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Old 01-25-2010, 06:42 PM   #1
agi93
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What do you guys think of this partitioning scheme?


Hello! I'm considering jumping ship from FreeBSD and coming back to my beloved Slackware, but I would like to get my partitioning and filesystems just right. I've read many guides, but most of them are outdated or have subjective information about the filesystems available now. My laptop has a 160GB hard drive with Windows Vista and a recovery partition on it, leaving approximately 110GB to devote to my open source OS of choice. Here is what I've put together so far:

Code:

/       ext4    20GB
/tmp    ext4 OR reiserfs (can't decide)    2GB
/var    reiserfs    10GB
/home   ext4    75.5GB
swap    swap    2.5GB

I was considering using jfs instead of ext4, but jfs development is pretty much dead, and ext4 is much more widely supported (even Google now depends on it and hired the primary developer, so its future is more secure). I'm not too sure about reiserfs because I've heard some pretty nasty stories about it and I'm not sure it would provide much of an advantage if I set /var (or other partitions with small files) to it. I was considering just keeping it simple and doing:

Code:

/       ext4    107.5GB
swap    swap    2.5GB


Again, I'm considering using jfs or something else instead of ext4 for /.

Does partitioning my drive further create any real benefit? I've read that it allows for more flexibility and protects vital parts of your system from rogue files or programs in /tmp or /home, but I'm probably not going to change this before I reinstall or just get a new computer, and I would think I'm pretty safe as far as security and stability go since, after all, I
am using Slackware, and I don't do anything crazy on my computer. I've also read that it can speed up your system if you choose the correct filesystems for each partition (like reiserfs for /var), but I read all of this from articles that are multiple years old. I wonder if any of it is actually relevant in today's world.


Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:00 PM   #2
piratesmack
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This is how I partition my 160GB drive:

2GB Swap
10GB JFS /
50GB JFS /home

I use LVM2, which makes it easy to add more space to a volume when I need it.

For example, if I wanted to add 2GB to my / volume, I just:
Code:
lvextend -L+2G /dev/slackvg/root
mount -o remount,resize /
Or if I wanted to extend my /home volume to use the rest of the drive:
Code:
lvextend -l+100%FREE /dev/slackvg/home
mount -o remount,resize /home
Note: The "mount -o remount,resize" only works with JFS.
Also, you can't shrink a JFS volume, they can only be extended.

Read Alien Bob's LVM tutorial:
ftp://ftp.slackware.com/pub/slackwar...README_LVM.TXT

Also read:
http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/commontask.html
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 01-25-2010, 07:01 PM   #3
xflow7
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Have you considered using LVM and setting up your partitions as Logical Volumes?

I'm relatively new to it (trying it for the first time with 13.0), but it seems to work great and as near as I can tell offers the best of both worlds: individual partitions for /, /home, /var, /whatever but with the flexibility to arbitrarily resize them as necessary.

/boot has to be on a non-LVM partition, but that's no big deal as it will be small and should be pretty much fire-and-forget.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
agi93
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Interesting. What do you like about JFS and why do you choose it over something like ext4? I used it for a little bit at one point and it was fine. On Arch Linux my system froze and I had to shut it down with the power switch, rendering my system unbootable until I took the cd and did a fsck. That's an annoying little niggle I'd like to avoid, so I was a bit reluctant to use JFS again.

Do you just separate out /home to keep your personal data secure? Honestly I do very little on my laptop except some homework, and Slackware has been extremely stable in the past, so I don't know if that's really necessary for me. Of course, I could be dead wrong (am I?).

Thanks for telling me about LVM! I never really knew what it was for and never thought it was relevant since I only have one hard disk.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:06 PM   #5
piratesmack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xflow7 View Post
/boot has to be on a non-LVM partition, but that's no big deal as it will be small and should be pretty much fire-and-forget.
/boot doesn't need to be on a non-LVM partition if you use LILO as a bootloader.

LILO creates a list of the sectors used by the kernel and uses that to load it.

Last edited by piratesmack; 01-25-2010 at 07:36 PM.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:21 PM   #6
xflow7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratesmack View Post
/boot doesn't need to be on a non-LVM partition if you use LILO as a bootloader.
I stand corrected!
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:28 PM   #7
piratesmack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agi93 View Post
Interesting. What do you like about JFS and why do you choose it over something like ext4? I used it for a little bit at one point and it was fine. On Arch Linux my system froze and I had to shut it down with the power switch, rendering my system unbootable until I took the cd and did a fsck. That's an annoying little niggle I'd like to avoid, so I was a bit reluctant to use JFS again.
I'm no expert on filesystems, but I like to use JFS with LVM because it can be safely resized on a running system. I've been using it for years without problems, but feel free to use something else if you don't trust it.

Like I said before, you can't shrink JFS. Also, there's no easy way to defrag JFS. (I think the only way is to backup your data, format, and copy it back) And like you said, JFS development seems dead. So Ext4 may be a better choice for you.

Quote:
Do you just separate out /home to keep your personal data secure? Honestly I do very little on my laptop except some homework, and Slackware has been extremely stable in the past, so I don't know if that's really necessary for me. Of course, I could be dead wrong (am I?).
If you don't care about anything in your /home folder then there's no need to put it on a separate partition. I just keep it separate so I can reinstall without losing my personal data. But like you said Slack is very stable so I may never need to reinstall.

Last edited by piratesmack; 01-25-2010 at 07:45 PM.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
GazL
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I'd be inclined to go all 'ext4' or all 'jfs'. Having too many different filesystem formats in use just complicates recovery. In the past I've used jfs quite happily. This time I switched to ext4 to give it a try out.

JFS is a nice filesystem, but as you've already pointed out, its development has pretty much ceased (OpenSUSE even dropped support for it in 11.2) so sadly it looks as if its days are numbered.

As for your chosen partitioning scheme, it looks reasonable enough, and I used that very scheme quite happily for the last few years.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piratesmack View Post
/boot doesn't need to be on a non-LVM partition if you use LILO as a bootloader.
...unless you use encrypted lvm partitions (and rootfs is on them), in which case it does
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:38 PM   #10
agi93
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Awesome. I think I'll just make it like:

Code:
/       ext4    107.8G (or remaining after 2250M swap)
swap    swap    2250M
One more thing: I've noticed that when I boot up from an ext4 partition (using the huge kernel), I get an error message near the beginning of the boot process complaining about EXT3, even though none of my partitions are ext3. What do I need to do when reconfiguring the kernel to make this stop, or is there a way I can fix this without changing the kernel? I wish I could remember the exact error message to tell you, but I haven't had Slack installed for a while.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:38 PM   #11
piratesmack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GazL View Post
...unless you use encrypted lvm partitions (and rootfs is on them), in which case it does
Yep, thank you.
I should have mentioned that.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:47 PM   #12
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I would be concerned about making the /tmp filesystem too small. I've run across various programs that could generate some considerably large data files in /tmp through the years, which caused me problems although I was using some pretty small filesystems then. Still, I'm sure there are some DVD burning programs that put temp files in /tmp, which I would imagine could fill it pretty quickly if the image/files you are burning are large.

Sometimes programs give you the ability to relocate temp files, sometimes not. Sometimes they give you the option, but it doesn't work. I was just looking at Brasero, and it doesn't even give you a preferences editing option. There is probably a way of doing it, but it's a PITA I'd rather avoid.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:49 PM   #13
agi93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devwatchdog View Post
I would be concerned about making the /tmp filesystem too small. I've run across various programs that could generate some considerably large data files in /tmp through the years, which caused me problems although I was using some pretty small filesystems then. Still, I'm sure there are some DVD burning programs that put temp files in /tmp, which I would imagine could fill it pretty quickly if the image/files you are burning are large.

Sometimes programs give you the ability to relocate temp files, sometimes not. Sometimes they give you the option, but it doesn't work. I was just looking at Brasero, and it doesn't even give you a preferences editing option. There is probably a way of doing it, but it's a PITA I'd rather avoid.
I've noticed that kind of thing happens with large packages like texlive. Thankfully, Robby is nice enough to offer an option to set an alternate tmp point for the package building if necessary, but I don't know if everyone will do that. Then again, if the /tmp partition is too large, it's just eating up space.

This is why I'm probably going to just lump it all together on one big ext4 partition
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agi93 View Post
Awesome. I think I'll just make it like:

Code:
/       ext4    107.8G (or remaining after 2250M swap)
swap    swap    2250M
Oh, ok. I actually preferred your first idea, with separate /, /var, /tmp and /home, but if you want to go with one big rootfs, then that's your choice and a lot of people do choose to go that way.

As for the ext3/4 thing with 'huge', I can't help with that as I only ever use generic and an initrd, and besides as this is my first time with ext3/4 I probably wouldn't know anyway.
 
Old 01-25-2010, 07:55 PM   #15
agi93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GazL View Post
Oh, ok. I actually preferred your first idea, with separate /, /var, /tmp and /home, but if you want to go with one big rootfs, then that's your choice and a lot of people do choose to go that way.

As for the ext3/4 thing with 'huge', I can't help with that as I only ever use generic and an initrd, and besides as this is my first time with ext3/4 I probably wouldn't know anyway.
I haven't decided yet, so don't just run off! What advantages does having different partitions for those mountpoints offer nowadays? Anything really noticeable or helpful? I then noticed you like to make all of the partitions the same filesystem for the sake of simplification, and I agree with you after reading what kinds of problems may arise from using all sorts of filesystems.


Just a little note: I probably put very little on my /home partition since all I really do are LaTeX documents, pictures, and maybe some other stuff, so I don't mind making my other partitions pretty big to have a nice cushion for when Slackware (and computers in general) start to require more space for the basics.

I do plan to try out VirtualBox and probably dedicate 8-20GB to a guest OS depending on which one, so I'd like to know where this data must reside. If it's in /home, then good. If it's in /usr, / , or something, then I'll just have to resize accordingly.
 
  


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