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Old 10-12-2004, 09:49 AM   #1
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format only gives me less than total space

Hi. This problems been bothering me for a while and couldn't find a solution to it through google so thought i'd ask here ... thanks to anyone who decides to drop us an answer

I have a drive i would like to store data on ... when i format it with ext2/3 though it seems like a sizeable amount of space is already taken. I figured out that this space seems to be reserved for root but is totally unnecessary as i would just like to use all the available space of the drive for data.

i would use fat32, but the drive is large (250gb) and i'm banking on ext3 being a better choice (no corrupted fat tables etc.)

anyone got any ideas on how to format a drive like this? (preferably through gnome/kde, as i think this is something people would commonly want to do without command switchs)
Old 10-12-2004, 09:50 AM   #2
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Sometimes it helps to format it with smaller inodes than the regular 4096 it might use. I tend to make mine about 1024 in size. But its a good thing to reserve this space for root, etc. If the drive ever fills up, root may still access it to fix any problems you encounter.
Old 10-12-2004, 10:01 AM   #3
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Futhermore, by default 5% is reserved for root and I agree that 12GB might be a little much. You can use the tune2fs utility to change the amount of reserved space. However, I agree with trickykid that you do not want to elliminate reserved space completely.
Old 10-12-2004, 02:47 PM   #4
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ok .. many thanks for the info, will have a look at tune2fs. i was feeling cautious about setting any of parameters manually through the command line incase of any possible incompatibilities with software (eg: partition magic, disk drake, & explore2fs/ext2fsd for windows etc.) that might expect as a 'standard' filesystem.

actually the whole reason this question arose is because the disk i currently have is ntfs formatted, but i wanted it to be ext2/3 and was more than a little surprised that a good 10gb's wouldn't fit!

i find it interesting that you both seem rather in favour of this method of reserved space ... disregarding the 12gb of space lost, it just creates a 'no mans land' of data that can't be accessed by all and creates a bit of a management headache as the drive is no longer 'one drive'. why would a user want to have 5% of the disk space reserved so they can then log in as root "fix any problems they encounter" ... if a disk is getting full you delete something off it or get a new disk ... why does it need to be any more complicated than this?

actually while i was hunting around for information on the subject one of the thoughts going through my head was the number of people using linux as file servers etc. and what kind of setup they work under ... if i have 4 x 250gb (and i do) thats 50gb out the window

it just seems like another ancient legacy of unix built into the system when disk sizes were like 10mb .. as far as i'm aware even ext3 doesn't change this principal, and i'm just amazed that nonne seems to be advocating a change to this while all the time disk sizes keep getting larger

if anyone has anything to add, please do, as this one issues been holding me off from moving the server over to linux for a while now
Old 10-12-2004, 04:15 PM   #5
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Reserved spaces serves two purposes. First of all, the filesystem is more efficient about avoiding fragmentation if there is at least a certain amount of free space available to the block allocation routines. Secondly, this allows critical system daemons (at least those running as root) to still be able to do silly things like write syslog files saying that a filesystem is full.

AFAIK reserved space is just used in ext2/3.


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