[RndTbl] Partitioning in Linux

Gilbert E. Detillieux gedetil at cs.umanitoba.ca
Fri Jun 10 14:22:34 CDT 2011

On 2011-06-08 20:55, Peter O'Gorman wrote:
> On 06/08/2011 07:20 PM, Kevin McGregor wrote:
>> Well, not really partitioning. I know how to do that. At work today, the
>> question of how to set up some Linux servers arose. To put it in some
>> kind of context, when I install Ubuntu Linux (server), by default it
>> creates a small /boot partition, the creates a LVM partition with a /
>> ext4 partition and a swap partition inside of that.
>> Is that optimal? Recommended? Some would say that /home, /tmp, /var and
>> others should reside in separate partitions/filesystems. Discuss. :-)
>> Thanks for any input!
> http://tldp.org/HOWTO/LVM-HOWTO/benefitsoflvmsmall.html

Benefits of LVM Small?... ;)  For a small/home installation, I would 
tend to agree.  Like Adam and Sean, I would also advocate the KISS 
principle, particularly when less technically sophisticated users might 
end up administering the system.

Last paragraph in the above LVM article: "Jane simply adds the new disk 
to her existing volume group and extends her /home logical volume to 
include the new disk."  Yeah, but Jane probably added this new disk 
years after the first one, and the first one will likely die long before 
the new one, which will take out her entire /home file system, making 
both disks useless (unless there's a recent backup).  I've seen this 
very scenario at work.  In my case, "Jane" was a prof in our department 
who liked to do his own Linux installs, and got LVM by default with a 
Fedora install.  The file system in this case was "/" rather than "/home".

For a home system with lots of storage, I'd be more inclined to use 
mdadm to set up RAID 1 mirroring, and skip LVM entirely.

For the systems that our students use, I tend to go a bit more overboard 
on the partitioning, having separate file systems for /tmp, /var/tmp, 
and just about anything else they'll be able to write to.  That way, 
even if they blow away all the free space on one of those, most things 
on the system keep on working until I can fix the space problem.  I've 
still had problems, though (more than once), with servers dying due to 
syslog filling up all of /var in a matter of hours!

Gilbert E. Detillieux		E-mail: <gedetil at muug.mb.ca>
Manitoba UNIX User Group	Web:	http://www.muug.mb.ca/
PO Box 130 St-Boniface		Phone:  (204)474-8161
Winnipeg MB CANADA  R2H 3B4	Fax:    (204)474-7609

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