Partitioning Suggestions?

Gerard Beekmans gerard at
Fri Jun 23 09:08:35 PDT 2000

> And then you want to compile packet whatever-5.3.1 and compiling fails
> because there's "no more space left on device". Hmm... So you move
> everything to /usr2/src. Same problem. /usr3/src? All full.. Now we
> have a total of 1 GB of free space scattered across partitions and
> can't use it because we need one big chunk.

/usr /usr2 etc just contain compiled programs. The actual build of
softare is done in /usr/src (which happens to be /usr2/src). /usr2 only
contains tarballs and I currently have 541MB worth of tarballs (well not
exactly tar.gz's but tar.bz2's). I do not think I will ever need 1.5GB
to compile one single program so I don't think I'll ever run out of
compilation space. /usr2 is my dedicated tarball and compilation
partition and 2GB is more than enough room. If need be I can NFS my
notebook's harddisk which gives me nearly 3GB to compile one single
program. I don't think I ever need 3GB to compile one program, don't you
> What if /home fills up? Mine's about 2.2G right now for a single-user
> system. You can't just create /home2 and continue...

My home directory which I have been using for a few years now is 81MB in
size (including netscape's 10MB cache and my 12MB email archive). With
only two physical users (me and my wife. My wife only goes online on
this Linux box and does her emailing. Her home dir. never exceeds 5MB at
most). So the 250MB home dir is choosen not just randomly but based on
years of experience of using my system. 250MB is a generous amount I'd
never exceed.
> Also replacing old libraries can become a pain if you have /usr/lib,
> /usr2/lib, ...

I hate having one directory with hundreds of library files. I have libs
in /usr/packagename/lib instead. I know by head what library belongs to
what package so I don't have problems "loosing" files around. I break
most FHS and other standards on my personal system but who cares about
that. What I do is my business ;)
> I just allocate it in really big chunks, one partition for / and a
> swap-partition. That's it. If you want to share /home between multiple
> distributions, take a partition for that but be generous on space if
> you ever plan to work with graphics or some other space-intensitive
> things. 

If I ever need that I just create a bigger partition that will be the
new /home partition. The current 250MB home partition will be deleted
and I can move partitions around and enlarge a partition by 250MB. No
problem at all. Parted is a good friend. When parted doesn't do it's job
I have Partition Magic which can deal with ext2 file systems perfectly.
I don't like the idea of having a 5GB  /usr partition when only 2GB is
used. A waste of 3GB and I'd never use that much space so I rather have
3GB unallocated and use it when I need it.
> Partitions are a pain. Doesn't reiserfs solve this issue?

reiserfs provides a journaling file system. What you meant, I think, is
software RAID. You combine several partitions into one big partition. By
creating a new partition and add it to RAID you can enlarge your single
root partition that contains everything. 

Gerard Beekmans

-*- If Linux doesn't have the solution, you have the wrong problem -*-
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