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Old 03-13-2005, 03:05 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2005
Posts: 126

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more partition help

Dear Sir
I have an 8GB hdb and want to partition it.

How much diskspace should I allot to root &
home partitions?

Please say if following are true or not:

1) HOME partition is used to store user-specific
settings AND I can also store personal files
(saved webpages, letters, pics etc.)
Am I right?

2) Root partition is used only for system files.
Am I right?

3) If root partition is used to store only system files,
suppose I'm installing/compiling software, where does it
get stored?? In root partition?? I intend to install/compile
lots of software - so I should create a preferably large
root partition. Right??

Heres what I intend to do:
I'll be installing/compiling lots of software AND
store substantial amounts of personal data
like saved webpages, letters, pics, mp3s etc.

So please tell me how much diskspace should I
allot to root & home partitions? And if I'd
need anymore partitions. Where should I keep
what?? Personal files in root or HOME?
WHY DO SOME USERS CRETAE var & temp & boot

Pklease answer in sufficient detail.

Thanks a lot.

Take care
Old 03-13-2005, 03:31 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Distribution: Gentoo, RHEL, Fedora, Centos
Posts: 43,417

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/me didn't know he had been knighted.

1) yep.

2) no. the root can include EVERYTHING, including /home etc... unless you have you own /home. but ideally that's all the root should be left with.

3) it will go into the correct partition. the partition it goes to depends on what partitions you have. most user level applications will be in /usr/bin. if you have a dedicated /usr partition, then it will physically be in that partition, if not, then it will be in the root partition.

an 8 gig system, it'd say partition it 50 / 50 home and root. it's not big enough to bother with other partitions. (other than /boot which only need 50mb).

A /var partition may be used when database files, which are typically kept in /var are needed to have their own physical space to grow in. potentially other parts of the system could fill up the partition and make the database fail, but by specifically seperating it, it won't affect a database if a users home directory is being filled up with junk.

Last edited by acid_kewpie; 03-13-2005 at 03:46 AM.
Old 03-13-2005, 03:57 AM   #3
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Registered: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Distribution: Gentoo, Debian, RHEL, Slack
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1) Yes
2) / holds all sub-folders and therefore does hold all the system files, here is a better breakdown

/bin = executable binaries
/boot = boot image files
/home = user's folder for documents and user specific settings
/sbin = binaries typically for root to use
/var = varying data like logs, dmegs, boot messages and server output logs, sometimes temp files
/etc = system configuration files.

3) I agree with acdi_kewpie, but to clarify, you can typically use the (--prefix=) to specify where you want the application to install to. So if I was installing firefox, I could do a this

./configure --prefix=/home/firefoxapp
make && make install

and this would install firefox under the /home/firefoxapp/ folders

Chopping up a hard drive can get tricky. Normally my (/) is only 2GB or less, but I usually create a partition for /usr, /var, /home/ and /boot. Since you have a small hard drive, I'll agree with your setup:
50MB = /boot
4GB = /
4GB = /home


If you are super paranoid, have nothing better to do, or have done it since day one, then here are some reasons for creating partitions for those.

{/var} = Since log files are located here, if I could attack your system and create a loop in the log, the log would fill until that partition becomes 100% full. If /var is on a 2GB partition, that is all that would fill up. If /var is on the same partition as /, then I could fill up the partition that holds a few more folders and I'd have a better chance of screwing you royally. This reason holds true for /tmp also.

{/boot} = Honestly, I was told to do this and have always done so. My reason is because it helps me realize when I've compiled too many kernels and my 50MB is filling up. Other reasons would be, if filesystem corruption occurs, you have the boot image, kernel, and possibly the .config for your system. Another good advice is to set the fstab to noauto for boot. This unmounts it after the kernel is loaded so /boot is not on the / filesystem unless root re-mounts it.

I think I got everything. If I missed it, let me know
Old 03-14-2005, 01:13 AM   #4
Registered: Feb 2005
Posts: 126

Original Poster
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Thank you!

A big thank you to all you dear Linux gurus who replied

Things are getting clearer to me now.

OK I'll go with 4GB home & root AND 50MB /boot.

But I intend to store LOTS of personal data (like clips of DVD movies) AND ALSO install/compile LOTS of new software. I hope the setup you recommended is IDEAL for my needs.

Am I right?

Just give me ONE LAST AFFIRMATIVE NOD and I'll go with it bcoz I've seen that some people create VERY SMALL root partitions (less than 2GB). Do they do this bcoz they know that they won't be installing/compiling lots of new software?????

Thanks for ur help. I'm a total newbie so if u could plz explain to me in simpler terms why I need 50MB /boot partition it would be really much appreciated; bcoz I know most newbies don't create or bother with seperate boot partitions.

Thanks again & reply soon.

Take care
Old 03-14-2005, 09:35 AM   #5
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Location: Indiana
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With that small of a hard drive, you may want to have just a /boot and / as mount points. Let /home reside on the single 8GB partition. No one can say what is ideal because they aren't you. Trial and error is what its all about.
Old 03-14-2005, 09:57 AM   #6
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