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SlackWareWolf 02-28-2008 11:19 PM

Partitioning Schemes
Hey all,

I wanted to ask this earlier but didn't have time.

Basically, I have a machine I'm setting up again and I already have the installation, but I may be changing that because I'm just trying to find the best solution for what I want to do.

the machine is fairly old. In fact it's the VERY first computer I EVER bought. It's a Pentium 3 at 733 MHz, with 384 MBs of RAM, and the Video card is an old Nvidia with 16 MBs of Video RAM, and the video card is starting to go on it (Monitor looks weird when X is loaded or if I install Windows it looks weird, lines going through the screen and things, so yea I know I need to buy a new one) but anyway, for now, I am going to set it up as a server.

Here is what I have for drives on it:

The HD it came with is somehow still working. No joke it is 46 GBs in size.... Weirdest drive I've ever come across in this.

Now I know for sure the drive size is correct... In Windows 9X it says the size usable is 42.9 GBs and in Windows with an NTFS partition it says I have about the same but a few more depending on how many blocks.

Now, when I install BSD or Linux, that drive will say between 43 and 46.1 GBs of usable space.

Anyway, I recently put a 120 GB brand new hard drive in there and made the old hard drive the secondary drive. So I installed / on the 120 Gb HD and made he second 46 GB drive /var.

So now this is the system:

Slackware 12.0

/ on 120 GB drive

/var on second HD at 46 GBs.

Here is what I would like to do:

I basically want to set this bx up with FTP for local use only. I have a hardware firewall and a Cisco switch standing in front of the router connected directly to the net, so the machine is fairly safe already because it has a hardware firewall, a Cisco switch, and another router protecting it from outside, and what I normally do is set up a machine here with VSFTPd and then all the machines on my local network can upload back ups of stuff my Wife and I want to keep in case something accidentally gets deleted, we can just download it off there and not worry about it.

So pretty much I have the /home directory stuff loaded up with our back ups and then we upload to that machine and then we have a machine that has all our stuff, and then I also put it on an external USB hard drive, + I burn CDs of back ups + we have thumb drives.

Anyway, I'm trying to find a way to do this where I have full access to the HDs.

For example, if I upload something to the /var/ftp directory I made I can't because it says permission denied. I know of the different ways to partition the drive but I guess what I'd like to do is be able to to use BOTH the drives for storage.

I've been looking around and from what I can tell I'm probably going to have to re-install, make the big HD the / and swap, and then make the second drive mounted as /storage and make an fstab entry for it if I want to use it this way.

anyone else have a better idea I could do?

Long post I know, but in short:

/ is a 120 GB HD and almost full from back ups

/var is a separate HD with lots of space left but I can't really access it from FTP making it not so useful.

If I was in need of reinstalling, would I be able to use the second HD just as /storage and mount it that way so I could actually use it?

I mean after making / and /swap on the first HD would it actually work using the second drive as /storage where all users could read and write to it? Would that work?

I'd just try it but I don't want to screw with it while I'm testing it right now and would much rather just ask if anyone has done this before.


unSpawn 02-29-2008 07:45 AM

The first thing I'd like to argue has nothing to do with partitioning schemes but with backup efficiency. 120 GB itself isn't much these days but if that's *not* 120 GB worth of OOo docs in /home/$LOGNAME (or Documents\ And\ Settings/$USERNAME ;-p) but rather full backup versions of about everything there's a chance your backing up stuff that doesn't change much. While there's good reasons for not wanting to do incremental backups or use rsync, maybe you should check if your backup strategy is what you want it to be?

The second thing I'd like to argue is moving / back to the "old" drive. Considering the single purpose of the box its performance hinges on network and disk I/O. If you run a minimal setup most of what you need will be in memory and with a few tweaks you could make OS-related disk I/O even less, so basically the performance of the "old" disk should be good enough, keeping the newer disk for backups (also considering MTBF).

Just my thoughts.

nekkutta 02-29-2008 08:13 AM

I'd agree, you can do a full install of Slack 12 in 5GB, I would throw that on the old drive, and just use the new drive for the backup system.


if I upload something to the /var/ftp directory I made I can't because it says permission denied.
I would check your file permmisions on that one, it almost sounds like it is chmod 755, which is fine if you are uploading as the owner(which usually /var is root:root) but more than likely you are not uploading as root, so an easy fix would be to 'chmod 777 /var/ftp' although this isn't a very secure way to go about it, the other option would be to chown it to the username you are ftping as (user has to be in the passwd file) which would be more secure.

slack doen't really take up much in the way of system resources, I've got a slack 10.2 system running on a 350MHz system with 376MB ram (as reported by free) as a samba server, granted I've got a 900+MB swap partition, but I've never seen slack use it, it all stays in ram.

also if you feel like you are running out of space on the 120GB you could always create a symlink to a folder on the 46GB, you might have to check the ftp server config files to see if there is an option to follow symlinks.


SlackWareWolf 03-02-2008 12:07 AM

First, chmod 777 is NOT going to let uploads by FTP, and is just going to make a huge hole in the file system.

Second, before I put the new drive in, I pulled the old one out to make it slave. It's older, so it's a lot more likely to fail than the new one is, so the new one is the master drive and I installed root there.

The back ups are mostly my MP3 collection, files I need that I don't feel like configuring from scratch all over again (Muttrc, a few others) and back ups of videos and tutorials and papers I've written, and also music I've made as I kind of like having the original around so I can make remixes.

I don't use Open Office, I don't like Office suites in general. I use Vim for text editing, and if I have to write something for work, I'll do it in HTML.

I ended up formatting everything all over again, and just making the second HD /storage and chown and chgrping it to my regular non root account. My other option was editing the configuration file for the VSFTPd app and adding that directory in.

And as for 120 GBs not being that much "these days" seriously, I have ANOTHER complete back up of everything on an 80 GB USB HD. I have like 500 CDs and each one is ripped as 128 KB MP3, 320 KB MP3 and also in OGG format + a complete season of TV shows and I'm still not close to filling it up.

I rip them in different MP3 quality settings because I put the CD quality (128) ones on my I-Pod and use the 320 ripped ones for when I'm listening from a computer.

This doesn't even include the fact that I have about 4 versions of freeBSD, 2 of Slackware, and other misc Linux distros in ISO format on that drive or how I have about 700 Slackware packages and 300 Windows apps on it and it still isn't close to hitting full. How is that not big enough?

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