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Old 03-11-2014, 07:09 PM   #1
Registered: May 2012
Location: San Luis, Argentina
Distribution: Debian
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Question Question about /boot and /usr partitions

Hi everyone,
I am reading a couple of books to prepare for the LPIC 1 exams and have a couple of questions about the /boot and /usr partitions:
1) Is the /boot partition still needed as a separate partition for modern systems, or that is only the case for older systems? In that case, what is it about older systems that made this necessary?
2) One book (LPI Linux Certification in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition, O'Reilly) says that it's a good idea to place /usr in a separate partition in order to share all the executables to workstations via read-only NFS. However, this link in the Red Hat documentation says that should be avoided. So, what gives?
Any thoughts will be more than welcome.
Old 03-11-2014, 07:46 PM   #2
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A separate /boot was necessary on very old systems where the BIOS understood only CHS addressing, thus making it necessary that the boot files exist entirely within the first 1024 cylinders. Today, it's needed only if your root partition is in something that your boot loader doesn't understand (encrypted filesystems, LVM volumes, some exotic filesystems, etc. are not understood by some boot loaders).

The problem with a separate /usr is that detection and setup for some (less common) hardware needs programs and files that are not in the root filesystem. Absent such hardware, the early boot sequence (the part before /usr would be mounted) still works just fine, but for other cases booting might fail or be unreliable with a separate /usr.

Now, the latest trend is actually to go back to a separate /usr, moving everything from /bin and /sbin to /usr/bin and /usr/sbin, but arranging to mount /usr early in the boot sequence along with the root filesystem.

Last edited by rknichols; 03-11-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:35 PM   #3
Registered: May 2012
Location: San Luis, Argentina
Distribution: Debian
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Thanks rknichols!


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