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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

(?) Disk Partitioning: Review

From John L Capell on Thu, 07 Jan 1999

After pouring over the various resources on the best way to partition my system for RedHat Linux 5.2, I think I've come up with the following: (comments please, before I commit)

>    Mount Point     Part. #         Size (Megs)
>    ==================================================
>    /               hda1            350
(!) I usually use one third that.
>    /usr            hda5            2048
>    /home           hda6            1536
(!) I'd make this bigger. On a personal workstation I make /home a symlink to /usr/local/home and /opt one that points to /usr/local/opt ... then I combine those into one larger fs. Thus all my "local" changes and "my" files end up under /usr/local Obviously that's just a matter of personal taste.
>    /usr/local      hda7            1024
>    /var            hda8            300
>    /tmp            hda9            300
(!) I also make this somewhat smaller.
>    /usr/src        hda10           300
(!) I make this a symlink to /usr/local/src.
>    <swap>          hda11           127
(!) This is fine. I usually make it the second partition.
Ideally this would be located in the center of the drive's platter --- reducing the average seek time to it. However, that's hackish and probably not worth the effort. (If your actually swapping -- add more RAM).

(?) While I realize that I may have over-allocated space for programs,

leaving only (only!) 1.5Gb for users, I figure I could always add more space for users with a second hard drive if I needed to.

(!) As you see its mostly a matter of requirements analysis --- which classically consists of three considerations: requirements, constraints and preferences. Given the size of the average hard drive sold today (4 to 6 Gb) we have lots of room (and are thus not overly constrained) and the fact that we an use symlinks for most FHS specified directories (/home, /opt, /usr/src, etc --- just don't do that with /tmp, /dev, /etc/, /sbin etc). --- it is mostly a matter of preference.

(?) The resources I've used are:
(1) The RH 5.2 Installation Manual
(2) The Linux Documentation Project (http://metalab.unc.edu/LDP/)
(3) The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard

(!) Good work!

(?) Where (if anywhere) am I straying from efficient disk usage? Thanks!

(!) I think you're devoting a tad too much for /, /tmp and could consolidate some of your filesystems.
If you have reasons for keeping /opt, /home, and /usr/local separate then do so by all means. However, if you don't --- just combine them into one larger fs for maximum flexibility. If you're concerned about 'fsck' time (which grows much longer for larger fs' then I can understand splitting them). However, Linux systems are generally so stable that the fsck time on a workstation is not a major consideration (periodic reboots with forced fsck runs can lessen the chance that this will be required at inopportune times).

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 37 February 1999

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