 250GB drive, so here's how I was thinking of partitioning this drive:

/boot     512MB
/tmp      2048MB
swap     32000MB
/var       15000MB
/usr       20000MB
/home   80000MB
** approx. 100GB avail free space **

Again, I'm very new to Linux so any feedback/suggestions on the sizing of the above partitions would be appreciated. As for the (4) 500GB drives, I'm debating between RAID 0 or RAID 5. This will be my storage for all of my virtual machines. I'm leaning more toward RAID 5 since I don't have alternate storage to backup my vm's if I went with RAID 0. What filesystem should I use for this RAID?

Thank you
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Thanks for the quick reply. As for the 32GB swap partition...I don't know...following that general rule...I'm assuming that the swap partition should be 32GB since I have 16GB RAM...now, do I need it? Probably not, so what size should I set it to? 16GB? less? more? Again, this is not a production server of any kind or even a server to that...it's merely a beefy workstation for lab scenarios and test environments.

As for the XFS I'm assuming you're suggesting that for my 1.5TB partition, correct? If so, here's a newbie question...do I format it during setup or can I format it later after CentOS has been installed?

thanks again
Daniel McAllisterPresident, IT4SOHO, LLC
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Daniel McAllisterPresident, IT4SOHO, LLC
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Thanks Dan. Your reply contains a lot of useful information (info overload! - jk). I definitely have a hardware card for the 4 x 500GB drives, and as I stated in my original question I was debating between RAID 0 and RAID 5. I'm familiar with RAID setups (Windows), so you definitely bring a good point with RAID 10; especially if I won't have anything backing up the virtual machines that will be stored on this partition. I understand what you mean about the relevance of *old* *NIX literature...so 16GB for the swap partition it is. I have some questions about your suggested partitions and their sizes:

1) In my original question I forgot to include the / , which I would've given it 4GB...what's the reason behind giving it 16GB instead? I was under the impression that this partition didn't need to be large (>10GB).
2) You're suggesting to take the entire partition (1000GB) for /home (RAID 10), which is fine with me, but what are your thoughts around LVM for this and the partitions on the 250GB drive? Not worth the effort? Necessary? Overkill? I've read a little on LVM and people seem to have mixed feelings about it...on the one hand it seems *convenient* if you need to expand a partition without having to blow up your entire disk to repartition...while on the other hand some people claim that it's harder to recover data should the drive fail.

Finally, do you have any good links that explain the different file systems available? EXT3 for / and XFS for /home seem good choices, but I'd like to dive a bit more and understand the pros/cons of each.

Thanks again
Daniel McAllisterPresident, IT4SOHO, LLC
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You weren't kidding about the info overload Dan...but thanks a lot, I really appreciate all of your input, which has been very helpful. However, I'm at a roadblock right now...samdart above had suggested that XFS filesystem would be best fit for file servers. I'm at the Disk Druid window, but there's no XFS option and I've been searching Google and it seems that CentOS/RHEL does not support XFS...at least CentOS 5.3 doesn't appear to do...so 1) Could you verify that this is the case? 2) is EXT3 an alternative for XFS?

Thanks.

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...forgot to ask...what other Linux distros support XFS? and which ones do you recommend? I was hoping to stick to RHEL/CentOS/Fedora...but I'm open to other ones. Thx

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