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Old 11-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #1
Thane
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8.10 partition size requirements for / /home/ /swap /var /usr going from 8.04 Ubuntu


Going to install clean copy of 8.10 on vacant 500GB drive to try it out, while maintaining my old 8.04 for a while (on another drive), which uses separate /home and /swap partitions. Will get rid of old 7.10 partitions on yet another drive. Need to increase size of /home at the same time as I'm now running out of room in an 84GB /home partition. Am thinking I should just create a new /home on the 500GB 8.10 drive and copy the files over from my present /home partition. Wondering if anyone with in-depth partitioning experience could offer suggestions, as I'm wanting to branch out to the next level of partitioning here. I'd like to set up separate /home, /swap, /boot, /, /opt, /var, /usr and also a /backup partition (the last of which would be duplicated afterwards on a completely separate drive for safe redundency - manually not by raid). I've never gone the route of the extra partitions past / and /swap with the exception of /home and /backup and I'm not conversant with the requirements of the new 8.10. Even reading some of the various forum partitioning tutorials and howto's seem to give a few different approaches to different aspects of partitioning. A little background of my system: amd athlon 64 3700+ / 4GB ram / GeForce 6600gtoc nvidia card / doing top command from terminal with rhythmbox/fspot/firefox,etc running seems to show about 1.5GB of ram being used at any one point in time. Also play 1st person shooters sometimes, although I've no idea how much ram is being used for these. I expect its more. These last points listed to give an idea of my ram useage in case it helps with how much swap I require. Possibly I'm using more ram at a given time sometimes - I'm not sure. Have checked my /opt directory and at present its empty. I have however installed some extra progs such as Datacrow (heavy on the java resources I think), which might be more suitably installed into the new /opt partition if my thinking on this is correct. Searching about has yielded varying ideas of the following points: 1. Suggestions on locating /swap at beginning of drive versus locating /swap in middle of drive, both purported to quicken access to the data in the /swap partition through less hdd head movement. 2. Also different opinions on whether /boot needs to be at the very beginning of drive. 3. Have read varying formulas for how much swap is needed on average (for example 16GB minus the amount of mobo ram installed). 4. Have seen references to needing a max of 100MB for the /boot partition. 5. What about the size of the / partition if I use all of these other separate partitions????? I've got lots of hard drive space (storage is definitely not a concern) available on 4 drives + 1 for XP (I'm dual booted by the way). Any well experienced ideas would be welcome. I could just use my legacy-type approach of give each partition way more than it requires to be on the safe side, but I'd really like to finally get the partitioning size requirements nailed. TIA. Cheers.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 03:12 PM   #2
Thane
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extra info

On rereading, thought I'd better make it a bit clearer, that my main concerns here are with the sizes of the aforementioned partitions. There's no problem with the mechanics of how to actually make these separate partitions. Along with a few other concerns listed in the first posting, my main concern is sizing. Cheers.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 04:35 PM   #3
Duck2006
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This may help, not sure if it is what your looking for.

http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/partitioning
 
Old 11-29-2008, 06:17 PM   #4
Thane
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still looking...

Thanks for reply duck2006, but I'm really looking for somewhat concrete size recommendations for the individual partitions I named. Your link did give me one extra bit of info however of a suggested 5 to 10 GB for / partition. Thanks, cheers.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 06:44 PM   #5
syg00
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Seems to me you are over complicating things for a home system. Sizings you can estimate from your current system - Intrepid isn't that different. Fixed sizings means (more) potential problems with running out of space somewhere. Why not just give them 10 Gig each and forget about it. Maybe use LVM to manage things - even more complexity of course.

As for the swap query, trying to optimize for head movement is absolute waste of effort on a shared disk on modern hardware. Back in the day of small MFM disks maybe.
Maybe.
What's the point of worrying about that on a disk that has other data on it - the heads will be all over the place anyway. If you are paging (to swap) that hard, give it a dedicated disk, and let the caching handle things. Be aware that (last time I looked) swap is limited to 2 Gig per extent. You can add more extents - which is what I'd suggest; create one and see if it gets used. RHEL has a patch that overcomes this limit, but I don't think Ubuntu uses it.
With modern BIOS, /boot can be anywhere.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
jglen490
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As stated above, don't sweat the details. With 4 GB of RAM, you very likely don't need any swap, but 1GB will be fine. If you are doing very heavy work (i.e., CAD, large video editing such as movies, nuclear fusion analysis, worldwide weather prediction) you might need more swap; with that type usage, the greater speed of more RAM would serve better than relatively slow disk anyway.

For everything except /home, use the same size as your previous setup. If / space was getting slim on your previous install, then add 10 - 20%. Use the rest for /home.

Last edited by jglen490; 11-29-2008 at 07:09 PM. Reason: stupid fingers.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 08:24 PM   #7
inspiron_Droid
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IMHO You should Always go with a bare minimum of 5 to 8GB for a root file system, 2x physical memory for swap, 700mb to 1024 MB for boot and the rest for the Home Partition.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 08:40 PM   #8
jglen490
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True, you can slice and dice anyway you want it -- or need it. And it really does depend on your exact needs.

The 2 for 1 rule for the swap to RAM ratio was valid when RAM sizes were well below 1GB, but with huge amounts of RAM available on new systems, that rule is a waste of disk. Linux will not use swap until it can't play with physical RAM anymore. For most mortals 4GB is plenty of turf for Linux memory management.
 
Old 11-29-2008, 08:59 PM   #9
jailbait
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The overall size of a Linux distribution is usually less than 4 Gig plus swap of about 1 Gig plus the size of your user data.

/boot is pretty small. Mine is about 16 Meg. In the days when I used a separate /boot I used 512 Meg.

/home is also fairly small when first installed. It can increase in size significantly if you have a lot of user data.

/usr takes about half of your system space. My /usr uses 1.6 Gig out of a 4 Gig partition.

/var holds log files and some package managers store downloaded packages in the /var cache. Right now without any downloaded packages my /var uses 175 Meg out of a 4 Gig partition. Servers will use a lot more log space and you will also use up more /var space when you are making major software upgrades.

/opt is not used by some distributions. If your distribution does not use /opt then a /opt partition is a waste of space. If your distribution uses /opt then it will put about 40% of /usr in /opt. So if you use /opt then make /opt about 1.5 Gig and /usr about 2.5 Gig.

I do not compress /backup because an uncompressed backup runs much faster and I have a lot of disk space. I backup 2 separate Linux systems. I use 7.2 Gig of a 12 Gig /backup partition.

I have a 1 Gig swap partition which is more than enough. If you start swapping a lot your system will slow down dramatically. You will either buy more RAM or cut down your RAM demand. The only time that swap size is significant is if you use the suspend to disk function. Then you need a swap size of about 1.5 times your RAM size.

The command to find out how much space /home is using is:

du -s -h /home

-----------------------
Steve Stites

Last edited by jailbait; 11-29-2008 at 09:05 PM.
 
Old 11-30-2008, 09:22 AM   #10
Thane
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Many thanks friends for partition advice

That sure seemed like great advice...and lots of it. I've now settled on a plan to try out of 1MB for my /boot partition, 1GB for my /swap to go along with my 4GB of ram, maintaining the same size for my / partition as I now use with 8.04 while adding a 10GB /usr partition and foregoing the separate /opt and /var partitions. By the way my present /swap is 41GB in size - a number which I could just never seem to find a recommendation before (partitioning info seems to be either often out of date or contentious.) Using your swap suggestions I can now see the merit and need for only 1GB of swap. My present /home is almost full so I'll be adding a new, larger /home and a new /backup partition onto a separate 500GB drive. Another /backup partition on another drive for less frequent complete backups in case the /home-/backup drive goes up in smoke sometime. Will keep my 8.04 on its present drive probably until I next replace 8.10 with the latest and greatest. My old 7.10 drive info gets deleted. I'll be a couple of days before I can get to doing all this, so if there are any problems you can see with my plan, please feel free to comment. Many thanks again. Without trying to be overfluffy here, I'm sure that having a number of senior members/gurus, etc comment on partitioning requirements at this time has dispelled a few misconceptions and given some guidance to others as well. It sure has helped me. Cheers.
 
Old 11-30-2008, 07:27 PM   #11
IndyGunFreak
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Here's my setup...

20gigs XP Home
4gig swap
130gigs for /
350gigs for /ntfs , which is a media share for XP and Linux.. mainly so I can use XP to sync my Zune..

I always do clean installs, so the the fact I end up trashing 135gigs when I reinstall, doesn't really bother me.

YMMV, and probably will.

IGF
 
  


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