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Old 06-15-2005, 02:35 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2004
Distribution: Debian -unstable
Posts: 700

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Partitioning for a Development Workstation / Desktop

Hello !

In about a week or so I will remove everything from my hard drive and "start fresh" . I plan on installing Gentoo Linux (Stage 1) and giving it the whole hard drive .

I have 40 GB of disk space and 128 MB of RAM .

The system I will be installing will be used as a Development Workstation but also for "normal user" activities (wich basically consist of connecting to servers [http/mail/ftp/ssh etc.] + music + a bit of playing around with Gimp .. no games, no *Open Office* and similar ..) .

Now .. I've read a lot of tutorials about partitioning your hard drive .. while they explain what and why , they don't explain how big . That's my problem ... I know what partitions I wish to create :
  • /
  • /home
  • /usr
  • /var
  • /tmp
  • /boot
  • swap

(not: I know I don't *need* all those partitions but that's how I would like my disk partitioned .. mostly for security reasons, convenience for back-up, upgrading etc. ; right now I have only a swap and / partition .. but like I said .. I want to change and those are the partitions I want .. )

Now .. like I've mentioned earlyer I have 128 MB of RAM .. so I figured I should make the Swap partition 256 MB .. The Gentoo Handbook sais the Boot partition should be 32 MB so the /boot partition will have 32 MB

The problem is .. except for the partitions above .. I have no idea what sizes the rest of the partitions should have ..
Just how big does / have to be if /home, /usr, /var, /tmp and /boot are separate from it ? Not very big I'd assume ?

Now .. I was thinking of something like this:
/boot - 32 MB
swap - 256 MB
/var - 3 GB
/tmp - ??
/ - 1248 MB
/usr - 9 GB
/home - rest ..
I don't know if USR is too big or too small .. all I know is that right now I don't really believe I need any more software installed (I might be wrong of course) .. my TOTAL disk usage is 5.1 GB .. I've been having this system for about 3 months .. I have no idea how big /tmp should be ..

I forgot to mention this .. the only server currently running on my system is SSHD (well .. sure I have X too but it accepts local connections only ..) . But it is possible I will be running a HTTPD/FTPD/EMAILD on it too .. (any of these, in any combination)

So anyway , it comes down to this:

#1 : Can anyone recommend a partitioning scheme for my requierments ? (I mean .. keeping the partitions [or removing/adding one/two] .. I mostly need recomendations on sizes and filesystems) .. reasons/explanations would be highly appreciated too ..
#2 : If you think my partitioning scheme is close to "the truth" .. please tell me what you have to object to it or why it is good in some ways etc.

Thank you for your attention !

p.s: if you don't feel like designing a partition that fits my needs , I would really appreciate the results of "cat /etc/fstab && df -h" ran on your box along with a description of what you are using your system for .. maybe I can "deduct" a good partitioning scheme

Thanks again !
Old 06-15-2005, 03:21 PM   #2
bruno buys
Senior Member
Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Rio
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,509

Rep: Reputation: 46
This is for a full sarge install, openoffice, gimp, X, kde (no gnome). Lots of multimedia software, lots of internet software.
/backup is where I keep music collection and videos. And... backups, also.

bruno@frank:~$ df -h
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda2 2.8G 1.1G 1.7G 40% /
/dev/hda6 56G 30G 27G 53% /backup
/dev/hda5 12G 6.3G 4.9G 57% /home
/dev/hda3 4.7G 1.6G 3.2G 34% /usr

I got surprised on how debian is economic. As you can see, / and /usr were overestimated at partitioning-time.

bruno@frank:~$ cat /etc/fstab
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point> <type> <options> <dump> <pass>
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
/dev/hda2 / reiserfs notail 0 1
/dev/hda6 /backup reiserfs defaults 0 2
/dev/hda5 /home reiserfs defaults 0 2
/dev/hda3 /usr reiserfs defaults 0 2
/dev/hda1 none swap sw 0 0
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom0 iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/hdd /media/cdrom1 iso9660 ro,user,noauto 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy0 auto rw,user,noauto 0 0

A few thoughts: use only one fs, unless you have a good reason not to. Keep it simple. Whether ext3, reiser, xfs, jfs, its personal, I guess.

You can speed things up by creating the swap as the first partition (hda1).
Maybe this can be a starting point:

/dev/hda1 swap 256MB primary swap
/dev/hda2 / 2-3 GB primary
/dev/hda3 /usr 2-4 GB primary
/dev/hda4 extended
/dev/hda5,6,7 ... the rest goes here, and you still have ~34GB out of 40GB, right?
Old 06-15-2005, 03:25 PM   #3
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian Etch/Sid, Ubuntu
Posts: 529

Rep: Reputation: 32
I do not know anything Gentoo-specific.

I have always seen / at 250-500 mb
I am currently using only ~150 mb

If you intend to run many servers, you may need more than 256 mb swap.
For developpment, /tmp should be about 1Gb

This is a setup for a mail/MySQL server (not what you need)
# /etc/fstab: static file system information.
# <file system> <mount point>   <type>  <options>       <dump>  <pass>
proc            /proc           proc    defaults        0       0
/dev/hda1       /               ext3    defaults,errors=remount-ro 0       1
/dev/hda7       /home           ext3    defaults        0       2
/dev/hda5       /tmp            ext3    defaults        0       2
/dev/hda6       /usr            ext3    defaults        0       2
/dev/hda8       /var            ext3    defaults        0       2
/dev/hda3       none            swap    sw              0       0
/dev/hdc        /media/cdrom0   iso9660 ro,user,noauto  0       0
/dev/fd0        /media/floppy0  auto    rw,user,noauto  0       0
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda1             229M  108M  110M  50% /
tmpfs                 126M   12K  126M   1% /dev/shm
/dev/hda7             894M   13M  834M   2% /home
/dev/hda5             229M  4.1M  213M   2% /tmp
/dev/hda6             2.8G  557M  2.1G  21% /usr
/dev/hda8             9.5G  345M  8.7G   4% /var
This is a setup for a file server
LABEL=/                 /                       ext3    defaults        1 1
LABEL=/boot             /boot                   ext3    defaults        1 2
none                    /dev/pts                devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0 0
none                    /dev/shm                tmpfs   defaults        0 0
LABEL=/home             /home                   ext3    defaults,quota        1 2
none                    /proc                   proc    defaults        0 0
none                    /sys                    sysfs   defaults        0 0
LABEL=/tmp              /tmp                    ext3    defaults        1 2
LABEL=/var              /var                    ext3    defaults,quota        1 2
/dev/hda3               swap                    swap    defaults        0 0
/dev/cdrom              /mnt/cdrom              udf,iso9660 noauto,owner,kudzu,ro,user 0 0
/dev/fd0                /mnt/floppy             auto    noauto,owner,kudzu,user 0 0
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/hda2             7.9G  2.1G  5.5G  27% /
/dev/hda1              97M  7.6M   85M   9% /boot
none                  126M     0  126M   0% /dev/shm
/dev/hda7              57G   22G   32G  41% /home
/dev/hda6             291M  8.1M  268M   3% /tmp
/dev/hda5             9.9G  4.4G  5.0G  47% /var


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